Best walks in England

Discover the best of the English countryside on foot with our favourite hikes, from forest rambles and riverside to strolls to marvellous mountain treks

Ashness Bridge, Watendlath, Keswick, Lake District, Cumbria, England

Guide to England’s most beautiful hikes, including maps, route directions, distances and times.

The English countryside is a place of diversity, from the towering coastal cliffs of Exmoor and Dartmoor’s ancient woodland to the delightful dales of Yorkshire and the the wild waters of the Lake District.

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Discover these landscapes on foot with our list of England’s most beautiful walks. Each route has its own walker’s guide, comprising a map, path directions and more.

Waterfall Country

Valley of Rocks, Devon

Hiker on the headland in Valley of the Rocks on South West coast path near Lynmouth
Hiker on the headland in Valley of the Rocks on South West coast path near Lynmouth ©Getty

On a quiet day, there’s a lost world feel to North Devon’s enigmatic Valley of Rocks, despite the serpentine ribbon of road that curls through the vale in the place where a river once ran. Exult in towering sea cliffs where feral goats clamber skilfully between Devonian crags on this short circular walk around the rocky coastal valley.

Route details

  • 5.8km/3.6miles
  • 2 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

 

Valley of Rocks map

Teign Gorge, Devon

Hannicombe Wood
Hannicombe Wood ©Getty

Take a stroll from Castle Drogo in Dartmoor National Park through Piddledown Common and Fingle Wood a see one of England’s largest woodland restoration projects.

The route

  • 6.9km/4.3 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Teign Gorge map

Zenor Head, Cornwall

Evening at Zenor Head on the North Coast of Cornwall
Evening at Zenor Head on the North Coast of Cornwall ©Alamy

This circular walk heads through farmland and woods before emerging on to the towering granite cliffs of Cornwall’s north-west coast – a dramatic section of the South West Coast Path, home to seabirds, wildflowers and Atlantic waves.

The route

  • 7.5km/4.6 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Zennor Head map

Buttermere and Rannerdale Knotts, Cumbria

Buttermere lake
Buttermere lake

This walk includes some of the Lake District’s most beautiful trees and forests, where myth and legend tangle with the Scots pines and the golden needles of larches.

The route

  • 12km/7.5 miles
  • 4.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Buttermere map

Rhinefield, Hampshire

Rhinefield Forest Drive, Hampshire

Take a sensory walk past towering redwoods and monumental firs in the New Forest National Park. Stroll beneath their fragrant branches, feel their thick bark and reach your arms around their massive girths. As you wander, look for roe deer, wild boar and New Forest ponies.

The route

  • 5.1km/3.2 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy

Map and route

Rhinefield Forest map

Seven Sisters, East Sussex

Seven Sisters East Sussex
Seven Sisters, East Sussex ©Alamy

At the National Trust hamlet of Birling Gap, the sea’s aroma sits strong in the air. From the top of the steps above the beach and its numerous rockpools, the views of the Seven Sisters and Seaford Head are excellent.Walk atop the magnificent chalky cliffs of the Seven Sisters in the South Downs, where kittiwakes and fulmars can be seen alongside Brimstone butterflies and flowering cowslips.

The route

  • 6km/3.7 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route


Horsey, Norfolk

Horsey Windpump
Horsey Windpump ©Getty

Enjoy a moderate circular walk around the village of Horsey in the Norfolk Broads National Park, discovering marshland, wild coast and grey seals.

The route

  • 8.7km/5.4 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Horsey, Norfolk map

Holkham Beach, Norfolk

Holkham Bay on the North Norfolk
Sunrise on a misty morning at Holkham Bay on the North Norfolk Coast ©Getty

Take a hike through creaking pinewoods, beside wildlife-rich marshes and along one of Britain’s most beautiful beaches on the North Norfolk coast.

The route

  • 7.7km/4.8 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Holkham map

Tegg’s Nose and Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire

Tegg's Nose, Cheshire
A Walker looking towards Macclesfield Forest with Ridgegate Reservoir and Shutlingsloe from Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Cheshire ©Alamy

Straddling the western border of the Peak District National Park is a patchwork of wild woods, flowering meadows, deep reservoirs and high crags – explore the area on foot with a 7.5-mile hike.

