Walks for challenge seekers

Walker enjoys the view at Brecon Beacons National Park

Walking is great way to explore many places that you might otherwise not be able to see or experience the beauty of. Many of the landscapes we care for are full of opportunities to test yourself against the terrain.

Take a look at some of the best walking routes that'll push you that bit harder and further. From summit climbs to lengthy trails, there are plenty of routes for you to try. It's time to get your walking boots on and start exploring one of the more challenging routes.

As our exclusive walking partner, Cotswold Outdoor is supporting us to look after coast and countryside, which means you'll always have some more difficult terrains and places to explore.

Ashridge's Ivinghoe Beacon
Walking trail

Ashridge Estate boundary trail walk, Hertforshire 

Take in the Chilterns countryside on a circular 16-mile (26km) walk around the Ashridge Estate boundary. The route offers views of Pitstone Hill and Incombe Hole, a valley carved out during the Ice Age, and sweeping panoramas from the top of Ivinghoe Beacon. You’ll also pass through Golden Valley, landscaped by 'Capability' Brown.

Walkers enjoy the view at the Brecon Beacons National Park
Walking trail

Brecon Beacons horseshoe ridge walk, Powys 

If you love a challenging peak, try out this circular 9-mile (14km) upland mountain walk in the Brecon Beacons. Conquer the summits of Corn Du, Pen y Fan (the highest mountain in south Wales), Cribyn and Fan-y-Big in turn, soaking in wide views over the National Park. Burial cairns are a common feature on the summits.

Strangford Lough at Castle Ward, County Down
Walking trail

Boundary trail at Castle Ward, County Down 

Enjoy the scenery of Castle Ward along the 8-mile (13km) boundary trail, the longest trail on the demesne. You’ll pass through woodland, farmland and along the shores of Strangford Lough where you’ll find the ruins of Audley's Castle. The route follows a multi-use trail so expect to see cyclists and horse riders along the way.

Two people walking in Felbrigg Park at sunset with their dog
Walking trail

Felbrigg Estate Mountain walk, Norfolk 

Follow the varied terrain of this circular 16-mile (26km) walk through the Norfolk countryside near the Felbrigg Estate and you’ll cover ascents totalling 1140ft (347m), the equivalent of a small peak, including climbs to the top of Incleborough Hill and Beeston Bump. You’ll encounter unsurfaced and rough paths which can be very muddy.

Visitors on the coast path
Walking trail

Heddon Valley to Woody Bay walk, Devon 

The exposed cliffs of the Exmoor Coast make this 6-mile (9.6km) circular walk from Heddon Valley, via Heddon’s Mouth, to Woody Bay a potentially testing one. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with views of Lynmouth Bay and Foreland Point and towards the Welsh coast. You can also visit the Martinhoe Roman fortlet along the way.

Bronze Age cairn at Drygarn Fawr on Abergwesyn Commons, Powys
Walking trail

Llanwrthwl horseshoe walk, Powys 

This circular 10-mile (16km) walk on the eastern side of Abergwesyn Common will see you tackle mountain moorland and peat bog. You’ll climb to the summit of Trembyd, which means 'view of the world' in Welsh, from where you can admire the Wye Valley below and beyond. You’ll also walk to the top of Y Gamrhiw.

View across the Shropshire hills from the top of LongMynd
Walking trail

A walk to the top of the Long Mynd, Shropshire 

The Long Mynd is a heath and moorland plateau which forms part of the Shropshire Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This circular 5-mile (8km) walk will take you from the Carding Mill Valley up to the highest point of the Long Mynd, Pole Bank, where you can see as far as the Brecon Beacons and the Malvern Hills on a clear day.

River Wharfe at Buckden, Upper Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales
Walking trail

Old Cote Moor from Kettlewell, North Yorkshire 

This 8.7-mile (14km) walk from the village of Kettlewell in Upper Wharfedale includes a very steep climb up to Old Cote Moor before following the exposed ridge separating Wharfedale and Littondale with ladder stiles to cross along the way. In contrast the return route from Buckden follows the tranquil River Wharfe.

People taking a break on their walk to the summit of Great Gable, Cumbria
Walking trail

Seathwaite to Sty Head and Grains Gill walk, Cumbria 

Head into the heart of the Lake District on a 5.5-mile (9km) walk from Seathwaite following an ancient packhorse route. The walk passes Sty Head Tarn, where you’ll get views of Great Gable mountain, and Sprinkling Tarn, both lovely waterside spots to rest your legs. You can also marvel at Great End, a sheer rock face at the head of the Borrowdale valley.