An active day out can be just as exciting for the whole family as a break away at the beach – if not more so. Hiking escapes provide families with a fantastic opportunity to explore the area and keep fit at the same time. In the UK, we are lucky enough to have some of the most stunning scenery seen anywhere in the world, right on our doorstep.
Aside from providing an entertaining day out that gets the blood pumping around the body, hiking also provides kids with the perfect opportunity to learn some vital life skills. Learning how to adapt to different situations, that hard work pays off and that leaping out of comfort zones can lead to wonderful experiences are all essential life lessons that they will take with them and use into adulthood.
So where are the best places in the UK to hike with kids?
Tramway Trail, Cornwall
Cornwall is nothing if not beautiful. If you live in the region, or find yourself there on holiday, why not don your comfiest boots and take to the Tramway Trail? It starts in the coastal town of Portreath and follows the line of two horse drawn railways to the coast of Devoran. Spanning 11 miles, it is popular with ramblers and cyclists in equal measure, and also provides an invaluable opportunity for young ones to learn about Cornwall’s history.
Seven Sisters, East Sussex
Home to the tallest chalk cliff in Britain, there’s no wonder Seven Sisters has made it onto our list. The coastal path stretches 13.8 miles, starting in Seaford, and follows along the chalk white cliffs which provide stunning views across the Channel. Finishing in glorious Eastbourne, there’s plenty of things to keep kids entertained along the way. Seven Sisters itself is a section of rolling hilltops between Cuckmere Haven and Birling Gap that provide the perfect place for a family photo. There’s also a number of summits along the route which also brings walkers right down to the shoreline in places.
Mam Tor, Peak District
Stretching just three miles, this route is perfect for an afternoon adventure. This circular walk in Castleton stretches over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors, circulating the famous Mam Tor – or Mother Hill – and back again. The walk itself offers breath-taking views over the surrounding area no matter what the season, and of course provides children with the opportunity to learn about the famous Blue John Cavern along the way and the rare mineral after which the cave is named.
Kerry Ridgeway, Welsh Borders
This ridgeline walk is one of the most spectacular in the whole of the country. Steeped in history, this 15 mile jaunt begins at Cinder House Farm and ends at Bishop’s Castle. It tracks the route farmers from across Wales would take their sheep, cattle and geese to delivery agents who would transport them to England. If you’re lucky enough to choose a clear day, you’ll be treated to around 70 mile views of Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons and the Shropshire hills. The route is also close to a red-kite breeding and protection programme, so if you’re on the ball, you’ll almost certainly see a few of these magnificent creatures soaring above.
Machynlleth to Llanbrynmair, Wales
At 18.2 miles, this walk isn’t for the faint-hearted – but it is one of the best in the whole of Wales. Luckily the walk is fairly flat, so is great for families. It offers striking views across Dyfi Valley to Cadair Idris’s brooding hulk, as well as acres of farmland that surround the path. There’s also a pub around the halfway point to catch your breath, fill hungry bellies and keep the whole family going to the end.
If you’re looking for an active day out with the family, all of these walks provide something that little bit different for you to make lasting memories as a family. However it’s important you don’t forget the essentials when going on an outdoor adventure. Sun cream is one of the most important essentials – especially in the summer, while a small first aid kit will always come in handy for those little scrapes. And don’t forget the most important thing; food and drink!
Where are your favourite family hiking destinations?