From the wild Scottish Highlands and stunning Snowdonia and the picturesque Yorkshire Dales and Cornwall's coastline, the UK has no lack of beautiful hiking trails - some more challenging than others. No matter your cup of tea, Britain has a variety of gorgeous and rugged walks for every kind of nature-lover to enjoy. Since there's nothing like a refreshing hike in the great outdoors, we're serving some of the UK's very best trails that represent this island nation's rich and diverse landscapes. Pack your hiking bag and prepare to be inspired!
9 The Three Peaks, Yorkshire
Not for the faint-hearted, the Three Peaks Challenge is a monumental hike involving a 23.5-mile loop and scaling Yorkshire's three highest mountains all in one. Of course, each peak can be completed separately, but there's nothing like the sense of achievement when completing this world-famous challenge in under 12 hours - which is the time hikers are allotted to officially succeed.
Challengers must hike what seems like endless ups and downs, and even climb 1,600 meters in total across the three mountains - named Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough. The bragging rights and incomparable views atop the peaks that showcase some of the most unbelievable views of Yorkshire's carved-out landscape are all more than worth the sore legs you'll feel in the days after completing the challenge.
8 Scafell Pike, The Lake District, Yorkshire
Given that Scafell Pike is England's tallest mountain, it's no surprise that it's a magnet for British outdoor enthusiasts. Those that reach the top can soak up the spectacular views from 977 meters high since they are quite literally standing on top of England. The most popular and shortest way to the top is from Wasdale in the west of the Lake District, but those who wish to avoid the crowds and enjoy a longer hike can start from Seathwaite or Borrowdale.
7 Cumbria to North Yorkshire
192-miles of the rugged and rural British countryside is what Anglophiles should crave. The walking route runs from one coast of England to the other, from St Bees Head to Robin Hood’s Bay. Hikers who take this challenge get to enjoy the ever-changing scenery of Yorkshire, comprising three national parks including the likes of the Lake District, the North York Moors, and the Yorkshire Dales. Travelers won't be disappointed by a visit to Grasmere village's Wordsworth museum and the medieval, eery Shap Abbey along the way.
6 Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland, and Cumbria
The historically significant Hadrian's Wall in the north of England spans 73 miles and is one of the nation's most impressive monuments. This ancient structure - which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site - was built between 122 and 128 AD, and named after the Roman emperor who ordered its construction to separate the Romans from the Scottish Picts.
If all this isn't enough to impress, the 84-mile path alongside it also features ancient forts, settlements, and interesting museums. Amongst the best stretches to hike is the wall's highest section between Chollderford and Birdoswald, where explorers can spend a weekend enjoying uninterrupted panoramics of the Pennines and Lake District.
5 West Highland Way, Scotland
Not many hikes compare to the West Highland Way. Stretching from Milngavie in the north of Glasgow to Fort Williams right up in the Scottish Highlands, this 96-mile trail of mighty landscapes and unrivaled natural beauty takes about one week to complete if adventurers want to do it all in one go. Fans of this route say that the best yet most challenging section is from Kingshouse to Fort Williams, which involves a 22-mile journey towards Ben Nevis seen in the distance.
4 The Quiraing, Island of Skye, Scotland
A challenging yet fun four-mile hike in northern Skye's vast wilderness is where adventurers will find Quiraing - a mysterious and beautiful landslip popular with hikers, nature enthusiasts, photographers, and geologists alike who flock to marvel at its greatness. Visitors can begin the hike at Uig or Staffin villages, where scenic views of Raasay and Rona Islands stop people in their paths to take it all in. Once finished for the day, the tired and weary can soothe their hearts and feed their hungry bellies with a well-earned hot Scottish meal at Staffin's Columba Centre.
3 Aberglaslyn Gorge, Snowdonia, Wales
Hikers who traverse this six-mile loop start and end at the little footbridge at Beddgelert. The trail boasts some of Snowdonia’s most breathtaking landscapes, including the sparkling waters of Llyn Dinas, the Aberglaslyn Gorge, and the action-packed Glaslyn River. If the weather is clear enough, explorers are also rewarded with fascinating views of old copper mines, along with show-stopping panoramics of Snowdon on the way down.
2 South Downs Way, Hampshire and East Sussex
100 miles of South Downs Way starts off in Winchester and goes through the lovely English countryside and onto the eye-catching white cliffs of Eastbourne. The route is long but very easy, and walkers with a week or more to explore this vast trail of post-card perfect wildlife and landscapes will be in for a treat. Hikers can also split the route into sections to complete separately, so there's no excuse not to spend a day doing every section if the opportunity arises.
A favorite way to do this hike is from west to east, but either direction is ultimately great. Don't forget to stop at the Amberley Working Museum, Devil's Dyke, and the Seven Sisters Country Park during your hike. Plus, there are plenty of traditional British pubs to rest at whilst enjoying some sumptuous comfort food and a cold pint along the way.
1 South West Coast Path, Cornwall
From Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset, the rugged The South West Coast Path in Cornwall twists and turns for 630 miles along the mesmerizing coastline of cliffs and beaches. The hike itself is quintessentially British and beautiful, but the addition of secluded white beaches and pretty bays that allow for a refreshing dip will exceed your expectations of what Britain has to offer. Gorgeous ocean views along with pretty wildflowers and even the occasional passing playful dolphin will also make your trip worth your time. Housel Bay is a particular favorite for many given that it's often much quieter than most beaches in the area.