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Best Hiking Trails in England

Overview

Despite not having the peaks of its UK neighbours (like Scotland), walking/hiking/rambling is a national pastime in England and one can pretty much hike anywhere in the country.  England is covered in centuries-old footpaths and walking is the most popular outdoor activity here.  The main areas for mountain hiking in England are Lake District National Park, Peak District National Park and Yorkshire Dales National Park, all of which contain hundreds of hiking trails through diverse landscapes. The best months to hike in England are May – September.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in England. 

Capital: London

When To Hike in England?

May – September: Warmest and least rainiest, although most crowded in summer
October
November – April: Cold and rainy

Climate: Temperate – rain is a constant feature, particularly in the northwest where much of the mountainous hiking is to be found.

For monthly weather: England Monthly Weather
For current weather: Met Office

Accessibility of Hiking

Very Easy: Many marked paths, there are numerous guides and maps to refer to for many of the areas you want to hike in

Transportation required: Good public transport; car is essential for some parts

Where to stay in England for hiking: 

  • Lake District – Keswick, Ambleside, many villages in this region
  • Peak District – Edale, Hayfield, Sheffield (city), many villages in this region
  • Yorkshire Dales – Ribblesdale, Clapham, many villages in this region

 

Most popular hikes in England

The main areas to mountain hike are in the Lake District National Park, Yorkshire Dales National Park, and Peak District National Park, the latter two being part of the Pennine Chain. Highest Mountain: Scafell Peak (978 m) in the Lake District

Filter out hiking places of England by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Peak District

  • Peak District
  • Despite its name, there are more hills than peaks, but it is one of the most visited national parks and there are many trails here
  • The Dark Peak – the northern part of the park which is more rugged

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Lake District

  • In the region of Cumbria in the northwest, close to border with Scotland
  • Lake District National Park – Lake District National Park
  • Scafell Peak   
  • Helvellyn
  • Striding Edge hike, a tough 7.5 mile hike to the third highest peak in Lake District

Long Distance Trails of England

England and Wales have long-distance footpaths called National Trails.  Here are a few of the mountainous ones in England:

England's Walking & Hiking Resources

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England Hiking Books: There are a ton of books, small sampling below

  • The National Trails of England, Scotland & Wales, Cicerone Guide, by Paddy Dillon, 2016, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/48TGwDP
  • OS Epic British Walks | Ordnance Survey | Thirty-eight Long Distance Trails | England | Scotland | Wales | National Trails | Areas of Outstanding National Beauty | Adventure | Walking | Family, by Terry Marsh, 2021, Trotman Publishing – https://amzn.to/43kFwqS
  • Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland and Wales, by Heather Hansen, 2022, Mountaineers Books – https://amzn.to/3IHApYv
  • Great Mountain Days in the Lake District, Cicerone Guide, by Mark Richards, 2019, Cicerone Press  – https://amzn.to/3PnE15u
  • Lake District: High Level and Fell Walks: Walking in the Lake District – the highest mountains in England, by Vivienne Crow, 2024, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3PqLSPI
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Keswick: Skiddaw, Blencathra, and the North, by Mark Richards, 2020,  Cicerone Guides – https://amzn.to/3VkL9Dy
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Langdale: the Langdale Pikes and Bowfell, by Mark Richards, 2020,  Cicerone Guides – https://amzn.to/3ICFMIx
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Patterdale: Helvellyn, Fairfield, and the East, by Mark Richards, 2020,  Cicerone Guides – https://amzn.to/43olhIR
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Borrowdale: Scafell Pike, Catbells, Great Gable, and the Derwentwater fells, by Mark Richards, 2021,  Cicerone Guides – https://amzn.to/3VhfT8B
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Coniston: The Old Man Coniston, Swirl How, Wetherlam, Duddon Valley and Eskdale, by Mark Richards, 2021, Cicerone Guides – https://amzn.to/3TFZjOA
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Buttermere: High Stile, Grasmoor, Grisedale Pike, and Haystacks, by Mark Richards, 2020, Cicerone Guides – https://amzn.to/3Te5eIY
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Wasdale: the Scafells, Great Gable and Pillar, by Mark Richards, 2019, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/49UC7BS
  • Walking the Lake District Fells – Mardale and the Far East: High Street and Kentmere (British Mountains), by Mark Richards, 2020, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3PrrVZ9
  • Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and East, by Dennis Kelsall, Cicerone Guide, 2020, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3ICXfk2
  • Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and West, by Dennis Kelsall & Jan Kelsall, 2020, Cicerone Guide – https://amzn.to/4alrbwZ
  • Walking Dark Peak Walks, Cicerone Guide by Paul Besley, 2019, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3TmwLbx
  • Best Day Walks Great Britain 1, by Lonely Planet, Oliver Berry, Helena Smith, Neil Wilson, 2021, Lonely Planet Global Limited – https://amzn.to/3IH1sDm
  • The Rough Guide to the Lake District (Travel Guide eBook), by Rough Guides, 2022, APA – https://amzn.to/3PqMHIi

 

England Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hikes in England:

  • Helvellyn
  • Blencathra
  • Scafell Pike
  • Stanage Edge
  • Haystacks Walk
  • Whernside Circular Walk
  • Mam Tor
  • Three Peaks Challenge

Easy Hikes in England:

  • Cat Bells via Allerdale Ramble
  • Pen-y-Ghent

 

England Hiking Websites:

 

England Weather Website:

 

England Official Tourism Site:  

 

England Hiking Apps: 

 

England Hiking Maps: 

  • Ordnance Survey maps – OS Maps 

What Else To Do

Other Important Points

  • Know the Countryside Code, which outlines guidance on crossing private land