The UK may be small and wet, but it is perfectly formed for one of its oldest and easiest pastimes that anybody can get involved in – hiking. Hiking emerged as a hobby in the early 18th Century, whereas previously it was simply seen as something for poor people to do who didn’t have horses. It gradually became linked with poetry and writing and was seen as quite a romantic activity, one to get the walker back in touch with nature and their inner peace. Walkers campaigned for various laws to be passed that would allow them to walk on any route and across any land – any of those laws are still in place today, making England the perfect walkers’ destination.
Personally, I love nothing more than pulling my boots on and having a tramp through our weird and wet Isle – flasks of tea and plenty of chocolate are advised and you know for sure that there will always be a good warm pub waiting for you at the end. With green fields, rugged coastlines, ancient forests and stately mountains – you’ll be hard-pressed to find a walk that doesn’t make you forget the rain for a moment. (And it really doesn’t always rain)
Snowdonia – Snowdonia in North Wales is a famous hub for fell-walking in the UK and home to one of the majestic Three Peaks, Mount Snowdon. Don’t just do the big boy when you visit though, make sure to attempt some of the surrounding mountains which have some very challenging routes, with good scrambling available and wonderful views over beautiful Wales. That is, if you can read the road signs.
The Pennine Way – Running 270 Miles from Scotland down to the Peak District, the Pennine Way is often referred to as the backbone of England. To do the entire thing typically takes around 3 weeks, but pick any section that your time allows for and you will be rewarded with a sense of history and achievement.
The Cotswolds Way – For more of an easy stroll through gently rolling fields, this is the walk for you. Think classic English countryside, quaint little villages, perfect tea shops and nothing very steep.
The Yorkshire Three Peaks – Yorkshire is known in England as ‘God’s Own County’, mainly by those that are from there. The 3 Peaks is 26 Miles in total and involve no driving in between peaks. The usual challenge is to complete them in under 12 hours, after which you head straight to the pub for a fine Yorkshire Ale.
The Lake District – I may be from Yorkshire, but for me, The Lake District is the highlight of British walking destinations. It is a spellbindingly beautiful combination of dramatic Mountains and meandering lakes than spans 885 Square Miles in the North West of England. The area inspired the poetry of William Wordsworth and the Children’s stories of Beatrix Potter and there are routes here suitable for all the family. To get a real sense of the UK, I suggest making the Lake District your destination; you could easily spend a week or two here and never get bored. So pull on your boots (and you’re waterproof) and get out there!