The British Isles are blessed with some of the most beautiful and varied countryside. And it’s right here on our doorstep! Within just a few hours, most of us can be out exploring, spotting wildlife and wondering what’s over the next hill…
Here are some of the best destinations for walking holidays – made even more special by returning after a long walk to a luxury cottage with a soothing hot tub.
Where do you start in a whole country made for walking! Most people instinctively head for the Highlands or Western Isles. However, these aren’t your only choices.
The Cairngorms are just as beautiful as the highlands with peaks often as high. However, the landscape is subtlety different with smooth backed mountains and Caledonian pine forests. They’re popular with walkers keen to spot Golden Eagles, Red Squirrels and even Scottish Wildcats.
Southern Scotland is often disregarded as somewhere people simply drive through to reach Edinburgh or Glasgow. Whilst not as famous as the Highlands, Yorkshire Dales or Peak District, the lower counties of Scotland can be every bit as beautiful as anywhere in the UK. Head to Dumfries & Galloway and walk along the stunning – but deserted – coastline.
The North Yorkshire Moors & Coast are a perfect setting for a week’s walking.
It was author and vet James Herriot who described the view from the Sutton Bank escarpment as ‘England’s finest’. Almost 1,000 feet high, the enormous rock cliff stretches along the western edge of the National Park, providing amazing views over the rolling Yorkshire countryside.
The North York Moors are of course blessed with a fantastic coastline. As well as historic Victorian seaside towns like Scarborough and Whitby, there are miles of sandy beach and cliff top walks. The best place to start is Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bay – strolling along the Cinder Track coastal trail, stopping occasionally to admire the view or sample a local tea room.
Cornwall has always been a haven for walkers and cyclists with over 2,400 miles of paths taking in cliff tops, windswept moors, quant villages, stately homes and the county’s fascinating history. Whatever your ability or inclination, you’re bound to find a perfect walk from a gentle stroll to a full day’s hiking.
A great place to start is the Cornish Way which stretches 200 miles from Bude to Land’s End and takes in some of the 27% of the county designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Alternately, the 300 mile South West Coast Path takes you all the way around the counties coast, past awesome cliffs, secluded coves and golden beaches.
Wherever you choose to explore, you can find over 550 luxury UK cottages, lodges and log cabins – all with relaxing hot tubs – at www.cottageswithhottubs.co.uk