8 of the UK’s best locations for a breathtaking stroll this National Walking Month


People going for a walk

There’s little doubt that the UK is a nation of avid walkers. In fact, government figures reveal that, in 2022, the average person in England made 267 walking trips, strolling for roughly 221 miles. 

This may come as no surprise to many, as the British Isles are home to some gorgeous walking routes.

Since May is National Walking Month, this could be the ideal time to take a look at some of these stunning strolls across the country to get you out on your feet. 

Continue reading to discover eight of these fantastic locations and walking routes. 

1. Bakewell, Peak District

The charming town of Bakewell, which is nestled within the Peak District National Park, is home to several different walks, all varying in length. 

For example, you could start in the town centre by the Weir Bridge and continue down the Monsal Trail, which offers a gentle ramble through wooded valleys and across viaducts. 

While you could return to the town after strolling down this trail, you could extend your walk from Bakewell Station to Hassop Station, roughly 2.2 miles long. 

Better yet, this is a relatively easy walk that is accessible to all, as the route has steady tarmac and gravel surfaces. 

And, of course, no walk around Bakewell would be complete without a famous tart or pudding to treat yourself after your walk!

2. Wollaton Park, Nottingham

If you’re seeking a taste of nature without straying too far from the city, Wollaton Park in Nottingham could be exactly what you’re looking for. 

This expansive park boasts a 3.5-mile circular walk through serene woodlands and down lakeside paths. The stroll should only take you around an hour and a half, and it is relatively easy-going thanks to the lack of hills and many open spaces. 

If you keep your eyes peeled, you may even catch a glimpse of the resident deer that have made the park their home – just be sure to keep your distance, as they are wild animals, after all. 

The walk even allows you to take in the beauty of Wollaton Hall, one of the country’s finest Grade I-listed Elizabethan mansions, built in the 1580s.

Here, you can explore the formal gardens, relax in the courtyards, or learn something new at the museum – there’s truly something for everyone at Wollaton. 

3. Scafell Pike, Cumbria

If you’re an experienced walker seeking adventure, Scafell Pike presents a formidable challenge. 

Indeed, the rugged yet beautiful hill in Cumbria is 978 metres high, making it the highest peak in England.

Though, it’s important to note that conquering this mountain requires adequate preparation and good weather conditions. There’s no easy route to the summit, and some scrambling may be required, so it’s vital to ensure you have the necessary skills and equipment for the climb.

If you start the climb at Wasdale, it should take around three to four hours to get to the top. Or, you could extend the walk and start at Seathwaite, taking roughly six hours. 

The challenge is undeniably worth it, as the panoramic views from the summit are breathtaking. 

4. Dunstanburgh, Northumberland

The walk around Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland is a must if you want to take in a blend of coastal scenery and historical sights. 

The circular walk is around four miles and can take roughly two hours, though you may want to dedicate more time if you wish to explore the dramatic ruins of the castle. 

It’s worth beginning at the tourist information centre in Craster, which leads you past the traditional farm buildings at Dunstan Steads. 

From here, you can continue to the imposing Dunstanburgh Castle, and after exploring the ruins, the route takes you back to Craster Harbour. 

5. Thames Path, London

Not all breathtaking walks are in the north of England – you can also experience a leisurely stroll along the Thames Path around and into London. 

This long-distance walking route follows the River Thames through the city and offers a unique way to explore the capital. 

It’s worth noting that the entire route stretches from the source of the Thames in the Cotswolds to its mouth in Woolwich, covering a total distance of around 185 miles. 

Given its length, the path is best conquered in sections. Depending on your starting point, you’ll encounter a variety of landscapes, namely elegant manors, peaceful woodlands, and the bustling city centre. 

6. Glencoe National Nature Reserve, Argyll

Perhaps one of the best ways to take in the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands is at Glencoe. 

This dramatic landscape offers a variety of walking routes and options that are suitable for all ages and abilities. 

For instance, you could challenge yourself and attempt to climb the crests and ridges of Aonach Eagach, the Three Sisters, or any of the eight Munros on the reserve. 

Alternatively, there are some more accessible hill walks, such as that to Signal Rock, or a more leisurely woodland trail that leads into the lower levels of the glen, such as the one to the ruins of Inverigan, one of the sites of the infamous Glencoe Massacre. 

Overall, Glencoe offers a blend of breathtaking scenery, rich history, and tranquil woodlands, making it a must for walkers of all levels.

7. Tryfan, Gwynedd

Yet another fantastic hill walk, but this time in Wales, is Tryfan in the Ogwen Valley of North Snowdonia. 

The summit stands at an impressive 917 metres, making it one of the 14 highest peaks in Wales and a favourite for experienced walkers. 

Again, you may need the right equipment and skills to climb the hill, as some scrambling is required. In fact, one of the sections is classed as a moderate grade 1 scramble, which could turn away less experienced climbers.

That said, you will be rewarded for your efforts. At the summit, you will witness the aptly named “three-headed rocks”, a fitting description, considering “Tri-faen” means “three rocks” in Welsh. 

If you keep an eye out, you may even spot some wild mountain goats leaping between rocks amid the dramatic sights!

8. Causeway Coast, County Antrim

Perhaps one of the most recognisable geographic features in the UK, the Causeway Coast Walk will take you past the world-renowned Giant’s Causeway, a Unesco world heritage site home to thousands of hexagonal basalt columns.

As for the walk itself, the entire route spans 31.5 miles and can take between two to three days to complete.

So, unless you plan on camping or staying locally, it may be worth deciding which section of the route you wish to complete. 

Aside from the breathtaking views of the Causeway, you’ll also pass along the thrilling Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and Dunluce Castle, a dramatic ruin perched on the cliffs. 

The route offers a diverse range of terrains and environments, ranging from clifftop paths, secluded beaches, and scenic promenades, making this an unforgettable walking experience. 

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This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.