A road trip to the UK is fine. But why not make it memorable by adding some glorious walking trails to your itinerary? Not only will it increase your fitness level but it will also ease your worries and boost creativity. Discover our guide to the best hikes in Wales, Scotland or England, then pack your hiking gear and hop into your rented car.
You have not seen non-synthetic green grass in 6 months
Then, put on your dusty walking shoes and hike to Mam Tor in Derbyshire between Sheffield and Manchester. To find the stone footpath, you only have to get out of your car at Castleton, pass Treak Cliff and Blue John Cavern to reach the 1696 feet (517 m) summit. Once you have admired the view that stretches north over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors, you can follow the steeper flagstone path to reach the top of Back Tor and then onto Lose Hill Pik.
Good to know: 3 miles (4.8 km) – 2 hours
Mam Tor, Hope Valley S33 8WA
Your annoying watch requires you walk 10 000 steps a day (or else!)
Located in the South Downs National Park in Sussex, between Brighton, Worthing and Portsmouth, the Seven Sisters Country Park will blow your mind. The 691 acres (280ha) of chalk cliffs, meandering river valley, cattle grids and open grasslands will satisfy your bossy smart watch. Thanks to the easy access trail, you can discover the beach and its wading birds. And if you not afraid of heights, you can enjoy the view from the highest cliff (253 ft or 77 m) and scream from the top of your lungs that you’re the king of the world.
Good to know: 8 miles (13 km) – 6 hours
Seven Sisters Country Park, E Dean Rd, East Sussex, Seaford BN25 4AB
You have the iron legs of an Olympic medallist
There are so many jaw-dropping places to explore in Wales. So, if you are in good shape and in desperate need of a challenge, why don’t you walk the Glyndwr’s Way Trail? From the Town Clock at Knighton (2-hour drive from Birmingham), you can roam through the lovely Radnorshire Hills, the shores of the Llyn Clywedog to finish beside the Montgomery Canal in Welshpool. And the good news (or bad news, for your sacred connectedness) is that the network coverage is rather patchy.
Good to know: 135 miles (217 km) – 9 days
Glyndwr’s Way, Wales
You want to avoid your great-uncle’s monthly visit
What is so special about Upper Coquetdale, only an hour drive from Newcastle that could save you the trouble of listening to your uncle’s hip replacement? Everything! If only he could trek its grassy ridgelines, hay meadows, mythical moorland and ancient droving routes of Northumberland’s Cheviot Hills he would understand. Do we need to mention that between the villages of Holystone and Alwinton, you can check Rob Roy’s Cave, where the outlaw is said to have hidden from his enemies?
Good to know: 8 miles (13 km) – 6 hours
Upper Coquetdale, Northumberland
You need to exercise after devouring that delicious lasagna
The Falls of Glomach, 2-hour drive from Inverness in Scotland, might not be the highest ones in the country but they are without a doubt one of the most magnificent waterfalls. Park at the National Trust for Scotland Morvich countryside centre then keep on going until you see that gorgeous chute of 370 feet (or 113 m) that cuts through Scotland’s green countryside. By then, the pasta will be long forgotten.
Good to know: 11 miles (17.5 km) – 5 to 6 hours
The Falls of Glomach, Kyle IV40 8DS
Your ex has just signed up at your gym
To escape his bulging biceps, you can work out a sweat at Loch Muick, near Aberdeen. Begin your hike at the Balmoral Estate visitor centre, just down the track from the car park. The circuit provides good views of the surrounding hills, you can even fancy a halt while at the Glas-allt-Shiel house built by Queen Victoria. You will know you have reached the end of your trip when the woods and buildings of the Spittal of Glenmuick come into view.
Good to know: 7.75miles (12.5 km) – 3.5 hours
Loch Muick, Ballater AB35 5SU
You are afraid of nature, trees and silence
Then, the Leeds to Liverpool canal (the longest in Northern England) is perfect for your mindset. Once you have left the city, the canal climbs into the Pennine hills also called “the backbone of England”. After eating a potato pie in Wigan, discover Blackburn and Burnley where Victorian mills can still be seen. You will then wander through every remote and magnificent English landscapes possible. Once you have learnt to appreciate nature again, head to the market town of Skipton into the Yorkshire Dales and on towards the city of Leeds
Good to know: 127 miles (204 km) – 5 days
Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Northern England