May 19, 2018 3 min read
The south of England offers some of the country’s most beautiful natural environments and cityscapes. If you live in the south or you’re travelling down soon, check out these 10 beautiful walking routes and enjoy the best the south has to offer:
Beginning in the historic cathedral city of Winchester, South Downs Way leads you for a hundred miles through some of the south coast’s most spectacular landscapes. The South Downs National Park is filled with native wildlife, ancient woodlands and beautiful views, and the walk ends at the famous white cliffs of Beachy Head, completing the experience in memorable style. A fantastic walk by any measure.
The Thames is Britain’s most famous river, but most people associate it only with London. This 184-mile trail reveals the full beauty and diversity of the Thames’ route, beginning at the river’s source in the Cotswolds and passing through some of England’s best-known locations including Oxford and Windsor. After taking you through the City of London, the trail concludes at the iconic Thames Barrier in Greenwich.
The stunning Wessex Ridgeway stretches for 138 miles between Marlborough in Wiltshire and Lyme Regis on the south coast. Along the way it takes in some of England’s best-known landmarks, such as the ancient stone circles at Avebury, Salisbury Plain and the Giant of Cerne Abbas. As the walk reaches its end, you’ll see the full beauty of the Dorset countryside.
Surrounding the Georgian city of Bath there are six miles of pathways which enable you to view the city from above, offering you stunning views and giving you the perfect opportunity to explore the neighbouring countryside. From beautiful woodlands to secret valleys, there’s plenty to discover, offering new glimpses of the natural world each season.
Devil’s Dyke is the longest and deepest valley in the UK, and offers some of the most beautiful views. The valley itself is filled with a wide variety of wild flowers, while walking up the hill enables you to discover the ruins of an Iron Age fort and a Victorian funfair. When you reach the top, you can look across the stunning panorama that the artist Constable called “the greatest view in the world”.
Fans of literature will love this 4.5-mile circular walk through the Hampshire countryside that inspired many of Jane Austen’s novels. It begins at the author’s home in Chawton, and takes in the sights she would have been surrounded by, including the picturesque village of Farringdon.
Opened in 1986, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail is one of Gloucestershire’s most iconic tourist attractions. The forest itself is one of England’s most ancient woodlands, and is home to a wide variety of native wildlife. The Sculpture Trail takes you through 4.5 miles of beautiful forest scenery, interspersed with works of art among the trees, including a giant carved chair and a spectacular 15-foot stained glass window.
Located near Dorking in Surrey, Leith Hill offers a variety of enjoyable walking experiences, thanks to the network of trails that cross the hill. One of the most popular routes is a 6.5-mile trail beginning at the neighbouring village of Holmsbury St Mary, and taking you up the hill via a particularly scenic route. At the top, you’ll find the 18th century Gothic tower, with panoramic views stretching as far as London and the Channel.
The dramatic landscape of Dartmoor National Park in Devon makes it a perennial favourite walking spot. Covering 386 square miles in total, the National Park offers a variety of walking trails, taking in heather-covered moorlands, forests and rivers. Visit Wistman’s Wood, unspoilt for centuries, and explore some of Dartmoor’s iconic ancient monuments by walking from Great Staple to White Tor.
If you’re looking for the walking experience of a lifetime, you can find it in the south of England. The South West Coast Path offers 630 miles of stunning coastal scenery, leading you from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Along the way it takes in Exmoor, Cornwall and Devon, enabling you to see some of England’s most beautiful views. You’ll also have the chance to explore smugglers’ coves, and visit some charming traditional villages before reaching your destination.
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