The route

  • 12km/7.5 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Route and map

Tegg's Nose map

Chee Dale, Miller’s Dale and Wye Dale, Derbyshire

Cheedale, Derbyshire
Cheedale, Derbyshire ©Neil Coates

Deep in the White Peak east of Buxton is a captivating area of countryside; a union of natural bounty and majestic engineering that together create a truly astounding landscape. Although it may have its challenges, this walk is readily accessible to all with a measure of agility and a sense of adventure.

The route

  • 6.8km/4.2 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Miller's Dale map

Chrome Hill, Derbyshire

Parkhouse Hill from Chrome Hill, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, England, UK
Parkhouse Hill from Chrome Hill, Peak District National Park ©Alamy

In this quiet corner of the Peak District National Park a turf-covered monster has lain sleeping for millions of years – discover the spectacular Dragon’s Back with this 6.5-mile hill walk.

The route

  • 10km/6.2 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Route and map

Chrome Hill map

Caer Caradoc Hill, Shropshire

Caer Caradoc Hill. Shropshire. England. UK ©Getty
Caer Caradoc Hill. Shropshire. England. UK ©Getty
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This moderate-level ramble takes you from the train station to the summit of Caer Caradoc and its ancient hill fort – thought to date from either the Iron Age or Late Bronze Age. It’s a stiff climb to the top, but one worth the effort for the spectacular views.

The route

  • 7.2km/4.5 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Caer Caradoc Hill map

Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire

Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve
Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve ©Getty

Take a walk through the historic Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve – one of the best examples of ancient woodland in Britain. The forest is best explored in the autumn months with a midway lunch stop at a traditional country pub.

The route

  • 7.4km/4.6 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Burnham Beeches map

Dimmings Dale, Staffordshire

Dimmingsdale, Staffordshire
Dimmingsdale, Staffordshire ©Getty

After a leisurely walk in Staffordshire’s captivating Churnet Valley, seek out an engaging tearoom haven cosseted by tranquil wildflower-rich forest.

The route

  • 6.2km/3.8 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Dimmings Dale map

Muker, Swaledale, North Yorkshire

Muker Meadows, North Yorkshire
Muker Meadows, North Yorkshire ©Dave Willis
In late spring, Swaledale’s hay meadows burst into life – a colour bonanza best absorbed after a cup of Yorkshire tea and a slice of cake. This splendid 7-mile circular route starts at Muker and follows the River Swale east to the village of Gunnerside. It’s a perfect spring walk but can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

The route

  • 11km/6.8 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Muker map

Rydal and Grasmere, Cumbria

Rydal Water, Lake District, Cumbria
Rydal Water, Lake District, Cumbria ©Alamy

On this six-mile walk in Wordsworth country, the Lake District’s autumn hues rival those of New England. But it’s just at picturesque in winter, spring and summer.

The route

  • 9.6km/6 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Rydal Water and Grasmere, Cumbria map

Roseberry Topping, Yorkshire

Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire (Getty)
Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire ©Getty

Towering above Newton Wood is Roseberry Topping. Yorkshire’s Matterhorn, as it is also known, sits in the far north-west of the North York Moors National Park. It’s thought that its iconic profile may have been caused by a mine collapse in 1912. Explore this landscape with an 8-mile circular walk.

The route

  • 13km/8 miles
  • 4.5 hours
  • Moderate/challenging

Map and route

Roseberry Topping map

Sycamore Gap, Northumberland

Hadrian's Wall above Steel Rigg
Hadrian’s Wall is a World Heritage Site in the beautiful Northumberland National Park. Popular with walkers along the Hadrian’s Wall Path and Pennine Way ©Getty

Embrace a romantic Roman hike along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland National Park before returning to the Twice Brewed Inn for a hearty pub feast.

The route

  • 4.1km/2.5 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Sycamore Gap and Peel Crags map