Family hiking trips are becoming more and more popular in our current world of social distancing. Families and couples may be looking for the best place to have a hiking adventure in the UK and we have those answers right here.
The summer holidays are the best time of the year for families to spend time together, get their hiking backpacks, get packing for a hike, and take a much-needed break away, filled with activities, day trips and sightseeing. With so many stunning walking trails to check out throughout the UK, it can be difficult to decide where to go this summer to have to a most enjoyable family trip. To narrow it down, here is a selection of the greatest walking adventures to experience over the holidays.
Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland
Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland is a great place to see amazing greenery and wildlife whilst on a walking adventure. There are five marked walks to choose from here, making it suitable for all ages to explore. For younger children, the character trails are a great way to engage and entertain, with the Gruffalo Sculpture Trail and the Zog Activity Trail great for burning off excess energy. There is also a wild treasure hunting activity, where the park allows families to enjoy learning more about wildlife and discover hidden treasures, with local animals nearby such as water voles and ospreys on the lookout for passing visitors.
There are lots of common species around the forest park, with several nature hubs with information that can help young ones spot the changing wildlife throughout the seasons. Kielder Castle offers a brilliant architectural viewing point close by, with the wildlife garden at Kielder Waterside open all year round with butterflies, stoats and amphibians inhabiting the garden.
Loch Muick, Aberdeenshire
Loch Muick is eight miles southwest of Ballater in Aberdeenshire and is part of the Balmoral Estate. It offers walking circuits that are mostly level ground, making it a great area for all walking capabilities, young and old. It is located at the foot of one of Scotland’s most beautiful mountains, Lochnagar, with several walking routes to choose from with local wildlife, such as grouse and deer, to spot on your way. With several stopping places for a rest or a picnic, you can visit the impressive Glas-allt Shiel house built by Queen Victoria, with waterfalls close by on a small detour.
This walking adventure is perfect for a family day out, as each route takes between three hours to a full day. The shortest route is eight miles around the low level of Loch Muick, taking several hours to complete. Both the Capel Mounth circuit and Lochnagar path are a moderate 14 miles, and Broad Cairn is 15 miles. These routes are perfect for bringing along the dogs for their daily exercise surrounded by stunning green land and water.
Rydal Water and Caves, Lake District
This location offers a steady, circular walk from the village of Rydal in the Lake District, Cumbria, in a full loop around the small Rydal Water lake. Rydal Water may be one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District, however it more than makes up for its size in beauty as it glistens at the foot of Loughrigg Fell.
Here, you will enjoy beautiful, lush woodlands, lakeside views and Loughrigg Terrace, one of the most beautiful half-miles in Lakeland. The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout, with a couple of steep sections along the way, however, there is nothing along this walk that is too difficult for young children. The ascent follows stretches of stony paths and tracks with several gates and footbridges before you come across grazing sheep on the green.
This walk starts at White Moss Common, which is part of the ‘Miles without Stiles’ routes aimed at increasing wheelchair accessibility in the Lake District, making it a great choice for all abilities. The shoreline walk along Rydal Water is a wonderful experience, with the cave the focal point of this walk. The caves here are brilliant to explore and discover with younger children, making it a memory to cherish. Overall, the walk features well-maintained paths with a beautiful lake that is perfect for dogs to cool down in!
To complete your Lake District staycation, local accommodation is a must for tired feet after a long day of walking and exploring. There are over 130 Lake District cottages from Lakelovers next to Rydal Water in Ambleside, from five-star gold award barn conversions to cozy apartments for small families of two to four people, each unique in their charm and style depending on the look and feel you prefer.
Pen y Fan, South Wales
A family-friendly, four-mile route, Pen y Fan is a brilliant walk to bring young children to for an easy and safe walking route. Even though this is a suitable walk for youngsters, it offers stunning views spanning miles that make brilliant photo opportunities. At the summit, walkers reach the highest point in southern Britain!
There are several routes in this area to take depending on your drive for adventure and how long you are staying in the area. Routes include the epic 11-mile Brecon Beacons circuit or the seven-mile climb from Cwm Gwdi, where you can take in views over the River Nant Sere. Regardless of the route you choose, the impressive views up the valley to Pen y Fan will leave you desperate to return and should definitely be part of any Wales road trip.
Dartmoor National Park, Devon
Dartmoor National Park is one of the UK’s last wilderness hotspots, with diverse terrain and a healthy amount of flora and fauna within the region to observe on your walking adventures. The low population in this area means that a peaceful walk is frequented here across the rolling valleys and wide heather moorland. Why not treat yourself to some proper hiking gifts so you can fully explore this national park without stress, aches and pains.
Escape the beaches of Devon and explore the area further or try some glamping in Devon for a unique experience. At this National Park, you don’t have to choose just one trail, with over ten available to choose from, such as Wistmans’ Wood and Easdon Tor, along with several other tourism hotspots to explore such as Pennywell Farm, which is a great for young children to visit. Pennywell Farm is located within the land and houses farm animals with hands-on activities and fun for children and adults alike.
Dartmoor National Park is huge – roughly the same size as London – with miles of wild land to explore among the walking trails, so it is no surprise that it is a popular destination for many families throughout the summer months.