Top 10 Best Beginner Hiking Trails in the UK
As a beginner hiker, it can be intimidating knowing which hikes to pick from. Leaping straight in picking the tallest mountain possible for the challenge is never a good idea, and there is a misconception that beginner hikes are too easy and boring. Well with this curated list of ‘Best Beginner Hiking Trails in the UK ‘ you can still be challenged but at a level more suitable for you, plus you can enjoy some beautiful views along the way and visit some historic locations. After all, how great does it sound to say you got to the top of the summit of one of the Yorkshires Three Peaks?
Its also highly recommend you read through our Hiking for Beginners Guide first before doing any of these trails as it includes very important information on the items you need when hiking as well as the basic rules you need to follow. It’s necessary to follow the guidelines for your safety so that you are as prepared as you need to be to do these hikes. With that, let’s look at some of our picks for the best beginner hiking trails you should attempt in the UK.
Beginner Hiking Trails Best Suited for Families
Burnham Beeches – Buckinghamshire
Well known for its beech trees and oak pollards – most of which are more than 400 years old – this short woodland walk is well-suited for families, especially with younger children. This is perhaps one of the most famous of our beginner hiking trails as for movie fans, Burnham Beeches may also seem very familiar as it’s been the home to quite a few filming locations, most noticeably providing scenes for some of the Harry Potter franchise as well as The Princess Bride, so keep an eye out for any recognizable spots.
Full of steep climbs to challenge young explorers and sights that are straight out of the Forbidden Forest itself this is the perfect place to get the whole family involved in hiking and one of the best perfect beginner hiking trails to try first.
Time it takes to complete: 1 hour
Mam Tor Circular Walk – Derbyshire
Another excellent pick in the category of family-friendly beginner hiking trails, Mam Tor, or ‘the shivering mountain’ is one of the most famous trails in the Peak District. Translating to the ‘Mother Hill’ this circular walk is known as one of the best in the country. Although it may be quite steep however it is fairly short so doesn’t provide much strain on you to complete. Full of historic sights and incredible views this is one of the best trails to do as your first hike to break you into your new hobby.
Time it takes to complete: 1-2 hours
Scotney Castle and Kildown Woods – East Sussex
For a hike full of scenes that seems straight from a fairy-tale, this picturesque location is perfect for you. The trail begins in the prettiest village where it will then take you through the Kildown woodland and by the lake towards Scotney Castle. Considered a good trail for all levels of hiker, and full of some of the most beautiful views it’s perfect for everyone.
A standout feature compared to the other beginner trails on this list is that Scotney Castle is also available to enter, but you have to pay if you aren’t a National Trust member. There’s also a shop and café to visit too so if you are wanting somewhere that provides a hike, as well as a fun day out for all this, is the perfect trail for you.
Time it takes to complete: 1.5 –2.5 hours
Best Beginner Hiking Trails for Nature and Wildlife
Roseberry Topping – Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
Easily recognized for its distinctive half- cone-shaped hill – often compared to that of the Matterhorn in Switzerland – Roseberry Topping provides a hike that is short but challenging. An important thing to note is that the trails can be very slippy and muddy when it has rained, so be sure to dress appropriately and keep an eye on the weather conditions before visiting. To truly experience the beauty of this walk it is probably best to visit during the springtime season as this is when the Bluebell Woods are in full bloom which is a sight you’ll want to witness if you can, and is one of the main reasons we included it on our list of beginner hiking trails!
Time it takes to complete: 2-3 hours
Tegg’s Nose- Cheshire
This is perhaps one of the best beginner hiking trails on our list for looking at wildlife and nature. Full of open moors, woodland paths, and, valley views, this hike is one for pure nature enthusiasts. Teggs Nose is home to diverse wildlife most notably its different species of birds. If you are interested in bird spotting, be prepared to see Canadian geese and grey herons in the reservoir, and at the exposed hilltop expect to spot kestrels and buzzards. The hill climb is gradual so isn’t too challenging, however, the main feature of this hike is the surrounding nature and wildlife.
Time it takes to complete: 2-3 hours
Yes Tor – Devon
As Dartmoor’s second-highest point, Yes Tor is a hike that you’ll want to brag about completing, despite being one of our beginner hiking trails. With good views and a lake nearby, this trail is sure to provide you with a more challenging experience than the previous hikes mentioned on this list. It is known to get steeper towards the top so be prepared to save energy until you reach that point. Also, while it is accessible all year round you need to keep in mind the weather forecast for when you visit as the difficulty of the hike increases in bad weather conditions.
Time it takes to complete: 2- 3 Hours
The Most ‘Bragworthy’ Beginner Hiking Trails
Pen Y Ghent – The Yorkshire Dales
Called the ‘mountain of the winds’, Pen Y Ghent is the lowest of Yorkshire’s famous three peaks and as such is the best one to tackle first. This is the most impressive of our beginner hiking trails due to its’s notoriety. Located in the Yorkshire Dales, this hike offers some amazing countryside views and scenery. The summit is known to be quite steep but is considered manageable for hikers of all levels and ages.
As this is the workplace of many farmers and landowners it is also vital you know and respects the countryside code, so it is something to be aware of before visiting here or any other farmland locations on your hikes, especially when taking dogs with you.
Time it takes to complete: 3 Hours
Ingleborough – The Yorkshire Dales
If you’ve already tacked Pen Y Ghent and want to try another Yorkshire Peak then Ingleborough is the next one to try. It is a very popular summit that is also accessible to different levels of hiker, which also makes it an excellent place for people looking to tackle some beginner hiking trails that are still impressive to complete.
Full of steep climbs and rugged terrain, you need to make sure you pick a good time to visit to make your hike as easy as possible, as the difficulty of the trail changes drastically in bad weather conditions. On clear days, Ingleborough offers some incredible views that make you feel as if you are on top of the world but due to the mist these views aren’t always guaranteed, again something to keep in mind before visiting.
Time it takes to complete 2- 3 hours
Catbells – The Lake District
One of the most popular fells to visit in the Lake District, Catbells is a short and steep climb most notable for the excellent views it offers of Keswick and the lake of Derwentwater. It is one of the most popular beginner hiking trails in the UK and it is at a low height compared to its surrounding mountains however will still make you feel like you’ve conquered great heights. It’s a must-do for anyone visiting the area, and don’t worry, there are no wildcats in the area despite the name.
Time it takes to complete: 3 Hours
Farfield Horseshoe – The Lake District
The last and most difficult in our selection of beginner hiking trails is Farfield Horse Shoe. Beginning and ending in Ambleside, this hike takes time however offers some extensive views of the Lake District, including Lake Windermere. Following this trail will take you to the top of many hills.
For beginner hikers, it is highly recommended you do this hike in the summer months as it is far less tricky. This is another hike you also need to pay attention to the weather beforehand as again bad conditions will affect the difficulty and safety of this hike. This hike is also much longer than the others on this list so you need to plan out food breaks, resting spots, etc in advance before beginning the trail especially if you are with others.
Time it takes to complete: 6-8 hours
Hopefully, our picks of the best beginner hiking trails gave you many options and have inspired you to get you and your family or friends out on a fun hiking day out in the UK.