73 miles long and spanning from coast to coast across the north, Britain’s most iconic Roman monument stretches from Newcastle to the Solway Firth. Hadrian’s Wall was the north-west frontier of the Roman empire for nearly 300 years and was made a World Heritage Site in 1987. This mammoth trail has everything you need to keep a long hike interesting – fort ruins, museums, market towns, great views – and, of course, plenty of cosy pubs to stop in for a pint. If you don’t fancy attempting the whole thing, then English Heritage recommend trying the Birdoswald trail along the River Irthing, or the shorter Housesteads Romans trail, which has historic stopping points like the Winsheilds Wall, Wallton Crags and Sewingshields Wall.
Find out more about Hadrian’s Wall and download a map here.
The Lizard Peninsula
No actual lizards, unfortunately – but there are plenty of other things to see on this Cornish peninsula. Visit Cornwall say the rare geology of the area “creates a haven for exceptional plants and flowers”, not to mention caves, sandy bays and an array of wildlife (keep an eye out for seals and Cornish choughs). These are the things that make it a fantastic hiking destination – you could spend a week just walking this coastline. There are plenty of trails you could take in the area, from short circular walks to the South West Coast Path, which is around 2.5 miles long. Plus, there are plenty of little fishing ports dotted across the coast, and restaurants that specialise in freshly caught seafood to have lunch at when you’ve worked up an appetite from all that walking.
Find out more about Lizard Point and download a map here.
Windermere, Lake District
Right in the heart of the Lakes sits Windermere. A popular destination with tourists and ramblers, there are some beautiful hotels, cottages and restaurants available for taking a break when walking has you beat. Unsurprisingly, its been a hit with visitors for centuries, with routes of all different lengths, from a green field walk through Orrest Head at just 2.5 miles long, to The Tarns walk, which runs at over 6 miles. Whichever one you do, there’s plenty of pubs along the way for a nice dinner and a thirst-quenching G&T.
Find out more about Windermere here.
It might be one of the rainiest walks you’ll go on, but the views at Snowdonia are hard to beat. The peaks generally cater for a host of ability levels, but if you’re up for a challenge try Tryan. No matter which route you choose to go up, you have to use your hands to reach the top. If you’re new to the trail, National Trust recommend the route from Bwlch Tryfan, and then build it up in difficulty from there – but they also have a word of warning: “The nearby Mountain Rescue Team is frequently called out to people lost or stuck in one of Tryfan’s countless gullies. Make sure you stay safe and always be prepared before setting out into the mountains.”
Find out more about Snowdonia and download a map here.
Leeds & Liverpool Canal
This one isn’t as bucolic as the others but bear with us: measuring 127 miles long, the Leeds and Liverpool canal is a peaceful industrial walk in northern England. During your stroll, you’ll pass old factories and mills – in particular, the Salts Mill in Yorkshire is an old Victorian textile mill that’s been renovated and is currently filled with the works of David Hockney – perfect for a pit stop. And if you’re still spent after a stop at the Salts Mill, regular trains depart from Saltaire station.
Find out more about Leeds & Liverpool canal and download a map here.
Seven Sisters, East Sussex
With a shoreline that looks straight out of a painting, this coastal path leads you along the chalk cliffs of Sussex. The real star is the Seven Sisters Country Park – 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, meandering river valley and open grassland. Plus, at some points on the walk you can wander down to the shore, so bring your bikini if it’s a warm day. But it’s imperative you steer clear of the eroding cliff edge, as chunks of chalk often fall into the sea, making it a dangerous hotspot.
Find out more about Seven Sisters and download a map here.
Limestone Way, Peak District
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a Hobbit in The Lord of the Rings? Well, Limestone Way is your best chance of discovering this in the UK. This 46-mile route across the White Peak landscape of the Peak District takes in enchanting greenery, the beautiful Derbyshire Dales and of course, plenty of limestone. If you’re on a mission to tackle the whole thing, there are plenty of quaint cottages and hotels peppered along the route for a good night’s sleep.
Find out more about Limestone Way here.
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