The UK’s best-reviewed walking routes
One of the greatest things about Great Britain is the array of world-class walking routes and destinations on its shores and the sheer variety of walks available. From mountains to moors to country parks, beaches, and more, the UK truly is Made for Adventure.
More of us than ever before have embraced getting our walking boots & hiking gear on and exploring the UK by foot in the last year or so, but which are the country’s most beautiful routes, according to those who have walked them?
To find out, we’ve turned to Tripadvisor, analysing how many times some of the nation’s favourite walks have been reviewed as “beautiful”, “pretty” and “picturesque”. Note that we’ve looked at walks of all types and lengths, including everything from short ambles on the beach to challenging hikes!
1) Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh
1,671 beautiful walk reviews
Taking the top spot is a proper hill walk which just happens to be located right in the heart of one of the country’s biggest cities, Arthur’s Seat, in Edinburgh. This ancient volcano is the tallest of the peaks which make up the city’s Holyrood Park and was famously described by Robert Louis Stevenson as: “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design". Located around a mile from the city centre, the walk to the summit is a fairly easy one and rewards you with panoramic views of Scotland’s capital and beyond and over 1,600 people have described this walk as either “beautiful”, “pretty” or “picturesque”.
2) Giant's Causeway, County Antrim
1,370 beautiful walk reviews
In second place is a route that allows you to walk in the footsteps of giants, the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. This area of around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and in the shadow of the cliffs of the Causeway Coast has become the stuff of legend and has inspired artists and been used as a filming location for well-known films and TV shows such as Game of Thrones. The causeway is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to walk these natural stepping stones.
3) Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
1,204 beautiful walk reviews
You don’t necessarily need to leave the city to find a great walk and there are fewer better examples than one of the greatest pieces of engineering in the UK, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the Avon Gorge from Bristol to Somerset. The bridge itself is a Grade I listed building and while it’s an iconic sight in its own right, the walk across it gives you some incredible views over the gorge and the River Avon. Once you reach the other side, you can continue your walk through the leafy Leigh Woods Nature Reserve before heading back over to the grand Georgian townhouses of Clifton.
4) Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Yorkshire Dales
1,109 beautiful walk reviews
This circular trail starts and ends in the small Yorkshire Dales village of Ingleton which runs right along the side of the rivers Twiss and Doe, providing spectacular views of the various waterfalls along the way. The trail itself is five miles long with a vertical rise of 554 feet and while it may not be as well known as some of the other walks on our list, the scenery has clearly resonated with visitors, with over 1,100 reviews praising its beauty. (Do note however that the trail is on private land, so visitors have to pay a fee, currently £8 for adults and £4 for children.)
5) Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
1,063 beautiful walk reviews
Another walk that has begun to rapidly increase in popularity after being a relatively well-kept secret is that up to the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye. This natural waterfall phenomenon situated in Glen Brittle is known for the vivid crystal blue hue of its water, as well as the various wildlife that frequent the area and it’s only a twenty-minute or so walk up from the Glen Brittle car park. If you’re feeling particularly brave, many choose to take a dip in the icy waters when they reach the falls themselves!
We took a list of well-known walks in the UK from sources such as Condé Nast Traveller, Culture Trip and the National Trust’s 100 favourite walks. From here, we analysed the number of Tripadvisor reviews for each walk which contained the words, “beautiful”, “pretty” and “picturesque”, before taking a combined total number of reviews to reveal our top 50.
All figures are correct as of June 2021.
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