THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.
10 Best Walks in the UK
1. Ingleton Waterfall Trail – Yorkshire
The Walk: Ingleton Waterfall Trail is one of the most stunning walks in the Yorkshire Dales, offering walkers a combination of beautiful waterfalls and ancient woodland. This famous walk has been a popular attraction since its opening in the late 1800s, in its early years 3’500 people were recorded visiting the site on a single day. Thankfully the trail is less busy now, allowing its walkers a peaceful and enjoyable walk. Beginning in the village of Ingleton, the general circular route follows up the River Twiss and back down the River Doe along a fairly well-defined path. Keep an eye out for some of the trails most impressive waterfalls in the higher area of the Doe Valley. The path covers areas of incline, however it remains accessible for most as steps are provided where necessary. Unfortunately, this deems the path unsuitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Please be aware that this is not a free trail, admission is £5 per adult, £2 per child or £11 for a family ticket.
More info: http://www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk
2. Ystradfellte Waterfall Walk – Brecon Beacons
Distance: 4m -9m / 6k -15k
The Walk: Situated in the south of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Ystradfellte Waterfalls is a beautiful location to spend an afternoon walk. Unlike much of the barren mountainous areas of the Brecon Beacons, Ystradfellte is rich with wooded valleys. The river mellte cuts through the limestone land forming impressive gorges and picturesque waterfalls. Visitors can leave their vehicles in the village of Pontneddfechan and follow a well signposted route, to the rear of the Angel Pub, where the walk begins. Numerous routes can be pursued, with a range of distances and difficulties. A popular attraction of this walk is to wander behind the waterfall at Sqwd yr Eira, although this can be slippy so take care! This site is also popular for gorge walking and caving. The surrounding limestone makes this location rich in caves. Porth yr Ogof, boasting the biggest cave entrance in Wales, is located near the path and well sign posted. During dry seasons it is possible to enter the cave entrance following a series of steps. Although, this is not advised after periods of rainfall.
More info: http://naturalhighs.net/waterfalls/falls00/ystradfellte.htm
3. Welsh Coastal Path – Pembrokshire
Distance: Various Lengths 1m-13m / 2km- 21km
The Walk: Officially opened last year, the Welsh Coastal Path offers enthusiastic walkers 870 miles of uninterrupted coastline. Pembrokeshire coast national park boasts some of the most scenic landscape in wales, and is the only coastal park in Britain. The area is rich with history, wildlife and breathtaking beaches that can be enjoyed as short strolls or long hikes. During the summer months this location attracts a variety of dolphins, whales, orcas, sharks and turtles. Popular walks include that of Martin’s Haven to Dale, a 10mile walk across fairly level ground with the occasional short climb. Prepare for some impressive cliffs weathered by ferocious Atlantic storms. Then catch glimpses of the windsurfers towards the end of the walk as you approach Dales popular watersports centre. For a shorter walk of 3.5miles try Deer Park to Marloes.
More info: www.walescoastpath.gov.uk
4. Derbyshire tops and bottoms
Distance: 13m / 21km
The Walk: A favorite 13 mile circular walk from Monyash across upland scenery to Youlgreave and via river valleys back to the start. There are distinct differences between the stark, dry tops with their dry stonewalls and the vegetated valleys with clear flowing rivers. The rivers are home to brown and rainbow trout and grayling and have been famous for fly-fishing since Isaac Walton’s book The Compleat Angler in the seventeenth century. Watch out for Dippers, Kingfishers and Herons. There are plenty of geographical features and signs of old lead mining industry in what is now idyllic countryside. The river Lathkill emerges at different levels in the valley depending on the water level underground, and may disappear again further down its course. The contrasts between upland and valley bottoms and the past and present scenery add spice to a route which is good value at all times of the year.
5. Aberdaron & Ffynnon Fair, Lleyn Peninsular, Wales
Distance: 8 m / 13km
The Walk: The area west of Aberdaron has been inhabited since Neolithic times, evidenced by standing stones, earth works and remains of hut circles. Bardsey island, almost 2 miles off the coast was a major centre for medieval pilgrims and now owned by the RSPB. Narrow lanes lead to the end of the peninsular where there is a network of tiny fields above the cliff tops. The old pilgrim trail leads past the outline of an ancient church and down steps carved into the cliff to an inlet where there is a well of fresh water covered at high tide. The return route to Aberdaron follows the coast and has wonderful views inland towards Snowdonia and across Cardigan Bay. If dead saints don’t interest you look out for seals, porpoise, dolphins, basking sharks, gannets, choughs, marsh harriers and peregrines.
