Walking Routes in England
England is covered with hundreds of well signed walking paths and trails passing through some of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the country.
We have organised these routes by county with an overview map also available.
Please use the links below to view the currently mapped routes.
|County||No. Routes||County||No. Routes|
|Isle of Wight||17||Kent||97|
National Parks, AONB and Other Regions Walking Routes
|Park/AONB||No. Routes||Park/AONB||No. Routes|
|Forest of Bowland||12||Howardian Hills||7|
|North Downs||16||North York Moors||36|
|Northumberland National Park||14||Peak District||109|
|South Downs||43||Surrey Hills||24|
Latest Walking Routes
|Brixham to Dartmouth||9 miles (15 km)||Enjoy a coastal walk between these two popular towns in Devon. The walk follows an undulating section of the South West Coast Path with some splendid cliff top views. It's about a 9.5 mile walk so perfect for a day's hike.|
Starting at the marina in Brixham the path heads around Berry Head where you can enjoy a variety of flowering plants and look out for Guillemots on the cliffs.
The path continues to Durl Head and around the beautiful St Mary's Bay to Sharkham Point Nature Reserve. The pretty reserve is fantastic for wildlife with ospreys in the skies above and dolphins in the beautiful turquoise waters below.
You continue south to Southdown Cliff and Crabrock Point before coming to the lovely Scabbacombe Sands. Shortly after you come to another real highlight of the walk at Coleton Fishacre. The National Trust owned site has beautiful gardens full of rare and exotic plants.
After exploring the gardens the route heads to Froward Point where you will find a busy National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) lookout station. Watch keepers here have recorded sightings of seals and other aquatic mammals so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you round the point.
The final section of the walk runs to the pretty village of Kingswear on the River Dart. You'll pass the 15th century Kingswear Castle before coming to the village where you can catch the ferry across the river to Dartmouth.
To extend your exercise you can explore Dartmouth and the Dart Estuary on our waterside walk. You could also head north and visit Dittisham using a section of the Dart Valley Trail long distance path.
|Torquay to Babbacombe||6 miles (9.5 km)||This is a popular coastal walk from Torquay to the lovely Babbacombe Downs. It's about a 6 mile hike along an undulating section of the South West Coast Path. The route is fairly flat but there are some moderate climbs so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Along the way there's wonderful cliff top views, pretty beaches and some nice woodland sections. |
At Babbacombe you'll find the Babbacombe Model Village, a pretty cliff top green and the Babbacombe Cliff Railway which will take you down to the attractive Oddicombe Beach. You can either return the same way or catch the bus back to Torquay.
The route starts on Corbyn Beach in Torquay, just a short hop from the train station. You head east along a pretty stretch of the English Riviera, passing the Grand Hotel and the marina with its rows of boats and yachts. You continue past Meadfoot Beach to the headland at Hope's Nose. Here you will find an area of geological significance with limestone rocks, lots of fossils and great views.
From Hope's Nose you turn north to Black Head before passing along the lovely Babbacombe cliff top path with well laid out gardens and more great views.
To extend the walk you can continue north to Maidencombe and Teignmouth, where you can enjoy a riverside walk along the River Teign. If you head along the other coast you can visit Paignton and Brixham on the Torquay to Brixham Walk.
Also in Torquay is Cockington Country Park with its ornamental lakes, woodlands and formal gardens.
|Dawlish Sea Wall||2 miles (3 km)||Follow the sea wall from Dawlish to Dawlish Warren on this lovely coastal walk. The sea wall runs right alongside the train line with the beach on the other side. It's about a 2 mile walk on a very flat section of the South West Coast Path, so ideal for a nice easy afternoon stroll.|
The walk starts on the front in the seaside resort of Dawlish. The attractive town has a nice beach and a pretty park through which Dawlish Water flows. It's also known for its black swans, introduced from Western Australia, which live with other exotic waterfowl in a small urban sanctuary on Dawlish Water. The town is easily accessible with a train station on the Exeter to Plymouth line.
The walk heads north east along the sea wall with views of the red sandstone cliffs which characterise the area.
