The best UK walks to try this weekend – deserted beaches to beautiful moors

From the West Highland Way to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, there are many stunning walks in Britain

Britain is blessed with wonderful walking routes, including the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales
Britain is blessed with wonderful walking routes, including the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales

In case you didn’t know, May is National Walking Month.

National Walking Month, organized by charity Living Streets, aims to encourage people to walk at least 20 minutes every day this month.

With temperatures showing signs of warming and days getting noticeably longer, now seems like a pretty good time to start hiking in earnest if you haven’t already. The potential health benefits of regular walking – both physical and mental – are numerous.

Better still, in the UK we are very fortunate to have some truly outstanding walks with spectacular scenery on our doorstep.

So if you fancy a stroll in the countryside, here are some of the top rated walking routes in the UK, according to Tripadvisor users.

Cornish Coastal Path

The Cornish Coastal Path is home to beautiful scenery


Educational Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

Cornwall is home to a 300-mile stretch of the South West Coast Path, which is considered one of the most scenic walks in the world. Rated 4.5/5 by Tripadvisor users, the Cornish Coastal Path is the perfect way to experience Cornwall’s rugged beauty up close.

The South West Coast Path section offers something for all the family, with varied terrain and stunning natural beauty everywhere you look.

It also has a quirky history: many years ago, when Cornwall was notorious for piracy and smuggling, the Inland Revenue required walkways that would give its agents easy access to key lookouts and ports.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

Whitesands Beach and Carn Llidi on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from St Davids


(Getty Images)

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a National Trail footpath that stretches approximately 186 miles. The path, which runs from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south, is perfect for enjoying some truly beautiful – and varied – coastal scenery.

A feast for the mind and eyes, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes you past dramatic cliffs, unspoilt beaches and mysterious coves. Its unspoilt setting makes it a firm favorite among hikers and nature lovers.

West Highland Way

The West Highland Way is a very popular long-distance footpath, stretching 150 miles from Milngavie – in Glasgow’s northern suburbs – to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Around 35,000 people hike the route every year.

The West Highland Way is characterized by its varied landscape, including rugged mountains, picturesque loch banks and rolling moorland. Most people tackle the route from south to north, with the northern stages considered more strenuous than the southern ones.

Monsal Trail

The Monsal Trail is always a popular choice for hikers and cyclists


Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery)

The 8.5 mile Monsal Trail is a popular walking, cycling and bridle path in Derbyshire’s Peak District. It follows part of the route of a former railway, crossing old railway viaducts and tunnels for a distinctive walking experience.

Running between the Topley Pike junction in Wye Dale and Bakewell, the Monsal Trail is a gentle route perfect for less experienced walkers just starting out. Four rail tunnels along the route opened to trail users in 2011.

Birks by Aberfeldy

Rated 5/5 by Tripadvisor users, the Birks of Aberfeldy is a short loop walk – just 1.5 miles long – on the outskirts of Aberfeldy on the River Tay. The path leads through mixed forest and offers impressive views of deep gorges and waterfalls.

The area takes its name from a poem written in 1787 by Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet. Much of it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its botanical characteristics.

camel trail

The 17.3 mile Camel Trail in Cornwall is popular with walkers, runners, horse riders and cyclists. It runs between Padstow and Wenford Bridge, taking Wadebridge and Bodmin en route.

The Camel Trail – rated 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor – follows the paths of two former railway lines, passing through pretty villages and stunning forests. The railways have been designed to avoid sharp turns and steep climbs, making today’s trail a gentle route for hikers.

Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast Walk

The Coast To Coast puts you in close proximity to beautiful Whitby


(Getty Images)

Originally designed by fellwalker and author Alfred Wainwright, the Coast to Coast Walk is a 190-mile route through northern England. It includes three national parks: the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

Although not a national trail, the Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk is popular with walkers exploring the natural beauty of the North. However, the unofficial route isn’t fully signposted, so find out where you’re going beforehand.

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