England is absolutely full to the brim of hiking adventures. There are in fact so many hikes in England that when you first start researching you won’t be able to narrow them down. There are just too many that look totally epic. When the conversation on which hikes in England are best, everyone has an opinion and rightly so! Depending on what fitness level you’re at, what you want to see and how much time you have on your hands you’ll need to prioritise.
Whilst I was doing my own research on which hikes to tackle I came across a few repeat offenders. Hikes that everyone recommended. Whether they were day hikes or multi-day hikes, steep or flat, close to London or in the middle of a National park, there was something about them that made them a real show stopper.
Take a look below for my selection of the best hikes in England for all levels.
Classic Hikes In England For Every Adventurer
1 | The Seven Sisters Walk: Seaford To Eastbourne
Location: South Downs National Park in the South of England
Distance: 22.3 km
Highlight: The seven sisters themselves are worth the visit alone but everyone has a sweet spot for the white and red Beachy Head Lighthouse.
The Seven Sisters are a group of (7!) chalk cliffs on the Sussex Heritage Coast. Each peak has its own name, Haven Brow, Short Brow, Rough Brow, Brass Point, Flagstaff Point, Flat Hill and Baily’s Hill. As the cliffs are right on the sea, this 7-hour walk offers simply sublime views of the English Channel and coastline. It’s also really easy to get to from London with trains from Victoria to Seaford taking just under 2 hours.
2 | Discovering Tors In Dartmoor (Ten Tor Challenge)
Location: Dartmoor National Park in Devon
Distance: As long or as little as you like
Highlight: Wild camping and wild horses.
Planning a trip to Dartmoor has long been on my bucket list. I’m drawn to the promise of rambling, Tor spotting and wild camping. Dartmoor is famous for it’s Ten Tor Challenge with the official event supported by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and it looks like a strong challenge for any adventurer. You could easily do your research and build your own Ten Tor challenge around your own fitness level to test your navigation skills.
3 | The Yorkshire Three Peaks
Location: The Yorkshire Dales
Distance: 39 km
Highlight: The views, hull pot waterfall and seeing the train over Ribblehead Viaduct.
As the name suggests, this hike includes summiting three peaks in Yorkshire: Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. A lot of hiking lovers do this hike as part of The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge which involves hiking all three in one day and under 12 hours. I love the idea of doing this as part of an organised group to meet like-minded hikers. Check out The Three Peaks website here for more details.
Hiking The Highest Mountain In England
4 | The Ascent To Scafell Pike
Location: The Lake District in the North of England
Distance: Between 4-8 km depending on the route
Highlight: The views from the top!
The highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike stands at 978 metres tall and is part of the National Three Peaks Challenge where hikers summit the highest mountain in England, Wales and Scotland in 24 hours. An impressive feat.
The National Trust looks after the peak and there are a few planned routes to get you safely to the top. As you can imagine, this is a very popular hike. There are large groups that travel up and down the narrow paths every day in the warmer months so you’ll need to find your own pace. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t tag along to a group for some hiking banter. The best part about this hike is the views from the top. You’ll be able to see for miles and miles and miles!
Related Post: Top 10 Classic UK Hikes To Add To Your Bucket List (coming soon)
Hikes Near London
5 | Kew Bridge To Tower Bridge Along The Thames Path
Location: London & London Boroughs
Distance: 25 km
Highlight: London’s finest attractions, all with a view of the Thames.
If I had all the time in the world I would walk the full 294 km of the Thames Path just because I could. Sadly, time is of the essence these days so I’ve picked this 25 km edit that covers the final highlight, walking into London. I also genuinely believe this walk will have some of the finest pubs on the route. If you were looking for a slightly longer route you could start the walk at Richmond Bridge and grab a croissant to eat on the river side by the boats before setting off.
6 | The Chesham Valley Walk
Location: The Chilterns, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire
Distance: 10 miles
Highlight: The meandering River Chess
The Chess Valley Walk is a 10-mile linear walk from Rickmansworth to Chesham that takes between 4-5 hours to complete. It’s easily accessible from London and takes you along the River Chess in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. If you’re after views of rolling country hillsides and meandering through meadows filled with wildflowers, with a few country pub stops along the way, this one’s for you.
Related Post: Top 5 Hikes Near London (coming soon)
Day Hikes In England For Adventurers Short On Time
7 | Lewes To The Devil’s Dyke Along The South Downs Way
Location: South Downs in the South of England
Highlight: Spotting the Jack & Jill windmills and the pub at the end!
