10 of the Best Summer Walks in the UK
Grisport’s top picks for summer walks in the UK
The UK is blessed with some of the most beautiful countryside and coastlines in the world that are full of wonderful walks and hikes to help you discover the stunning landscape. With so many different places to explore from winding hillside hikes to sandy coastal walks, it can be difficult to know where to start.
There is something for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Long summer days and lighter evenings give us more time to explore, so if you’re venturing further afield this summer and want to find out where the best places to hike and walk are, read on. We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best walks in the UK that are bound to make you want to lace up your favourite walking boots and explore the beautiful open spaces the UK has to offer.
Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire
Distance: 13km | Duration: 5 hours
The stunning North Yorkshire Moors provide an incredibly varied landscape to explore from towering sea cliffs to ancient woodlands. If you want to take in as much of the breathtaking scenery as possible, the route to Sutton Bank is a great place to start. Offering one of the finest views in North Yorkshire, this route is every scenery seeker’s dream with outstanding natural beauty. A day of hillside walking with stunning views of the iconic landscape, the walking path takes you directly above the hillside landmark, the Kilburn White Horse.
Distance: Varies | Duration: 3 hours
Puzzlewood is an ancient woodland located in the historic Forest of Dean. Its magical qualities have earned it the reputation of being the most magical forest on the face of the earth and has been used s the backdrop for films such as The Secret Garden.
The enchanted woodland is a great family day out at any time of the year but is particularly stunning during the spring when its floor is covered with wild garlic and then a sea of bluebells. It’s a place for exploring with lots of lookouts, bridges, and plenty of dead ends to keep the kids on their toes.
With over 14 acres of ancient woodland to explore, meandering pathways and fantastic tree and rock formations creating incredible views, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Puzzlewood is an excellent place for a family walking tour and whether you’re looking for intricate popular walking routes or just a fun day out, you should definitely pop this destination on your list.
Norfolk Coast Path
Distance: 133.5km (full route) | Duration: Varies
This one requires a level of commitment so don’t be afraid to pull out those waterproof walking boots! The Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton in the west to Sea Palling on the northeast coast. Taking in the dramatic landscape of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this walk is sure to take your breath away. With its golden beaches and an array of wildlife, it has something for everyone and is one of the best coastal walks in the UK.
Passing through a number of picturesque towns and villages that provide places to eat and catch your breath, there’s plenty to keep all of the family occupied. Following the full 93-mile route makes a stunning walking holiday. But you’ll get just as much enjoyment from walking a much smaller section of the route. The possibilities are endless.
Distance: 3.5km (shortest route) | Duration: 3 hours
Helvellyn is the third-highest peak in the Lake District and England at 950 metres high. With its stunning scenery of the Eastern Fells which includes three deep glacial coves and two sharp-topped ridges on the Eastern side, it’s no surprise that the summit was voted the best long-distance walk in the UK.
Its history as a popular walking and exploring destination goes back as far as the 18th century with poet William Wordsworth being one of the early visitors. Although it is one of the highest peaks, there are many different walking routes you can take to get to the top of Helvellyn, but the shortest route is definitely the direct route from Thirlmere at 3.5km.
Cat Bells, Cumbria
Distance: 5.8km | Duration: 2 hours
Staying with the Lake District, the iconic peak of Cat Bells sits above Keswick and Derwent water. A short, sharp, and steep climb, it’s one of the best UK hikes and perfect for injecting some energy into lazy summer days with the family.
Providing panoramic views of the Lake District from its summit, Cat Bells gives hikers the perfect introduction to the national park’s infamous mirror-like lakes, lush valleys, and wild mountains. The wide grassy patch by the summit is perfect for a short rest and picnic. It’s advised to go round anti-clockwise, as the scrambly bits are easier in ascent.
Sycamore Gap, Northumberland
Distance: 8.3km | Duration: 3 hours
Sycamore Gap is a stunning section of the historic Hadrian’s Wall walk route and a must-visit location for history and walking lovers alike. The iconic route allows visitors to immerse themselves in history every step of the way while exploring the natural wilderness.
The Sycamore Gap tree, also known as the Robin Hood tree, is located in a dramatic dip in the landscape and is the most photographed spot in the Northumberland National Park. In 2016 it took the crown for English Tree of the Year in the Woodland Trust’s awards. A great place for the whole family to visit and take a few snaps next to the infamous tree.
Distance: Varies | Duration: between 5-7 hours
Moving across the UK, Snowdon is Wales’ highest mountain and dominates the skyline of North West Wales. With stunning views from the peak, it’s a hike that isn’t for the faint-hearted. Preparation is key for tackling the 1,085-metre peak unless you taking the easy route using the Snowdon Mountian Railway to the top. With various routes to choose from, it can be challenging but is one of the best UK hikes.
People have been climbing to the summit of Snowdon for hundreds of years, with half a million reaching the summit each year. At an elevation above sea level means Snowdon offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. The warmer weather that summer brings makes June, July, and August some of the best and most popular months to hike up Mount Snowdon. The Summit café at the top of Snowdon offers a range of hot and cold drinks, along with a selection of snacks to give you a boost of energy as you prepare to make your way down.
Duration: 12.6km | Distance: 4 hours
Nestled in the heart of the Lake District, Grizedale offers a fun day out for everyone, no matter what your walking experience or ability is. Providing spectacular views of the lakes and mountains, the routes are peppered with sculptures and artwork that keep all the family entertained. The shelter of the trees keeps the elements at bay, making it a popular place for families.
With lots of different walking trails leaving you spoilt for choice, it’s easy to see why Grizedale is one of the best walks in the UK. You can climb to the summit of Carron Crag if you want to see the panoramic views of the southern Lake District. If you’re looking for something a bit easier, Grizedale Tarn is the perfect route for a gentle walk. Make sure you check out the information about each trial before you go so you can plan your walk and the type of walking boots you’ll need.
The Ridding Wood and Millwood trails will keep little ones entertained, as will the cycling routes and the play area at the Cafe Ambio.
Old Harry Rocks, Dorset
Distance: 5.6km | Duration: 1-2 hours
Found at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, the white chalk of Old Harry Rocks often glistens in the sun. Steeped in history, this picturesque walking route in Studland Bay, Dorset is an easy 3.5 miles which is perfect for beginners. It’s within easy reach of the charming coastal town of Swanage, Durlston Country Park, and Dancing Ledge so offers a great day out for all of the family. With breathtaking views of the Jurassic coast, dog-friendly routes, and unique rock formations, you can’t go wrong!
Distance: 4.7km | Duration: 1 hour 25 minutes
A quiet country retreat against the backdrop of a stunning coastline, Northumberland is a wonderful location to walk all year round, but it is especially picturesque in the summer months. The popular walking route to Dunstanburgh Castle from the beautiful fishing village of Craster is an easy amble along the rugged coastline and is guaranteed to impress with its stunning views.
This short walk is perfect for the whole family, making it one of the best UK coastal walks. The gentle route is something the whole family can take part in. And once you reach the castle, you can pay to have a look around inside, or if you fancy dipping your toes in the sea, carry on to Embleton Bay which is a beautifully quiet, pristine beach that is one of the best-kept secrets on the Northumberland Coastline. Wherever you’re walking this summer, make sure you have the correct footwear for all the family. Grisport has a wide range of boots for all ages including men’s walking boots, women’s walking boots and kid’s walking boots in a variety of styles. Designed with comfort and functionality at the forefront, our boots are a summer walk must-have!