Here in the United Kingdom we are blessed with some incredible trails, be it one day hikes or a long distance trail, in England and wales there are 15 National Trails, Hundreds of unofficial trails that boast some of the finest scenery the world has to offer, in Scotland they are called 'Great Trails' here are our top 20 trails in the United Kingdom....
20: Viking Coast Trail
The Viking Coastal Trail is a 25-mile multi-user route around the Isle of Thanet, the point where Vikings first landed in Britain, keeping as close as is possible to the coast from Reculver, passing through Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate to reach Pegwell Bay where the Trail uses an inland loop on quiet lanes through pretty Kentish villages with ancient churches and passes Minster Abbey, one of England's oldest inhabited buildings founded in 670.
Otherwise known as the Thanet Coastal Path (20 miles and on OS mapping) is an often coincident linear route on the coastal section between the Thanet boundary near Reculver and Pegwell Bay that winds its way past sandy beaches and bays, often against a backdrop of spectacular chalk cliffs. Ramsgate and Margate are lively seaside resorts and Broadstairs has nostalgic charm. For walkers the obvious inland return is on the Saxon Shore Way but the nearest footpath link to Pegwell Bay is at Sandwich, making a much longer route: both the Trail and Path link with the Saxon Shore Way (and Wantsum Walks) at Reculver, there are plenty of options for accomodation and food.
More information about the trail can be found here
The Route can also be found and downloaded here
19: The Ridgeway
The Ridgeway is a ridgeway or ainchent road that claims to be the oldest in Britain. A National Trail;The section clearly identified as an ancient trackway extends from Wiltshire along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs to the River Thames at the Goring Gap, part of the Icknield Way which ran, not always on the ridge, from Salisbury Plain to East Anglia. The route was adapted and extended as a National Trail, created in 1972. The Ridgeway National Trail follows the ancient Ridgeway from Overton Hill, near Avebury, to Streatley, then follows footpaths and parts of the ancient Icknield Way through the Chiltern Hills to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The National Trail is 87 miles (140 km) long.
For at least 5,000 years travellers have used the Ridgeway. The Ridgeway provided a reliable trading route to the Dorset coast and to the Wash in Norfolk. The high dry ground made travel easy and provided a measure of protection by giving traders a commanding view, warning against potential attacks. The Bronze Age saw the development of Uffington White Horse and the stone circle at Avebury. During the Iron Age, inhabitants took advantage of the high ground by building hillforts along the Ridgeway to help defend the trading route. Following the collapse of Roman authority in Western Europe, invading Saxon and Viking armies used it. In medieval times and later, the Ridgeway found use by drovers, moving their livestock from the West Country and Wales to markets in the Home Counties and London. Before the Enclosure Acts of 1750, the Ridgeway existed as an informal series of tracks across the chalk downs, chosen by travellers based on path conditions. Once enclosures started, the current path developed through the building of earth banks and the planting of hedges. more information on the trail can be found here
18: Glyndwrs Way
Launched in 2002, Glyndŵr's Way forms a satisfying circuit with the Offa’s Dyke Path and jigsaws between the holiday playgrounds of south Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. Despite this, most walkers haven’t caught on to this 135-mile tour through Mid Wales.
