Top 7 Epic Hiking Trails in the UK

For those who crave a connection with nature and believe that stepping into their hiking boots is the ultimate way to explore it, the United Kingdom offers a treasure trove of awe-inspiring landscapes. Away from the bustling city centers lie some truly remarkable wild places. Join us as we unveil the most captivating multi-day hikes in the UK, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the region’s mesmerizing scenery, abundant wildlife, and vibrant history.

The London Loop

Distance: 150 miles / 242 km

Time to complete: 7-14 days

Highlights: urban walking, parkland, ancient woods, farmland, canals, rivers.

John Rogers Walking the London Orbital Path | London Loop Section 5 (4K)

Embarking from the heart of the region, the London Outer Orbital Path (LOOP) stretches an impressive 150 miles, encircling the Greater London area and taking you through the city’s outskirts. Despite passing through different London suburbs, the LOOP offers a mix of landscapes, including parks, woodlands, farmland, rivers, and some city streets. On this trail, you’ll discover a side of London you never knew about, uncovering its hidden gems.

Thanks to London’s gentle landscape, the LOOP provides a rather easy hike, suitable for both experienced hikers and beginners. While the trail is generally well-marked, some signposts might vary in quality. What makes the LOOP great is its adaptability, which lets you customize your journey by dividing it into manageable parts that fit your preferences and abilities.

Snowdonia Slate Trail

Distance: 83 miles / 134 km

Time to complete: 5 to 9 days

Highlights: the variety of villages and towns, the beauty of industrial heritage, mountain ranges, rivers, forests.

The Fun-employed Adventurer 5 days on The Snowdonia Slate Trail : Bangor to Beddgelert

It is an 83-mile adventure that immerses you in the rich history of the slate industry. You’ll journey through the beautiful landscapes once dominated by this now-abandoned industrial heritage. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to witness working quarries, visit the National Slate Museum of Wales, and explore various slate-related attractions.

But this trail is more than just a walk through history. It takes you through lesser-known but stunning parts of Snowdonia, traversing major mountain ranges and offering diverse experiences. From mountains and forests to rivers and the sea, the trail showcases the natural wonders of the region. Every step of the way, you’ll encounter fascinating sights and immerse yourself in the charm of quaint villages, as well as centers of Llanberis and Betws y Coed.

The Pennine Way

Distance: 268 miles / 431 km

Time to complete: 15-20 days

Highlights: smooth open moorland, fantastic panoramas, towns and villages.

Pennine Trails The Pennine Way – Official Promotional film

Being England’s first National Trail, this route is a stunning three-week pilgrimage through untouched landscapes. This rugged trail passes through three national parks, offering breathtaking farmland, moors, and peaks. The trail is suitable mainly for fit hillwalkers, with daily walks lasting between 5 to 8.5 hours. While some days may be long and challenging, the diverse terrain makes for an exciting journey. 

If you prefer shorter trips, you can break the Pennine Way into three manageable holidays, with rest days in towns and villages along the route. Whether you choose to tackle the whole trail or explore parts of it, this adventure is bound to be the one to remember.

The Cumbria Way

Distance: 73 miles / 117 km

Time to complete: 5 days

Highlights: majestic mountain scenery, lakes and tarns, woodland, glacial valleys alongside rivers. 

Abbie Barnes | Spend More Time In The WILD Walking the Cumbria Way: A Journey Through The Heart Of The Lake District

The Cumbria Way encompasses a picturesque and diverse 73-mile trail showcasing the stunning landscapes of Cumbria. Connecting the historically rich Ulverston town to the equally captivating city of Carlisle, this route treats you to a variety of breathtaking scenery. From mountainscapes and glistening lakes to woodlands, glacial valleys, and riverside paths, every step offers a new natural wonder to observe.

Not only does the Cumbria Way boast remarkable landscapes, but it also provides a warm sense of Cumbrian hospitality. Along the route, you’ll find a range of exceptional accommodation options and charming inns, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey. 

The Cumbria Way is an ideal choice if you’re not a professional long-distance hiker or have limited time for an adventure. Most of the trail is relatively gentle terrain with only two significant climbs. That’s why it serves as a perfect introduction to long-distance hiking.  

The Coast To Coast

Distance: 182 miles / 293 km

Time to walk: 11-15 days

Highlights: moorland and farmland, villages, three National Parks. 

LiamBrown The Coast to Coast: 182 Miles across the English Countryside

This renowned long-distance trail covers approximately 190 miles, leading you from St. Bees Head on the Irish Sea coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea shoreline. Along the way, you’ll pass through three breathtaking national parks: the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors.

Though the Coast to Coast trail promises an exhilarating adventure that will leave a lasting mark on your memory, many hikers find the trail challenging and demanding, especially the Lake District part. That’s why it’s worth considering breaking up the trail into sections to explore and fully appreciate the surroundings. 

The West Highland Way

Distance: 96 miles / 154 km

Time to walk: 6-8 days

Highlights: a relatively easy hike, rugged terrain, campsites, inns, mountain views.

Abbie Barnes | Spend More Time In The WILD Solo Camping The West Highland Way in 3 Minutes

This scenic trail is the 153.5-kilometer point-to-point journey near Glasgow. While considered challenging, it has become a popular route for backpacking, birdwatching, and camping. Along the way, you’ll discover plenty of spots to rest, interact with fellow hikers, and embrace the outdoors. Dogs are also welcome on this trail and may even roam off-leash in certain sections. The optimal time to embark on this adventurous trail is between March and October.

The terrain is constantly shifting and almost always awe-inspiring. Much of the route follows ancient and historically significant paths, including Drove Roads, 18th Century Military Roads, and abandoned railway tracks.

South Downs Way

Distance: 100 miles / 160km 

Time to walk: 8-9 days

Highlights: thickets of age-old woodland, quaint villages with historic pubs and teahouses. 

Girl Outdoors My Hardest 100 Mile HIKE – The South Downs Way

This 100-mile trail traces an ancient pathway that shepherds, drovers, and traders have used for countless generations. The entire route lies within the South Downs National Park. Starting in the historic cathedral city of Winchester, the trail concludes in the coastal resort town of Eastbourne.

Along the way, you will come across nature reserves teeming with indigenous wildlife, ancient woodlands, and charming villages with historic pubs and tea houses. The most remarkable aspect of this journey is the unforgettable views throughout the hike. Typically, the route is suitable for walkers with moderate fitness levels, but it is also possible to cycle or ride on horseback.

The UK is teeming with hiking trails to suit every hillwalker, regardless of their experience level. As we progress, we’ll continuously expand our blog with more trails, inspiring and guiding you through the most breathtaking locations and vistas across the UK.

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