Ever feel like you need some escapism from modern life? A trip to the cinema is a temporary fix, and the local pub isn’t quite what you’re looking for. Don’t despair – sometimes the best escapes are right on your doorstep, and don’t cost the earth.
A long-distance walk is good for the body and the mind, allowing you to reconnect with nature and with yourself. You can experience the freedom of the trail, either walking self-supported or using the services of a company, like our friends at Absolute Escapes, to take the heavy lifting out of the situation and take your kit from Boutique B&B to stunning hotels.
We’ve created a list of our favourite long-distance walks in the UK which can be comfortably completed in less than a week. They’re all easily accessible from our major cities too, so there’s no excuse not to lace up your walking boots and give one of these a go!
Cotswold Way (102 miles)
For a gentle introduction to walking in the British countryside look no further than the Cotswold Way, which rambles from Chipping Campden to Bath through the glorious green countryside and enchanting villages. This trail really has it all – ancient castles, historic abbeys, and stately homes – and offers a quintessentially English experience. What could be more civilised than stopping for tea and scones mid-hike?
The magnificent city of Bath is a fitting finale. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s the perfect place to unwind after your walking holiday.
Arran Coastal Way (63 miles)
From Glasgow, a 45-minute drive west will take you to the port of Ardrossan where you can hop on the ferry and travel to another world: the magical Isle of Arran. Despite being one of the most accessible of Scotland’s islands; Arran feels like a hidden gem visited by those ‘in the know’.
The coastal way encircles the island, taking in wonderful sandy beaches, caves and cliffs, while the jagged mountains in the centre of the island provide a spectacular backdrop. Keep your eyes peeled for porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, otters and seals as you make your way around the rugged shoreline. A truly unforgettable experience.
Isle of Wight Coastal Path (67 miles)
As soon as you step off the ferry or hovercraft you’ll be on ‘island time’ and ready to take on the challenge that lies ahead – an exhilarating walk around the Isle of Wight’s beautiful coastline. With rocky coves, world-class beaches, and dramatic cliff tops, the coastal path offers a memorable journey through a contrasting landscape.
The mellow climate and enviable sunshine record of the Isle of Wight ensures the island is home to the freshest seafood straight from the fisherman’s catch, along with locally brewed beer, wine and cider, and organic fruit and vegetables. With an abundance of cosy pubs, beachside cafes, and fine restaurants ready to serve you this local fare, you’ll be well rewarded after your exertions on the trail.
Berwickshire Coastal Path (39 miles)
Don’t let size fool you – this short trail near the Scotland/England border showcases some of Britain’s finest coastal scenery. Some of the highest sea cliffs in Britain drop hundreds of feet into the sea below at St Abbs Head, and the sea arches at Pettico Wick, the quiet beach at Coldingham Sands, and the quay at Cove Harbour make for a coastline which demands to be photographed. On top of its natural beauty, this coastline is dotted with bustling, charming fishing villages full of friendly locals.
For those with less experience of hiking, this relatively easy trail makes a perfect first venture into the addictive world of long-distance walking.
South West Coast Path – Lyme Regis to Poole (75 miles)
The South West Coast Path is an epic, 630-mile trail traversing the coast of south west England. This short section along the coast of Dorset covers the incredible Jurassic Coast, transporting you back 185 million years to the age of the dinosaurs! The headlands here are packed with rocks and fossils from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
The changing elements over millions of years have combined to create one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes, home to sites like the limestone arch Durdle Door.
St Cuthbert’s Way (63 miles)
One of our favourite walks – the St Cuthbert’s Way is an absolute gem and offers so much reward to those who experience it. Beginning in the idyllic town of Melrose in the Scottish Borders, the walk follows the life of Celtic monk St Cuthbert – crossing the border into England and ending in the Holy Island of Lindisfarne where he died.
The walk across the tidal sands to Lindisfarne with its ruined abbey and spectacular castle is a truly wonderful experience.
Inspired to hit the hiking trail? Let FINDRA take care of your gear and Absolute Escapes take care of everything else. All you’ll have to worry about is putting one step in front of the other through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. And what better way is there to escape?