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The best of Barefoot Britain — Awesome routes off the beaten track

Anna McNuff

The best of Barefoot Britain — Awesome routes off the beaten track

Running Collection by Anna McNuff



00:00 h

213 mi

12,175 ft

In the summer of 2019, I ran my way for 2,532 miles (4,075 km) from the beauty of the Shetland Islands to the bustling streets of London, with no shoes on! But that's besides the point; along the way I got to see some truly stunning and lesser-known corners of Great Britain.

So here's a Collection of what I believe to be the best undiscovered runs across Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It includes everything from trails through long-forgotten valleys and dense forests, pathways along windswept hilltops, stretches of deserted sandy beaches and visits to the crumbling ruins of castles. Not to mention a few tearooms along the way...

There's plenty of Highlights showing you where to stop and stare, check out the thriving local wildlife or to put your feet up for a while and fill up with some delicious local nosh.

Most runs can be done in a single day, but some are longer Tours that you might want to break down into several sections, or just choose a portion of. Good luck and happy running!

On The Map


Tours & Highlights

  • Puffins, ponies and white sand in Shetland — The best of Barefoot Britain

    15.6 mi
    -- mph
    1,250 ft
    1,275 ft

    Once a gift to Scotland from a Norwegian king, the Shetland Islands are a world apart from anything you’ll experience on the British mainland. Famed for an abundance of white, sandy beaches and crumbling Viking long houses, the number of exciting places to explore on foot here is endless.


    My favourite

    by Anna McNuff

  • 15.3 mi
    -- mph
    925 ft
    700 ft

    Many people will have heard of Wick, one of the most northerly cities in Scotland, but most will just pass through it on their way to John O’Groats. Just outside Wick are the remains of Wick Castle, perched precariously on a clifftop which is dotted with wild flowers.


    From Wick town centre, take a run

    by Anna McNuff

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  • 74.6 mi
    -- mph
    3,700 ft
    4,400 ft

    The often grass-covered Speyside Way loosely follows the River Spey on the bed of an old railway line, making for flat, easy miles through the Moray countryside in North-East Scotland.


    The coolest thing about the Speyside Way is that many of the old platforms and stations are still in place. You can choo

    by Anna McNuff

  • 32.4 mi
    -- mph
    750 ft
    750 ft

    I couldn't believe that I hadn't visited the Northumberland coastline, despite living in Great Britain my whole life. It is truly stunning! Miles and miles of deserted stretches of golden sandy beaches to plod along, quaint coffee shops, great pubs and a spattering of history with come cracking castles

    by Anna McNuff

  • 18.7 mi
    -- mph
    500 ft
    525 ft

    Start your run at the small fishing port of Ardglass, home to the oldest golf clubhouse in the world, nothing shy of a haunted mansion.


    Following the Lecale Way, the first section of the run is on a road, but don’t be put off by it. It’s a road that sweeps along the shores of the Irish sea with great

    by Anna McNuff

  • 19.0 mi
    -- mph
    900 ft
    950 ft

    This run is a great one to do on two feet, or even on a bike! It's also buggy-friendly for anyone running with a bubba on too. Loosely following the Wales Coastal Path and National Cycle Route 5, you’ll find yourself in a sandwich between the glassy waters of the Irish Sea to the north and the peaks

    by Anna McNuff

  • 14.0 mi
    -- mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft

    This cheeky half marathon route has all the fine ingredients for a great day out on the trails. Plenty of sloppy mud, hills, stellar views and a dollop of history along the way too.


    Begin the run outside Guildford Guildhall, beneath what is reportedly the most photographed clock in Britain. Make your

    by Anna McNuff

  • 23.9 mi
    -- mph
    3,075 ft
    3,025 ft

    Exmoor National Park is one of the best kept secrets in Great Britain. This route goes from the coastal mecca of Minehead to the tiny port town of Lynmouth, from east to west. On what is a full day out, you’ll follow the South West Coastal Path up, up, up and then down again, past wild Exmoor ponies

    by Anna McNuff

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    213 mi
  • Duration
    00:00 h
  • Elevation
    12,175 ft

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