Our Top British Walking Holidays
Experience the Great British outdoors with walks through the beautiful and unspoilt countryside, plus cosy, luxurious lodgings to slip off muddy boots and rest your head. By Charlotte Tottenham and the Wellbeing Team.
Hut Hideaway, South Wales
Brecon Beacons National Park is famous for the twin summits of Penfy Fan and Corn Du, which certainly promise a challenging and exhilarating hike. But there are also peaceful sun-dappled woods, cascading waterfalls and rolling hills to explore. A one-day walk starts at Crickhowell and takes in a towpath, mossy fairy woodland, gently sloping hills dotted with sheep, views of sheer granite cliffs and a vast cave with ceilings some ten-metres high, before winding along an old tramroad and descending back to the start. The national park can organise guided walks and also offers canoeing, abseiling, bird- watching, horse-riding and all sorts of other activities.
For accommodation that keeps you in the great outdoors, The Huts in the Hills is a group of shepherd’s huts in a tree-lined clearing near Hay-on-Wye, on the fringes of the national park. Each of its three huts has a double bed, wood-burning stove and power provided by a wind turbine and solar panels.
Aim High, West Scotland
Ideal for a week away, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is home to some of the highest peaks in the UK. Hike to the summit of 1,130m (3,707ft) Ben Lui or follow more leisurely, flatter trails along lochs and coursing rivers, with just the Highland cows for company. The national park authorities can recommend walks of varying length and difficulty and arrange for guides as well. For longer trails, the Three Lochs Way route shows o the beauty of the park and ends on the oak tree-lined shores of Loch Lomond, where you may spot otters hunting or a native red squirrel. By night, curl up next to a roaring fire at family-run farmhouse hotel, Monachyle Mhor, on the banks of Loch Voil. Retire to one of its stunningly restored rooms – each of which has been designed individually using local stone and slate, and some of which can even accommodate canine guests.
Rest and Revive, Cumbria
If the idea of a day walking in the sublime rolling hills of the Lake District, followed by yoga at dusk and a massage appeals, then a stay at Sunny Brow Farm near Outgate may be exactly what’s needed. Its self-catered cottages are nestled in the woodland of a 33-acre estate and are all cosy but well- equipped barn conversions, ideally located for day hikes. Walk up to the viewpoint of Esthwaite Water, or wander further afield to the banks of the iconic Lake Windermere and gaze out at the sailing boats as they tack back and forth.
The farm has a focus on holistic wellbeing and o ers retreat packages that include Reiki, yoga and wholefood cuisine, but it can also plan bespoke trips. These are available Monday to Friday or Friday to Monday for a long weekend, and events include everything from a dance weekend to woodland activities and foraging.
See the Sea, South West
The South West Coast Path tracks 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset, around the coasts of Devon, whipping around Land’s End in Cornwall and along to Poole Harbour in Dorset. And if that isn’t quite enough, extend your trek east along the New Forest to a ferry crossing to circle the Isle of Wight.
Many an intrepid walker has attempted the entire distance, but break it up into chunks. Pick a place that appeals; a dramatic walk of high-rise cliff edges on the rugged north coast, or a meandering wander along the gentler sands of the south.
The Linney (pictured) is an exceptional north coast barn conversion perched on the clifftop where Exmoor meets the sea. Situated between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe, you can strike out along the coast path in either direction before stomping off muddy boots in the cobbled courtyard on your return.
Or take the whole family to Barnell Cottage on the south coast and enjoy hillside views from floor to ceiling windows over this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A National Trust walking trail leads from the doorstep to the Jurassic Coast for endless walking in east Devon.