At the end of the walk you will find the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve which is an excellent place for birdwatching on the Exe Estuary. Here you can look out for little egrets, herons, kingfishers, reed buntings and peregrines.
The resort also has a number of nice cafes and restaurants for refreshments at the end of your walk.
There's great scope for extending your walk if you have time. You could pick up the Teignmouth and Dawlish Way and head through the countryside to the nearby town.
At Dawlish Warren you can pick up the Exe Valley Way and head north into Exter along the Exeter Canal and the River Exe.
|Keswick Circular Walk||5 miles (8 km)||This circular walk from the popular town of Keswick takes you to some of the highlights of this beautiful area of the North Lakes. There's easy lakeside paths, woodland trails and climbs to the hills above Derwentwater. It's quite a challenging 5 mile walk but with great views over the lake from the high points.|
The walk starts from the car park next to the tourist information centre and the theatre near the lake. From here you can pick up a footpath heading south along the lake to Friar's Crag. It's a gentle climb to a lovely viewpoint overlooking the lake. You'll also find a memorial to John Ruskin, the leading English art critic of the Victorian era.
Continue south along the lake to Calfclose Bay where you turn left and climb to Walla Crag. There's some nice woodland trails through Great Wood and splendid views towards Skiddaw from the 379 m (1,243 ft) high point of the fell.
The route then descends to Castlerigg with lovely views of the Brockle Beck in this area. Around here you also have the option of taking a short detour to the Castlerigg Stone Circle. It's a fascinating site which dates from 3,300 to 900 BC, during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages.
The final section of the walk takes you through Castlehead Wood where there is another nice viewpoint. You then pass Cockshot Wood and return to the finish point back at the car park. Here you can enjoy refreshments at the lakeside cafe which has outdoor seating and views towards the lake.
There's lots of great options for extending your walking in the town but the most popular is the climb to Catbells. It's about a 4 mile hike from the car park with views of the River Derwent and the surrounding fells. See the Catbells from Keswick Walk for full details.
|Knipton Reservoir||2 miles (2.5 km)||An easy walk from the village of Knipton to Branston, passing Knipton Reservoir on the way. The route follows a lovely country lane with views of the beautiful Vale of Belvoir countryside.|
The walk starts in the pretty Leicestershire village of Knipton, on the border of the Belvoir Castle Estate. In the village there's some pretty 19th century cottages built for the estate and a Grade II listed church with a 13th-century tower.
You can follow Branston Lane south towards Branston. At Croxton Lodge you turn right to follow a footpath past the southern end of the reservoir into Branston. There's some nice views of the River Devon and the reservoir before coming into the village. Here you will find several interesting Grade II listed buildings including 18th-century farmhouses, the early 19th-century Old Rectory, a Village Hall dating from 1843 and the parish church which originates from the 13th century with alterations up the 15th.
To extend your walking in the area head north and explore the Belvoir Estate on our Woolsthorpe and Belvoir Castle Walk.
Also nearby is the pretty Denton Reservoir where you enjoy nice grassy paths around the water before picking up the towpath of the Grantham Canal.
|Woolsthorpe by Belvoir and Belvoir Castle||14 miles (22 km)||The pretty Lincolnshire village of Woolsthorpe by Belvoir is a splendid place for walking. Several waymarked long distance trails pass through the area and the Grantham Canal runs just to the north of the village. There's also the majestic grounds of the Grade I listed Belvoir Castle and some nice woodland trails through Stathern Woods and Barkestone Woods to enjoy. |
This 14 mile walk takes you on a tour of the area, visiting the canal, the Belvoir Estate and the nearby village of Stathern. There's some moderate hill climbs with wonderful views of the Vale of Belvoir from the high points.
The walk starts in the village and heads north along Sedgebrook Road to the delightful Woolsthorpe Wharf on the canal. You then head east along the canal to Longmoor Bridge before picking up a section of the Viking Way to take you back to the village. Here you pick up the Jubilee Way to take you through the Belvoir Estate, passing through Old Park Wood, Plungar Wood and Stathern Wood. The route then heads into the Leicestershire village of Stathern where you can enjoy refreshments before returning to the village.
