There’s nothing quite like a good walk on a warm sunny day. Lacing up your hiking boots and heading into the great outdoors offers a refreshing dose of fresh air, thought-clearing exercise, and an unrivalled sense of freedom. Walking is an excellent way to experience a new place, you could hear birds chirping, the smell of the salty sea air and feel the exhilaration of a bracing wind on your face and hair. The best thing is you don’t have to look far to find a good walking route. We’ve compiled a list of our favourites for you to get going. These aren’t mere walks in the park, it’s exciting and adventurous. So if you ever wanted to go on a proper walk, here are the 5 best hikes in England.
1. South West Coast Path (The Lizard), Cornwall
This enchanting section of the South West Coastal Path explores a wide array of coastal landscapes, from the dramatic cliffs of Land’s End and the secluded coves of Mullion and Kynance, to the small fishing villages of Cornwall’s southern coastline. The coast path twists and turns its way for 630 miles along a spectacular coastline. Cornwall is home to plenty of secluded beaches. Walk four miles around the rugged tip of The Lizard, the mainland’s most southerly point. Continue to the turquoise water and pale sand of Housel Bay – quieter than most beaches even in summer. The walk offers magnificent sea views and the chance to see everything from wildflowers to dolphins playing in the water below.
2. Scafell Pike, Lake District
Scafell Pike, at 978 metres, is England’s highest mountain and war memorial, cared for by the National Trust as a result of a gift after the war. Thousands of people enjoy Scafell Pike each year. The climb to the top should not be underestimated so, to have the best experience, plan ahead, use a map and compass and check mountain weather conditions before setting off. There are several ways to reach Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England. The easiest route to Scafell Pike is the direct line via Brown Tongue from Wasdale. Once you reached the very top, it is an incredible feeling. You’ll be standing on top of England!
3. The Seven Sisters Cliffs
The Seven Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs stretching from Cuckmere Haven to Birling Gap in East Sussex, England. These white cliffs and turquoise blue water along the English Channel are one of Southern England’s most striking landscapes. The landscape is topped with a carpet of green grass, the brilliant white cliffs plunge dramatically into the cerulean sea. The best way to experience the Seven Sisters cliffs is by walking the coastal trail from Seaford to Eastbourne. The 21.9 km (13.6 miles) Seven Sisters walk contains quite a lot of uphill and descending climbs, with very scenic views which makes it worth it. In the summer, the walk also offers numerous opportunities for a dip in the sea.
4. Leith Hill Walk
Leith Hill is located near Dorking and is also the highest point on the Greensand Ridge, reaching a height of 294 metres (965 ft) above sea level. The route runs for a distance of about 3.5 miles with some moderate climbs on the way. While in Leith Hill you could climb to the highest point in the South East on this challenging circular walk in the Surrey Hills. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). On the summit of Leith Hill is an 18th-century Gothic tower, with panoramic views northwards to London and south to the English Channel. There are self-guided trails through woodland, farmland, and parkland. Also be sure to visit the Rhododendron Wood, particularly in the spring months when the colours are simply stunning.
5. Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove
Durdle Door is a beautiful rock formation over the sea, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the most famous place of the Jurassic Coast, and it’s easy to see why. Durdle Door is located next to Lulworth Cove, an equally beautiful place, and the hike between these two places is absolutely stunning. If you want to go down to Durdle Door beach, you don’t have to climb down cliffs. You can simply use the stairs that will lead you directly to the beach. Lulworth Cove is another natural marvel. It has a unique shape, and the contrast between the white pebble beach and the blue water is a real treat for the eye. The whole coast is very scenic and you won’t be left bored.
Day Hiking Checklist
Heading out for a day hike is a delightful way to explore nature with friends and family, or even by yourself. Whether you want to go deep into the mountains or stay closer to home, the places to go are numerous. To determine what you need to bring on a day hike, think about how far you plan to hike, how remote the location is and what the weather forecast has in store. These items should be on your hiking checklist, hiking backpack, weather-appropriate clothing, hiking boots or shoes, water bottle, navigation tools such as a map and compass, and food.