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5 January 2021

Find the best UK walks near you

Keen to explore your local area on foot? We reveal top rated routes by readers nationwide, assessed walks for their scenery, wildlife, accessibility and more
LB
Lauren Bell

Whether a scenic stroll or gentle amble is more your style, with coronavirus restrictions still in place, it’s likely you’ll need a breath of fresh air on a local walk this holiday.

We asked 2,845 Which? members to rate more than 50 of their favourite walks across the UK and found that those offering peace, quiet and stunning scenery were most popular.

Some of the best-known walks however didn’t score as highly as you might think, including the Ben Nevis mountain path and Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat.

Instead it was two walks in the beautiful Lake District that stole the top two spots.

Although you might not be able to travel too far due to restrictions there are plenty of well-rated walks all over the UK. Find the best walk near you below.

Walk Difficulty (out of 5) Distance (miles) Accessibility Peace & quiet Places of interest Scenery Wildlife Visitor facilities Walk score
Buttermere circuit, Lake District (E) 1 4.5
88%
Helvellyn, Lake District (E) 5 9.5
87%
Rhossili Headland, Gower (W) 2 3.5

87%
Solva to St Davids, Pembrokeshire (W) 2 4.5

87%
Anstruther to Crail, Fife (S) 2 4

86%
Botallack mine walk, Cornwall (E) 1 1

****



86%
Craster, Dunstanburgh & Low Newton circuit, Northumberland (E) 2 6
****



86%
Old Man of Coniston, Lake District (E) 4 6
****



86%
Ben Lomond, Argyll and Bute (S) 4 7.5
****



85%
Dunseverick Castle to Giant's Causeway, County Antrim (NI) 2 5 -
85%
High Force & Low Force, Durham Dales (E) 2 5
85%
Housesteads to Steel Rigg, Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland (E) 3 8
****



85%
Mawddach Estuary, Snowdonia (W) 1 9.5



****



85%
Beddgelert and Aberglaslyn walk, Snowdonia (W) 2 5
83%
Birks of Aberfeldy, Perthshire (S) 1 2

83%
Cat Bells, Lake District (E) 3 3
83%
Golden Cap, Dorset (E) 2 3



****



83%
Lizard Peninsula circuit, Cornwall (E) 3 8



****



83%
Seven Sisters, South Downs (E) 3 4.5

****



83%
Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay, North York Moors (E) 3 7

****



83%
White Cliffs of Dover to Deal, Kent (E) 3 10
83%
Loch Katrine, The Trossachs (S) 1 13



****



82%
Old Harry Rocks circuit, Dorset (E) 2 10
****



82%
Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye (S) 3 2 -
- 82%
Stanage Edge, Peak District (E) 3 9
****



82%
The Needles & Tennyson Down circuit, Isle of Wight (E) 2 4.5


****



82%
Coffin Route: Ambleside to Grasmere (E) 1 4


81%
Grosmont to Goathland, North York Moors (E) 1 3
81%
The Falls of Clyde, South Lanarkshire (S) 1 6.6
80%
Mam Tor, Peak District (E) 3 6.5
79%
Pen y Fan & Corn Du, Brecon Beacons (W) 4 4
79%
Scafell Pike, Lake District (E) 5 7
79%
St Ives to Zennor, Cornwall (E) 3 12
79%
The Skirrid, Monmouthshire (W) 4 4
79%
Wells Beach & Pinewoods Walk, North Norfolk (E) 1 4.7
***



79%
Worcestershire Beacon Circuit, The Malverns (E) 2 3
***



79%
Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh (S) 2 3
***



78%
Bronte Way: Bronte Waterfalls & South Withens Walk, West Yorkshire (E) 2 8
***



78%
Rhinefield Ornamental Drive: Tall Trees Walk, New Forest (E) 1 1.5
78%
Flatford & Constable Trail, Suffolk (E) 2 7

76%
Brimham Rocks Circuit, North Yorkshire (E) 1 1

75%
Dovedale to Milldale, Peak District (E) 2 3

75%
Richmond Park: Tamsin Trail, London (E) 1 7

75%
Ben Nevis (mountain path), Highlands (S) 5 10
74%
Falkirk Wheel to The Kelpies, Falkirk (S) 1 4
74%
Hindhead Common & The Devil's Punchbowl, Surrey (E) 2 3.5
74%
Devil's Staircase: Altnafeadh to Kinlochleven, Highlands (S) 5 6 -
- - 73%
Leith Hill: woodland trail, Surrey (E) 1 2.5
73%
Llamberis Path up Snowdon, Snowdonia (W) 5 9
73%
Llangollen canal path, Denbighshire (W) 1 7
73%
Regent's Canal, London (E) 1 9
69%

USING THE TABLE: E England, W Wales, S Scotland, NI Northern Ireland. Difficulty rating where 1 is easy and 5 is for experienced walkers only. Star ratings from one to five. Based on a survey of 2,845 Which? members in September 2020. A dash (-) means too few responses to give a rating in that category. Accessibility How wheelchair, pram or buggy friendly the walk is.Wildlife Opportunities for spotting animal life, including facilities such as bird hides. Walk score is a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend a walk.

Best walk near you in North West England: Buttermere Circuit, Lake District

The combination of a rippling silver lake and dramatic mountains is hard to beat, and Buttermere delivers both in spectacular style. It’s no wonder it scored five out of five for scenery in our survey.