This walk follows public footpaths but for a fee you can explore the castle grounds during the summer months. In the castle there's fine artwork, exquisite furniture and a museum detailing the interesting history of the castle. There's also lovely footpaths taking you to pretty gardens, peaceful woodland and the two large lakes.
To extend your walking in the area you could head east and visit Denton Reservoir where there's a nice grassy footpath to follow around the water. You could also follow the canal east into the town of Grantham.
Also nearby is the pretty village of Knipton where there are some nice country lanes along Knipton Reservoir.
|Denton Reservoir||2 miles (3 km)||This walk near Grantham takes you from the village of Denton to Denton Reservoir. It's a lovely spot with nice views across the water and lots of wildlife to look out for. Birdwatchers come to the site to see coot, moorhen, mallard, teal, pochard, heron, great crested grebe and kingfishers. |
The reservoir is located a short distance from the centre of the village. Starting on Church Street head east to Casthorpe Road and then turn north. Shortly after you will see a footpath on your right which will take you up to the reservoir. Here you will find a nice grassy footpath around the perimeter.
The whole route is about 2 miles but if you feel like stretching your legs further you can head to the nearby Grantham Canal. Following the towpath east will take you into Grantham while heading west leads you towards Woolsthorpe. Around here you can pick up the long distance Viking Way and visit the splendid Belvoir Castle with its lakes, woodland and parkland.
Also nearby is the pretty village of Knipton where there are some nice country lanes along Knipton Reservoir.
|Dymock Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||These pretty woods in the Forest of Dean have miles of peaceful trails to follow. You can park at the medium sized Queens Wood car park to start your walk. It's located just to the south of Kempley. From here you can pick up several different trails, heading west into Queen's Wood in the Dymock Forest. Heading east takes you into Dymcock Wood.|
The woods consist of Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir, Oak and Beech. In the spring months you will see lots of wildflowers including bluebells, heather, wood anemone and the Wild Daffodils which are a feature of the area.
You should see lots of butterflies fluttering around the flowers too. Look out for pearl-bordered fritillary, wood white and the uncommon white admiral as you make your way around the site.
This walk takes you along a pretty stream to a large pond in Queen's Wood. Leave the car park and head west before turning south along the stream. You then return on other paths through Brandhill Wood.
The long distance Daffodil Way passes through the eastern section of the woods. You can pick it up to extend your walking through the Forest of Dean. It will take you on a tour of the countryside, orchards and woodland surrounding the village of Dymock.
|Dulwich Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explore Dulwich Woods and Sydenham Woods on this easy stroll in south east London. The ancient woods include several footpaths and over 200 species of trees and flowering plants. These include wild garlic, bluebell, dog violet, wood anemone, bugle, Chilean pine, oak and hornbeam. Also look out for remnants of Victorian gardens including an old Victorian folly.|
The walk starts from Sydenham Hill railway station, just to the west of the woods. Cross College Road and then you can pick up the footpath leading into the southern section of Dulwich Woods. The paths then lead north east, taking you past the golf club into Sydenham Hill Wood.
The area is also a nature reserve so look out for a variety of wildlife as you make your way along the trails. Birds include nuthatch, treecreeper, tawny owl, kestrel and sparrowhawk. Also keep your eyes peeled for butterflies such as purple hairstreak, white-letter hairstreak and speckled wood.
In the northern section of the woods is a small pond. You may see frogs, newts, dragonflies and damselflies here.
The Green Chain Walk long distance trail passes through the woods. To extend your walk you could follow the trail north west to Dulwich Park. It's a pretty park with nice surfaced footpaths, a cafe, a boating lake and recumbent bicycle hire.
If you were to follow the Green Chain Walk south it would take you into Crystal Palace Park. Here you can enjoy tree lined paths, a maze, lakes and views towards London from the high points. You can also pick up the Capital Ring trail and further explore the area on foot.
Brockwell Park is only about 1.5 miles to the north west. There's some nice cycling and walking trails surrounding the 19th century Brockwell Hall here.
|Coxley Woods||2 miles (4 km)||These woods near Netherton have miles of trails to follow through attractive woodland. There's pretty streams, becks and a series of ponds to enjoy. Also look out for lots of bluebells in the spring and a variety of woodland birds.|
Most of the route is on fairly flat paths but towards the southern end of the site it does get quite hilly. As such a reasonable level of fitness is required if you are going to walk the length of the woods.
