*This hikes in the UK post is a collaboration with Adidas. All opinions remain my own. [ad – pr products]
If there’s one thing I love, it’s getting outside in the fresh air and hiking in nature. It’s my favourite way to explore a new place whether I’m headed to a different timezone, visiting a new continent or simply heading on a staycation. Spending more time in the UK over the last two years provided me with the perfect opportunity to keep adventuring closer to home. I traded far-flung destinations for vanlife in the UK and it’s been an amazing opportunity to discover how much the UK has to offer. If you follow me on social media, you’ll have see that I went on quite the adventure travelling across Devon, Cornwall and Wales, and I still have plans to visit more in the coming months.
Rain or shine, the UK is incredibly beautiful and I can’t believe it has taken a you-know-what to finally get me to visit some of these destinations. It’s been a fantastic reminder that travel starts at home. Even when we can’t venture further afield, we can still have adventures and enjoy some of the best hikes in the UK. Even if all you can manage is a weekend away, there are so many amazing places right on our doorsteps. I’m lucky enough to be based in Norfolk which has some incredible walks and hikes. But heading down to the south-west of the UK really highlighted how many amazing landscapes we have to enjoy. From coastal strolls to mountain climbs and much more. Pull on your hiking boots and give some of these walks a try!
18 of the best hikes in the UK
Norfolk Coast Path
Naturally I couldn’t start this blog post without shouting about my home county. With an incredible 87 miles of Norfolk Coast Path to explore and some of the prettiest seaside towns and wild nature reserves in the UK. Norfolk has a lot to offer hikers and the best thing about this area? It’s so quiet even in peak season and remains easy to escape the crowds even on the sunniest days. My favourite hikes include:
- Brancaster Staithe circular walk (5 miles) spot the wild seals!
- Burnham Overy Staithe to Holkham (8-9 miles or more if you walk both directions)
- Dersingham Bog (5.5 miles)
- Roydon Common (5.5 mile circular walk)
You can download a Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail leaflet here with more information about routes to explore. You can also find 12 brilliant walks in Norfolk here. Check out my blog posts below on other walks and fun activities for when you visit:
- The 13 best Norfolk nature reserves & parks
- Why Norfolk holidays should be on your UK bucket list
- 8 of the best Norfolk stately homes to explore
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
One of my favourite hikes from this summer – the combination of epic views and challenging elevation provided a real contrast to the much flatter walks of Norfolk. England’s largest gorge provides dramatic scenery and towering cliffs at 400ft for hikers to explore. The Cheddar Gorge walk is 4 miles and yet it was one of the more challenging hikes due to the elevation and steep inclines. It’s a circular walk and takes around 3 hours to complete, providing views of Glastonbury Tor, the Somerset levels and Bridgwater Bay. There are some parts that can be muddy and slippery if it has rained so be sure to wear sturdy shoes. When you reach the road, continue on to the Black Rock path opposite to continue the hike to the other side of the gorge.
Lizard Point to Kynance Cove, Cornwall
The hike that has brought me back to Cornwall on multiple occasions this summer. The Lizard Peninsula and Kynance Cove truly are some of the most spectacular, wild coastline the UK has to offer. After visiting earlier in the summer with friends, I just knew I had to return to this magical part of the south-west coast. The Lizard Walk, Cornwall, which takes you to the most southerly point of mainland Britain, also has some lovely cafes and pubs en route so it makes a great day out. The 7 mile route takes you from Kynance Cove, along the coastline and across the top of the towering cliffs towards Lizard Point, then across the village and back towards Kynance Cove. National Trust say it takes around three hours and that the walk is challenging. This could vary a lot depending on the hikers and how many times you stop to take photos/enjoy the views!
Baggy Point – from Croyde Bay, Saunton Sands, to Woolacombe, Devon
If you want a relaxing coastal walk for the whole family, Baggy Point is the place for you. There are a range of routes varying from easy family trails suitable for pushchairs to more challenging paths. Head to Croyde Bay where you’ll find the National Trust car park at the beginning of the trails, here you will also find a cafe, toilets, shop and you can also pay by card for parking. From here there are several options for walks around Croyde and Woolacombe via the cliffs and headland, or easier routes that stick to the path suitable for families.
