10 GREAT Day Hikes In England Including Walking Routes

We've done some beautiful walks over the past years and now we are sharing 10 of the best day hikes right here in England.

We've included walks from all over England, some done by us, other by fellow wanderers. Let us know in the comments of any great day hikes suggestions that we missed out, so we may tread new paths.

The hikes are organised by location, you can search for day hikes in the north, midlands or south, or you can read the full list (or skip to the area that is near you).

This list includes walks that can be done in a day or as part of a multi-day hike. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Enjoy and let's take the long way home...

 (Foggy start to the climb to Blencathra's Sharp Edge)

Blencathra, Lake District 

Blencathra, also known as Saddleback, is one of the most northerly hills in the the Lake District. With six separate fell tops, the highest fell is the Hallsfell Top at 2,848 feet (868 metres).

Route location: Scales, near Keswick, Northern Lake District

Walk distance: 5.3 miles/8.6 km

Total ascent: 729 m/2,392 ft

Blencathra is a great day walk for all hikers, there’s a mix of different routes up to the 868-metre summit. From a more gradual route up to some fun scrambles via Sharp Edge and Hall’s Fell Ridge. 

It’s by no means an easy day hike as you’re walking quite a distance vertically but the views on a good day are totally worth it (we promise it did clear out when we got to the top).

We opted for the Sharp Edge route (walk details below) where you have two routes to ascend to Blencathra summit from Scales Tarn. It's good because if you decide it’s not for you with the ever weather conditions changing, you can turn left at the tarn and ascend via a less-challenging path. 

Word of advise, that in wet conditions the slate rocks via Sharp Edge are really slippy.

Blencathra Hike Route

Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

Hadrian's Wall (Latin: Vallum Aelium), also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It runs from Wallsend on the River Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.

With a significant portion of the wall still standing, it can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian's Wall Path. As the largest Roman archaeological feature in Britain, it runs a total of 73 miles (117.5 kilometres) in northern England. It's a British cultural icon and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Route location: The Sill, near Haltwhistle, southern Northumberland National Park

Walk distance: 4.4 miles/7.1 km

Total ascent: 255 m/837 ft

Although we did the whole Hadrian’s Wall hike, this is only a very short section of the 86-mile route, but it’s Harriet's (pictured at the back) favourite bit and it’s perfect for a day walk.

From ‘The Sill’, you simply follow the road up to the path and turn right heading up onto Hadrian’s Wall. Then you simply follow the remaining wall, which is pretty intact along this section of the path. 

You’ll go via Sycamore Gap (made famous by the Robin Hood movie), but it’s worth it too. And then further along the path, you’ll have beautiful views of Crag Lough below.

We found that there are two options for this walk. You can walk along the wall and back the same way or opt for our route which takes you back away from the wall (along a quieter path) but with beautiful views looking up at the wall. 

And to finish your walk, ‘The Sill’ has a great little coffee shop and it's UK’s National Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed in the Northumberland National Park.

Hadrian’s Wall Hike Route

Helvellyn, Lake District

Route location: Glenridding, central Lake District

Walk distance: 7.6 miles/12.2 km

Total ascent: 928 m/3,045 ft

We have done this one quite a few times. Brilliant but challenging for a day walk in England. In fact, Helvellyn was rated as the Number 1 Best Day Walk in the U.K. by walkers and wanderers.

Start in Glenridding, you head up towards Red Tarn, then up via Swirral Edge, a short scramble route up to Helvellyn summit. The views from Helvellyn on a clear day are amazing, with views across to Ullswater nearby.

Enjoy your time on the summit, as you have earned it, take photos, then head down via Striding Edge. Although the descent is pretty steep and tricky for this section, its one you will remember!

Take your time and enjoy the downhill climb until you’re on to Striding Edge itself. The hardest bit is climbing up onto the ridge but once you’re on the edge, the route is very straightforward. If you prefer you can drop down to the left of the ridge to a path or walk back via Birkhouse Moor hill, before descending back to the start.

Helvellyn Hike Route

Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales

Route location: Malham, south Yorkshire Dales

Walk distance: 4.9 miles/7.9 km

Total ascent: 236 m/774 ft

This hike is a suggestion from a good friend of ours. "Go to the village of Malham and you will see what I mean."...so we did, as it doesn't dissapoint.