The Glyndŵr's Way National Trail is all about getting off the beaten track. Its nine-day route visits many of the sites connected with Wales' historic past. The trail is anchored by the trail heads of Welshpool, Knighton and Machynlleth, then midway it loops largely through Mid Wales. On the complete route, you’ll walk through rolling farmland, open moor and heather-clad hills, and discover exhilarating views of Cader Idris and Plynlimon mountains. There are overnight stops in small towns such as Llanidloes, but you can travel for miles and only see the occasional farmer. What you will see, however, are red kites, peregrine falcons and buzzards. To halve the length of a week's walking, start or finish at Machynlleth. Welshpool and Knighton are on major rail lines, while other sections of the trail are accessible by bus. You can find or download the route here
16: The Great Glen Way The Great Glen Way stretches for 118.5km from coast to coast across the Highlands, linking the main centres of Fort William and the regional capital of Inverness. The route follows the major natural faultline of the Great Glen which divides Scotland from coast to coast. Most of the route keeps to lower levels and offers a good introduction to the Highlands and to long distance walking; since 2014 there has also been a higher level option between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit which offers more dramatic views at the cost of a little more effort. The Way runs along the complete lengths of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and the forests above Loch Ness, as well as along the towpath of the Caledonian Canal, an engineering marvel built by Thomas Telford that links these lochs and creates a through route from the western seaboard to the Moray Firth. More information on the trail can be found here The route can be found here
15: The Cotswold Way
This trail takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside in England. It runs for just over 100 miles from Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire to the historic city of Bath in Somerset. As well as proffering wonderful views of the Cotswold Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty, you can also see the River Severn, the Black Mountains of Wales and the Forest of Dean from the route. You will pass through or near a series of attractive market towns such as Chipping Sodbury, Wooton-under-Edge, Stroud and Cheltenham before arriving at the splendid Roman city of Bath at the end of the trail. Highlights on the route include the lovely National Trust owned Woodchester Park and the magnificent Sudeley Castle. You'll also visit the highest point in the Cotswolds at Cleeve Hill where you will also find the fascinating Belas Knap chambered long barrow. More information on the trail can be found here The route can be found and downloaded here
14: Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path
The Peddars Way runs from Knettishall Heath in Suffolk to Holme next the Sea on the Norfolk Coast.
On its route it passes through some of the most diverse countryside in Britain, from the atmospheric landscapes of the Brecks to the rolling farmland of north-west Norfolk to the coastal dunes at Holme, where it meets up with the Norfolk Coast Path.
The Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path is of great appeal to walkers of both shorter walks and longer, more challenging treks. Many walkers use the trail for short portions of the walk, lasting four hours or less. For the more keen walker, multi-day trips are possible – with accommodation nearby for overnight stays.
More information can be found here
The route can be found here
13: Gower Coast Path
The Gower and Swansea Bay Coast Path is part of the Wales Coast Path, an 1,400-kilometre (870 mi) long-distance walking route around the whole coast of Wales that opened in 2012. The Gower and Swansea Bay stretch is 156 kilometres (97 mi) in length, running along the coast of the Gower Peninsula from Loughor, Swansea to Kenfig Dunes near Port Talbot, South Wales.
The path passes through the first area in Britain to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (1956) and is home to 10 nature reserves, 24 Wildlife Trust reserves, 32 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and five Special Areas of Conservation. The path is maintained and administered by two county councils, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.
More information can be found here
For information on our Gower Hiking weekend click here
The route can be downloaded or found here
12: Wainwright's Coast to Coast
The Coast to Coast Walk is a 182-mile unofficial and mostly unsignposted long-distance footpath in Northern England. Devised by Alfred Wainwright, it passes through three contrasting national parks: the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park.
Wainwright recommends that walkers dip their booted feet in the Irish Sea at St Bees and, at the end of the walk, in the North Sea at Robin Hood's Bay.
The Coast to Coast was originally described by Alfred Wainwright in his 1973 book A Coast to Coast Walk. Wainwright's book has since been revised a number of times in recent years (most recently in 2003) with updates to the recommended route.
Wainwright's book describes the route in 12 stages, each of which ends at a settlement with at least some overnight accommodation nearby. If one stage is walked per day, with one or two rest days, the route makes a two-week holiday, and web logs of coast-to-coasters seem to indicate that this is the most common way of walking the route. However, Wainwright explicitly states that he did not intend people to necessarily stick to these daily stages, or even to his route. For instance, the majority of Wainwright's stages start and end at low level with a single up-down during the day: many walkers split the Borrowdale–Patterdale stage at Grasmere in order to maintain this pattern and avoid having two major uphill sections in one day. Splitting two or three more of the longer stages, and adding a further one or two rest days, reduces the average day-length to 10 or 12 miles