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Top tips for hill and mountain walking

A person walking along a footpath in a grassy landscape on Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight
Explore the landscape at Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight | © National Trust Images/John Millar

We've teamed up with our exclusive walking partner Cotswold Outdoor to make sure you're well prepared for a day of walking in the hills or mountains. Andy Perry, manager of the Cotswold Outdoor store in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons), shares his top tips for getting the most out of walking in upland areas.

What to bring with you

Here's a checklist of essential clothing and equipment to take on any hill or mountain walk:

  • Walking boots
  • Comfortable socks
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Mid-layer to wear between your outer and skin layer
  • Gloves
  • Backpack
  • Head torch
  • First-aid kit
  • Compass
  • Map

Keep your energy levels up

If you feel tired, take a 20-minute break. Eat an energy-boosting snack like homemade trail mix (nuts, seeds and chocolate).

Carry about two litres of water per adult and stay hydrated.

Two walkers sat on the hillside at Mam Tor, Peak District, Derbyshire
It's important to take a break if you feel tired | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

Stay safe

Before you head out, check the weather with the Met Office. Be aware that conditions in mountainous areas can change quickly.

Always come down a hill or mountain slowly and carefully, as this is when most injuries occur.

Please take litter home with you

Litter not only damages the landscape, it also poses a threat to wildlife and can fuel wildfires.

That’s why we ask you to keep hold of your litter until you find a bin, or please take it home with you.

Walkers stopping to read the map on Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales
Learn how to use a map and compass before heading out | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Our work with Cotswold Outdoor

As our exclusive walking partner, Cotswold Outdoor supports our work looking after special outdoor places for everyone to enjoy. Cotswold Outdoor gives us funding to help care for walking trails so more people can access the countryside.

As our official outdoor retail partner, Cotswold Outdoor supports us in safeguarding coast and countryside.

Discount for National Trust supporters

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 offer are below.

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

Find a walk

Discover some of the best places for walks, including ancient woodland, stretches of coast and green parkland.

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

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