I love to get out and walk come rain or shine, even if it’s only around where I live in the East Midlands (UK). But my true passion is getting out into the hills – I find climbing to the top of any hill or mountain exhilarating… it feels like an achievement and, best of all, you are often rewarded with spectacular views from the top!
My passion for walking started as a young girl, growing up in Sheffield, surrounded by beautiful countryside… my Dad has always been a keen walker and enjoyed being outdoors, so it was only natural that I would follow in his footsteps.
So here are some of my very favourite places to go walking in the UK:
The Peak District
As a Sheffielder, I spent many a Sunday exploring the stunning scenery and pretty villages of the Peak District with my family when I was growing up. One of my very favourite walks is the ridge walk over the peaks of Mam Tor, Hollins Cross, Back Tor and Lose Hill (around one of my favourite villages, Castleton). I have done this walk so many times (and even run it once, but that’s another story!), but I still love it! The views are beautiful and you can finish off your day with a cream tea (or a trip down one of the caverns) in Castleton before heading home!
Alternatively, a walk along Stanage Edge is great fun for families, with beautiful views and plenty of rocks for the kids to clamber about on.
The Lake District
Another one of my favourite walking haunts is the Lake District. There are just so many great options to choose from – we usually base ourselves in Keswick, the main hub for outdoor activites in the Lakes. You can take gentle strolls round the lakes or climb England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike – there is a walk for everyone here. Not to mention beautifully situated campsites and cosy pubs and cafes serving locally produced products – muddy boots welcome!
I particularly love the Scottish Highlands around Ben Nevis for their wildness and rugged beauty. The climb up Ben Nevis itself (the UK’s highest peak) is a pleasant walk that is accessible to anyone who is even moderately fit as it has a decent path which is easy to follow. And it is well worth the trek for the views from the top (weather permitting of course!). I also enjoyed walking round the lochs in Scotland as many are surrounded by amazing mountain scenery. And there are plenty of beautifully situated campsites to choose from, where you can unzip your tent in the morning and admire the views without even leaving your sleeping bag!
Devon has been a regular holiday destination for us over the years and offers plenty of great walks to choose from, but I particularly like the many cliff top walks where you can watch the sea crashing below you and see the sea birds swooping overhead. One of my favourite places to stay in North Devon (and not just for the lovely walks available in the area) is beautiful Croyde Bay, with it’s gorgeous beach and cosy pubs!
So what are you waiting for – get out there and explore some of the beautiful walks that the UK has to offer!
IMPORTANT: If you are heading out into the hills, always make sure you are adequately prepared. I have seen many people get caught out, as they have not had the correct kit or checked the weather conditions. The weather can change very quickly in the UK, particularly if you are high up… we set off up Scafell Pike in bright sunshine but by the time we reached the summit it was cold, raining and visibility was down to around 2 meters. We were well prepared (map and compass, waterproofs, supplies) but we saw many people who were not, including a girl in flip-flops, shorts and a vest top… who slipped right in front of us and almost went over the edge into a deep ravine – frightening and completely avoidable!
And don’t rely on your phone/gps to find your way (mobile phone signals can be very hit and miss in the mountains) – take a map and compass and make sure you know how to use them!