The United Kingdom is a land of diverse landscapes, from rolling hills and lush meadows to rugged coastlines and towering peaks. For those who are new to hiking or looking for gentle trails to start their outdoor adventure, the UK offers a wealth of options. In this guide, we will explore some of the best hikes in the UK for beginners. These hikes not only provide stunning natural beauty but are also relatively easy, making them perfect for those who are just starting to explore the world of hiking.
- The Cotswold Way, England
- Difficulty: Easy to ModerateOur first recommendation is the Cotswold Way, a designated National Trail in England that covers approximately 102 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath. While this trail is quite long, you can choose shorter sections to explore. The path takes you through the charming Cotswold villages, offering picturesque views of rolling hills and meadows.
- Cotswold Way Map
- The West Highland Way, Scotland
- Difficulty: Easy to ModerateScotland’s West Highland Way is a renowned long-distance trail stretching approximately 96 miles from Milngavie, just north of Glasgow, to Fort William. While the entire trail may be a bit challenging for beginners, there are shorter sections that provide an excellent introduction to the Scottish Highlands.
- West Highland Way Map
- The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales
- Difficulty: Easy to ModerateWales offers the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which spans 186 miles along the rugged coastline of Pembrokeshire in South Wales. You don’t have to hike the entire trail to experience its beauty. There are shorter, more accessible sections that provide breathtaking sea views and encounters with wildlife.
- Pembrokeshire Coast Path Map
- The Causeway Coast Way, Northern Ireland
- Difficulty: EasyFor beginners seeking a coastal adventure, the Causeway Coast Way in Northern Ireland is an excellent choice. This 33-mile trail offers views of the famous Giant’s Causeway, stunning cliffs, and beautiful beaches. The terrain is relatively gentle, making it suitable for hikers of all levels.
- Causeway Coast Way Map
- The South Downs Way, England
- Difficulty: EasyThe South Downs Way is a delightful trail that stretches for 100 miles across the South Downs National Park in England. It provides panoramic views of the English Channel and the rolling hills of the South Downs. While it’s a long trail, you can select shorter sections for a day hike or a weekend getaway.
- South Downs Way Map
- The Great Glen Way, Scotland
- Difficulty: EasyIf you’re looking for a peaceful walk along a scenic loch, the Great Glen Way in Scotland is an ideal choice. This 73-mile trail runs from Fort William to Inverness, following the picturesque shores of Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal.
- Great Glen Way Map
- The Taff Trail, Wales
- Difficulty: EasyThe Taff Trail, which spans 55 miles from Cardiff to Brecon, is a great way to explore the beauty of the Welsh countryside. This trail takes you along the Taff River, through forests, and past charming villages.
- Taff Trail Map
Hiking is a wonderful way to connect with nature, stay active, and enjoy the stunning landscapes that the United Kingdom has to offer. The hikes mentioned in this guide are perfect for beginners, with varying levels of difficulty to suit your preferences. Whether you choose to explore the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the coastal splendor of Wales, or the enchanting landscapes of Northern Ireland, you’re sure to have an unforgettable outdoor experience.
Before embarking on any hike, it’s essential to check the trail conditions, prepare appropriate gear, and ensure you have a map of the route. Most of the trail maps provided in this guide are linked to official websites with additional information and resources to help you plan your adventure safely.
So, grab your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and set out to discover the natural wonders that await you on these beginner-friendly hikes in the UK. Happy hiking!
Photo by NEOM