Paths, parks and countryside areas

Snowdonia

  • Distance or area: 2176 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Wales

Hikers have a network of challenging mountain walks to try, which include six footpaths up Snowdon to feast on the stunning views from the summit. The paths can be testing and so more suited to experienced walkers. Those looking for something less tricky than a mountain climb are well served by the various treks through the hills of Snowdonia.

More information:www.snowdonia-npa.gov.uk

Pembrokeshire Coast

  • Distance or area: 620 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Wales

Pembrokeshire Coast National park is Britain's only truly coastal national park.

More information:www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk

Peak District

  • Distance or area: 1437 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: East Midlands

This national park has an illustrious CV. It was chosen as the country’s first national park, is home to the first ever long distance path and the moorland plateau that symbolised the access struggled in the 1930s. It is also the second most visited national park in the world.

More information:www.peakdistrict.gov.uk

South Downs

  • Distance or area: 1624 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: South East England

In 2011, the most populated corner of Britain finally got the recreational refuge it was desperate for. The South Downs is the most visited of all the national parks, with 39 million visitors per year. Walkers are well served by the 100-mile South Downs Way, woodlands, countryside, coast and an impressive 3,000 kilometres of rights of way.

More information:www.southdowns.gov.uk

Lake District

  • Distance or area: 2292 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: North West England

There has long been a fascination with this place. Alfred Wainwright made the Lakes his life’s work, writing seven guidebooks in which he created beautiful pen and ink sketches, maps and descriptions and we haven’t stopped eulogising about it since. And with good reason. It is justifiably famous for the interplay between its mountains and water, not forgetting its high fells, rocky crags and lush dales.

More information:www.lakedistrict.gov.uk

Broads

  • Distance or area: 305 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: East of England

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is one of Britain’s finest wetlands. It is of international nature conservation importance covering an area of 303 square km, mainly within Norfolk, but with a small part in Suffolk. The dominant landscapes are expanses of water, grazing marshes, fens and wet woodlands.

More information:www.broads-authority.gov.uk

Yorkshire Dales

  • Distance or area: 1769 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Yorkshire and Humber

Expansive, tranquil and often remote these limestone uplands with their distinctive crags and pavements straddle the Pennines in striking fashion. Situated in North Yorkshire and Cumbria in Northern England, the park protects some 1,769 square kilometres of some of the most beautiful terrain in the country.

More information:www.yorkshiredales.org.uk

North York Moors

  • Distance or area: 1434 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Yorkshire and Humber

For many of us a perfect walk is in a remote location with just stunning scenery for company. There can be few better locations for such a walk than the North York Moors National Park. A huge expanse of heather moorland as far as the eye can see, spectacular coastline adorned with towering cliffs, beautiful dales and woodland, all housed in the least populated national park in the country.

More information:www.northyorkmoors.org.uk

Breacon Beacons

  • Distance or area: 1344 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Wales

Before the invention of sophisticated satellite systems British monarchs relied on a system of early-warning fires to alert them of an imminent invasion. In South Wales, the pivotal point of this network, visible across fifteen counties, was Pen Y Fan. Over time the beacon leant its name to the entire range of hills extending to either side of it.

More information:www.beacons-npa.gov.uk

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

  • Distance or area: 1865 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Central Scotland

Scotland’s first National Park encompasses 1,865 square kilometres of some of the finest scenery in Scotland. Lying on the Highland Boundary fault – where the gentle Lowlands meet the unkempt Highlands, it is a chocolate box selection of varying landscapes – rolling lowland in the south, lofty mountains in the north and many lochs, rivers, forests and woodlands in between.

More information:www.lochlomond-trossachs.org

The Cairngorms

  • Distance or area: 4528 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Northern Scotland

Few National Parks are as epic as the Cairngorms. Not only is it the largest of the National Parks family, it’s also one of the wildest landscapes in Britain. Where else can boast Britain’s highest and largest mountain range, five of the UK’s six highest mountains, 43 Munros and even three ski centres?

More information:cairngorms.co.uk

Dartmoor

  • Distance or area: 953 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: South West England

Dartmoor was one of the first National Parks to be designed in the late 50s. It is a unique place, a wonderful wild landscape where changes in the weather have a strong impact. When the mist is down the striking tors crowning the moorland hilltops can make it feel like an eerie place. Yet when the sun is out, its huge horizons and stunning views inspire a real sense of joy and freedom.

