Choosing a favourite national park walk is a bit like trying to choose your best Desert Island Discs. Everyone has their favourites and it’s a challenge to narrow down the list, but we tried..
Our top 15 national park walks – and one chosen by you!
The boardwalk is easily accessible by wheelchair and takes you on a journey of discovery into a lost world which has remained isolated for half a century. The mystery trail leads through wildlife-filled wet woodland, emerging to give a view over the broad
Experience the majestic Douglas firs and redwoods of the New Forest. Many date back to 1859 when it was the vogue to grow exotic trees. The Blackwater Arboretum houses a beautiful collection of trees from many countries and the sensory trail encourages you to touch, smell and listen to the sound of the trees.
Aysgarth Falls is a spectacular stretch of water in Lower Wensleydale. The tree-lined River Ure drops over a triple flight of waterfalls seen in the 1991 film Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves. The walk takes you through a local nature reserve, home to red squirrels, roe deer and dormice. It’s an accessible route suitable for people who are less mobile or families with buggies.
Take the water bus from Balmaha to an island known as the ‘jewel in Loch Lomond’s crown’. You’ll find history, legend and unspoilt nature on the island. Take one of two paths – the low path, a gentle woodland walk or the summit path, a steeper climb (each take 30 to 45 minutes) – but don’t forget to stop and enjoy the view.
Anagach Woods surrounds the highland town of Grantown on Spey and offers some of the finest low-level walking in the highlands. All routes are clearly marked and walks range from 1 – 4 hours long. You may be lucky enough to see capercaillie, crossbills or red squirrels.
The Postbridge walk is a six-mile circular walk from Postbridge Information Centre and includes far-reaching views from Hartland Tor, historical remains from Dartmoor’s industrial past and a stunning waterfall. This walk is available with audio guide including music by Dartmoor folk musician, Seth Lakeman.
This is a five-mile walk beginning in the pretty village of Combe Martin which is well-known for its rocks, minerals and remains of past mining as well as its beach. This hill and valley walk also offers stunning views from the headland at Great Hangman, Britain’s highest sea cliff.
On this invigorating four-mile walk in the wild and wonderful Cheviot Hills you may be lucky enough to hear skylarks or spot red kites. Throw in great views a taste of history and you’ve got the flavour of this walk. Look out for the remains of two Bronze Age burials at Turf Knowe and of four hut circles on Cochrane Pike.
Enjoy the national park in a nutshell on this 11-mile walk through some of the North York Moors’ most characteristic landscapes. From the craggy heights of Ravenscar the route runs across Howdale Moor for some classic moorland scenery before dropping down to the old Scarborough-to-Whitby railway line and along to the famous smugglers’ haunt of Robin Hood’s Bay.
The Ullswater Way is a new 20-mile walking route – around what many believe to be England’s most beautiful lake. It connects the spectacular scenery along the shores of Ullswater with the picturesque villages and attractions, meaning visitors can enjoy even more of this special corner of the Lake District. And the Ullswater steamer means you can walk some of the route and get the boat back!
You don’t have to do the whole 186-mile long Pembrokeshire Coast path to get a flavour of the breathtaking coastal scenery on offer – but imagine the satisfaction of completing this awesome National Trail which also offers fabulous wildlife and marine life (seals, anyone?).
This seven-mile route up Snowdon isn’t for the faint-hearted! This is the most rugged and challenging of the six paths up Snowdon, which leads along the foothills of Crib Goch. The route up Crib Goch itself and along the ridge is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by novice walkers. It takes around six hours.
A nine-mile walk from the village of Hathersage up the Stanage Edge and back, this walk offers superb views of the Derwent and Hope Valleys, Mam Tor and Kinder Scout.
The South Downs Way is a 100-mile long National Trail lying in the South Downs National Park. Walking this exceptional route from Winchester in the west to Beachy Head at Eastbourne offers views of some of the finest landscapes in Britain.
The 95-mile Beacons Way offers beautiful scenery – the ruins of Llanthony Abbey and the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal – and challenging summits including Pen y Fan (886m) and Corn Du (873m). It continues on into the less well-known, but equally dramatic Western Beacons. The walk is divided into eight sections taking eight days to complete.
This is a walking destination, rather than a single walk.
It was nominated by National Parks UK Facebook fans and Twitter followers as a favourite mountain to climb – and there are (lucky you!) six ways up to choose from, including the Pyg Track (see above). It’s tough going, unless you cheat and take the train, but worth every bit of effort. Happy trails.