For a relatively small country, the UK is blessed with a wonderful range of natural scenery. From the picturesque peaks of the Scottish Highlands and the Lake District to the Norfolk Broads, there’s stunning landscapes everywhere you look.
So it’s no surprise that the UK is among the world’s most popular destinations for walking holidays – with Britons as well as overseas holidaymakers. Whether you’re planning a long weekend of walking or you’re looking for a longer excursion on foot, there are walking holidays to suit every traveller.
The best guided walking holiday tours
If you’re new to walking holidays or you simply don’t have the time or knowledge to plan your own itinerary, guided walking tours are your best option. There is a range of walking holiday operators around the UK and the best ones have specialist knowledge and experienced guides, so choose an organisation with a trusted reputation.
Footpath Holidays specialises in guided walks for small groups, so you won’t feel like part of a hoard, and they also run in tailor-made tours for individuals and groups. HF Holidays offers a range of excellent guided walks too, including packages for famous trails like the West Highland Way, Hadrian’s Wall and Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay.
Ramblers Holidays run trips all around the world, but their walking tours in the UK are something special. Their many options span the length of the UK, and shorter day tours are ideal for walking-enthusiasts looking for weekend activities. They even run dog-friendly tours.
For those walkers looking for a more boutique experience, Alison Howell’s Foot Trails could be ideal. Their personalised tours incorporate fantastic knowledge of England’s best walking trails, as well as a keen awareness of where to find the best food and drink too.
Self-guided walking trips
If you prefer stumbling upon nature’s delights by yourself, choose self-guided walking tours instead. While many people enjoy the convenience of an organised walking tour – especially in an unfamiliar location – it can be more adventurous to simply arm yourself with a map and supplies and make your own way.
Self-guided tours require a lot of research and preparation, but can be very rewarding. Many local councils and tourism boards offer information on walking trails around the UK so finding information is simple. Some of the most popular destinations for walking in the UK are in national parks like the Yorkshire Dales, the Cairngorms and the Brecon Beacons. But you’ll also find fairly peaceful river walks in big cities like London, Edinburgh and Manchester too.
If you are going walking by yourself in a rural area, remember that it’s safer to stick to designated parks to ensure you don’t get lost. Always make sure that you have a paper copy of a map with you rather than relying on your smartphone, and keep a bottle of water and a few snacks in your backpack.
Once you’ve mastered walking holidays in the UK, think about setting your sights further afield too. Greaves’ walking holidays in India, for example, offer an unforgettable way to see this beautiful country on foot.