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Ah, the great outdoors! There’s no better way to explore the countryside than by setting off on some of its best walking routes.
With 15 national trails and national parks to explore, you’re sure to find a waymarked trail to suit you. So whether you opt for a two-mile circular route or a 20-mile jaunt, we hope you’ll enjoy strolling through the UK’s beloved countryside.
Here’s a few of our favourite rural walking trails!
Offa’s Dyke Path, Welsh Borders
Stretching 177 miles and meandering between England and Wales over 20 times, Offa’s Dyke Path is one of the UK’s most popular walking routes. The trail passes through the Brecon Beacons National Park and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Wye Valley, Shropshire Hills and Clwydian Range. Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll over an hour or two or a lengthy hike, we’re sure you’ll love the Offa’s Dyke Path. Ramble along dramatic heather-clad uplands and rolling hills before stopping for a picnic to take in the scenery.
The Cotswold Way, Cotswolds
The Cotswold Way offers 100 miles of beautiful walks through timeless Cotswold villages and countryside. Stretching between the market town of Chipping Campden and the historic city of Bath, the trail showcases magical scenery throughout. There are many circular walks based on the trail, including one-day walks and easy-access walks, so there’s an opportunity for everyone to enjoy The Cotswold Way. History buffs can enjoy stopping at Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe, Hailes Abbey and numerous historic houses and churches. The beauty of the trail is you could start the morning in a sleepy old village, roam the countryside and find yourself in a bustling market town in the afternoon. Just choose a route to suit you and enjoy!
West Highland Way, Scotland
For those wishing to explore Scotland’s iconic landscape, the West Highland Way is perfect. The route spans for 96 miles, passing famous sites such as Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Buachaille Etive Mor and Fort William. The path uses ancient roads and ranges in terrain. So whether you’re seeking a mountainous route or a calming loch-side wander, you can choose a route to suit your abilities.
Hadrian’s Wall Path, North of England
What better way to explore the historical marvel that is Hadrian’s Wall by roaming its designated national trail? Spanning 84 miles from coast to coast alongside the World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall Path passes Roman settlements and forts, with history revealing itself every step of the way. This makes the route perfect for anyone looking to spend a day or just a few hours exploring this unique heritage site. Make a day of it by stopping at a cosy pub and exploring on the bustling market towns along the route.
South Downs Way
With 100 miles of countryside to explore, the South Downs Way offers an excellent opportunity to wander the south of England. Passing historic sites, pretty English pubs and vast countryside, this national trail is a firm favourite. The Souths Downs Way is perfect for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in the countryside while not straying far from the coast. Its elevated position guarantees breathtaking views across the English Channel and the Isle of Wight, while during the spring you’ll find yourself roaming through fields of wildflowers.
South West Coast Path
Okay, so we know this is technically a coastal route, but the South West Coast Path passes through some of Devon and Cornwall’s most beautiful rural communities. Spanning a jaw-dropping 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset , the coast path is one of the best ways to explore the South West. It lends itself well to smaller sections, making it perfect for an afternoon out. In most sections, idyllic rural villages and pretty countryside towns are just moments from the coast path.