Is it time for you to step off the more obvious trails and head for somewhere less well-known to explore parts of our four nations that may not be so popular, though we’re not sure why – they’re stunning. Try these walks with Ramblers Walking Holidays for somewhere a little different.
Regal castles, historic cities and picturesque villages are plentiful amongst Scotland’s craggy mountains and coastline in the north-east, with royal connections back to Queen Victoria. You can explore the paths of the Balmoral estate, try a dram at the Royal Lochnagar whisky distillery and take a walking tour of coastal Aberdeen, known as The Flower of Scotland. Then visit Crathes Castle with red squirrels in the grounds, walk around Stonehaven’s harbour and discover ruined Dunnottar Castle with its magnificent views. And if you’re there in September, be sure to visit the Braemar Gathering at celebration of Scottish culture and sport.
Buxton and the Northern Peaks
This fabulous spa town with exceptionally fine buildings, including the fine Georgian crescent, is home to the eponymous mineral water with natural spas existing since Roman times. It’s surrounded on three sides by the Peak District, the UK’s first National Park. This came about due to the Mass Trespass to Kinder Scout in 1932, when workers claimed the right to walk across Derbyshire’s land. It’s a moorland plateau that rewards the hiker with superb panoramas. Even less frequented is the walk from Ladybower reservoir, practice run for Squadron 617’s bouncing bombs during WWII, to Derwent Edge, across the moors dotted with tors.
Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
The western section of the path running between Dale and Strumble Head, near Fishguard, is filled with interest. From magnificent geological features, such as Caerfai Bay’s purple sandstone cliffs to the lunar landscape ‘Raggle Rocks’ at Marloes Sands. See an exceptional variety of sea-bird species and protected flora, stunning in the spring. We recommend the path here for anyone who enjoys the wild Atlantic coast, with islands out to sea and can manage steeper gradients. And you’ll find Celtic history is never far away in this area of Wales, indeed St David reputedly was born here where the remains of St Non’s (his mother) chapel stand.
The Mountains of Mourne
Sweeping down to the sea, you’ll find the Mournes, a dramatic granite mountain range on Northern Ireland’s west coast in County Down, with numerous peaks, the tallest being Slieve Donard at 850 metres. It’s an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which as a result attracts climbers and walkers alike. Traversed by the incredible dry stone Mourne Wall, which is around 20 miles long and scales 15 of the highest mountains, this area is partially owned by the National Trust and may become Northern Ireland’s first National Park.
Ramblers Walking Holidays offer guided walking tours to all these places and many more in the UK, as well as overseas. These are ideal holidays for active, mature travellers. Call 0800 412 5678 to talk to our Silver Travel Advisors.