More information:www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk

Northumberland

  • Distance or area: 1048 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: North East England

The Northumberland National Park lies at the very top of England and is home to some huge walking giants – The Cheviot Hills, Hadrian’s Wall, The Pennine Way and St Cuthbert’s Way. With 600 miles of footpaths and bridleways on offer there is an opportunity for leisure walking and more challenging hikes.

More information:www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk

New Forest

  • Distance or area: 570 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: South East England

After years of campaigning we were very pleased when the New Forest was finally designation National Park in 2004. It was to be a much-needed green lung for the South East. Ancient and ornamental woodland and open heathland as expected form the dominant landscape of the park but you can also roam over 26 miles of glorious coastline including salt marshes, lagoons and mudflats.

More information:www.newforestnpa.gov.uk

Exmoor

  • Distance or area: 694 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: South West England

Exmoor was granted a designation order for National Park status in 1954. Situated in the south west of England, three quarters of the land in the Park is in Somerset and the rest in Devon. The Park has been given the “Walkers Are Welcome” stamp of approval in recognition of its friendliness to walkers.

More information:www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Formartine and Buchan Way

  • Start point: Dyce, near Aberdeen
  • End point: Fraserburgh & Peterhead
  • Distance or area: 53 miles (86km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Northern Scotland

The Formartine and Buchan Way is an off-road route linking Dyce with Fraserburgh and Peterhead. The path follows the old Formartine and Buchan Railway line which in its glory days transported passengers from Dyce on the fringes of Aberdeen to the coastal towns of Fraserburgh or Peterhead, the route splitting at the village of Maud.

More information:www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Borders Abbeys Way

  • Start point: Circular route taking in the border towns of Jedburgh, Hawick, Selkirk, Melrose and Kelso
  • Distance or area: 68 miles (109km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

The magnificent ruined abbeys are the draw of this route which links historic border towns and villages and takes walkers across varied terrain from roads to tracks and farm fields, riverside paths to forest rides and old railway lines to old drove roads.

More information:www.bordersabbeysway.com

Cateran Trail

  • Start point: Blairgowrie (circular route)
  • Distance or area: 64 miles (103 km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Central Scotland

Taking its name from cattle thieves and marauders who roamed the area from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, the lasso-shaped Cateran Trail is a relatively gentle route blessed with peaceful glens and mountain views which also takes in expansive moorland and farmland and forest.

More information:www.caterantrail.org

River Ayr Way

  • Start point: Glenbuck
  • End point: Ayr
  • Distance or area: 44 miles (70km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

Few walks can be more fulfilling than accompanying a river on its journey from its source until reaching its final destination, the sea. The River Ayr Way was Scotland’s first ‘source to sea’ path, taking walkers from the river’s source at Glenbuck Loch to the coast at Ayr.

More information:www.theriverayrway.org

West Highland Way

  • Start point: Milnagavie, nr Glasgow
  • End point: Fort William
  • Distance or area: 96 miles (155km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Central Scotland

One of the longer of Scotland’s Great Trails, the West Highland Way is an epic walk. It starts close to Scotland’s largest city, follows the shores of its biggest loch and passes at the foot of its tallest mountain. It was also the first of Scotland’s paths to be made an official long distance route in 1980.

More information:www.west-highland-way.co.uk

Fife Coastal Path

  • Start point: Kincardine
  • End point: Neburgh
  • Distance or area: 117 miles (187km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Central Scotland

The Fife Coastal Path runs from the Forth Estuary in the south to the Tay Estuary in the north for a distance of 117 miles, bringing walkers past pretty villages, along award-winning beaches, over rugged cliffs and even to the origin of modern golf in St Andrews!

More information:www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk

Rob Roy Way

  • Start point: Drymen
  • End point: Pitlochry
  • Distance or area: 77 or 94 miles (124 or 151km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Central Scotland

This route pays homage to Scottish folk hero, outlaw and legend Robert Roy MacGregor, known as Rob Roy, and the routes he and others used during the Jacobite uprisings and clan feuds of the 17th and 18th centuries.

More information:www.robroyway.com

Dava Way

  • Start point: Grantown-on-Spey
  • End point: Forres
  • Distance or area: 24 miles (39km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Northern Scotland

The Dava Way links the historic towns of Forres in Moray with Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park. Almost all of the route follows the old Highland Railway line and so is off-road and away from traffic.

