5 OF THE UK'S MOST EPIC NATIONAL TRAILS & LONG-DISTANCE HIKES

For true adventure this spring and summer, why not lace-up your walking boots and explore the most incredible, untouched and remote corners of Britain on our designated National Trails and unofficial long-distance walking routes? To give you some inspiration, here are 5 of the most epic thru-hikes that the UK has to offer.


Skye Trail, Scotland

 

For stunningly jagged, unforgiving and otherworldly landforms, look no further than the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. This unofficial 128km/79-mile trail takes walkers along the Trotternish Ridge (including the Old Man of Storr, pictured) and underneath the incomparable stony backbone of the Cuillin Ridge.

 

More experienced climbers and mountaineers can even attempt to traverse the Cuillin Ridge (with the help of a local guide). The traverse totals 12km with 4,000m/123,000ft of ascent. Finlay Wild currently holds the speed record – an insane 2 hours, 59 minutes and 22 seconds. The challenge takes most two days, with 16-20 hours of climbing.

South West Coast Path, England

 

England’s South West Coast Path stretches 1,014km/630 miles from Exmoor National Park in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Devon. The highlight of this six-week thru-hike is undoubtedly Devon and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast: 95 miles of cliffs, beaches and fossils which boast 185 million years of geological history. Coves, headlands, sea stacks and arches (including Durdle Door, pictured) make this one Britain’s most striking and unique landscapes.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales

Skirting the shores of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, there are 299km/186 miles of wide beaches, limestone sea cliffs, sandstone coves and maritime wildlife to savour on this stunning two-week route. If you enjoy the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, you can complete 1,400km/870 miles of Welsh shorelines on the epic Wales Coast Path.

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 will bag Munros in Torridon (pictured), Knoydart and on the incredible An Teallach massif (where there is also the option for some sensational scrambling).

 

If you want to tackle the route at a faster pace, there is always the 400km, eight-day Cape Wrath Ultra. Without waymarks, you need top notch map and GPS navigational skills to conquer this course at speed.

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 en route. This classic thru-hike includes 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.

The terrain is hilly and varied with plenty of campsites along the way. Give yourself 2-3 weeks to enjoy yourself.