Easy walks near you: Enjoy a scenic stroll with 16 UK trails
Walking is a pastime many of us have been able to enjoy in the past year, even under coronavirus restrictions.
And while experienced hikers might be itching to return to lofty peaks, some of us may have only recently started walking for exercise or enjoyment.
If you don’t like to work up too much of a sweat when out for a stroll but are ready to go further than your own neighbourhood, here are some easy walks that make the most of the great outdoors.
In a recent survey, we asked 2,845 Which? members to rate walks across the UK. Walks were also judged on their difficulty, accessibility, scenery, wildlife and more.
Readers rated 16 walks as ‘easy’ on our difficulty scale.
Located across the whole of the UK, these walks are ordered by their overall rating. Some are short strolls, while others rack up miles but shouldn’t be too arduous otherwise.
Easy walk in the Lake District: Buttermere circuit
Distance: 4.5 miles
This was rated the best overall walk in our . The loop with just one gentle gradient to tackle was rated five out of five for scenery too. It’s easy to understand why when you clap eyes on the dramatic mountain scenery and stunning lake.
Easy walk in Cornwall: Botallack mine walk
Distance: 1 mile
A heathland walk along West Cornwall’s rugged coastline that will take you through the relics of Cornwall’s industrial past. It actually passes by the remains of the old tin mining works. It’s a short easy meander with great views out to sea.
Easy walk in Snowdonia: Mawddach Estuary
Distance: 9.5 miles
This winding route runs along a disused, mostly flat railway line and offers stunning views over the estuary. Look out for herons, mallards and curlews along the way, then wrap things up by sauntering across the iconic railway bridge into Barmouth.
Easy walk in Perthshire: Birks of Aberfeldy
Distance: 2 miles
This wooded gorge walk was ranked four out of five for peace and quiet, so you should find some tranquility here. The trek ascends steps to reveal several tumbling waterfalls, and passes by a natural rock shelf. This is where poet Robert Burns supposedly wrote the Birks of Aberfeldy - where the walk got its name.
Easy walk in The Trossachs: Loch Katrine
Distance: 13 miles
Wind through countryside and sections of woodland on this walk with views over Loch Katrine. It's a long but fairly flat walk, so just make sure you build up a bit of stamina if you’re used to shorter strolls. Pack a picnic and take a minor detour out onto Brenachoille Point, a grassy area perfect for lunch. At Trossachs Pier, catch a steamer back to the start in Stronachlachar.
Easy walk in the Lake District: Coffin Route: Ambleside to Grasmere
Distance: 4 miles
This sinister-sounding walk was once a route where bodies were taken to their final resting place. Thankfully, there are no coffins on this trail today. Instead you’ll find an uncrowded route - it was ranked four out of five for peace and quiet in our - and a mix of road, field and forest track with views out onto Rydal Water. Once in Grasmere, return by bus or double the distance and return the way you came.
Easy walk in North Yorkshire Moors: Grosmont to Goathland
Distance: 3 miles
This mostly downhill walk that follows the old Whitby-to-Pickering railway is easy on the legs. With fast-flowing streams, stunning Yorkshire countryside and shady woodland, it will keep family members of all ages engaged. There is a pub and sweet shop when you pass through the hamlet of Beck Hole - ideal for a pitstop. When finishing in Goathland, hop on the North York Moors Steam Railway back to the start.
Easy walk in South Lanarkshire: The Falls of Clyde
Distance: 6.5 miles
A walk that will lead you to 27-metre waterfall - Corra Linn - and onwards to Bonnington Linn, a horseshoe of waterfalls. Cascades and rapids aren’t the only thing to look out for on this walk though. Keep your eyes peeled for otters on the river banks as well as peregrines and kingfishers. It’s no surprise readers rated it four out of five stars for wildlife.
Easy walks in Norfolk: Wells beach and pinewoods walk
Distance: 4.5 miles
Starting in Wells, this fairly flat walk will take you past sand dunes, a 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, where fish and chip shops await to appease hungry appetites.
Easy New Forest walk: Rhinefield Ornamental Drive: Tall Trees Walk
Distance: 1.5 miles
Marvel at the imposing firs and majestic redwoods along this trail. Some of the larger species here are upwards of 50 metres. As you saunter along the gravel track, keep your eyes peeled for roe deer in the beech woodland, they are native to the New Forest. With the short length of the walk and plenty of picnic benches (don’t forget to pack your sarnies), it’s ideal for families.
Easy walk in North Yorkshire: Brimham Rocks circuit
Distance: 1 mile
The strange but impressive rock formations sculpted over millions of years are the highlight of this walk. It does, however, also offer impressive views out onto an area of outstanding natural beauty, Nidderdale (), as well as York and Harrogate. A short but fascinating amble in a site of geological and scientific interest.
Easy walk in London: Richmond Park: Tamsin Trail
Distance: 7 miles
This is no short spin around a park. The Tamsin Trail will while away an entire sunny afternoon as it will take several hours to complete. It has a good path and will offer glimpses of roaming deer, but does occasionally run parallel to the road. For an unspoilt view, find King Henry’s Mound near to Pembroke Lodge and you might be able to spot St Paul’s Cathedral in central London on a clear day.
Easy walk in Falkirk: Falkirk Wheel to The Kelpies
Distance: 4 miles
You may find yourself immediately stopping in your tracks on this walk to admire the Falkirk Wheel - an impressive rotating boat lift. From here you’ll follow the Elizabeth II canal winding through the outskirts of Falkirk until you reach the Helix Parkland, where you’ll be met by the sight of The Kelpies. The two horse head structures are 30-metres high and represent the heavyweight Scottish Clydesdale horses that were a key part of Falkirk’s industrious past.
Easy walk in Surrey: Leith Hill: woodland walk
Distance: 2.5 miles
Weave your way through this woodland trail where you might spot or at least hear nuthatches, coal tits and treecreeper birds. Halfway round you’ll find yourself in front of Leith Hill Place. From here you can take in the view over the parkland and even as far as the South Downs. In spring and early summertime, the Rhododendron Wood section will be in bloom and you’ll be met by a dizzying array of colour.
Easy walk in Denbighshire: Llangollen Canal path
Distance: 7 miles
This easy walk starts down on the grassy banks by Horseshoe Falls - a man-made weir - the perfect picnic spot. While gentle, you will need a head for heights on this almost seven-mile stroll, as it leads you along the UK’s highest navigable aqueduct. At 126-feet high, from up here you can enjoy breathtaking views out over the beautiful Dee Valley.
Easy walk in London: Regent’s Canal path
Distance: 9 miles
Stretch your legs on this lengthy walk that will take you alongside Regent’s Canal, away from the main hustle and bustle of city life. You’ll pass by King’s Cross, Camden Lock, as well as through Little Venice studded with narrowboats and water cafés. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might spot some birds in one of London Zoo’s aviaries, which can be seen from the canal path in Camden.