Best foot forward: have you walked Britain’s favourite walks?

April 16, 2018 6:16 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Here in the UK, we live in a truly beautiful country, with an amazing wealth of scenery and landscapes. Some 150,000 recognised footpaths criss-cross the country from one side to the other, hosting 9 million walkers every month. Walking is one of our favourite national pastimes – and it’s free, incredibly good for you, and open to everyone.

Have you got a favourite British walk?

Let’s go for a beautiful British walk!

ITV’s Britain’s Favourite Walks was something of a surprise hit for the channel earlier this year. Airing in the depths of winter (when even a quick hobble around the block seemed a little too much), it clearly appealed to the armchair walkers among us. Cameras captured sweeping panoramas of mountains, valleys and coastlines, reminding us that warm weather would come again once more – and that we’d better have our walking boots laced up and dubbed, ready for its arrival.

Well, now it’s April – and it’s time to get out there! ITV, as is traditional, ended its series with a countdown: a list of the nation’s top 100 favourite walks. Starting off with Ramsgate-to-Margate in the south, traipsing across Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook’s Monument in the north-east, calling in at Dovedale and the Roaches in the Peak District and scaling Scafell Pike and Cat Bells in the Lake District, there were also city walks in Oxford, London and Cambridge, excursions in Wales and Northern Ireland, canal walks, marsh walks, flat walks, high walks, wild walks and family walks.

The top three? Here they are:

  • Malham and Gordale circular walk (‘the entrance to Middle Earth!’, exclaimed the presenter)
  • Snowdon in Wales (but no cheating with the railway…)
  • Helvellyn, described by Wainwright in these words: ‘Legend and poetry, a lovely name and a lofty altitude…There is some quality about Helvellyn which endears it in the memory of most people who have stood on its breezy top…If it did not inspire affection, would its devotees return to it so often?’

Of course, it’s all subjective. The best views, the best routes and the best time of year to walk are all matters of opinion; for many of us, our own favourite walk won’t appear on the list at all, appealing to us more for its memories, and its location in a much-loved landscape, than for any special features.

Get out there and walk!

Whether it’s a top ten walk or your own private favourite, we’re encouraging everyone to get out there and walk more this year! You don’t need any special equipment (Wainwright himself, the patron saint of walking, walked in his second-best suit and stout shoes). No-one’s very far from a footpath. And walking loosens your limbs, quickens your pulse and makes your spirits soar.

It's open to everyone, so give it a go!

Let’s get out there and walk!

Worried you won’t make it to the top or end of a trail? Take one of our energy bars or trail mix packs. Hand it to the fastest walker in the group. Then you’ll have an incentive to keep up!

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This post was written by Yzanne

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