Top 10 Best Beginner UK Hiking Trails
As a beginner hiker, it can be intimidating knowing which hikes to pick from. Leaping straight in a picking the tallest mountain possible for the challenge is never a good idea, and theses a misconception beginner hikes are too easy and boring. Well with this list of ‘Best Beginner UK Hiking Trails’ 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. Its necessary to follow the guide for your safety and so that you are as prepared as you need to be to do these hikes.
Best Beginner UK Hiking Trails
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. 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 recognisable spots.
Full of steep climbs to challenge young explorers and sights that seem straight out of the Forbidden Forest itself this is the perfect place to get the whole family involved interested in hiking.
Time it takes to complete: 1 hour
Mam Tor Circular Walk – Derbyshire
Another excellent family friendly hike, 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 its perfect for everyone.
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
Roseberry Topping – Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
Easily recognised 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 definitely want to witness if you can.
Time it takes to complete: 2-3 hours
Tegg’s Nose- Cheshire
Full of open moors, woodland paths and valley views, this hike is the 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 hill top expect to spot kestrels and buzzards. The hill climb is gradual so isn’t too challenging, however the main feature of this hike is definitely 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. 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
Pen Y Ghent – The Yorkshire Dales
Called the ‘mountain of the winds’, Pen Y Ghent is the lowest of Yorkshires famous three peaks and as such is the best one to tackle first. 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 respect the countryside code, so it 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 Ingelborough is the next one to try. It is a very popular summit that is also accessible to different levels of hiker. 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 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
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 hill. 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 ect in advance before beginning the trail especially if you are with others.
Time it takes to complete: 6-8 hours