The hike is done in a way to get the best view out of Malham Cove as you hike towards this huge limestone cliff. It’s stunning sight. You have the climb up to the top, via the left-hand-side, which leads you onto the magnificent limestone pavement, it’s one natural beauty after another with this walk. If you have seen Harry Potter, this will seem familiar to you.

The view at Malham Cove top is beautiful. You then continue towards Gordale Bridge and take a mini diversion to Gordale Scar, another scenery view in this route.

Walk past a small pretty waterfall (Janet’s Foss) before going back to Malham village where you can reward yourself with a drink in the pub. 

Malham Cove Hike Route

The Roaches, Hen Cloud + Lud’s Church, Peak District

Route location: Upper Hulme, near Leek, Staffordshire

Walk distance: 10 miles17 km

Total ascent: 761 m/2,496 ft

Another Peak District walk as being in the top hikes in England. It’s located on the Staffordshire side of the Peak District and it’s such a great walk.

The wonderful thing is that you get beautiful views, woodlands treks and exploring Lud’s Church, which isn’t an actual church but a historic place of worship.

The walk starts climbing up Hen Cloud and immediately you have stunning views all the way across to Tittesworth Reservoir, then you go on to the iconic Roaches, with its gritstone rocks jutting out.

The Roaches Hike Trail

Thorpe Cloud + Dovedale, Peak District

Route location: Thorpe, southern Peak District

Walk distance: 10 miles/16 km

Total ascent: 574 m/1,883 ft

Dovedale and Thorpe Cloud is a 10-mile walk. This 10-mile circular loop will give you that full Dovedale experience walking alongside the River Dove towards Milldale then comes back up across the fields before joining up with the Tissington Trail.

Dovedale walk and Thorpe Cloud are extremely popular during peak season, be warned. We usually choose by going, on a cooler day or midweek if you can.

Cheddar Gorge, Mendip Hills

Route location: Cheddar, Somerset

Walk distance: 6 miles/10 km

Total ascent: 449 m/1,473 ft

Cheddar Gorge is an absolutely beautiful hike. Start in the small town of Cheddar, you will gradually ascend the one side of the gorge where you get some pretty views.

The route then takes you through amazing woodlands and onto Velvet Bottom –  and remember to look at the ground! After you loop back to Cheddar Gorge, with just a short climb and you are out on the opposite side where you can see for miles.

The lovely thing about this route is finishing back in Cheddar. It’s got so many treats!

 Cheddar Gorge Hike Trail

Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast

Route location: West Lulworth, Dorset

Walk distance: 4 miles/6.5 km

Total ascent: 340 m/1,115 ft

This one is a beauty. It's a stright hike that you can extend if you want to. This 4-mile route takes you on all the highlights of the Jurassic Coast, including popular Durdle Door.

From Lulworth Cove, you hike up towards Durdle Door with the amazing views of the cove behind you. At Durdle Door it’s certainly worth continuing the walk along the cliff tops. 

Birling Gap to Beachy Head, South Downs

Route location: Nr Eastbourne

Walk distance: 5 miles/8 km

Total ascent: 289 m/948 ft

Another lovely linear coastal walk for your list, this one takes you on a beautiful section in the newest National Park in the UK - the South Downs National Park.

From Birling Gap seafront, simply ascend up to the cliffs to follow this walk overlooking the sea below. The highlight is definitely the viewpoint at Beachy Head where you can see the iconic lighthouse.


Beeston Bump, Norfolk Coast  

Route location: Sheringham, Norfolk

Walk distance: 3 miles/5 km

Total ascent: 133 m/436 ft

The Norfolk Coast is a wonderful walk to do. So many bank holiday weekends spent around and in Norforlk. The full 84 mile/135 km route can be done as a long distance walk from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea. This is a short section of that route.

There are many different ways you can extend your walk by starting further down the coastal path or simply walking further. The path is way-marked well and you’re simply keeping the sea on your right (or left) so you can’t go too wrong!

This short route takes you to the highest point on the Norfolk Coast, at a huge height of 63 metres, but since everything else is flat you do get good views from the top! 

Beeston Bump, Norfolk Coast Hike Trail 

These are our current 10 best day hikes in England. I hope you find some inspiration for your next walk. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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