Julia Bradbury is without doubt the ruling heroine of our UK countryside. Champion, cheerleader and ultimate checker-outer, her current ITV show ‘Best Walks With a View’ shows her showing off such places as Dorset, the Dales, the Lakes, the Peak District and the South Downs. And it’s all in pursuit of the best UK walks. Naturally, we here at Snaptrip have not only the best cottages in these areas, but the cheapest too, with exclusive discounts for all our members. So if you want to follow in Julia’s footsteps and have a cosy bed waiting for you at the end of the day, then lace up your hiking boots and read on.
The Lakes: The Borrowdale Valley Walk
3 miles south of popular tourist town Keswick, Borrowdale Valley extends gloriously from the South shore of Derwentwater all the way to Honister Pass. In the area you can check out the Neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle, the most photographed bridge in all the Lake District over in Ashness, as well as John Ruskin’s favourite view point in the whole of the Lakes, Friars Cragg. Borrowdale Valley is described as having ‘rugged crags, inviting fells, old mine workings with wooded valleys with clean rivers’ and we couldn’t have put it better ourselves: a walk through this particular part of the National Park guarantees plenty of diverse terrain and superb views of Derwentwater.
Dorset: The Golden Cap Walk
The Golden Cap, a regal name for a simple South Dorset clifftop. That’s not to say it’s not spectacular; these cliffs are the highest point on the entire South coast of Britain and they’re both lovingly protected by the National Trust. Not that we fully understand the terminology, but this section of the UK famous Jurassic Coastline is made up of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations that span back approximately 185 million years into the Earth’s history. But what we do understand is the beauty of this Dorset coastline. The walk will take you through Seatown, a pretty beach hamlet from which it’s a 40 minute hike to the summit, and Langdon Wood, another National Trust owned piece of land with it’s own beautiful circular walk. Expect large boulders, fossils a plenty and a bare-all view of the English Channel.
The South Downs: The Birling Gap Walk
South Downs in East Sussex is famous for those stunning white chalk cliffs also known as the Seven Sisters, so what better than to explore them in one spectacular hike? And that’s just what the Birling Gap walk offers. The route is complete with cliff-walking, forest-trekking, beach-strolling, meaning this area has something for everyone. It also happens to pretty famous: the cliffs were briefly featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in the opening sequence of Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood blockbuster, as the site of tragic romance in the acclaimed Ian McEwan novel and film Atonement, as well as much of Ian McKellen’s Sherlock drama Mr. Holmes. On this smuggler route expect to see old wreckages and lighthouses, downland flowers and quaint hamlet churchyards.
The Dales: The Malham Cove Walk
The countryside around Malham is a beauty to behold. Situated up in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Malham is a small village at the Dales southern edge with a rich history dating back at least a thousand years to the Iron Age (it even gets a mention in the Domesday book!) with some remnants of that era still visible there today. And it’s another magical one – in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the wizarding trio camped in Malham Cove on the limestone pavement. It also featured some other of Malham’s natural attractions including Malham Tarn and the Gordale Scar. Malham Cove, the star of this event, is a huge curving amphitheatre shaped cliff formation of limestone rock, that reaches 260 feet high. The Gordale Scar, which you’ll also be seeing, is a huge gorge, that’s true size is only properly visible once you reach a certain point of the trail. Expect waterfalls – climbable waterfalls!