The wind on your face, the fresh air in your lungs and the crunch of crisp ground below your feet; there is nothing quite as exhilarating as a walk or hike on one of Britain’s many hills and mountains.
No matter if you are a complete novice or a seasoned expert, there is a hill walk for everyone – you just need to know where to go. After a long debate in the Trespass office, we have come up with our 5 favourite walks and hikes from across the country.
As well as describing the walk and what to expect, we have also rated the walk on a difficulty scale, ranging from 1 to 5; 1 being the easiest and 5 the hardest.
Read ahead to inspire yourself for tackling the best hill walks in Britain!
Glen Nevis, Highlands, Scotland
Glen Nevis is one of Scotland’s most popular walking and hiking destinations. It has Fort William at its foot and is bordered by Mamore range to the south, then Ben Nevis, Càrn Mor Dearg, Aonach Mòr, Aonach Beag and the Grey Corries to the north. There are a variety of different routes which you can take around the glen, but we recommend the Ring of Steall route which takes in four surrounding Munros.
This walk is easier in the summer months and provides breath-taking views for those who are willing to put in the work. When in Glen Nevis we also love to visit Steall Falls, which is one of the three highest waterfalls in Scotland. You will need good sturdy walking boots for this trip and prepare for every weather eventuality – it is Scotland after all.
Time: 9 hours
Goatfell, Isle of Arran, Scotland
The Isle of Arran is a beautiful destination in Scotland. Getting to the island is fairly easy, as there are regular ferry links over and you can even get a direct train service from Glasgow Central to Ardrossan Harbour.
At 874m, Goatfell is the highest point on the island and offers fantastic views – you can see all the way to Ben Lomond, Jura and the coast of Ireland on a clear day. We would take the route from Brodick Castle to lead us to the summit.
Hadrian’s Wall Path, Cumbria, England
Although historians disagree over the reason for the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, legend has it that it was built to keep the Scots on the other side away from the expanding Roman Empire. Now a huge visitors attraction and national trail since 2003, Hadrian’s Wall offers one of the most splendid walks in the UK.
The path runs from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway, making up 135km and so there’s plenty for everyone to explore. No-one in their right mind would try and walk the whole 135km in one go, so the trail is usually broken up into 6 stages from east to west, which are relatively easy to walk.
You will meet a lot of mud along the way, but the path is relatively even and the highest point is only 345m so the whole family should be able to complete at least one of the stages.
Pyg Track, Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park
The highest peak in Wales, Snowdon provides an excellent hike for thousands of visitors every year. Did you know that Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the summit of Everest, even used Snowdon in his training for the ascent in 1953? Although there are multiple paths and tracks, our staff recommend ascending via the Pyg Track, as it offers the best approach and impressive views of Snowden’s northern face all the way.
Distance: 11km (there and back)
Time: 6 hours
Helvellyn, Striding and Swirral Edge, Lake District, England
At 950m above sea level, Helvellyn is one serious hike. The scrambly Striding and Swirral Edge routes are by far the most popular ascents and once you reach the summit you will be received by amazing 360 degree views across the Lake District national park.
You will walk more than 15km on this route, so be prepared with a hearty lunch and plenty of flasks of warming tea. This is a demanding route and not for the less experienced hiker, so take care if you decide to tackle it.
Hopefully we have successfully inspired you to plan a hike or walk this weekend. These are some of our favourite destinations, but there are plenty more to choose from in the UK, many of which may be right on your doorstep.
When hitting the trails, it is vitally important to be prepared – wear protective clothing that will withstand all weathers, get some sturdy walking boots on your feet, pack plenty of food and water and never leave the house without a map of the area – a GPS may be more high-tech, but an old fashioned map will never run out of battery.
And remember, always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.