Dartmoor National Park, Devon
There are so many amazing hikes in Dartmoor National Park, you could easily spend your entire trip just in this area alone. Picture lush, leafy forests with hidden waterfalls and Dartmoor ponies running wild on colourful moors overlooking the ocean. If you ever needed reminding that the UK can be just as spectacular as travelling abroad, this is the place for you. Prepare for jaw-dropping scenes of true natural beauty as you hike the following trails:
- Lydford Gorge & 30m high White Lady Waterfall (3 miles for full gorge walk, can take 2-3 hours & slippery)
- Venford Reservoir & Venford Falls (3 miles)
- Becky Falls, Dartmoor (choice of 3 varying distance/difficulty routes)
Lynton & Valley of the Rocks, Devon
Take the South West Coast Path from Lynton Cliff Railway Station and enjoy a 3 mile loop route to the famous Valley of the Rocks. The path is tarmac and suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. You can also park at the Valley of the Rocks and complete the loop from there. The walk is fairly easy and offers incredible ocean views, plus adorable wild goats grazing around the Valley.
Porthcurno to Lands End & Sennen Cove, Penzance, Cornwall
A 6.5 mile hike that takes around 4-5 hours and takes you alongside some spectacular Cornish coastline. It follows the South West Coast Path with endless seascapes and rugged cliffs that are bound to impress. There are lots of variations on this walk depending on how far you choose to walk and which direction you prefer. Porthcurno to Lands End and Sennen Cove is recommended, but choose the route that works for you and a level of difficulty you can handle.
Golitha Falls National Nature Reserve, Liskeard, Cornwall
One of the most well known beauty spots on Bodmin Moor, Golitha Falls is a series of cascades and waterfalls set in a stunning oak woodland. Follow the trail along the River Fowey, which has been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walkers will want to wear good hiking shoes as the best time to visit is after heavy rainfall and the area can become muddy and slippery. This is a stunning location, but the path is not always the clearest so best to research before you go.
St Nectan’s Glen Waterfalls, Tintagel, Cornwall
Cornwall’s best kept secret, the St Nectan’s Glen hike takes you through beautiful ancient woodland to three mesmerising waterfalls. The circular walk is only 1.9 miles so it’s super easy to squeeze into your visit. Plus the car park is free which is always a bonus.
Snowdonia summit, Wales
The highest mountain in England and Wales stands at 1,085m high and provides amazing views over Snowdonia, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Ireland. Snowdon has a choice of six routes of varying intensity and incline to choose from – see Your Ultimate Guide to the Six Walking Routes to the Summit. Be sure to research before you go and set off early to allow enough time for the hike. Be prepared for changeable weather. Remember the temperature will vary with the elevation so pack warm layers and waterproofs. Make sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes as some of the paths will require scrambling across rocks or slippery sections.
Tregennis coastal walk, Wales
Starting from Porth Clais Harbour, the Tregennis route covers around 6 miles and takes around 3 hours to complete. The Pembrokeshire coastline is wild, exposed and beautiful with plenty of wildlife to spot. This includes seal pups in late summer and early autumn so keep your eyes peeled! A circular walk, you pass several coastal villages and even an old copper mine.
Barafundle Bay & the Stackpole Estate, Pembrokeshire, Wales
This area remains so quiet even during peak season that it has the air of an undiscovered gem. Picturesque beaches, towering cliffs and huge caves to explore. The Stackpole Estate includes Barafundle Bay, Broadhaven South and Freshwater West. All stunning locations, but Barafundle Bay remains my favourite because it is only accessible on foot via a half a mile walk from the car park. This distance seems to put off the crowds and makes the area feel even more secluded.
Gower Peninsula & Rhossili Bay, Wales
Check out this blog post for The best things to do in Swansea Bay, Wales including the best hikes, places to eat out, activities and much more.
Choosing the right activewear for hiking
Choosing the right clothing is so important when organising hiking trips in unpredictable climates such as the UK. We can easily face four seasons in a day. So never leave home without packing clothing that will keep you comfortable in all weathers. I teamed up with Adidas this summer to try out their activewear and was amazed at the range of sustainable products they offer. I scaled Cheddar Gorge in Somerset wearing their purple set and found them so comfortable for a day of hiking. The leggings were an aeroknit material with sweat-wicking technology – perfect for hiking. I also loved that they were made from recycled materials.
During my month-long road trip I was very lucky with the weather. Yet I still experienced torrential rain and flooding, plus blue skies and a heatwave within just days of each other. But no matter what the weather, I was keen to get outside and make the most of my trip. For warmer days hiking the Cornish coastline, I loved this Adidas pink crop top and black shorts set. The shorts ended up being one of my most worn items on the trip. They even made it to the top of Snowdon in Wales! My best tips for choosing great hiking gear:
- Don’t compromise comfort for style – look at materials, sizing and durability.
- Choose your boots or trainers carefully and wear them in before a big hike.
- Always pack a waterproof jacket when hiking in the UK.
- Wear light layers so it’s easy to peel them off or put them on quickly if/when the weather changes.
- Look for recycled and sustainable clothing where possible – often these will be better quality and longer lasting.
Would you add any hikes to the list? What are your best hikes in the UK? Can you recommend any hikes near where you live?