More information:www.davaway.org.uk

Speyside Way

  • Start point: Buckie
  • End point: Aviemore
  • Distance or area: 65 miles (105km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Northern Scotland

This route links the Moray coast with the edge of the Cairngorms. It starts at Buckie on the coast and follows the course of the Speyside Valley to Aviemore for 65 miles. There is an off-shoot walk of 15 miles that stretches walkers further on a challenging route from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul.

More information:www.speysideway.org

Clyde Walkway

  • Start point: Patrick, Glasgow
  • End point: New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Distance or area: 40 miles (65km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

This route begins in the heart of Glasgow and ends at the former cotton mill village and now UNESCO World Heritage Site of New Lanark, giving an insight into the industrial heritage of the Clyde Valley while taking in natural delights including wooded gorges and the ‘Falls of Clyde’.

More information:www.visitlanarkshire.com

Annandale Way

  • Start point: Annanhead, above Moffat
  • End point: Newbiebarnes, near Annan
  • Distance or area: 55 miles (89km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

Like the Thames Path National Trail, this 55 mile long distance walking route stays close to a river from source to sea, in this case the river Annan. Along the way it brings walkers through the stunning scenery of the Annandale ‘strath’ or large valley with sights such as a Roman watch tower along the way.

More information:annandaleway.org

Ayrshire Coastal Path

  • Start point: Glenapp
  • End point: Skelmorlie
  • Distance or area: 100 miles (161km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

This 100 mile route takes walkers along one of the finest coastlines in the British Isles, hugging cliff tops and skirting along beaches all the while offering views of the mountains of Arran across the Firth of Clyde.

More information:www.ayrshirecoastalpath.org

Cross Borders Drove Road

  • Start point: Little Vantage
  • End point: Hawick
  • Distance or area: 52 miles (83km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

As the name suggests, cattle and sheep were once driven along this route, but they have since been replaced by walkers, cyclists and horse riders making their way south from West Lothian to the Scottish Borders.

More information:www.southofscotlandcountrysidetrails.co.uk

Forth & Clyde and Union Canal Towpaths

  • Start point: Bowling
  • End point: Fountainbridge, Edinburgh
  • Distance or area: 66 miles (106km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Central Scotland

As the name suggests this route is a tale of two canals, the Forth & Clyde and the Union, which meet at the Falkirk Wheel boatlift to form a waterway and walking route from the mouth of the River Clyde on the west coast of Scotland to the capital on the east.

More information:www.scottishcanals.co.uk

Three Lochs Way

  • Start point: Balloch
  • End point: Inveruglas
  • Distance or area: 31 miles (50km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Central Scotland

The Three Lochs Way links the freshwater Loch Lomond with the sea lochs of Gare Loch and Loch Long in four stages. Views of these three bodies of water are never far away and walkers can also look out over the Forth of Clyde during the section from Balloch to Helensburgh.

More information:http://www.threelochsway.co.uk/index.html

Great Glen Way

  • Start point: Fort William
  • End point: Inverness
  • Distance or area: 79 miles (127km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Northern Scotland

This delightful route links Fort William, resting under the watchful eye of Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, with Inverness, following the major natural fault line of the Great Glen which divides Scotland from coast to coast.

More information:www.greatglenway.com

Berwickshire Coastal Path

  • Start point: Cockburnspath
  • End point: Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • Distance or area: 28 miles (45km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

The Berwickshire Coast Path may not be the longest of its kind but it still offers a terrific walking experience packed with geological sites and places of historic interest as well as uninterrupted views of the North Sea and the second highest cliffs on Britain’s east coast.

More information:www.scotborders.gov.uk/berwickshire_coastal_path

Kintyre Way

  • Start point: Tarbert
  • End point: Southend
  • Distance or area: 87 miles (140km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

Sea lovers are in for a real treat on the relatively unexplored Kintyre peninsula which, more island than mainland, lies sandwiched between the isles of Islay and Arran. The zigzagging Kintyre Way offers both gentle walking and more serious hikes but leaving for home may be the greatest challenge of all on this trail!