Full Guide: Lewes To The Devil’s Dyke Hike | South Downs Way
Adventures can be inspired by so many things. In this instance when I came across The Devil’s Dyke I was so intrigued by the name itself that I dropped everything, hit up Google and caught the next train to Lewes without delay. This is a fantastic walk through the beautiful English countryside with four key highlights including the old Lewes racecourse, windmills, Ditchling beacon and the Devil’s Dyke itself. Be sure to leave to time for a pint or two at The Devil’s Dyke pub at the end.
8 | The Lyndhusrt Loop – Walking In The New Forest
Location: The New Forest National Park
Distance: 14 km
Highlight: The tall trees and wild ponies.
The New Forest is an old beauty. With tall trees, tranquil walks and friendly wild horses you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the wilderness of Canda. There is plenty to do and see all over the New Forest but Lyndhurst is a great place to base yourself. With a fantastic sweet shop, fudge shop and plenty of tea rooms, you can easily pick up supplies for your walk. I highly recommend heading out from Lyndhurst to visit the Dead Tree Moor as well as the Tall Tree Trail. Expect to see plenty of wildlife including Deers. Stop off at The Oak Inn on your way back to Lyndhurst for a bite to eat in a charming country pub.
9 | Stanage Edge
Location: The Peak District
Distance: 9 miles
Highlight: Being able to recreate your finest Keira/Elizabeth moment
Although relatively short, this walk packs quite the punch. Not only will you be able to visit Little John’s, of Robin Hood fame, grave but you’ll walk past the house that reportedly inspired Mr Rochester’s house in Jane Eyre. On top of that, the views from Stanage Edge are momentous. Originally stretching from Sheffield to Hathersage you can still spot signs of the old Roman road that runs along the top of the cliffs where packhorses would carry Salt in medieval times.
10 | Fowey Hall Walk
Location: Fowey, Cornwall
Distance: 4 miles
Highlight: Birdseye view of the harbour through the trees
I’ve been to Fowey numerous times over the years and fall in love over and over again. It’s quite frankly charming and there’s so many outdoor activities to stick your teeth into you could easily setup base camp here for a week or two. The Fowey Hall Walk takes you across the harbour from Fowey into Polruan. Here the trail meanders through woodlands and up the hills to offer landscape views of the boats bobbing below on the water. Stop at The Old Ferry Inn before catching the ferry back to town.
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Multi-Day Hikes In England For The Seasoned Adventurer
11 | Coast To Coast Along Hadrian’s Wall
Location: Cumbria and Northumbria, below the Scottish border.
Distance: 84 miles
Highlight: Walking in the footsteps of the Romans and the Sycamore Gap
Coast to Coast walking surely doesn’t get better than this? Hiking from the North Sea to the Irish Sea along arguably Britain’s most famous wall for 84 miles. The hike takes roughly 7 days with the route offering up views of Solway Coast, Lake District, Northumberland National Park and the North Pennines. There are campsites along the way if you wanted to carry your own gear or you can arrange to have your kit picked up at each section and dropped of at your planned accommodation.
12 | The Norfolk Coast Path Walk
Location: East Anglia
Distance: 135 km
Highlight: Seaside villages and wildlife
Skirting the Norfolk coastline for 84 miles, The Norfolk Coast Path takes you from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea. You will need to plan your accommodation in advance for this one as the Norfolk Coastline, in general, is a popular holiday destination. Expect quaint seaside towns, the odd seal or two and plenty of fish and chips.
Related Post: Top 10 Multi-Day Hikes For The Ultimate Adventure (coming soon)
13 | The Ridgeway
Location: North Wessex Downs and The Chilterns
Distance: 139 km
Highlight: The white horses in the hillsides
Who wouldn’t want to walk ‘Britain’s Oldest Road’? This walk is packed to the brim with archaeological monuments as the road itself has been used since prehistoric times. To attempt it all in one go you’re looking at spending 6-days travelling, however, it can be easily broken up into short walks or circular walks if you were after a taster.
14 | The Jurassic Coast Path
Location: Devon to Dorset
Distance: 155 km
This 95 mile stretch of coastal path is part of the even longer South West Coast Path. Running from Exmouth to Devon, the Jurassic Coast Path was named the first Unesco World Heritage site in the UK. You are literally walking in Dinosaur (fossil) country here. Be sure to plan a bit of extra time for the Fossil Forest just east of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door just before and of course, fossil hunting along the entire route.
What are your favourite hikes in England?