Walk off the September blues with these stunning UK hiking trails that will clear your head, and get your heart rate up.
The benefits of donning a pair of walking shoes and setting out for a mindful stroll have long been documented. From decreasing the chance of early death (provided you're walking briskly enough), to keeping our mental health in good nick, the benefits of walking are far-reaching.
And with lockdown bringing us back to nature for our daily 10,000, it would seem the walking trend is catching on. Searches for UK hiking trails are soaring this September; with the population ditching the treadmill in favour of the nation's many breathtaking trails.
From coastal cliffs to valleys and mountains, we've got it all on our doorstep. So whether you're thinking of taking a late-summer staycation, or just need a day away to clear your head, these stunning UK hiking trails are sure to take the sting out of your cancelled trip to Sardinia. (Well, almost.)
5 of the best UK hiking trails to try out this Autumn
Easy hiking routes for beginners
Old Oxted and Tandridge circular
Length: 4 miles
Where: Surrey – just a 38 minute train from London Victoria Station.
Only 38 minutes by train from London Victoria Station to Oxted, followed by a short 15-minute walk, is Old Oxted; a charming village at the foot of the North Downs which serves as the starting point for this picturesque stroll. Perfect for nature and pub lovers alike, this route takes you through spectacular views of both the North and South Downs; past woodland and farmland. When the fresh country air has worn you out, be sure to finish it off with a Sunday roast in one of Old Oxted's four cosy pubs.
Lamberhurst, Kilndown and Scotney Castle
Length: 5 miles
Where: Kent – a 45 minute train followed by a 15 minute bus out of London. Or just off the A21 if you're driving.
Starting in the pretty Kent village of Lamberhurst, this stunning route takes you through deep woodland and over rolling hills. You'll refuel with a food and beverage rest-stop inside the sweeping grounds and romantic country house of Scotney Castle, before looping back again. When it comes to walking trails, there's none so idyllic as this one.
Hiking routes for intermediate walkers
The Miner's Track, Snowdon
Length: 7.5 miles
Where: Wales – Snowdonia National Park.
At 1085m, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. Located inside the breathtaking Snowdonia National Park, it's also the most visited mountain in the UK. There are eight paths to the summit (as well as the Snowdon Mountain Railway), with the Miner's track being the most popular. Starting off gently and gradually increasing to the point of almost vertical uphill hiking, this one is definitely a challenge – but oh so worth it when you turn around to take in the view.
Length: 6-8 miles (depending on route)
Where: The Lake District, Cumbria
Scafell Pike might draw people in for its title of highest mountain in England, but its views are also some of the UK's most spectacular. (Fog withstanding.) There are multiple routes to the summit, but the most popular is from Wasdale Head. (Be sure to check out Wast Water, England's deepest lake, if starting your trail here.) This route is the shortest way to the top, but also the steepest. So best enjoyed on a bright, clear day, when you're rewarded with a breathtaking view that reaches as far as Scotland.
Hiking for advanced walkers
Length: 73 miles, but most only tackle part
Where: Coast to coast in Northern England
Hadrian's Wall is one of those must-do walks you have to try – at least in part – before you die. While walking the Roman wall's entire length would take you around six days, walking just a section of it is equally as rewarding. (There's a handy hop-on-hop-off bus that can accelerate your trip, and take you to the most famous sites if you don't have time to walk it in its entirety.) Built during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, a walk along this spectacular wall is the perfect way to explore the English countryside, while soaking up a little bit of history.
Kate is a freelance contributor to woman&home, covering everything she loves most: fashion, fiction, and fancy face cream. If she’s not working, she’s probably reading, feeding her online shopping addiction, or judging the taste level of celebrity houses (10/10 for Dakota Johnson, 2/10 for Tan France).
She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2020 with a BA in fashion journalism, and her byline has also appeared in British Vogue, The Times, and Marie Claire.
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