The UK’s Best Hikes for Beginners

If there is one New Year’s resolution that deserves to be among your myriad of ambitions pencilled in for this year, hiking is surely it. Throughout the lockdown many of us turned to the outdoors and enjoyed much more time outside, so make this year take it one step further and try hiking. Giving you a much-needed break away from our screens there is a growing urge to enjoy the outdoors once again and reap the benefits. From the sense of adventure and stunning landscapes to the endless health benefits, not much beats feeling the sun on your back and wind in your face as you venture off over the landscape on your week or weekend away out of the office and away from home.

They may often be wet, windy and boggy, but the British Isles are also home to some of the greenest and greatest landscapes in Europe, if not the world. The Hut picks out five routes for hiking beginners which will allow you to amble along at your own pace while taking in some of the finest vistas the country has to offer.

Mam Tor & the ‘Great Ridge’, Peak District

hiking for beginners

Dating back to the Bronze Age, Mam Tor is celebrated as one of the Peak District’s most fascinating hills with dramatic views of the surrounding landscape. The route to the top of Mam Tor and around to the ‘Great Ridge’ is laid out with well-defined footpaths and fairly easy ascents—ideal for working up an appetite before a Sunday roast without any risk of injury or exhaustion.

The ascent of Mam Tor is a relatively short walk and can be completed within 1-2 hours.

Fairfield Horseshoe, Lake District

Best hikes for beginners


Deservedly a popular route among amateur and seasoned hikers, the Fairfield Horseshoe is a relatively straightforward route offering views across much of Lakeland. Its 10.2 miles stretch is very achievable for casual amblers, following clearly marked paths throughout and posing no serious problems while offering views well beyond its level of difficulty. Beginning and ending in Ambleside, the route is convenient for nearby parking and finding a deserved lunch after your walk. The walk around Fairfield Horseshoe roughly takes 6-8 hours.

Bochlwyd Horseshoe, Snowdonia

hikes for beginners


Taking in the Tryfan North Ridge, Bochlwyd Ridge plus the impressive peaks of Tryfan and Glyder Fach. The Bochlwyd Horseshoe is undoubtedly one of Snowdonia’s most generous routes for hikers covering approximately 6km in distance. A lap of Cwn Bochlwyd is widely regarded as one of the best low-grade hands-on routes in Wales—and with good reason. This hike takes roughly 3 h 37 min to complete.

Roseberry Topping, North York Moors

hikes for beginners


A mountain-in-miniature at just 1,049 feet (320m) high, Roseberry Topping gives spectacular views for its modest height. Its distinctive half-cone summit and jagged cliff is often said to be reminiscent of Switzerland’s famous Matterhorn. Caused by the combination of a geological fault and a mining collapse in 1912, it is an iconic landmark in the Tees Valley area.

The walk takes roughly 2-3 hours. It can get muddy so might be worth getting walking poles to help you. Especially when descending the very rocky and quite tricky path from the summit.

Ben Lui, Scottish Highlands

hikes for beginners


Located in Scotland’s Southern Highlands, Ben Lui is one of the range’s most elegant mountains. It offers relatively easy access from Glen Lochy and from there, the peak is achievable in just over 3km of hiking. You can venture over to the neighbouring Beinn a’ Chleibh on the descent.

Start by heading up the out-and-back trail near Crianlarich, Stirling. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 6 hours to complete.

Make sure you are prepared for all kinds of weather. Find the appropriate outerwear and footwear for your excursions with jackets from well-known brands such as Columbia, North Face, Rains and Sorel.


Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert