Looking to visit the UK this summer? With such a busy tourist season in most UK cities, (especially London at this time of year) it’s always a good idea to get out of the tourist-filled cities and look for some off-the-beaten-path adventures. Thankfully, Katie from Sykes Cottages (sponsored article) is here to give us active boomer travel advice for exploring lush rolling hills on a variety of long distance walks in the U.K. countryside. Maybe this proves, once and for all, that the grass really is greener on the other side?
If you’re planning a UK holiday, your itinerary will no doubt include a visit to Buckingham Palace, a spot of afternoon tea and photographs of Stonehenge. But, as much a part of the British experience as these tourist attractions are, getting out into the countryside and exploring these green and pleasant lands on one or two long distance walks should also be high up on your ‘must do’ list. Lacing up your walking boots is also a great way to stay healthy and active on the road, meaning you can indulge in a delicious afternoon tea or two guilt free!
The Yorkshire Three Peaks
Often overlooked in favour of the national three peaks challenge , the Yorkshire version of this long distance walk is certainly not to be missed while you’re in England. This circular route of some 23 miles in length is certainly doable in a single, exhausting day. Start at the pretty village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale and immediately summit the imposing Pen-y-Ghent before climbing Whernside and Ingleborough before returning to the village. For me, the highlight was undoubtedly walking under the impressive Ribblehead viaduct along which the renowned Settle-Carlisle railway passes. Choose a clear day to tackle Yorkshire’s three peaks and make the most of the staggering views of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District along the route.
Wales Coastal Path
Walking in Wales is not only a fantastic way to view the stunning scenery of this small country but it also offers a brilliant insight into the country’s history and heritage. This land of contrasts is plainly viewed along the Wales Coastal Path as you wander from the stunning Blue Flag beaches of Anglesey and Pembrokeshire to the breathtaking backdrop of the Snowdonia National Park and the bustling urban landscapes of Swansea and Cardiff. There are 870 miles of coastal path to explore, quite an undertaking for even a serious walker, but whether you choose a leisurely stroll or a more active few days of walking, you’re sure to leave feeling that you’ve seen the best of Wales.
Hadrian’s Wall Path
On the border between England and Scotland lies a memory from Britain’s days as the most westerly point of the Roman Empire. For almost 2000 years, Hadrian’s Wall has run the 84 miles between the coastal village of Bowness-in-Solway in Cumbria and the conveniently-named area of Wallsend on Tyneside. Built on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian following his visit to England in 122 AD, the wall was designed to prevent the invasion of their Scottish and Pictish neighbors. With stretches of path requiring decent walking equipment while others easy for a gentle stroll, this historic path really is suitable for all fitness abilities.
Have you ever had the chance to explore the English countryside outside of London? Did you go on any long distance walks? Do you have any advice for a first-time visitor? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email with your comments or questions.