More information:www.kintyreway.com

Moray Coast Trail

  • Start point: Forres
  • End point: Cullen
  • Distance or area: 50 miles (80km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Northern Scotland

This part of Scotland has an incredible coastline and you will be rewarded with views over the Moray Firth no matter which part of the route you are walking along. Despite giving a sense of remoteness due to the ruggedness of the coast, pleasant villages and towns are never far away on this 50 mile trail.

More information:www.morayways.org.uk/moray-coast-trail

Romans & Reivers Route

  • Start point: Ae
  • End point: Hawick
  • Distance or area: 52 miles (83km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

Although initiated by the British Horse Society Scotland, the Romans & Reivers Route is a multi-use trail than can also be enjoyed by walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders alike with the terrain covered including old Roman roads, forest tracks, drove roads and quiet lanes.

More information:www.southofscotlandcountrysidetrails.co.uk

St Cuthbert’s Way

  • Start point: Melrose
  • End point: Lindisfarne (Holy Island), England
  • Distance or area: 62 miles (100km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland and North East England

This route links two places significant in the life of St Cuthbert, a 7th century saint who began his ministry in Melrose in the Scottish Borders town and was buried on Lindisfarne (Holy Island) in England off the Northumberland coast.

More information:www.stcuthbertsway.net

West Island Way

  • Start point: Kilchattan Bay
  • End point: Port Bannatyne
  • Distance or area: 30 miles (48km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

Not to be confused with the West Highland Way, the West Island Way opened in 2000 to mark the millennium and was Scotland’s first long distance island footpath. It runs the complete length of the Isle of Bute featuring seashore, moorland, farmland and forest – not forgetting the great views of Arran and the Cowal peninsula.

More information:www.visitbute.com/Walking+on+Bute

John Muir Way

  • Start point: Helensburgh
  • End point: Dunbar
  • Distance or area: 134 miles (215km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Central Scotland

The John Muir Way – named after the Scottish born conservationist John Muir – is a great escape for residents of Scotland’s capital out into the Scottish Borders. And with the coast serving as a companion on most of this route, there can be no better antidote to stressful city living.

More information:www.johnmuirway.org

Southern Upland Way

  • Start point: Portpatrick
  • End point: Cockburnspath
  • Distance or area: 212 miles (340km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

Welcome to Scotland’s only official coast-to-coast long distance path. It runs right across the country from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean at Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway to the North Sea at Cockburnspath in the Scottish Borders and is the undisputed giant of Scotland’s Great Trails.

More information:www.southernuplandway.gov.uk

Mull of Galloway Trail

  • Start point: Mull of Galloway
  • End point: Glenapp
  • Distance or area: 36 miles (58km)
  • Type: Scotlands Great Trails
  • Location: Southern Scotland

The most south-reaching (and one of the most recently designated) of Scotland’s Great Trails fittingly starts at Scotland’s most southerly point – the Mull of Galloway where walkers are treated to views of Ireland, England and the Isle of Man.

More information:www.mullofgallowaytrail.co.uk

Abernethy

  • Start point: Loch Garten Osprey Centre
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The largest of the ancient pinewoods this famous RSPB nature reserve and the adjacent Dell wood owned by Scottish Natural Heritage supports one of the greatest examples of near natural forest in Britain. Conservation management is ongoing to help extend and repair parts of the woods that suffered damage in previous centuries.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glenmore

  • Start point: Glenmore Visitor Centre
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

This once large ancient pinewood suffered massive clearance of mature pine in the early 20th century and then was planted largely with non-native conifers. This Forestry Commission site is now undergoing a transition as conservation management clears out the alien trees to allow pine regeneration.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Blackmount

  • Start point: Bridge of Orchy
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Three woods, Glen Fuar, Doire Darach and Crannach, make up the Blackmount woods near Loch Tulla on the edge of the great Rannoch Moor peatland.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Ferrick and the Finlets

  • Start point: Finzean
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The ancient pinewoods at Glen Ferrick and the Finlets along the Water of Feugh lie in the Forest of Birse in Deeside. Nowadays the woods are being managed for conservation and natural regeneration is abundant with young pine springing up through the heather.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Rothiemurchus

  • Start point: Rothiemurchus Centre
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The second largest of the ancient pinewoods and a favourite tourist destination at the ‘gateway to the Highlands’ in Strathspey. Some magnificent mature pine trees, remnants of the large fellings during the two world wars, are surrounded by new growth of young trees.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Feshie