6. Old Harry Rocks, Dorset
The Walk: As part of the South West Coastal Path this circular walk from Studland follows the cliff-top path, with great sea views, and finally returns with a slightly inland route. A brilliant walk, particularly for spring and summer months, where views across the Jurassic coastline will be at their finest. From Studland follow the path towards the coast sign posted for Old Harry Rocks. Formed after the last ice age, these famous chalk stacks are a popular attraction in the area. Old Harry, the furthest stack, derives his name from the medieval term for Satan, who is believed to have rested here. Further chalk stacks litter the coastline until the trail begins to turn inland along Ballard Down. As the path veers inland, keep an eye out for the remains of a WWI rifle range. The remainder of the route follows a countryside road, passing through Glebeland estate. Ending back in the village of Studland walkers can rest, and enjoy the rest of their afternoon soaking up the sun in the pub gardens that overlook the cliffs.
More info: http://www.southwestcoastpath.com
7. Lairig Ghru, Highlands
Distance: 19m / 30km
The Walk: This mountain pass, traversing through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, is perhaps one of the best-known hill-passes in Scotland. The route between Deeside and Srathspey was historically employed as a droving route up until the 1870s. Naturally the path is well defined and fairly straightforward to navigate. The walk can be approached from many different start points, however the most popular is that from Colyumbridge and ends at the Linn of Dee car park. Early sections of the walk pass through some scenic old pinewoods. Once the edge of the forestry is reached walkers will see the Cairngorm Mountains towering ahead; at this point continue along the path signed posted for Lairig Ghru. As the path continues and begins to ascend, vegetation slowly dwindles and the landscape opens up. Along 810m accent breathtaking views of great trenches and soaring mountains catch your eye at every moment, making this walk truly spectacular. Ensure you are prepared for all weather kinds as most of this walk follows particularly exposed routes. In winter, the path becomes snow bound and should only be approached if prepared with ice-axes and crampons.
More info: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/cairngorms/lairig-ghru.shtml
8. Latrigg – Lake District National Park
The Walk: Latrigg may be one of the lowest fells in the Lake District but don’t let this put you off. This walk is located behind the idyllic market town of Keswick, Cumbria, a popular tourist location, which boasts marvelous surrounding fells and lakes.
The general route begins at Keswick’s tourist information center, Moot Hall, where further information on the walk can be obtained. The viewpoint at the 368m summit looks southward over Keswick and Derwentwater Lake. Northward views display remarkable sights of the Lake District, particularly the impressive rising flanks of Blencarthre and Skiddaw. While most visitors pursue this as a linear walk, the circular route is a fantastic alternative that traverses across the top of Latrigg and finally follows the old railway line back towards the town.
More info: http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/thingstodo/mileswithoutstiles/mws38
9. The Pennine Way
Distance: 268m/ 431km 7+ days, although small sections of the trail can offer great day walks.
The Walk: This famous trail is widely recognized as the ‘Backbone of England’, and is on the ‘to-do list’ for many outdoor enthusiasts who have not yet tackled it. From Edale to Kirk Yetholm, The Pennine Way was Britain’s first National Trail offering 270miles of awe-inspiring British countryside. Its reputation as one of the best walks in Britain can be defended for numerous reasons. Passing the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, across the Cheviots and finally arriving in Scotland, this varied trail climbs over mountaintops and strolls through idyllic villages. However, this hike realistically needs a week to complete. For a brilliant taste-bite, might we suggest Jacob’s Ladder to Kinder Scout? A popular day trip set in the heart of the Peak District. Setting-off from The Old Nag’s Head pub, in Edale, this walk offers its visitors a true variety. A short but steep climb leads walkers to fantastic viewpoints across the peak district. This area is also rich with wildlife; housing birds such as the Short Eared Own, Merlin and Golden Plover. Lucky hikers may even catch a glimpse of the mountain hares that inhabit this countryside.
More info: http://nationaltrail.co.uk/PennineWay/
10. The Broads – Norfolk & Suffolk
Distance: Varied Distances (Wherryman’s Way up to 35m / 56km)
The Walk: As Britain’s largest protected wetland, the Broads host over 300km of footpaths and over 200km of navigable waterways. This scenic location is perfect for both short wanders or long hikes. The Broads are not only a place of incredible beauty; this site is also rich with fascinating history. Contrary to earlier belief, the waterways that span the Broads are not in fact natural. In truth they are evidence of peat excavation during the medieval (and later) periods. As the sea level gradually rose, these trenches begun to flood, forming the landscape that we see today. Wherryman’s Way is a fantastic walk in this area and suitable for all. Visitors can mix and match their route with the option to throw in a boat or train ride. With a National Cycle Route running alongside the River Yare, this trail is also popular for cyclists.
More info: Visit http://www.wherrymansway.net