Get Yourself Out There – Eight UK Hill Walks For Summer
Monday, July 27th, 2020
With UK National Parks and AONB now re-open for country lovers and outdoorsy-types to rediscover, and UK Staycations looking to be super popular this summer, here at Muddy Matches we’re on a mission to #GetYourselfOutThere and inspire you for your next UK day out. After months of staying at home, we all feel the need to stretch our legs so we’ve collected our favourite UK hill walks for you to enjoy. Please, always take adequate safety precautions, get the right kit and listen to local weather reports. Even in the height of summer, storms and winds make hill walking dangerous. There’s a great guide here on Ramblers.org.uk to hill walking safety so please do read it before you tackle a hill walk.
1. Cat Bells, Lake District, England
We’ll start gently, with a hill walk that is suitable for all levels of ability and experience. Cat Bells is a family friendly, accessible ascent up to its peak at 451 metres with astounding views over Derwent Water to reward you at the top. Look the other way to experience the majesty of the higher fells around it. And, interesting fact, the name ‘Cat Bells’ is believed to derive from ‘Cat Bields’, or ‘the home of the wild cat’. Plan your walk here.
2. Helvellyn, Lake District, England
Still in the Lakes but a lot more challenging is Helvellyn, a range of mountains which rise between Thirlmere and Ullswater lakes. For experienced walkers and scramblers, ascending up the shoulder of Striding Edge and descending via Swirral Edge is an unforgettable experience; made technical by the scrambles and short climbs, you’ll also enjoy beautiful views over the picture perfect Red Tarn. For a gentler, though longer, walk, you can approach from Thirlmere and take in Grisedale Tarn too. Get the details here.
3. Stanage Edge, Derbyshire, England
We’re travelling to Derbyshire now for the iconic and always-pleasing vistas of Stanage Edge. Just north of Hathersage, Stanedge Edge offers an approachable option for an afternoon walk of 4 miles or so. Wander along the long gritstone edge and soak up the awe-inspiring views of the Dark Peak moorlands and the Hope Valley, before relaxing afterwards in one of the many local pubs. You can even pretend you’re Lizzy Bennet in ‘Pride and Prejudice’, if you so wish. More info here.
4. Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
This has to be one of the most recognisable spots on the Isle of Skye, and one that is well worth the journey north to see. Although this round walk is just 7 kilometres long, it passes through some of the most spectacular scenery you could ever hope to see, with high cliffs, hidden plateaus and pinnacles of rock all formed by a massive landslip on the Trotternish ridge. Take care in poor weather, and be sure to follow a route map such as this one.
5. Central Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland
For a longer, and absolutely magical walk, we love days out in the Central Mournes, which include some of the highest mountains in Northern Ireland. A great starting point for walkers new to the area is this 10 mile circular walk which takes in Annalong Wood, Slievelamagan, Ben Crom Reservoir, Cove Mountain and Annalong Valley, and gives you some astonishing, unforgettable views over the Irish Sea and to the Isle of Man. Plan your visit here.
6. Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Did you know that Pen y Fan, in the Welsh Brecon Beacons, is the highest peak in south Wales at 885 metres? With four routes up to its peak, you can choose any level from gentle to super-tough, ideal if you’re a walking newbie or a seasoned hiker. Formed by glacial movement, Pen Y Fan forms a spectacular horse shoe shape, as well as open, wide moorelands. Select your walk here.
7. Kettlewell, Buckden Pike and Great Whernside, Yorkshire, England
Drink in some of the best views in the Yorkshire Dales with this twelve mile walk which climbs two hills in one route. As well as challenging your legs and lungs, you’ll have a poignant reminder of history as you pass by the memorial to the crew of an RAF Wellington bomber which crashed on Buckden Pike in November 1942. Look forward to hearty Yorkshire fare as you finish your walk, too. Find out more here.
8. Beinn a’Bheithir near Ballachulish
What could be better than a walk which takes in two munros, one loch and manifold views over the sea and Scottish islands? That’s exactly what you get with mountain ridgeway walk of nearly ten miles which begins at Ballachulish and ascends Sgorr Dhearg (1024m) and Sgorr Dhonuill (1001m) with lower level walking overlooking the shores of Loch Leven. Get the full route here.
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