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day hikes in the uk

The 10 Best Day Hikes in the UK

The UK is full of some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole world, from the traditional and quaint countryside to heather- full moorlands, beautiful coastlines, deep valleys, and majestic forests. It’s not surprising then that the majority of Brits love getting out in the fresh air for days out hiking. Whether you are a local Brit or are visiting the UK,  with this list of incredible day hikes in the UK, you will be able to take in all the wonderful sights, wildlife, and history each area has to offer and leave your worries behind for a day outside instead.

The Best Day Hikes in the UK


1. Scafell Pike Walk: Lake District, England 

day hikes in the UK

Doug Sim, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

As the tallest mountain in England (978m / 3209ft), Scafell Pike in the Lake District is challenging but is still one of the most popular day hikes in the UK. It is also well known for being part of the Three Peaks Challenge, including Ben Nevis (Scotland) and Snowdon (Wales), however is actually the smallest out of them. Having experience as well as planning and preparing for the hike beforehand is very important it is considered one of the most difficult hikes in the Lake District.

There are several routes you can choose from to get up to the summit of Scafell Pike, from Eskdale, Wasdale, Borrowdale, and Langdale. The easiest of these is heading out from the National Trust carpark at Wasdale Head and it is also the quickest route to choose from.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 3 – 4 hours


2. Worm’s Head Walk, Wales Coast Path


day hikes in the uk

Thisisstupid, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Worm’s Head Walk is one of the best family-friendly day hikes in the UK with good reason. Offering stunning coastline views and breath-taking scenery is classed as being easy to moderate, depending on the day and what sections you are tackling. Starting near the National Trust shop, this walk is best split into two parts, the walk across Rhossili Bay and then to Worm’s Head. This is because actually walking down to Worm’s Head across the Rhossili headland isn’t too long, however, you need to plan your walk and timetable accordingly as you don’t want to get stranded by the tide. Walking to Worm’s head from here can possibly take up to 2.5 hours on either side of a low tide.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 4 hours


3. Hadrian’s Wall, Northern England 


day hikes in the uk

photo by sonofgroucho @ Flickr

Following in the path of one of the most historic sites in England, Hadrian’s Wall, as well as going along part of the famous Pennine Way, this is one of the most history-filled day hikes in the UK. You can even visit two of the best-preserved Roman Forts in the country – Housesteads and Vindolanda, although you will need to add an extra couple of hours to the allocated overall hike estimated time for visiting them as well.  Walking alongside history like this is sure to take you back in time, as well as provide you with a fun and informative hiking day out.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 4 hours


4. Pen Y Fan, Corn Du and Cribyn, Wales


day hikes in the Uk


Pen Y Fan is the highest mountain in southern Wales, ranking at 886m above sea level, and as such is also one of the most popular destinations for hikers to attempt to tackle. That’s why we are suggesting this route as one of the best day hikes in the UK, as takes you along the less trodden on the southern side of Pen Y Fan, as a way to avoid the crowds.

This route starts and ends in the same spot near the Upper Neuadd Reservoir, making it a nice loop hike. Another bonus is you also get to take in two other iconic Welsh peaks in the area, Corn Du ( 873m) and Cribyn (795m), making it the perfect hike for those that are wanting to conquer as many peaks as possible.


Time it takes to complete day hike: 4 hours



5. The Glyders, Snowdonia, Wales


day hikes in the UK


The Glyderau, or the Glyders as they are better known as, are a mountain group in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales.  The mountains go along a long ridge which is close to the Snowdon area. The challenge of hiking the ridge is possible to complete in one day however once you are on the ridge there are limited ways to get back down so you need to be well prepared.

The ridge can be started from either Capel Curig or Nant Peris, however, keep in mind that whichever of the locations you chose to start from will affect your hike on that day. Depending on what the weather is like that day, or if you prefer having a steep uphill or gradual ascent.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 5 hours


6. The Seven Sisters – Southeast and East England


day hikes in the uk


The Seven Sisters is not a mysterious band name, rather the name of the series of chalk-white cliffs in England, which are the main spectacle of this day hike. These beautiful cliffs stretch from Cuckmere Haven to Birling Gap in East Sussex, with the best way to truly experience them is to walk along the coastal path from Seaford Beach to Eastbourne Pier. This hike is described as being of moderate difficulty, and with plenty of stops along the way to visit or grab some food, it’s hard to estimate an exact time for how long it should take.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 5- 7 hours


7. Loch Affric Circuit, Scotland


day hikes in the UK

© Copyright Julian Paren

This popular circular walk takes in the beauty of Loch Affric, which is classed as one of the most stunning lochs in Scotland. Situated 25 miles from the Southwest of Beauly, this freshwater loch is home to a variety of rare species and is a popular destination for not just hiking but also trout fishing. The scenery of Loch Affric may be quite familiar to you as it has been the backdrop location for many films including Detective Pikachu (we did mention it was home to rare species).

The entire circuit walk is around 12 miles, and the views you can expect to see on your hike are of local mountains, woods, and even a waterfall. It Is truly one of the most magical day hikes in the UK.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 5 – 7 hours


8. Snowdon Horseshoe, Snowdonia, Wales 


day hikes in the UK

Maverick Adventures, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Tackling the highest mountain in Wales is no easy feat however climbing up Snowdon gives you many routes to chose from, the one we are focusing on as one of the ‘best day hikes in the UK’ is the Snowdon Horseshoe. Named the Snowdon Horseshoe,  due to their horseshoe shape, are rings of ridges and peaks that are on the Eastern side of Snowdon.

This route is only for the true adventurers, it can be quite intense, it is steep and requires scrambling so if you are not a fan of that it’s probably not the best option for you. Being a more experienced hiker is also best, this is a trail you don’t want to be out of your depth on.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 6 – 7 hours


9. Ben More, Isle of Mull


day hikes in the UK

Dirk Elsthout, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ben More, translating to ‘big hill’ in Gaelic, is the second-highest mountain in Scotland and the highest peak on the Isle of Mull. It is also known as Ben More Mull since there are many, many Ben More mountains in Scotland. As with most mountains, it is a very popular destination amongst hikers, which also makes it an essential option to try out of our list of day hikes in the UK, as you don’t want to miss out on locations that everyone is going to.

Hiking up the mountain is possible for hikers of any experience as there are three different ways to climb Ben More which range in levels of difficulty, so you need to pick which is best suited for you. Do keep in mind however it is said to be full of very rough track, and can be rocky and steep in some parts so it is perhaps best to not be an absolute beginner to the world of hiking when considering this option as one of your day hikes in the UK.


Time it takes to complete day hike: 6 – 7 hours


10. Yorkshire Three Peaks, Pennine Range, England


day hikes in the uk

© Copyright Roger Templeman

With this selection as one of our best day hikes in the UK, we are giving you more or a challenging hike. The Yorkshire Three peaks challenge is no easy feat to accomplish, so this is truly for those high achiever hikers. Forming part of the Pennine Range, the Three Peaks;  Whernside, Ingleborough, and Pen-y-Ghent, encircle the valley of River Ribble in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They are perhaps most famous for forming the Three Peaks Challenge, which is where you attempt to tackle all three peaks in under 12 hours.

The full hike covers a distance of 37.5 km, almost a marathon distance, with Pen- Y- Ghent being said to be the easiest to climb, making it a challenging but inspiring one of our day hikes in the UK.

Time it takes to complete day hike: 12 hours



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