  • Start point: Drumguish
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Glen Feshie is renowned as one of the Highlands most attractive areas. The dynamic River Feshie and the expanse of ancient pine forest has provided inspiration for artists including Henry Landseer and Hollywood film directors.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Nevis

  • Start point: Car park at Achriachbhach
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Nestled among the foothills of Scotland’s highest Mountain Ben Nevis the pinewood is a small remnant but set in such dramatic scenery it is a worthwhile place to visit.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Dulnain

  • Start point: Dalnahaitnach, Carrbridge
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The pinewoods surround the River Dulnain and stretch over to Kinveachy west of Carrbridge at the foot of the Monadhliath mountains.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Inshriach/Invereshie

  • Start point: Feshiebridge
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Much of the pine forest on the lower reaches of the River Feshie is within a National Nature Reserve and some smaller areas of pine are within nearby Forestry Commission land.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Tyndrum

  • Start point: Dalrigh car park
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Coille Corie Chuilc Pinewood sits nestled in the foothills of Ben Lui near the village of Tyndrum. It is hard to avoid a feeling of being in a primeval landscape although the truth is that human influence has greatly shaped the area.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Orchy

  • Start point: Eas Urchaidh car park
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Two small oases of ancient pinewood lie in a sea of commercial forest plantations alongside the River Orchy in Argyll and Bute. Owned by the Forestry Commission the woods are now part of a Caledonian Forest reserve with plans to restore native woodland in the area.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Black Wood of Rannoch

  • Start point: Carie
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

This large pinewood on the southern shore of Loch Rannoch deep in the Grampian mountains and once the legendary home of thieves and outlaws. The Forestry Commission have had a presence here for over 60 years.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Falloch

  • Start point: Crianlarich
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Scattered mature pines stand on Dun Falloch and down Glen Falloch, once known as ‘the hidden glen’. This is the most southerly pinewood in Scotland.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Tanar

  • Start point: Bridge of Tanar
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The extent of this large pinewood covering over 1000ha remains much as it did on the 17th century Blaeu Atlas of Scotland. The structure of the wood has been much altered with centuries of felling, fire and grazing. Now much of this protected site is undergoing conservation management including a strict reserve zone in a small area owned by Scottish Natural Heritage.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Avon

  • Start point: Queens View car park, Tomintoul
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

A handful of mature pines in a secluded river bank deep in the Grampian Mountains is all that remains of this forest. Conservation work is now helping extend the wood around the Linn of Avon, an attractive water feature 12km south of Tomintoul.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Meggernie

  • Start point: Bridge of Balgie, Glen Lyon
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The old wood of Meggernie lies in upper Glen Lyon near Meggernie Castle. Magnificent old trees between 200 and 300 years old cover the slopes on the south shore of the River Lyon and at Croch na keys.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Ballochbuie

  • Start point: Old Bridge of Dee
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Part of the royal estate of Balmoral in Deeside, this large ancient pinewood was spared the 19th century fellings by the intervention of Queen Victoria. Some of the trees here are at least 400 years old and there are lovely areas of peatbog with stunted pine less than two metres tall and over 100 years old.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Mar

  • Start point: Linn of Dee car park
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Mar forest on the south eastern slopes of the Cairngorms consists of three pinewoods occupying Glen Derry, Glen Quoich and Glen Luibeg. Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, Mar estate is being managed primarily for conservation.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Ardgour

  • Start point: Inverscaddle Bay or Glenfinnan
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Set deep in the Ardnamurchan Peninsula there are opportunities for challenging long walks or more gentle strolls which still offer magnificent view of old pines.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Strath Vaich

  • Start point: Blackbridge car park
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Hugging the west shore of Loch Vaich this small pinewood holds some splendid mature pines and is undergoing restoration management in parts, to protect young trees.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Coulin

  • Start point: Loch Clair or Achnashellach railway station
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The mature pine trees in the Coulin wood beside the reed fringed Loch Clair provide an enchanting scene amongst the bleak surrounding moorland.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Cannich

  • Start point: Cannich
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The ancient pinewoods in Glen Cannich have been decimated by past fires and forest management. They are now under recovery and this beautiful glen is well worth a visit.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Coille na Glas Leitire

  • Start point: Beinn Eighe Visitor Centre
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

On the shore of Loch Maree sits a large pinewood, Coille na Glas Leitire, which was the first National Nature Reserve to be designated in Britain. Large islands in the loch also support magnificent pine trees.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Shieldaig

