If you really enjoy long walks and more testing hikes, then the UK is a fabulous place to indulge in your favorite pastime. Even though relatively small as a land mass, the UK has some very diverse topology and can give the keen walker terrain that suits anybody.
From the mountains of Scotland to the flats of the Broads, the UK can offer something for everybody from serious hikers to families with small children. In this blog we look at some of the great walking trails in the British Isles.
Mourne Mountains – Northern Ireland
Start – Trassey Track car park
CS Lewis was a great fan of the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland and he one said I have seen landscapes, notably in the Mourne Mountains and southwards which, under a particular light, made me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.
Of course, Lewis was very biased about his native country, but he adored this part of the world. The trail is difficult in parts as it encompasses three peaks of this mountainous part of Ireland. They are Beanagh, Commedah and Slieve Donard.
The top of Commedagh offers splendid views of the High Mournes and you can even see the restless Irish sea from Bearnagh. If you take the Brandy Pad trail then you will be navigating on old smugglers track and passing in their footsteps.
Kerry Ridgeway – Welsh Borders
Start – Cider House Farm
Many long years ago, in this part of the world local farmers would give their livestock to drovers who would take them to the market towns of England just over the border. You can follow the same paths that the drovers and their entrusted livestock used to use.
This delightful ridgeline walk is spectacular and when the weather is clear a vista unfolds that is hard to beat. Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons right up to the Shropshire hills are all visible and clear to the naked eye. The trail follows an old bridle path from Powys to Shropshire and is over mixed terrain of heath, woodland and moorland. If you are lucky, whilst hiking you may see red-kites as there is a breeding and protection program in the area.
Tramway Trail – Cornwall
Start – Portreath
Cornwall was a busy and prosperous tin and copper mining area in the 19th Century, and the small ports of Portreath and Devoran were busy exporting the ore from the mines all over the world. This fantastic trail follows an eleven-mile route that the horse-drawn trams would have traveled in the mining heyday. The tramway was part of a larger network that now are known as Cultural Routes. This coast to coast hike is popular also with cyclists and uncovers many past reminders of the old mining heritage of the area.
The landscape includes many grassy glades and gentle woodlands as well as several minescapes that appear. These fantastic walks and hikes demonstrate the diversity of Britain’s landscapes. In part two we will venture even further afield to discover more of the great countryside and heritage that is to be found.