The United Kingdom may not have the tallest mountains in the world but they certainly have some of the most picturesque mountain views. Walking for leisure developed in Europe during the eighteenth century as an exercise of freedom and introspection.

The UK houses some of the best hiking trails in the world – from the majestic, gentle slopes of the Scottish Highlands to the precipitous railway of Snowdonia. This curated list of mountain routes offers you options for a hiking experience you will never forget.

South Downs Way

This trail runs from Eastbourne to Winchester, along the statuesque chalk ridges of the South Downs. Hikers will pass through the Seven Sisters cliffs, Sussex's quirky medieval villages and take Instagram-ready photos at the lovely Cuckmere Haven.

The route further heads inland to lush woodlands and rolling hills. On a clear day, paragliders and buzzards can be seen flying about.

Helvellyn's Swirral Edge

Helvellyn is England's third tallest mountain at a height of 950m. Located in the Lake District, this route is a demanding climb along a sharp ridge. The swirral edge offers you a wild and greatly rewarding journey as you approach the mountain's summit.

This route is perfect for thrill seekers and more experienced hikers who adore a good challenge. An estimated hundred thousand or more people ascend Helvellyn each year.

Hadrian's Walls

For the history lover in you, the hike through Hadrian's Walls is among the best in England as you get to learn about English history while wandering through breathtaking natural scenery.

The entire trek is 135 kilometres and starts from Wallsend all the way to Bowness-on-Solway. You can spend hours exploring museums along the trail as Hadrian's Wall once served as a Roman defensive fort and its ruins depict an iconic part of England's history.


If you're looking for a short but exciting hike, then you should head over to Blencathra mountain near Keswick. You will enjoy a gorgeous 8.5 km tour of the Scotland-England border through rocky Hall's Fall Ridge and charming English forests.

The mountain's summit will allow you to see the spectacular countryside below and is one of the country's most renowned peaks as it boasts of a view of Skiddaw forest overlooking the River Greta.

Monadhliath Mountains

The Monadh Liath is a range of mountains in Scotland between Loch Ness and the River Spey. The landscape is vast and unpopulated. Hiking here can make for fun wildlife encounters, maybe even one with a golden eagle!

The route starts from Glen Bachor, just above Newtonmore, where the path leads to the foothills of the Monadhliath mountains. The glorious glen makes for breathtaking scenery until the route ends at Garva bridge.

Monadhliath Mountains
Sarah McGuire/Wikimedia Commons