We may be small, and we may be rainy, but this little island of ours sure packs a scenic punch. And though the M6 on a grey morning may not be anyones cup of tea, we all have a favourite route into picturesque territory, don’t we? For many UK enthusiasts, this means lacing up the ol’ boot straps and heading out on foot. Whether you’re in it for the number on the pedometer or the pint at the end, we love hearing about how each and everyone of you nail your perfect UK hike.. That’s why we’ve asked a savvy bunch of UK fanatics to dish the dirt on their favourite routes! Ready? Okay, let’s go.
Anglezarke Circular Walk, Rivington.
By Chris, from Lancashire
Rivington Barn is a popular stop for those diving in for a cup of tea and hearty lunch, but on this occasion, we want it for the free parking. Once you’re out of the car, avoid the temptation of the cafe and follow signs for the Japanese
Gardens. After a look around at the beautiful relics of Lord Lever’s estate, you head up to Rivington Pike, with superb views down across the north west coast. You could stop the walk there, but I like to go on along Georges Lane towards Belmont – where, at the road junction, I follow the boundary wall to Great Hill. Walking down to White Coppice, you’ll find a lovely bit of old England, with a traditional village and vintage-looking cricket pitch. After that, you simply head south from the pitch toward the Anglezarke reservoir, and follow the reservoir back to the Great house Barn, where a well deserved meal awaits! It’s a long walk, but with moorland wildlife and stunning landscapes at every turn, it is definitely worth it.
The Lizard peninsula, Cornwall
By Harriet, from Surrey
My favourite place to walk is on the Lizard peninsula. A popular route with walkers is along the coast to Kynance Cove, however there are many gems to take in if you head out in the other direction. There is parking available on the green in the Lizard village; and from here you can take Lighthouse Road down to the coast. Once reaching the coastal path, follow it east towards Poltesco.
This route will take you past some wonderful spots including Housel Bay Beach, the RNLI Lifeboat Station, the Devil’s Frying Pan and the charming village of Cadgwith. Keep your eyes peeled for diverse flora and fauna as you walk along. Off the beaten track, before you reach Poltesco village, be sure to visit the derelict Serpentine Works. This old industrial spot is steeped in history and its secluded beach makes an ideal picnic spot before heading back to the Lizard. Rather than retrace your steps home, pack an OS map and navigate the winding lanes and footpaths back to the car. It’s a stunning route through picturesque countryside. A little more adventurous, but well worth brushing off the map for.
Shoreham to Plumpton, South Downs
By Alex, from Brighton
“Start at the station in Shoreham-by-Sea and head toward the River Adur, the start of the walk is flat as you follow the river before turning right and climbing up Mill Hill. You’re now following the South Downs Way to Plumpton; along the route you’ll see Brighton, Devil’s Dyke (it has a pub), Jack and Jill windmills and Ditching Beacon. You’ll also see lots of hikers, cyclists and vineyards down in the Sussex countryside below. As you reach Plumpton you’ll need to come back down off the South Downs Way to reach your reward – a pint in the Half Moon. Go for Harveys if you like ale, it is brewed in Lewes, just a short walk along the South Downs Way from Plumpton.”
By Helen, from Preston
“One of my favourite walks in the Lake District begins in the small village of Elterwater – a popular village with walkers meaning there’s ample parking with a large National Trust car park next to the Great Langdale Beck river. The walk begins following the river along the main walkway from the village, and soon the path opens up where fantastic views of the Langdale pikes can be seen. The path continues into woodland were you have the option to continue on the walk or take a short detour to view Skelwith Force, an impressive waterfall which is well worth seeing and a great place to get some waterfall shots. Returning to the original path, the walk continues through woodland and onto a farm track, which takes you to a small farmyard. Some cute, friendly chickens usually greet you, but be careful as they are after your picnic!
From the farm, you follow the path through fields & woodland to another impressive waterfall, Colwith Force, and beyond that a farm at Stang End and impressive slate quarry. The route soon takes you to the highlight of the walk – the Little Langdale Quarry, which is a bit of a hidden gem. After a short steep climb you reach the mouth of a tunnel, you will need a torch as it’s very dark and the floor is uneven and the roof is low in places. Following the tunnel you soon emerge into a deep crater, which is a spectacular sight, to the right hand side you can view Cathedral Cave. On my first visit I was amazed at the scale of the pinnacle, which seems to be holding up the entire cave. After you’ve taken your snaps, you can continue back to Elterwater village. Top the whole thing off with a lovely little pub called the Britannia Inn, which is always busy and worth a visit for a pint, or two!”