The Best Multi-Day Hikes in the UK
According to the BBC, in England and Wales, there is an estimated 140,000 miles (225,000km) of public rights of way which consist predominantly of footpaths, but also factor in bridleways and other various kinds of byways. In Scotland, the figure is around 9,300 miles (15,000km), giving long-distance walking enthusiasts the potential to experience some 149,300 miles (240,275km) of paths and trails.
While some will never even scratch the surface of this figure, there are sure to be some keen hikers who want to make a proud dent in the mileometer of the UK’s long-distance walking scene. With the popularity of this type of walk increasing in recent years and some 700 footpaths around the UK to indulge in, it’s worth taking the time to consider which ones you want to make a bucket list of.
This is where we can help. We’ve compiled a small list of some of our favourite multi-day hikes across the UK for you to see.
The South West Coast Path – 1014km/630m
The South West Coast Path is not only weaved through some of the most spectacular parts of the country, but it is also the longest national trail in the UK.
The official start of the SWCP begins in Minehead, Somerset and goes on to span around the northern and southern coasts of Devon and neighbouring Cornwall. Following the trail, the route continues right along the Dorset coastline until it reaches Poole Harbour.
If you’re looking to make this your next hiking adventure, you’ll need to factor in around 30-50 days to cover the whole of the South West Coast Path. That said, you can easily break the route into shorter sections for anyone who’d prefer to tackle the trail during weekends or when on holiday.
There’s a true sense of what the UK has to offer in terms of its scenery and wildlife along the South West Coast path. You can also expect to see a range of the best heritage and geology as you clock up the miles too.
The South Downs Way, Sussex – 159km/99m
This special route is nothing new. As such, this trail is steeped in history thanks to England’s early settlers. The route was carved out around 6,000 years ago when those settlers began to lay their tracks at the top of the dry hills instead of attempting to fashion a route amongst the swampy Weald at the foot of the hills.
This particular trail weaves it way from Winchester, Hampshire all the way to Eastbourne, East Sussex; it incorporates around 4,150 metres of ascent and descent which give you the opportunity to bask in some of the supreme views the South Downs Way route has waiting for you. On average, you can expect to walk this trail in around 8-9 days.
If you want to make a stay of it, the abundance of accommodation along the well-marked route won’t disappoint. This allows you the time to take some of the various detours on the route where you can discover buildings boasting a wealth of history, cosy pubs and unforgettable views of the unique chalk downlands and the English Channel.
The Cotswolds Way – 164km/102m
The famous limestone hills of the Cotswolds are a sight to behold and you can look forward to them in all their glory when you set out on the Cotswold Way. This popular trail is pleasantly unchallenging, even though it encompasses some truly outstanding scenery.
Beginning in Bath and running to Chipping Campden, this route gives you an average of 600ft of ascension but is a gentle trail across charming scenery that peaks at Cleeve Cloud, proudly standing 1086 ft above sea level.
This long-distance walking route takes around 6-11 days to cover in its entirety, and thanks to it closely following the scarp of the Cotswold Edge, the Cotswold Way shows walkers the beauty of the Severn Estuary and Severn bridges, along with the meanders of the River Severn above Sharpness. Indulge in the scapes of the Forest of Dean, the Welsh hills of Monmouthshire and the Black Mountains situated on the Welsh border to the west.
The shape of May Hill is visible for a large part of this long-distance walk and is joined by the long spine of the Malvern Hills that can also be enjoyed for the majority of this route. The final ascent to Broadway Tower is a steep but worthwhile one that is finished by the picturesque descent to Chipping Campden.
The Snowdonia Way – 156km/97m
This 6-8-day walk is the first and only long-distance route that takes you through Snowdonia. If you want to see Snowdonia in all its glory, this route is the ultimate way to take it all in. The views of the mountains never tire and you will make great company on this trail – truly stunning!
You’re presented with two choices before setting out on this route. The first heads out toward the summits, while the other dives into the valleys. Whichever you choose, both options take you from the southern end of the park in Machynlleth through to the north-eastern tip located in Conwy. You’ll pass some of Wales’ most exhilarating mountainscapes such as Snowdon, Tryfan and Cadair Idris as well as dozens more!
The beautiful trail of Snowdonia Way throws in medieval castles, the enormous remains of slate quarries and some very inviting café stops too! Simply put, this is one of the most exciting ways to experience North Wales!
Now that your appetites are whet from all the talk of hiking in the UK, why not take a look at our range of Trekking boots? We have a wide range of outdoor footwear available, perfect for your next expedition!