Walking holidays: Top 10 walks in the UK mapped – is one near you?

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Walking holidays: Jurassic Coast and West Highland Way among best UK walks – top 10 revealed

Walking holidays are an excellent way to explore the great outdoors this summer and see the UK at its finest.

Scottish endurance athlete and GP Dr Andrew Murray has visited over 100 countries but maintains that the UK is his favourite in the sheer diversity of places to walk and run.

“For me, the opportunity to have classic cliff walks, rugged mountains and thousands of years of history right on my doorstep is a reason to smile,” the 38-year-old told Express.co.uk.

Andrew, a brand ambassador for outdoor footwear company Merrell and supporting the launch of Merrell UK’s MQM walking shoe, has shared his 10 favourite UK walks, some well-known classics, and others hidden gems.

Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags (Edinburgh, Scotland)

At 251 metres, the extinct volcano of Arthur’s seat looms over Edinburgh, visible from much of the city. 

Walking holidays: Jurassic Coast and West Highland Way among best UK walks – top 10 revealed

Its central location means that walking to the summit will reward with panoramic views of the Firth of Forth, north towards the Kingdom of Fife and the mountains and south towards the Scottish Borders.

There are also superb vistas of city centre classics such as Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood and the Scott Monument which are guaranteed for fairly modest effort. 

A route incorporating Salisbury Crags is my favourite for a Saturday morning run.

The Giant’s Causeway (Northern Ireland)

The Causeway is another geologic wonder and Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO world heritage site. There are a variety of routes that can help you appreciate the interlocking basalt rocks and columns.  

The legend has it that a causeway was built to facilitate a fight between an Irish giant Finn McCool, and a Scottish Giant Benandonnar. This is a great short walk for adults and kids who will love the weird shapes and stories of giants. Good shoes are a must as the rocks can become quite slippy.

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Best UK walks: Dr Andrew Murray has visited over 100 countries but says UK is best for walking

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Walking holidays: The Giant’s Causeway is another geologic wonder and a UNESCO world heritage site

The Jurassic Coast (England)

The South West is an area of outstanding beauty and the temperatures are usually a little warmer than my native Scotland. There are outstanding cliff top walks, interesting rock formations and some good places for refreshments on the way. 

There are a large number of interconnected paths from a few kilometres, to much longer walks that can extend the Jurassic Coast, including the full 630 miles of the South West Coast Path National Trail.

Rhosneigr Circular Walk, Anglesey (Wales)

On my first visit to Anglesey, we were in the middle of a storm that brought 60mph gusts and torrential rain. The rain abated and the clouds lifted when I reached Rhosneigr and everyone cheered up, a chorus of birdsong broke out. 

I have revisited Rhosneigr several times since, and the smell of the sea, the sound of the birds and the Oystercatcher restaurant never disappoint.

The West Highland Way (Scotland)

The West Highland Way is billed as Scotland’s best loved long distance walk. Part of the beauty is that it offers something for anyone – starting in the city of Glasgow, progressing along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomand and then into the highlands. 

For the runners, all 95 miles of the main “Way” can be done in a day, alternatively you can break it up and bring a tent, or stay in the numerous accommodations on route. If that’s not enough, innumerable side trips up mountains including classics like Ben Nevis, and Buachaille Etive Mor are possible.

 

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Walking holidays: On the West Highland Way you can progress along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomand

The Golf Course (Various)

They say that golf is a good walk spoiled, but I disagree. It’s a great way to get your daily 10,000 steps (which we know has length of life, physical health and mental health benefits). 

In the UK many of the courses have a rich history, as well as the opportunity to spend time with friends, colleagues or family, connect with nature, and smack a small white ball as far as you can.

Carrick-a-Rede (Northern Ireland)

Up on the Causeway Coast, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge connecting the mainland with a small island was first built by salmon fisherman over 300 years ago. The wildlife can be spectacular in this part of the world – it is not unusual to see dolphins and even  basking sharks occasionally. 

It’s a spectacular short walk from the nearby visitor centre (that does a cracking cup of tea) or can be linked to a longer walk along the coast – the village of Ballintoy is a particular gem.

Loch Morlich circuit (Scotland)

Loch Morlich is easily accessible from the nearby town of Aviemore, at the base of the Cairngorm mountains. Its golden sands and surrounding pine forests make it one of the most enjoyable hour or two’s walking you can find, even if the peaks are covered by the clouds. 

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Walking holidays are an excellent way to explore the great outdoors this summer

There are good paths and signposting throughout and lots of opportunities to extend the walk should you wish. 

The Thames, London (England)

A 30 minute walk can make you more productive, give you time for yourself, and has also been shown to improve sleep. I spend a fair bit of time in the City, and there are plenty great things to see. A walk along the Thames, for example, can take in the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral.  

The John Muir Way (Scotland)

My favourite portion of this much longer trail is between Edinburgh and North Berwick. A perfect marathon distance, this is a training run that I must have done 100 times, and offers a comforting familiarity from the fishing boats to the bird reserve at Aberlady and my favourite spot for a coffee looking onto Bass Rock in North Berwick.

I often walk the beach at North Berwick with the family – if it were in Spain it would be mobbed, but there is usually plenty of space to wander along, and tell tall tales about sharks and pirates. 

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Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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