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A proud land of historic settlements, pastoral countryside, rolling green hills, dramatic coastlines and ancient mountains, the United Kingdom is a hiker’s dream. Walks in the United Kingdom place you amongst a remarkable variety of stunning landscapes, all within a relatively small area. There’s everything from picturesque ambles in verdant dales to challenging expeditions across vast wilderness regions.
There are awe-inspiring adventures aplenty amongst rocky ridgelines, ancient forests, bonny lochs, mystical tors, towering cliffs and romantic lakes: the list of opportunities is almost endless. There are no less than fifteen national parks to explore on your hikes in the United Kingdom, each with their own unique charm and character.
Get the sea air into your lungs as you discover almost 20,000 miles of famously beautiful coast. Meanwhile, the hillwalking is magnificent. The top of just about every mainland mountain and hill is conquerable by foot. Your efforts are rewarded with a treasure trove of unforgettable summit vistas.
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The sheer range of magnificent upland landscapes you can discover on hikes in the United Kingdom is staggering. Wordsworth, Muir, Wainwright, Burns: the names of the pioneering souls who loved to walk this land have reverberated through history, shaping our modern appreciation for, and drive to conserve, our precious wild places.
The verdant, undulating green hills of Southern England and Wales give way to rougher, rockier pastures the further north you venture. Much of this land makes for gorgeous walking with vibrant wildlife. The only truly mountainous regions here occur in Snowdonia and the Lake District, whilst Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains also boast superb hillwalking with a similar feel.
However, in terms of mountain adventure, the best hiking trails in the United Kingdom are those found in the majestic Scottish Highlands. Just a single experience of one of the monstrous behemoths of Torridon, the staggering ramparts of Glencoe, the inselberg peaks of Assynt, the sub-Arctic plateau of the Cairngorms or the world-famous scenery of the Isle of Skye will have you hopelessly addicted to this bonny land.
Surrounded by the sea, it is no wonder many of the finest walks in the United Kingdom are those that explore its wonderful coastline. From England’s shipwreck coves, prehistoric treasures and towering white cliffs to the secret golden beaches, fjord-like lochs and monumental sea stacks of the Scottish Highlands, this is some of the most spectacular coast found anywhere.
The United Kingdom has a maritime climate that brings changeable weather all year round. One minute you may be basking in bright sunshine, the next zipping up your waterproof. Summers are generally warm, whilst winters are cool and wet. When hiking in the west, you are more likely to feel the effects of fronts coming in off the Atlantic, bringing wind and rain, particularly in the uplands. The east enjoys more settled, drier weather.
Snowfall is common on the mountains in winter, particularly in the Scottish Highlands, where conditions can be extreme. This creates challenges that go beyond basic hiking if you are seeking to get up high. However, the combination of low light and snow on the hills creates a wonderland that can still be incredible on the lower trails.
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