You can access Coxley Woods just to the north west of Netherton in Wakefield. Then pick up the trails heading south along the Coxley Beck and the ponds. You then pass through Perkin Wood and Stony Cliffe Wood before turning around and returning to the northern end of the site.
The Kirklees Way long distance trail, passes to the west of the woods. You can pick this up to continue your walking in the Wakefield area. You could follow the trail south and visit the splendid Bretton Country Park and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Here you will find 500 acres of lakes and parkland, with a myriad of footpaths to follow.
Following the trail north will take you into Dewsbury.
|Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay||3 miles (5.5 km)||Cross the western side of the Isle of Wight from north to south on the Freshwater Way trail. It's a 3.5 mile walk taking place on generally flat paths along the pretty estuary of the River Yar.|
The walk starts in Yarmouth near to the main parking area and the tourist information centre. Follow the path west over Yar Bridge with nice views of the boats in the harbour. At Norton Spit, turn south and follow the path to Kings Manor Farm. Just before you reach the farm you have the option of taking a detour and heading west to Norton Green and Golden Hill Country Park. There's some nice woodland trails and attractive parkland surrounding a former Victorian fort.
The final section of the walk heads through Easton before finishing at Freshwater Bay where there is a nice beach and cliff views.
Around Afton Manor the path splits to give and alternative route heading to Afton Down and Compton Bay. This section involves more climbing so a reasonable level of fitness is required.
The Isle of Wight Coast Path is directly accessible at either end of the route. You can pick up the coastal trail to further explore the island. Just to the east you can also pick up the Hamstead Trail and Tennyson Trail.
|Shanklin to Ventnor Coastal Walk||3 miles (5.5 km)||This is a popular walk using a lovely section of the Isle of Wight Coast Path to take you between these two seaside resorts. It's a signposted 3.5 mile hike with some moderate hill climbs, a woodland section and fabulous views throughout. Most of the walk is on fairly flat paths but there are some climbs so a reasonable level of fitness is required. You can get the bus back or return the same way if you are feeling energetic!|
Starting on the front in Shanklin head south past the popular Shanklin Chine with its lovely beach. The chine is worth further exploration if you have time. In it you will find interesting geological features, a wooded coastal ravine, waterfalls, trees, lush vegetation, and several footpaths and walkways allowing paid access for visitors.
After passing the chine you come to Appley Steps where you begin the steepest climb of the walk. It takes you up towards Luccombe village where there's some spectacular cliffs and scenery.
The route then heads through Bonchurch Landslips where there are some nice woodland trails, more interesting geological formations and sea glimpses through the trees. You'll also pass Old St. Boniface Church which is worth a visit. The nave and chancel dates from the 11th century, with the bell dating from the 16th century.
The final section takes you past Horseshoe Bay and Wheelers Bay before finishing on the front in Ventnor. The popular seaside resort is located to the south of St Boniface Down, the highest point on the island. Ventnor is built on steep slopes leading down to the sea and enjoys a microclimate which allows sub tropical plants to flourish. Visit the Ventnor Botanic Garden to see examples.
You can extend the walk by continuing west along the coast to St Lawrence and St Catherine's Lighthouse, the most southerly point on the Isle of Wight.
Above Ventnor you can climb to the Ventnor Downs, the highest point on the island. There's fabulous views, wildflowers, heather and New Forest Ponies to be seen on St Boniface Down.
|Amersham Circular Walk||9 miles (14 km)||This circular walk around the market town of Amersham visits the nearby village of Chalfont St Giles while exploring the attractive countryside of the Misbourne valley. There's riverside paths, woodland trails and a series of moderate hill climbs with splendid views of the Chilterns countryside.|
The walk starts near the train station and passes through Parsonage Wood before heading east towards Little Chalfont. You then skirt the edge of Pollards Wood and continue into Chalfont St Giles. It's a pretty village with a duck pond fed by the River Misbourne. Other highlights include the church of Saint Giles which is of Norman architecture and dates from the 12th century. You can also visit the former home of John Milton, author of the epic poem 'Paradise Lost'. The house is now a open to the public as a museum and includes an extensive collection of 17th-century first editions of John Milton's works, both poetry and prose.
