Northern England is truly blessed with some unbelievable areas for stretching for the legs. Famous for some of the most beautiful and rugged scenery, this part of Britain is home to some iconic walks from the mesmerizing Hadrian’s Wall Path to the diverse and stunning Dales Way.
On this route, you will come across boundless history in the form of the old Roman ruins and some pristine beaches as well as imposing castles scattered across the unspoilt coastline.
Important walking advice
While England is rich in cultural heritage, it is not so easy to discover on a walking holiday unless you choose a company with sound local knowledge like Mickledore, that can bring the landscape to life with detailed descriptions.
You should never leave your camera behind as walking in northern England’s diverse landscape with one will provide a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Apply some talcum powder, before and after the walk, to help your feet stay dry. A small roll of adhesive tape can make all the difference between a good walk and a painful trek, should you develop any blisters.
Finally, try and get a decent sleep in order to save as much energy as you can. Get up in a better mood at sunrise and be the first one out. If you are an avid photographer, this is the best time of the day to take some hiking snaps.
Hadrian’s Wall Path
- (Wallness to Bowness-on-Solway)
- 3-11 nights/27-84 miles
- Dog friendly
The Hadrian’s Wall Path covers 84 miles of some of the most rugged and iconic Roman ruins remaining in England today. The epic route takes the visitor back to the era when the Romans toiled for ten years to build this defence to save themselves from attacks of the marauding Celts.
During this memorable hike you will come across impressive castles and ruined fortifications which will be your constant companions as you tread on the very path the Roman Legionaries staunchly defended.The walk can be done in either direction, but most people prefer doing it from east to west. The walk is easy and suitable for a first long distance hike.
The Yorkshire Dales
- (Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere)
- 5-7 nights/15-79 miles
- Dog friendly
This picturesque 79 miles walk is said to be one of the most easy and gentle hike in the whole country. Though the walk is open year round for reasonably fit walkers, the Yorkshire Dales path is best covered between the months of April to June and again in September and October. This walk is best for initiating a person to long distance walking as all that is required is to walk a certain distance each day.
The highlights on this great route are attractions such as Bolton Abbey, Dent and the Dales villages. Apart from this the path passes through historic bridges and buildings and an abundance of wildlife for nature lovers is guaranteed.
The Pennine Way
- (Edale to Kirk Yetholm)
- 3-22 nights/21-270 miles
This is perhaps one of the oldest and best known national trail which passes through the heart of the Pennines for nearly 270 miles. On the whole, this path is well-maintained with plenty of accomodation to be found in the towns and villages of the valleys. The Pennine Way is however challenging, with some sections getting quite difficult in bad weather.
The entire route can be covered in about three weeks for fit and experienced long distance hikers as it crosses the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines National Park. This trail is essentially done in summer, but can at times be completed during spring or autumn. Previous walking experience is a big advantage on this route.
Do your research well, wear good walking footwear which supports the ankles, carry extra pair of socks and pack chocolate and cereal bars to get you from one stop to another. Buying a sturdy pair of walking boots from reputed sites like TrekAddict should most certainly come in handy for this as well as many future sojourns.
Northumberland Coast Path
- Morpeth to Berwick on Tweed
- 4 -7 nights/28-64 miles
- Dog friendly
This 64 mile trek along the Northumberland Coast popularly known for its imposing castles and sweeping beaches against the backdrop of a striking landscape. A number of conservation sites on the route showcase the 7000 year old history of the region. Apart from this the area is rich in birds and wildlife as it passes through two National Nature Reserves.
The Northumberland Coast Path is an easy and delightful trail and offers a walking holiday rich in historical charm. Along the way you will come across the castles of Alnwick, Bamburgh and Warkworth apart from the quaint fishing village of Craster. Accommodation in a wide range of hotels and inns is available along the way.
Coast to Coast
- (St Bees to Robinhood Bay)
- 3-14 nights/18-190 miles
- Dog friendly
The Coast to Coast walk has become one of the most popular long-distance walks of Britain as it passes through some diverse and appealing landscapes. At 190 miles, the walk is well marked and best undertaken in spring or autumn. Accommodation along the route can get very busy during the peak months and more so during winter.
The walk crosses the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park.The highlights on the trip are the Lakeland Fells, Vale of Mowbray, North York Moors and clifftop hikes at Robin Hood’s Bay.
The Cleveland Way
- Helmsley to Filey
- 7-11 days/52-107 miles
- Average grade
- Dog friendly (first section)
Established in 1969, the beautiful Cleveland’s Way stretches over a distance of 107 miles as it passes through two very distinct types of landscapes from moorland scenery to dramatic coastlines as one traverses some of the highest sea cliffs to be found in England overlooking the North Sea.
The trail passes through lovely fishing villages dotted along the coast and provides a brilliant panorama of the countryside as you walk along the edge of the North York Moors.
St Oswald’s Way
- Holy Island to Heavenfield
- 6-9 days/47-97 miles
- Average grade
The St Oswald’s Way is a fine long distance walk showcasing the fascinating history and landscapes of the Northumberland region. St Oswald happened to be the King of Northumbria in the seventh century, and was instrumental in introducing Christianity to the locals. The route follows through the stunning coast till its end near the Hadrian’s Wall in the south.
St Oswald’s Way can be walked in four different sections from north to south. On the way you will come across castles, islands, quaint villages with farmland and forest on the walk. The walk is straightforward and has a rich variety of bird and animal life and makes for an ideal walking trip if you want to discover the hidden secrets of Northumberland.