Go off the beaten track and explore the best walking routes in the UK.
Staying active is the key to beating the Lockdown Blues – even a walk a day can be enough to lift your spirits. Fortunately, the UK is packed with picturesque parks, hiking trails and gorgeous gardens to help take your mind off the bad news cycle. If that’s just what you need, read on.
Here's a list of nice places to go for a walk near you! 🌳
Alexandra Park - Manchester
A little peace and quiet can work wonders for your mental health. On that note, Alexandra Park has been called one of the most beautiful parks in Manchester, and is the perfect place to clear your head and get your steps in. Situated in the Whalley Range district of Manchester, this 60-acre park has three zones: a nature zone, a community zone and a formal zone. A stroll from the city centre to Alexandra Park will take you around 45 minutes, but it’s absolutely worth the walk: once here, you can lose yourself in greenery, feed the ducks at the lake and take some time to truly detach yourself from the woes of the world.
Calderstones Park - Liverpool
Looking for a change of scenery? Saunter through the historic Calderstones Park, a vast expanse of peaceful parkland which is home to one of the oldest oak trees in the UK. You’ll also find the Calder Stones that give the park its name; these six megaliths are the remains of a Neolithic burial chamber. Even if you aren’t a history buff, this park makes for a great place for a daytime walk. Treelined trails, flower meadows and a boating lake are all soothing for the soul, not to mention the walled-in Japanese garden that comes to life with warm colours in the autumn.
Undercliff Walk – Brighton
There’s nothing like an invigorating seaside walk to start your day, and Undercliff Walk in Brighton offers all the best of the South East coast landscapes: wonderful white cliffs, great views on to the water and deep breaths of the sea breeze. Start at Brighton’s iconic seafront and follow it to the marina before setting out on the trail. Although it stretches out for miles, Undercliff Walk is flat all the way, so you can take it as slow as you want. If a morning walk isn’t your bag, catch the sunset on the crashing waves on an evening stroll – you won’t regret it.
Rivelin Valley Nature Trail - Sheffield
Wash your troubles away with a trek through Rivelin Valley Nature Trail, a truly breath-taking path situated west of the city centre. Sheltered by a myriad of overhanging trees, the Rivelin Valley Nature Trail runs along the side of the rushing river which is surrounded by wild woodland. Here, you’ll be met by streams, stepping-stones, rocks, trees, crashing waterfalls, pools and an interesting array of flora and fauna. Stretching roughly 3 miles in total, this scenic path is perfect for those craving a break from the concrete jungle. Remember to take some waterproof shoes for this adventure!
Cardiff Bay Barrage – Cardiff
Although this route is a favourite for cyclists, those who take this bayside track by foot will benefit from more time to soak up the sights. Situated between Penarth and Cardiff, the barrage holds back two rivers that come together to make a stunning freshwater lake. When the weather is nice, take advantage of this stunning maritime setting for a midday stroll. The Cardiff Bay Barrage itself is 1.1km long and includes locks and bridges, sluice gates, and a fish pass. The landscaped embankment is a public open space where visitors can walk for about a mile and a half and feel the blue skies, bobbing boats and clear waters lift their spirits.
Leigh Woods – Bristol
If you live in Bristol, you’ll be pleased to know the places to go for a walk are many, and the choices range from waterside jaunt to calorie-burning uphill trek. Leigh Woods is arguably one of the city’s finest spaces to stroll: here, a sprawling expanse of ancient forest and luscious grassland connects the city centre with the dizzying heights of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. When hit by the morning sun, the twisting trees in Leigh Woods get coated in a golden glow that make for the set of a fairy-tale trail. Take a packed lunch and aim for the Downs – a massive green space where you can catch sights of the city from on high.
Weston Shore Promenade – Southampton
Residents of Southampton are blessed with plenty of nice places to walk, but Weston Shore Promenade tops our list for peaceful trails. Start at the bottom of Weston Lane by the On the Water Café and soak up the open skies and views of ships on the water. As you stroll along the path, you’ll notice the views shift from shoreline to the colourful houses that line the cricket field. If you’re up for the calorie burn, keep going past the shops and houses until you’ve reached the entrance to Royal Victoria Park, where you’ll be met by a flurry of overhanging trees to take your troubles away.
Cannon Hill Park – Birmingham
Just a half-hour-walk from Birmingham University, Cannon Hill Park is a beautiful green space bursting with life. When you get here, you can either take advantage of the abundance of nature trails among the tall trees or just sit and soak up the serenity of your surroundings. We recommend packing a bag of snacks and making the most of the gorgeous grasslands for a picnic, whether you’re on your own or with your housemates. On the weekend, you can even rent out some swan boats to catch sights from the stunning lake. At Cannon Hill Park, you’ll also find large greenhouses full to the rafters with various vegetables and colourful flowers.
Where’s your favourite place to go for a walk? Let us know on Instagram!