  • Start point: Shieldaig
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The small pinewood which occupies the steep craggy slopes of Ben Shieldaig is the most westerly of all Scotland’s ancient pinewoods. The trees extend down to the main road where several magnificent specimens over 250 years old line the shore of Loch Dughaill.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Rhidorroch

  • Start point: Ullapool
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The pinewood lies in the tranquil Glen Achall near the purpose built 18th century fishing town of Ullapool. Once the gathering ground for driven cattle heading to the markets in the east the glen holds many delights from broad flood plans to steep crags and majestic waterfalls. Birch and pinewoods lie to the east of Loch Achall.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Amat

  • Start point: Craigs
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

A large series of woodlands between Amat and Glen Alladale at the head of Strath Carron include some of the most majestic and finest stands of ancient pinewood in the north of Scotland. This is a wonderful example of thriving ancient pinewood habitat in a spectacular mountain landscape.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Strathfarrar

  • Start point: Struy
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Strathfarrar is the northernmost of the glens stretching west from Strathglas. The pinewoods extend several miles up this dramatic and picturesque glen.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Achnashellach

  • Start point: Craig
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Mature Scots pine stand amongst an old plantation in this Forestry Commission site. Large scale pinewood restoration is taking place to remove the non-native trees and return the area to pinewood habitat.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Barisdale

  • Start point: Barrisdale Bay
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Barisdale is a small pinewood in one of the most remote areas of Scotland with no road vehicle access. A challenging and long route for experienced walkers but highly rewarding.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Garry

  • Start point: Mandally
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The pinewoods fringe the large and beautiful Loch Garry in an idyllic setting. There are well marked trails and an old drovers inn at the mouth of the glen for weary travellers.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Loy - Coille Phuiteachan

  • Start point: Glen Loy Lodge
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Glen Loy offers a great variety of woodland, riverside and moorland features.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Loch Arkaig and Glen Mallie

  • Start point: Clunes near Gairlochy
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The vast mountains rising up from the huge Loch Arkaig makes for a dramatic backdrop to the pinewoods set into the north facing slopes.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Loyne

  • Start point: Old military road beside Allt a Ghobhainn
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

A small group of scattered trees is all that remains of a once larger forest in this large isolated glen. One for experienced hill walkers only.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Einig

  • Start point: Oykel Bridge near Lairg
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

The most northerly remaining ancient pinewood in Scotland with scattered trees along the banks of the River Einig. A Forestry Commission site undergoing conservation management with good paths in a remote heather moorland setting.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Affric

  • Start point: Cannich
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Affric is one of the largest and most visited of the pinewoods and a photographer’s paradise. Mostly managed by the Forestry Commission the area has a variety of walks to suit all abilities.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Glen Moriston

  • Start point: Fort Augustus or Torgyle Bridge
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Steeped in the history of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Glen Moriston has a wonderful mixture of mountain, river and woodland features. The small remnants of the ancient pinewood are being augmented by new native woodland planting to create a new wild wood.

More information:sandstonepress.com

Guisachan and Cougie

  • Start point: Tomich
  • Type: Ancient pinewood
  • Location: Scotland

Much of the original woodland in Guisachan forest has been destroyed by past commercial forestry activity but a new conservation programme is encouraging regeneration of the pines.

More information:sandstonepress.com

The Cambrian Way

  • Start point: Cardiff
  • End point: Conwy Castle
  • Distance or area: 274 miles
  • Type: Other Long Distance Walk
  • Location: Wales

The 275 mile Cambrian Way stretches from coast to coast, from Cardiff in the South to Conwy in the North. With an ascent of 61,540 feet this is a high level walk traversing the highest and wildest parts of Wales – navigation skills are essential.

More information:www.cambrianway.org.uk

Wales Coast Path

  • Start point: Deeside
  • End point: Chepstow
  • Distance or area: 807 miles
  • Type: Combined path
  • Location: Wales

The opening of the Wales Coast Path in May 2012 was a landmark event for walkers. The first path of its kind in the world to stretch around a country’s entire coastline, it offers an impressive 870 miles of walking to keep even the most ambitious hikers busy for days on end.