This walk is an easy circular stroll around the lake’s perimeter with only a gentle gradient to tackle followed by a pleasant descent. Nevertheless, it’s got variety. You will pass tumbling becks, wander through woodland, navigate a short rock tunnel and stop frequently to admire shifting views of the fells. You might even see sandpipers nesting on the lakeshore. 

Little wonder then that this walk rated as your favourite overall, too.


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Best walk near you in North East England: Craster, Dunstanburgh and Low Newton, Northumberland

This circular route to Low Newton-by-the-Sea and back is great for stomping along, a dog at heel, breathing in the crisp North Sea air. 

Along the way, there are rock pools, wading birds in large numbers and Second World War concrete bunkers to explore. Whilst Dunstanburgh Castle, perched on a rocky crag overlooking Embleton Sands, gives this walk a cinematic quality, like a backdrop to a historic saga.


This walk is based in area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), Northumberland. See how this AONB was rated in our survey


Best walk near you in Yorkshire and Humber: Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay, North York Moors

Setting off along the Cleveland Way from Whitby, you’ll climb the 199 steps to the Abbey ruins before stepping on to the clifftop path to Robin Hood’s Bay.

The moderately undulating walk is easy to navigate (keep the sea on your left) and offers huge ocean views further along, before descending into the once-thriving fishing port of Robin Hood’s Bay with its teeming rock pools, narrow streets and cosy harbourside pubs. 

Best walk near you in South West England: Botallack Mine, Cornwall

At the heart of this walk along West Cornwall’s wild coastline are The Crowns – the engine works of a former tin mine. Now abandoned, they rise tall above the Atlantic Ocean; a remarkable feat of engineering (as seen in BBC’s Poldark). This was once where 340 men worked in tunnels stretching under the sea. 

Now the relentless clamour of the mines has been replaced with the whistle of the wind over heathland and rare flowers. This short and straightforward walk takes you through the relics of Cornwall's industrial past and into its conservation-aware present.


When we can travel again, you could stay in a nearby seaside town to Botallack – see our best-rated seaside towns survey to help you pick


Best walk near you in South East England: Seven Sisters, South Downs 

The seven distinct hilltops of the Seven Sisters, sliced through and eroded by constant bashing from the English Channel, form the South Downs’ most famous walk. It’s been rated four out of five stars for scenery and it’s easy to see why.

This clifftop hike takes you on a rollercoaster path along the coast. It continues along the meandering Cuckmere River valley (or you could turn left to the pebble beach) before ending at the Seven Sisters Country Park Visitors Centre, formerly the ancient village of Exceat.

Best walk near you in East of England: Wells beach and Pinewoods Walk, North Norfolk

This walk might not have come close to the top of the table, but it was still well-rated with a 79% visitor score. It’s worth a visit if you live nearby.

Starting in Wells, this easy and fairly flat route (ranked just one out of five for difficulty in our survey) will take you past golden sand dunes, a bustling harbour and through tall pine trees in woodland.

Once half-way, the mile-long beach is ideal for a picnic lunch and dip in the sea in summertime before looping back to Wells. In winter, you can lunch in the beach café, or head to one of the fish and chip shops once back in the town after working up an appetite.

Best walk near you in the Midlands: Worcestershire Beacon Circuit, The Malverns

Admittedly, it was the only walk in the Midlands in the survey and it didn’t rate too highly in each category, but it did score a decent overall score. Still, it’ll help shake off the cobwebs and will provide magnificent views thanks to being the highest point in Worcestershire.

A maze of grassy paths will take you up to the aptly named beacon. When you’re finished gazing out over Malvern, you’ll descend into a woodland – giving the walk a bit of variation.

Best walk near you in Northern Ireland: Dunseverick Castle to Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim

The extraordinary sight of 40,000 basalt columns at the end of this walk is a justified reward for the number of steps you have put in. It’s no wonder our readers awarded it five out of five in the scenery and places of interest categories.

The well-maintained route begins at the ruins of Dunseverick Castle and continues over seabird-rich cliffs, dramatic bays and headlands, passing National Trust-managed farmland brimming with wildlife and flowers. 

Weir’s Snout, the final headland, offers the first view of the Causeway before a descent down the 162 Shepherd’s Steps. 

Best walk near you in Scotland: Anstruther to Crail, Fife 

Grab takeaway lobster rolls from Crail harbour before setting off on a comfortable saunter from one fishing village to another. Between them lie rocky coves and butterscotch-coloured beaches, inspiration to the many artists who live in Crail, which is oil-painting-pretty itself.

Part of the Fife Coastal Path, the walk is clearly waymarked leaving your mind free to enjoy views across the Firth of Forth to the Isle of May’s basking grey seals, and Bass Rock, home to a colony of sea-bombing gannets. 

Best walk near you in Wales: Rhossili headland, Gower 

The shipwrecked ‘Helvetia’ emerges at low tide on the beach at Rhossili and is clearly visible as you walk past. The remains of the cargo ship are a reminder of the powerful tides that pound the headland and shift the sand along the coast in winter. 

It’s an equally exhilarating, if slightly less dramatic, walk in summer, with sparkling views of the sea and Worm’s Head promontory. 

The short circular route follows the sweeping, four-mile, sandy beach before heading back across the clifftop. Several pubs and cafés en route offer hearty food to power you on, hence the five-star food and drink rating. 

Gower ranked in the top ten AONBs in our survey – find out what beat it