Work, eat, sleep… repeat is an awful cycle most of us have fallen into at some point in our lives or another. Even then people barely have the energy to venture outdoors when the weekend arrives. This is the time to take some well- earned time off and reclaim your sense of adventure and head to any incredible route for a life affirming experience.
There are countless trails in Great Britain, but if you want to go on a proper week long trek, there are none better than these selected trails shortlisted here.
Great Glen Way
The Great Glen Way is without an iota of a doubt the best walking option for a week long hike in Britain.
Apart from the mountains, it passes through the country’s most mentionable lochs.
While the Glen itself is rich in Highland heritage and is a haven of unique wilderness perfect for those whose hearts are full of adventure.
Established in 2002, this 120km long distance trail covers the very heart of Scotland and provides a stark reminder of the country’s turbulent past.
Isle of Wight Coastal Path
A walk around the Isle of Wight Coastal Path is a truly satisfying trip. Companies such as Mickledore offer guided walking holidays on the route and are renowned for their awesome tours. The entire hike follows a 70 mile route which goes over the entire coastline.
Starting from Ryde where you spend your first night the last town on the circular trail is Sandown before you return to Ryde for departure. Highlights include the high chalk cliffs at The Needles and Culver Down apart from spotting the endemic Glanville fritillary butterfly not found anywhere else in Britain.
Walking from Moreton-in-Marsh, the 72 km Cotswold Round circuit meanders through the scenic Windrush Valley and along the periphery of the Cotswold Hills. The villages on the path, apart from providing far reaching views of the countryside and the friendly ambiance of the locals, reveal a wealth of cultural history unique only to this region.
This seven day hike passes through Belas Knap, England’s best Neolithic barrows, the ruins of Hailed Abbey and an opportunity to spot rare orchids and butterflies.
Dorset Coastal Path
The Dorset Coastal Path is a part of the 630 miles long South West Coast Path National Trail and passes through urban environments, lagoons, beaches and clifftops.
This is England’s longest waymarked long distance wàlk starting from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset.
For serious hikers who want to do the whole trail in eight weeks, there are plenty of options, but the best bet is a 127 km seven day hike from Lyme Regis to Poole.
This Jurassic Coast is the country’s first World Heritage Site and covers lovely coastal towns and ancient fishing villages.
The Thames Path is a 294 km long walking trail which follows the country’s most iconic river from its source in Cotswolds before finishing at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich, hardly a couple of miles from the sea.
While the whole trek takes around 20 days to cover, the Central Path from Oxford to Marlow is ideal for a week long hike. This is one of the easiest National Trails to walk, and caters to hikers with all sorts of abilities.
The trail is well-marked with a white acorn sign all along the path. Hikers are rewarded with sights of medieval castles, historic towns and quaint villages before ending at St Peter’s Church, where you can see the mummified hand of the Apostle St James, in Marlow.
You can enjoy the peace and quiet of a very special landscape of chalk hills and open fields stretching for miles if you choose to explore the Yorkshire Wolds Way for a week or even longer. This 127km walking trail passes through the chalk district of Yorkshire Wolds from the shores of the Humber estuary to the headland of Filey Brigg.
A seven day hike here is an excellent option for those who wish to get introduced to long distance walking. This moderate walk is over mostly rural areas and there are few towns and villages on the way. That said, the scenery is incredible as you walk towards Filey Brigg, with the sun beating down on your back.
Linking two of the most historic British towns, Ulverston and Carlisle is the 112km long Cumbria Way, a long distance path passing through the heart of the Lake District National Park. Apart from a few high-level sections between Keswick and Caldbeck, the walk is mostly straightforward and cuts across classic Lakeland country.
The whole route can be covered in a week and provides the right balance between walking and resting each day. Highlights of the trek include views of the High Lakeland fells, splendid Cumbria valley walks at Langdale and Borrowdale and a day in the wilds of the ‘Back o’ Skiddaw’.
Coast to Coast Path
This 310 km walk is a famous route stretching from the Irish sea to the North sea. The popular Coast to Coast Path passes through three incredible National Parks in the mystical environs of the Lake District. There are plenty of attractions on the way from visiting William Wordsworth’s home in Grasmere to exploring Roman and Tudor era sites.
The section from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen is best covered in seven days and is a good route in its own right as it covers all the important highlights of the Lake District. This is virtually half of the whole path and is challenging in places. However it promises the best mountain scenery in England and views of some beautiful hamlets and villages of Lakeland.
The Roman Empire had established a strong foothold in the region in AD122 and to safeguard it an 80 miles long barricade was erected stretching from the Irish sea to the North Sea. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hadrian’s Wall stands as an outstanding example of the high level of military engineering of the Romans.
Since it’s opening in 2002 the path has become a grand success all along its route from Wallsend to Solway Coast. The seven night walk from Wallsend to Bowness is for serious hikers but provides a great insight on Roman ruins and some dramatic coastal scenery. Even though sections have fallen into ruins there are some well-preserved areas in the central section.
The whole of the United Kingdom boasts of an array of paths that criss cross the countryside and aptly retell the history of the country. While some are an endurance test in their own right, others offer gentle strolls for those seeking a good pub halt. So whether you are new to long distance walking or a hardened hiker, no matter which trail you choose, rest assured you will come back rested and rejuvenated.