More information:www.walescoastpath.gov.uk

The Moray Way

  • Start point: Circular route taking in Grantown-on-Spey, Forres and Fochabers
  • Distance or area: 95 miles (153km)
  • Type: Combined path
  • Location: Northern Scotland

The Moray Way is well-known to walkers as it links three of Scotland’s Great Trails. It combines the whole of the Dava Way, two thirds of the Moray Coast Trail and half of the Speyside Way to form a 95 mile circular route.

More information:www.morayways.org.uk

Greater Ridgeway

  • Start point: Lyme Regis
  • End point: Hunstanton
  • Distance or area: 363 miles (583km)
  • Type: Combined path
  • Location: South West England and East of England

Running from Dorset to Norfolk, the Greater Ridgeway links up the Wessex Ridgeway, The Ridgeway National Trail, the Icknield Way Path and the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail to form an impressive link between England's south west and east coasts.

More information:www.ldwa.org.uk

Hardington Moor

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Somerset

Hardington Moor features over one hundred higher plant species, making the site one of the finest remaining examples of neutral grassland in England. The steep south-facing flower rich meadows have excellent views into Dorset.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Rodney Stoke

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Somerset

With stunning views and a rich flora and fauna, Rodney Stoke NNR is a fine example of the woodlands that can be found on the southern slopes of the Mendip Hills. The reserve has two main habitat types; broadleaved woodland and calcareous grassland.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Duddon Mosses

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Cumbria

At Duddon Mosses you’ll discover one of England’s few remaining peatland habitats, with striking views over the Lakeland Fells and the sea. This quiet haven, hidden at the top of the Duddon Estuary, provides a welcome sanctuary for plants, animals and human visitors alike.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Gowk Bank

  • Distance or area: 15 hectares
  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Cumbria

Gowk Bank was a traditionally managed hay meadow. Hay making still occurs on drier areas of the site, but wetter areas are now managed by cutting and removal of vegetation and grazing by sheep and cattle. The site is part of the North Pennines Dales Meadows Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Scoska Wood

  • Distance or area: 10 hectares
  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: North Yorkshire

Scoska Wood NNR is a strip of ash woodland and pasture on the slopes of Littondale - the valley of the River Skirfare - between the villages of Litton and Arncliffe. The underlying Carboniferous Limestone has had a major influence on the reserve's plant life. Woodland clings to the limestone scars and rocky slopes and merges into herb-rich neutral pasture below.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

East Dartmoor Woods and Heaths

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Devon

There’s something for everyone, from stunning scenery and panoramic views over Dartmoor and the coast, to great picnic spots, a range of walks and loads of wildlife to watch and photograph. East Dartmoor Woods and Heaths has now been permanently opened up for people enjoying the outdoors on foot.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Highbury Wood

  • Distance or area: 46 hectares
  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Gloucestershire

Highbury Wood lies on the eastern bank of the River Wye and is a prime example of the very rich and diverse woodland for which the Wye Valley is internationally important. The site is noted for its variety of woodland types, reflecting the wide range of soils, aspect and drainage on the site. It has now been permanently opened up for people enjoying the outdoors on foot.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Westleton Heath

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Suffolk

In medieval times a large area of heath known as the Sandlings (on account of its dry sandy soils) stretched along the Suffolk coast. Today only about 20% of the heathland remains, the rest has been lost to modern farming and forestry.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Castle Eden Dene

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Durham

Enter a world where magical yew, oak, ash and dying elm create a home for other plants and creatures. 10,000 years of wild growth in a deep gorge has created a place you can explore again and again. Castle Eden Dene has now been permanently opened up for people enjoying the outdoors on foot.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Humberhead Peatlands

  • Distance or area: 2,887 hectares
  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: South Yorkshire

The Humberhead Peatlands NNR comprises Thorne, Goole, and Crowleexternal link Moors, as well as Hatfield Moors and it represents the largest area of raised bog wilderness in lowland Britain at 2,887 hectares in size. It has now been permanently opened up for people enjoying the outdoors on foot.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Ingleborough

  • Distance or area: 1014 hectares
  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: North Yorkshire

Ingleborough is one of the famous Three Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Together with Pen-y-ghent and Whernside, this mountainous area is renowned and protected for its special wildlife, geology and spectacular scenery.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Barrington Hil

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Somerset

The reserve represents a large area of species-rich unimproved neutral grassland; a habitat which is now rarely found in England. It has now been permanently opened up for people enjoying the outdoors on foot.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Hog Cliff

