If you’ve got a love of the great outdoors and a sense of adventure that’s itching to be unleashed, then a hiking holiday is for you. It’s not only amazing exercise – the breathtaking views you’ll discover en route are well worth the hard work. Challenge yourself to scale a mountain or take things slow with a stroll in the forest. Whatever your age and ability, a hiking holiday is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.
Top hiking holidays in the UK
After a long day of walking, put your feet up at your own private holiday rental. Whether you love the peace and quiet of a cottage tucked away in a sleepy village, or want to spread out in a spacious townhouse with pubs and restaurants nearby, Holiday Lettings has got it covered.
*Methodology: We analysed all UK holiday rental reviews on TripAdvisor. (Holiday Lettings is a TripAdvisor company). Selected hiking destinations needed to be among some of the highest-rated in the country (minimum 100 lifetime total reviews), and have a sufficient amount of properties available to book on Holiday Lettings.
#1 Drymen, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park | Avg. Rating 4.918
The beautiful village of Drymen in Stirling is the ideal base from which to enjoy one of Scotland’s most stunning National Parks. Whether you’re new to walking holidays or you’re an experienced hiker, there are routes to suit all abilities. For a strenuous (but exhilarating) hike, ascend the Sron a’ Chlachain peak for glorious views of Killin and Loch Tay. Or if you want to take things easy, stroll through planted forest and native woodland at Acharn Forest. There are so many options when it comes to walking in this area. And, with cosy boltholes or even modern cottages nearby, you’ll be spoilt for choice for rentals, too.
#2 Carlisle, Cumbria | Avg. Rating 4.917
Welcome to the charming Carlisle – Cumbria’s charming cathedral city. The surrounding Lake District has been inspiring poets, artists and writers for hundreds of years. It’s easy to fall under its spell when you look out over the mountains in this breathtaking part of the world. Experienced hikers will probably be keen to scale the world-famous Scafell Pike with its wild and rocky terrain, while those looking to follow in William Wordsworth’s footsteps should wander over to Ullswater to laze on a riverbank and watch the daffodils. And after a day spent exploring the beautiful waterfalls and woodlands nearby, why not put your feet up in your own private holiday rental? From lakeland stone townhouses with exposed beams to quirky cottages on the outskirts, there are lots of options in Carlisle.
#3 Bangor, County Down | Avg. Rating 4.907
The beautiful seaside town of Bangor is perfect for mountain holidays as there are so many places to explore nearby. The imposing granite tors and lofty peaks of the dramatic Mourne Mountains will take your breath away, and the Glen River walk is a great way to see this range in all its glory. Wildlife enthusiasts and those walking with children should check out the Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Downpatrick. Your pedometer will be stacking up the steps without you even realising it as you’ll be busy spotting colourful wild roses, rare species of birds and wildfowl. And if the sea is your ideal backdrop for a hike, the North Down Coastal Path is the place for you.
#4 Ullapool, Scottish Highlands | Avg. Rating 4.876
From a gentle amble along the Fife Coastal Path to a hefty hike on the Great Glen way, the Scottish Highlands has some of the best walking routes in the world. A rental in Ullapool is a great choice as you can enjoy walks along the traditional harbour or tuck into some hearty pub grub to refuel after scaling the slopes of nearby Stac Pollaidh. If you love discovering historical sites, choose a route past Melrose Abbey or follow the Cateran Trail to discover ancient tracks used by cattle rustlers (Caterans) who plundered glens from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. When you’re ready to rest, a cosy cottage rental or a secluded cabin in the woods awaits!
#5 Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway | Avg. Rating 4.874
Expect a warm and friendly welcome when you stay in Dumfries. This pretty town was once home to the poet, Robert Burns. Nearby, you’ll find atmospheric forests, rugged hills and picturesque villages, so you’re sure to find the perfect hiking route for you. Take a stroll along the Solway Coast to the Merrick, or maybe try the popular hill ascent above Loch Trool. If you need some refreshment, you’ll find plenty of traditional pubs and quaint cafes on the way. This area is beautiful all year round, so why not book a romantic trekking holiday this autumn?
