Walking and hiking routes in the United Kingdom
The UK is absolutely jam-packed with jaw-dropping walking and hiking routes – so much so that it’s difficult to imagine how you couldn’t fall in love with the great British outdoors!
From the luscious Lake District to the craggy Cairngorms, there is so much choice for such a small island. Of course, some of the best spots in the country are also some of the busiest spots in the country, so we like to dig a bit deeper to find the real hidden gems.
At Blaze Wear, we stop at nothing when it comes to getting out there regardless of what the weather’s doing, so don your heated clothing, lace up your boots and get out and feel the heat with us on what we think are the best least-known walks and hikes on our proverbial British doorstep:
1. Bempton Cliffs, Bridlington
The chalk cliffs at Bempton offer an incredible experience, come rain or come shine. The long walk that begins from the RSPB nature reserve at Bempton Cliffs takes you right down the spectacular coast to Flamborough Head with great views of seabird colonies and old shipwrecks along the way.
Whether you go clockwise or anti-clockwise, you’ll pass inland through Flamborough itself for any refreshments (we recommend taking the clockwise route so you can enjoy some tea and cake before the final stretch!).
Distance: 18.8 km (11.7 miles)
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Location: Near RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Bridlington
2. Coffin Route, Ambleside
The Lake District is a gem in the crown of England; there’s no shortage of stunning scenery to shape your walk around there. Some of the more popular routes like Striding Edge on Helvellyn or Cat Bells in Keswick tend to get pretty packed, so some of the lesser-known walks can make for a real treat for the eyes and the feet.
Despite its morbid connotations, Coffin Route is one such walk. It goes from Ambleside and follows the route that coffins used to take to their final resting place of St Oswald’s Church in Grasmere. You’ll pass William Wordsworth’s home, Rydal Mount, and encounter many a beautiful stream and scene.
Distance: 6.3 km (3.9 miles)
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Starting location: The Golden Rule Pub, Ambleside, Cumbria
3. Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons
A hill like this might not exactly be hidden per se, but Pen y Fan presents a wide range of challenges for all types of walkers; the SAS even trains there sometimes on a trail known as the ‘Lungbuster’, but this one is slightly less strenuous.
Starting off at the car park of the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre, you’ll take a tough(ish) track up Pen y Fan, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, and loop around to enjoy a different and altogether unique view on the way back.
Distance: 7.6 km (4.7 miles)
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Starting location: Storey Arms Outdoor Centre, Brecon
4. Cannock Chase, Staffordshire
The combination of fascinating wildlife and sensational scenery was enough to grant Cannock Chase the acclaimed title of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and it’s easy to see why when you tread on its trails.
Heading through Sherbrook Valley with a satisfying combination of woodlands and heathlands, you’ll take in a huge chunk of Staffordshire’s finest landscapes and you’ll see precisely why the locals hold them so dear.
Distance: 19.1 km (11.9 miles)
Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Starting location: Marquis Drive Visitors Centre, Cannock Chase
5. Wemyss Bay, Firth of Clyde
No list of walks in the UK is complete without a Scottish trail. This Inverclyde route isn’t on many lists of overly popular walks, which makes the trek from the pier to the Kelly Burn waterfall all the more delightful.
The station’s central concourse provides the starting point for this moderate circular walk from the bay, into the woodlands and back again.
Distance: 9 km (5.6 miles)
Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Starting location: Wemyss Bay Station and Pier, Inverclyde
Heated clothing for walking and hiking