5 OF THE UK'S MOST EPIC NATIONAL TRAILS & LONG-DISTANCE HIKES
If you are looking for more than the average hike, why not consider tackling one of the UK's national trails or long-distance hikes? Not for the faint-hearted, they will take you to some of the most untouched corners of the UK and deliver some of the most breathtaking scenery along the way. There are plenty of long-distance routes to choose from, but these are our five favourites to inspire you to lace up those boots and get walking.
Skye Trail, Scotland
If jagged terrain and mesmerising otherworldly landforms sound like your kind of thing, you need to head to the Isle of Skye. The unofficial 128km/79-mile Skye Trail takes adventurers along the Trotternish Ridge (including the breathtaking Old Man of Storr) and underneath the incomparable stony backbone of the Cuillin Ridge. Experienced climbs and mountaineers can even enlist the help of a local guide to take on the Cuillin Ridge itself: a traverse which totals 12km with 4,000m of ascent. The challenge takes most people around 2 days, with 16-20 hours of climbing.
South West Coast Path, England
Most walkers will proudly say they've visited part of the awe-inspiring South West Coast Path - but far fewer can say they've completed it. This six-week hike stretches 1,014km/630 miles from Exmoor National Park in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset, but the highlight is undoubtedly the Jurassic Coast: 95 miles of cliffs, beaches and fossils which boast 185 million years of geological history. Coves, headlands, sea stacks and arches (including iconic Durdle Door) all await you on this epic trail along Britain's most striking and unique landscapes.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales
Skirting the shores of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, there are 299km/186 miles of wide beaches, limestone sea cliffs, sandstone coves and maritime wildlife to savour on this unforgettable two-week route. After an even bigger challenge? Take on the 1,400km/870-mile Wales Coast Path next.
Pennine Way, England
Britain's inaugural National Trail runs 431km/268 miles from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, passing through the sensational Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park on its way. This classic-for-good-reason hike takes in the South Pennines, Pen-y-Ghent and Great Shunner Fell in the Dales, High Cup Nick and Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and Hadrian's Wall and the incredible Cheviot Hills in Northumberland. Hilly and varied with plenty of campsites along the way, give yourself two to three weeks and take in this awe-inspiring trail.
Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland
The Cape Wrath Trail offers 321km/200 miles of remote, unmarked and challenging multi-day walking through the wild and mountainous Scottish Highlands. Starting in Fort William and ending on the cliffs of Cape Wrath, you'll bag Munros in Torridon, Knoydart and on the incredible An Teallach massif, where you can also take on some seriously epic scrambling. Want to up the pace? The 400km, eight-day Cape Wrath Ultra is the ultimate high-speed challenge, only to be attempted by those with top-notch map and GPS navigational skills.
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