Richard Fairman

Five Essential English Walks

Walking for pleasure has been a much beloved pastime since the birth of civilisation, and can have great health benefits. Whether you’re looking for some slow-pace, low-impact exercise, or an excuse to get out of the house and gather your thoughts, walking is readily available just about anywhere. It’s even good for digestion!

But what if you’re looking to step up your walking game and only the most picturesque walks will do? Well then, look no further than our top five picks for walking in England. Each walk has a different vibe and a unique, natural aesthetic, but what unites them all is their staggering beauty.

Bakewell to Chatsworth House (via Edensor) - 6mi

Beginning in the quaint village of Bakewell, this beautiful walk has the added appeal of some delightful teashops in Edensor, tempting weary travellers for decades!

A few more miles and you’ll be greeted with a stunning view of Chatsworth House. The majestic house, its pristine grounds, and splendid shops are all well worth a closer look.

For anyone yearning to enjoy the outdoors for a little while longer, there is also an option to add two miles to the return journey - handy if you’re looking to justify that extra slice of cake!

Route details for Bakewell to Chatsworth House (Derbyshire)

Catbells - 3.5mi

The Catbells walk has been a Lake District staple for many years.  Offering stunning views of Derwant Water and Keswick below, as well as a beautiful vista over Borrowdale, it is well worth visiting.

However, this isn’t exactly a congenial stroll. Certain parts of the walk are moderately steep, and one section involves a short scramble, so be prepared for a bit of a challenge if you’re not used to steep, undulating walks.

Route details for Catbells (Cumbria)

The Slaughters and the Windrush Way - 5.9mi

This walk is ideal for soaking in the rustic charm of the Cotswolds, taking in its idyllic cottages, tranquil streams and inimitable arched bridges made from locally-sourced yellow limestone.

There is an abundance of bird life along the route, so it is a must for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts in general.

Route details for The Slaughters and the Windrush Way (Gloucestershire)

Old Harry Rocks - 3.5mi

‌This amazing walk features views of one of the most iconic sites along the awe-inspiring Jurassic Coast; the Old Harry Rocks.

Stark chalk cliffs separate the surging waves below from the lush, vibrant, cliff-top grass above. Resplendent Peregrine Falcons circle above.

Aside from a couple of moderate climbs, the walk is nice, serene and gentle. Just mind your footing around the cliff edges!

Route details for Old Harry Rocks (Dorset)

High Force (from Middleton-in-Teeside) - 10mi

This walk follows a trail roughly parallel to the beautiful and varied River Tees, the focus of which is an encounter with the gargantuan, perpetually gushing High Force waterfall.

The 75ft (22.86 m) high waterfall comes into view at the end of the five-mile trail. On a clear day, it’s a photographer’s dream! The only thing that might dampen your mood is the return journey; a further five miles back the way you came.

Route details for High Force (from Middleton-in-Teeside) (County Durham)

Find more Walks

To find walks in your local area and around the United Kingdom you can visit ‘ Ramblers ’, where you can search for and read up about fantastic places to go.

Alternatively, if you want to volunteer for a great walking scheme and help like-minded walkers, then please visit ‘ Walking for Health ’.

Richard Fairman

Outdoor enthusiast, writer, fell-walker, and amateur nature photographer.

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