Northern England is home to many diverse landscapes, with some of the country’s most beautiful National Parks located in the region. Here are ten beautiful walking routes which enable you to discover all that the north of England has to offer.
The Lake District National Park is renowned worldwide for its outstanding natural beauty, and every part of the area offers stunning mountainous scenery. If you’re looking for a relatively easy climb with magnificent vistas, Catbells is the ideal place to start.
Just 451 metres high, Catbells is easiest to climb in an anti-clockwise direction. At the top of the hill, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views over Derwentwater and across to Skiddaw, one of the famous fells.
Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland
The Northumberland coastline offers some beautiful walking spots, and it can be seen to best advantage on this 6.8-mile circular walk between Craster, Embleton and Dunstanburgh Castle.
The route begins on quiet tracks and country lanes before leading you to the coast, where you can explore the beaches and fascinating rock formations before reaching the castle on the clifftop.
Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Steeped in legends of witchcraft, Pendle Hill is a remote spot which walkers love to explore. Beginning at Lower Black Moss, the 7.3-mile route to the summit and back will take you past reservoirs and through the lovely village of Barley before you ascend the hill.
The top of the hill offers some stunning views. On a clear day, you can see the Pennines, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
Wirral Way, Merseyside
The Wirral peninsula boasts some of northern England’s loveliest coastlines. You can explore it by following the Wirral Way, which follows a disused railway track for 12 miles between Hooton and West Kirby.
The route passes through the coastal village of Parkgate, and takes in the beautiful Wirral Country Park at Thurstaston, which offers stunning clifftop views and plenty of wildlife.
Hamsterley Forest, County Durham
In the beautiful Durham Dales, you’ll find Hamsterley Forest, which offers up to ten miles of walking through atmospheric woodland. There are a number of different walking routes through the forest, the most rewarding of which is the 4.5-mile Three Becks Walk.
This route covers varied terrain, and takes in some interesting landmarks including the ruins of a coaching inn and a sculpture of the mythical Green Man.
The Tolkien Trail, Lancashire
The picturesque landscape of the Ribble Valley is said to have inspired JRR Tolkien when he wrote The Lord of the Rings. The 5.5-mile Tolkien Trail enables you to explore the scenery he wove into his magical world.
Starting in the village of Hurst Green, the route encompasses a section of the Ribble Way and takes you alongside rivers, through woodlands and down country lanes, passing some attractive old buildings along the way.
The Pennine Way
The Pennine Way is an ideal route for exploring some dramatic mountainous scenery. It runs for 268 miles between Edale in Derbyshire and Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, offering stunning views at every stage.
Along the way you’ll explore Bronte country, visit the highest market town in England, and tackle a huge variety of terrains through many of northern England’s loveliest landscapes, including the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.
Sandstone Trail, Cheshire
Discover the beauty of the Cheshire countryside by following the 34-mile Sandstone Trail, which links the towns of Frodsham and Whitchurch via a dramatic sandstone ridge.
One of northern England’s most popular walking routes, it offers beautiful views over Cheshire, Merseyside and Shropshire, and takes in some delightful locations including Delamere Forest, Beeston Castle and Bickerton Hill.
Hadrian’s Wall Path
Hadrian’s Wall is one of northern England’s most iconic landmarks, and the surrounding countryside is ideal for walking. The Hadrian’s Wall Path follows the Wall along its 84-mile coast-to-coast route from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast.
The route takes you through varied landscapes including riverside areas, dramatic uplands and salt marshes, enabling you to enjoy the beautiful surroundings as well as exploring the Wall and its history.
Coniston to Dungeon Ghyll, Lake District
Part of the Cumbria Way, the walk from Coniston to Dungeon Ghyll offers a true Lake District experience. Stretching for over 11 miles, the route takes you from the picturesque village of Coniston through fields and woods to the dramatic mountainous scenery of the Langdale Pikes.
Look out for the gothic Marshall’s Kennel in Coniston and the waterfalls at Colwith Force along the route.
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