The village is roughly the half way point on the walk so a great place to stop for refreshments on one of the nice pubs or cafes.
After exploring the village the route then follows footpaths through the attractive farmland to the south of the river. You'll pass close to the pretty Hodgemoor Woods which is worth a short detour if you have time. The 250 acre bluebell wood has miles of good footpaths and mountain bike trails. The woods also have a healthy population of muntjac deer to look out for.
The South Bucks Way long distance trail runs through the area. You can use the waymarked path to go directly to Chalfont St Giles if you prefer a shorter walk. The path continues south through Chalfont St Peter before coming to the splendid Colne Valley.
Just to the north of the town you can pick up the Chess Valley Walk and enjoy a riverside stroll along the River Chess.
|Catcleugh Reservoir||6 miles (9.5 km)||This walk takes you along Catcleugh Reservoir before climbing to Girdle Fell for great views over the Northumberland National Park. |
The reservoir is located just off the A68 road near Byrness. There's a nice path leading south off the A68 which you can follow along the water. It's a lovely area with the reservoir surrounded by attractive countryside, heather, grassland and a mixture of native and conifer woodlands. It's also great for wildlife spotting with the higher moorland area a breeding ground for golden plover and dunlin. You may also see birds of prey such as buzzards, ospreys and occasionally a golden eagle. Other wildlife to look out for includes otter, red squirrel, badger and roe deer.
After passing the southern side of the water the path then climbs past Castle Crag Forest to Girdle Fell. From here there are wonderful views back down to the reservoir.
The reservoir is located in Kielder Forest where you can enjoy miles of great cycling and walking trails. Just a few miles to the south you can visit Kielder Water and try the Kielder Forest Lakeside Way.
The climb to Deadwater Fell is also just a few miles to the west. From here there are more great views to the Lake District and the Scottish Hills.
|Around Belper||12 miles (19.5 km)||This long circular walk makes use of two of the waymarked long distance trails running through the countryside surrounding the Derbyshire town of Belper. There's much to enjoy with waterside paths along the River Derwent and the Cromford Canal. There's also woodland trails and some moderate hills climbs with great views over the Peak District and the Amber Valley.|
Belper forms part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The modern factory, or 'mill', system was born here in the 18th century to accommodate the new technology for spinning cotton developed by Richard Arkwright.
This walk starts on Belper Bridge, just to the north of the train station, where there are nice views of the Belper Mills. Here you pick up the Derwent Valley Heritage Way and follow the trail north to Ambergate, passing the pretty Wyver Lane Pool on the way. You then follow the Cromford Canal past Shining Cliff Woods to Crich Carr, where you turn west until you come to the Midshires Way. Follow the trail south through Blackbrook to Farnah Green, where you turn east to head back to the river and the town. You'll pass the delightful Belper Riverside Gardens which have been offering visitors a tranquil setting to view the River Derwent for over 100 years.
To extend your walk you could continue south along the Midshires Way towards Duffield and Derby. In this area you can visit Allestree Park and Kedleston Hall.
A few miles to the west is the splendid Carsington Water where there are some great waterside walking and cycling trails to try.
|Beamish Woods||2 miles (3.5 km)||These pretty woods in the village of Beamish have some nice woodland trails to try. There's also some waterside paths along the River Team and bluebells in springtime.|
The Consett and Sunderland Railway Path runs past the woods so you could pick this up to continue your walking in the area.
|Castleshaw Reservoir||2 miles (3 km)||These two reservoirs in Oldham have some nice walking trails to try. It's a beautiful setting with the Upper and Lower reservoirs surrounded by some lovely Pennine scenery.|
You can start the walk from the Castleshaw Centre public car park on Waterworks Road, Delph. It's located at the southern tip of the lower reservoir. From here you can pick up paths along the lower reservoir before another footpath takes you around the upper reservoir. It makes for a nice circular walk with good views across the water for the duration of the route.
