You don’t have to be a nature expert or a professional walker to enjoy Britain’s scenery. In fact, you don’t even need to live in the countryside – some of the best walks are right under our noses in the cities! Our strong connections to the British countryside means we’re excited about getting outdoors to explore, and with the help of Ordnance Survey (OS), Britain’s national mapping agency, we can all enjoy the rolling landscapes of our island home without getting (too) lost!
We’ve picked out just a few of our favourites for you to try out below and included a link to the OS map that will come in handy for each walk.
WALKS IN THE YORKSHIRE DALES: FOR WATER LOVERS
You may think the Lake District is the most obvious choice, but it actually contains only one official ‘lake’; the rest are ‘meres’, ‘waters’ or ‘tarns’ - although they’re still well worth a visit.
The Yorkshire Dales, on the other hand, is a vast collection of river valleys, hills and limestone canyons which were carved out by glacial lakes, rivers and streams over millions of years. Head into the woodlands to find the triple-drop Aysgarth Falls, or take the popular Northern Dales route from Malham village to Janet’s Foss – a small but magical waterfall hiding a secret cave – and then beyond to Malham Cove. The walk covers 3.9 miles and takes around 90 minutes.
WALKS IN EDINBURGH: A PHOTOGRAPHER’S DREAM
251m above sea level, a dormant volcano – majestically named ‘Arthur’s Seat’ – watches over Edinburgh, providing unbeatable views of the city below. Arthur’s Seat is just one of a set of hills that make up most of Holyrood Park and it’s also the site of a huge, well-preserved ancient fort dating back about 2000 years. The rest of the park contains equally photogenic sights including the Salisbury Crags, Samson’s Ribs, and St Margaret’s Loch. If you want to give it a try, the Arthur’s Seat walk takes about 30 minutes from base level to summit, but that depends on how many times you stop to take photos of course!
WALKS IN CORNWALL: FOR THE HISTORY BUFFS
There’s plenty of history in the UK and undoubtedly one of the best ways to view it is on foot, so you can really get up close. Castles, Roman forts and battlefields can be found at almost every turn in Britain, but Tintagel Castle – the fabled birthplace of King Arthur – is one of our favourites. Nestled on the Tintagel Island peninsular, between the villages of Boscastle and Port Isaac in Cornwall, this medieval fortification immerses its visitors in myth and legend, and provides fantastic views of the surrounding sea.
The full walk between the villages is a hefty 14 miles so you might want to make this one a mini-break and explore at your leisure.
WALKS IN NORFOLK: WALKS FOR DOG OWNERS
If your dog loves walking just as much as you do, take a trip to Sheringham Park in North Norfolk. A thousand acres of land to explore means there’s plenty of room for those four legs to get a good stretch, and the cliff-top views provide stunning glimpses of the coastline.
The National Trust listed this as one of the best dog-friendly walks in the UK and recommends that visitors try to spot the three species of deer found in the area.
WALKS IN PERTHSHIRE: FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT
The woods of the Hermitage in Perthshire are so beautiful they even inspired poetry in some of the greats, including Wordsworth, Turner and Mendelssohn. There’s also an ancient Georgian folly called Ossian Hall, which overlooks the mystical Black Linn waterfall as it cascades into the River Braan. Mirrors and sliding panels are cleverly used to achieve some truly breath-taking scenes, the likes of which you won’t find on a postcard. This particular winding trail is around 4 miles and takes a couple of hours.
PREPARING FOR A WALK IN THE COUNTRY
This time of year is great to get out in the countryside, but don’t forget to make sure you’re prepared for your walk. Our top three tips:
- Try to bring clothing and protection to cover all weather types – after all, the weather in Britain can be pretty unpredictable!
- Take plenty of water and a few snacks to keep your energy levels up during even the least strenuous hikes. Our Frusli cereal bars are great for this.
- Technology can be great but the map on your mobile phone won’t always work out in the countryside. Take the traditional hands-on approach and carry an Ordnance Survey map, which you can buy on their website. Don’t worry if you spot some unfamiliar Ordnance Survey symbols – they’re all easily decipherable and are really useful once you get to know them.