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Top tips for summer walking

Walkers climbing the path to Pen yr Ole Wen, Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd
Walkers at Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd, Wales | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

With longer evenings, better weather, wildlife in bloom and impressive sunsets, summer is a glorious time for walking, and we’ve over 800 trails to choose from at our special places. But knowing where to start, what to bring, or even wear, can be daunting. So with the help of our official partner, Cotswold Outdoor, we’ve compiled these top tips on getting the best out of your summer walking adventures, regardless of age or ability.

Stay hydrated

It’s vital to keep hydrated in hot weather, especially when out and about in the heat. If you’re bringing a four-legged friend, make sure to bring enough water for them too, as well as a bowl or receptacle to drink from.

Beginner tip: drink small amounts frequently and don’t leave it until you’re really thirsty to have a drink – by then you may already be dehydrated. Make sure your water bottle is easily accessible.

Advanced tip: consider a hydration bladder so you can happily sip away ‘hands-free’ on your walk.

Wear the right clothes

Choosing the correct clothing for a hot-weather walk will make all the difference to your comfort and enjoyment. If you’re worried about the heat, avoid walking at the hottest time of the day and/or head down to the sea where the air is cooler.

Beginner tip: try to avoid garments with a high percentage of cotton, as they tend to retain moisture.

Advanced tip: wear clothing that has a UV protection rating and will wick sweat away from the surface of your skin. This will help moderate your body temperature, while drying quickly.

Visitors walking along the family trail at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire
Visitors walking along the family trail at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Protect yourself from insects

Fine summer weather is often accompanied by increasing numbers of insects, particularly in the mornings and evenings.

Beginner tip: when walking at these times, keep the biting insects at bay by using an insect repellent on your skin, or wearing insect-repellent clothing.

Advanced tip: don’t wait until you’ve been bitten to apply repellent – put it on before you head out for the day to make sure you’re protected. Make sure to reapply if you’re sweating.

Pick the right footwear

Choosing the correct footwear can be a great help for your feet to cope with the heat.

Beginner tip: avoid cotton socks at all costs – they quickly become soaked and cause damp feet to blister. Walking sandals are a good summer option, but remember to match your choice of footwear to the terrain you’ll be walking on.

Advanced tip: choose socks that draw moisture away from the skin – steer clear of thick winter walking socks.

Close up of a walker's boots with a group of walkers in the background as they climb up Pen yr Ole Wen, Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd, Wales
Hikers taking a break up a mountain | © National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Keep your head covered

As there might not be much cover where you’re walking, the right hat will help protect your head from the sun and can keep you cool.

Beginner tip: finding a hat with a brim can offer some eye protection too.

Advanced tip: don’t forget your sunglasses and remember to take a simple first aid kit with you, so that you’re ready for anything.

Discount for National Trust supporters

As our official outdoor retail partner, Cotswold Outdoor supports our care of the country’s coast and countryside.

National Trust supporters receive a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor, in store and online when you sign up to Cotswold Outdoor’s free Explore More benefits scheme. This offer expires on 30 September 2026 but may be extended. Details on how to claim the discount can be found below.

A group of hikers exploring a hilly landscape on a sunny winter's day.

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