#6 St Agnes, Cornwall | Avg. Rating 4.864
With over 300 miles of coastal path and 2,400 miles of inland trails, Cornwall is a hiker’s paradise. One of the best places to stay if you’re looking to make the most of these trails is St Agnes, due to its proximity to some of the best walking routes. The Pendennis Point, Falmouth to Maenporth route on the south coast is great for all ages and abilities and includes impressive views south towards the Lizard and east towards Plymouth. For (even) more stunning scenery, head to Widemouth Bay and walk to Pentire Point. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the north coast will leave you feeling refreshed and revived. You’ll find these routes and many more when you book a hiking holiday in Cornwall.
#7 Brecon, Brecon Beacons National Park | Avg. Rating 4.863
Lush green glades, sparkling waterfalls and magical caves make hiking holidays in the Brecon Beacons feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy-tale. The town of Brecon is the perfect base for exploring the 600+ miles of bridle paths and tracks that criss-cross this area. Take some binoculars with you to get a good look at the Red Kites as you walk; these magnificent birds of prey are now common in the region. For a little light refreshment, enjoy a freshly made scone at one of the pretty farmhouse cafes in the area. After a day spent in the great outdoors, you’ll love returning to your tranquil cottage to relax before dinner.
#8 Chipping Campden, Cotswolds | Avg. Rating 4.846
Whether you relish the challenge of hiking up a hill or want to take it easy with a gentle stroll, the Cotswolds is rich in hiking and walking opportunities. The utterly charming village of Chipping Campden boasts some of the best holiday rentals in the area, so it’s a wonderful place to choose a classic cottage to rent for a relaxing getaway. There’s also a variety of circular walks which include level and stile-free routes ideal for wheelchairs and easy access.
If you’re feeling energetic, why not complete the Cotswold Way National Trail? This 102-mile route takes walkers through some of the Cotswolds’ best scenery with historic monuments and pretty villages en route. The rolling hills and lush woodland surrounding Chipping Campden is sure to make any hiker or keen walker want to return again and again.
#9 Winchester, Hampshire | Avg. Rating 4.817
For lovers of history and architecture, Winchester is an excellent base for a hiking holiday in Hampshire. Visit The Great Hall where you can see an interpretation of King Arthur’s round table, head to the bustling cultural quarter of the city where you can watch a play or listen to live music. But don’t forget the surrounding landscape: Hampshire has some of England’s most inspiring countryside where ancient woodlands, secluded valleys and open down lands sit side by side. Popular routes in the area include the Clarendon Way, the Wayfarer’s Walk and the South Downs Way National Trail.
#10 Welshpool, Powys | Avg. Rating 4.754
This pretty market town in Wales is famous for its elegant Georgian buildings, Montgomery Canal and the 17th-century Powis Castle and Gardens. It’s a great place to stay when you’re hiking in the region. If you’ve never experienced the thrill of climbing to the summit of a mountain, Pen y fan is a good place to start. Or for a nice easy walk long the lake, hike along Llyn Safaddan in Llangorse where you can enjoy a picnic as a reward at the end. You’ll find a wide array of rentals in the area, from log cabins to converted barns, so picking a place to stay is easy.
#11 The Lizard, Cornwall | Avg. Rating 4.750
This picture-perfect peninsula in Southern Cornwall is perfect for a hiking holiday. You have some fantastic inland trails and coastal paths right on your doorstep! For an easy but rewarding hike, start at the impressive Lizard Lighthouse, Tennyson’s “Southern Eyes of Britain”. You’ll also see the huge conical hole in the cliff top know as ‘Lions Den’ created when a sea cave collapsed in 1847. The Old Coastguard lookout on this route is still manned and, as you head into the more remote sections of the Cornwall Coast Path, you will be logged in as you pass. At the end of a day outdoors, there’s nothing like kicking back and relaxing in the cosy atmosphere of your private rental.
#12 Fort William, Lochaber | Avg. Rating 4.697
Known as the gateway to Ben Nevis, this beautiful town has plenty of independent shops and restaurants, so it’s a great place to base yourself for a walking holiday in the area. If you love expansive beaches, take a walk along the Ardnamurchan peninsula with its fabulous views of The Small Isles and Ardnamurchan Point. Shell collectors will love it here, too, as the white sandy beach is strewn with sparkling treasures. And, of course, Ben Nevis will be a major highlight for hiking enthusiasts during their stay.