To extend your walking in the area you can pick up the Pennine Bridleway and further explore Saddleworth Moor and Delph Heights. You could follow the long distance trail north and head to the nearby Dowry and Readycon Dean Reservoirs for example.
The Oldham Way, Crompton Circuit and Rochdale Way also run through the area. They're all good options for reaching several of the other reservoirs dotted around this area of the Pennines. This includes Ogden and Piethorne Reservoirs located just 2.5 miles north west of Cattleshaw.
|Amberley Circular Walk||6 miles (9.5 km)||The delightful village of Amberley is located at the foot of the South Downs, in the Horsham District of West Sussex. There's lots of lovely walking trails to follow through the surrounding countryside and along the River Arun.|
This circular walk makes use of the South Downs Way and Wey South Path long distance trails to take you along the river and through the surrounding South Downs countryside. It's about a 6 mile hike with some moderate hill climbs and great views to enjoy from the high points.
The walk starts from the train station which is on the Arun Valley Line, with regular services to Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and London. You could also start from the village centre if you prefer.
After leaving the train station you head south along the river toward North Stoke. Here you turn east and follow country lanes to Camp Hill and The Burgh.
The route then turns north to Downs Farm before heading into the village. It's very picturesque with several thatched houses and the 12th-century Amberley Castle. There's also the splendid Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre. Here you will find a 36-acre open-air museum, dedicated to the industrial heritage of South East England and with a special interest in aspects of the history of communications and transport. It's located next to the train station so you can pay a visit at the start or end of the walk.
To extend your walking in the area head north from the village and visit the lovely Amberley Wild Brooks Nature Reserve.
You could also head east along the South Downs Way and climb to Rackham Hill and Kithurst Hill. If you head west you can visit Eartham Woods and explore the expansive Slindon Estate. Here you'll find miles of footpaths and bridleways to follow through the 1400 hectare estate.
|Abbotsbury Castle||2 miles (4 km)||This walk from the pretty Dorset village of Abbotsbury visits the Iron Age Hillfort of Abbotsbury Castle. The route makes use of two long distance trails to take you to the site, where there are fine coastal views to enjoy. It's only about a two mile walk from the village but there is a fair climb to the hill's peak which stands at a height of almost 700ft.|
The walk starts in the centre of the village and immediately picks up the Macmillan Way which starts in Abbotsbury. You follow the waymarked trail north fo about half a mile until you link with the South Dorset Ridgeway. Follow the path west for about 1.5 miles and you will come to the hill fort. The castle's position high above the Channel made it a first-line defence against invasion. The fort was occupied by the Celtic Durotriges tribe, but when the Romans invaded in AD 43, the second Augustian legion of Vespasian took the fort quickly with little struggle before moving on to Maiden Castle.
You can return the same way or continue west along the path and then head south to the coast. In this way you can turn it into a long circular walk.
The area is great for walkers with lots of options for extending your walk. You could head to the delightful Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens or head to the wonderful Chesil Beach.
|Cromer to Sheringham||9 miles (15 km)||Enjoy nice beaches and great coastal views from Beeston Cliffs on this circular walk along the Norfolk coast. After visiting Sheringham the route returns via the Norfolk Coast Path and Beacon Hill, Norfolk's highest point.|
The walk starts next to the pier in Cromer and heads west along the English Coast Path to Muckle Hill. You continue along the beach to West Runton before coming to Sheringham. Here you can enjoy refreshments before retracing your steps for about half a mile. Then you can pick up a section of the Norfolk Coast Path which climbs south away from the coast. This will take you to the 103 metres (338 ft) high Beacon Hill which is run by the National Trust. There's some nice woodland trails here with great views of the sea.
After exploring Beacon Hill the walk descends back into Cromer. You can extend your exercise by heading east along the coast on the Cromer to Overstrand Walk. It's a great cliff top path with wonderful sea views and a visit to Cromer Lighthouse.
If you continue west along the coast path it will take you to the lovely Cley Marshes Nature Reserve where there are a number of pools and lagoons with lots of wildlife to look out for.
Also in Sheringham is the delightful Sheringham Park.