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Dorset

The reserve has downland slopes on a range of aspects with rich grassland communities typical of the chalk of west-central Dorset. Areas of scrub (principally on the upper slopes) and small areas of woodland add diversity to the site. Hog Cliff has now been permanently opened up for people enjoying the outdoors on foot.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Wyre Forest

  • Distance or area: 549 hectares
  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Worcestershire

The reserve overlies a plateau containing shales and sandstones of the Upper Carboniferous Coal Measures. The area is heavily faulted, giving rise to steep valleys. Wyre Forest has elements of both lowland and upland woodland and also contains a number of unimproved grassland meadows. Old orchards and areas of scrub also contribute to the variety of habitats present in the reserve.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Devon

The Undercliffs NNR stretches almost 7 miles in length between Axmouth in the west and Lyme Regis in the east and can be accessed via the South West Coast Path National Trailexternal link which runs through the entire length of the reserve.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Cabin Hill

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Merseyside

Cabin Hill NNR forms part of the Sefton Coast, the finest dune system on the north-west coast of England. The reserve is within the Mersey Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA) the Ribble and Alt Ramsar site, and is also within the Sefton Coast Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Wye

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Kent

The reserve is renowned for its views over the Romney Marsh and Weald, and out to the Channel coast. The site is also widely known for landscape features such as the Devil's Kneading Trough, a dry, steep-sided valley formed by peri-glacial action near the end of the last ice age, and for being home to many orchid species.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Ainsdale Sand Dunes

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Merseyside

The reserve is one of the most important wildlife sites in England, and a place where visitors can get close to nature. The landscape is perfect for a leisurely stroll through the magnificent scenery of dunes, pinewoods and golden sands, while children can enjoy the wide open spaces of the huge sandy beaches.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

Pennine Way

  • Start point: The Nags Head pub in Edale
  • End point: The Border Inn, Kirk Yetholm
  • Distance or area: 268 miles (429km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: East Midlands, North East England and North West England

Enshrined in Ramblers history, the brainchild of the charity’s former Secretary Tom Stephenson and offering the ultimate long distance walking challenge, it’s hard not to eulogise about this iconic path.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pennineway

South Downs Way

  • Start point: City Mill, Water Lane, Winchester
  • End point: The Western End of Eastbourne Promenade
  • Distance or area: 100 miles (160km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South East England

This beautiful, accessible path, described as the ideal introduction to long-distance walking, is along the rolling chalk downs of Sussex and Hampshire.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/southdowns

Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path

  • Start point: Knettishall Heath Country Park, 5 miles (8km) east of Thetford
  • End point: Cromer Pier
  • Distance or area: 93 miles (150km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: East of England

This is a tale of two routes, linking inland East Anglia with its coastal counterpart. The Peddars Way was deemed too short to be a long distance route so was teamed up with Norfolk’s coastal path and opened in 1986 as the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/peddarsway

South West Coast Path

  • Start point: Quay Street Green at Minehead
  • End point: South Haven Point, Poole Harbour
  • Distance or area: 630 miles (1014km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South West England

This incredible trail is the longest of the National Trails at a staggering 630 miles. It truly is a glorious walking experience rich in wildlife, geology, scenery and heritage.

More information:www.southwestcoastpath.com

Glyndŵr's Way

  • Start point: The Town Clock at Knighton
  • End point: The public park next to the canal in Welshpool
  • Distance or area: 135 miles (217km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Mid-Wales

Situated in mid Wales, this scenic path visits many sights associated with the 15th century hero Owain Glyndŵr. The route is shaped roughly like two sides of a triangle, running from Welshpool southwest to Machynlleth, before turning southeast to Knighton.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/glyndwrsway

Scottish National Trail

  • Start point: Kirk Yetholm
  • End point: Cape Wrath
  • Distance or area: 537 miles (864km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Scotland

Devised by outdoors writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish, the Scottish National Trail runs the length of Scotland from the southerly Scottish Borders to the wild Cape Wrath headland, taking walkers along established footpaths and into more demanding terrain.

More information:www.scottishnationaltrail.org.uk

Cleveland Way

  • Start point: The cross in Market Square at Helmsley
  • End point: Filey Brigg, on the coast, 7 miles (11km) south of Scarborough
  • Distance or area: 110 miles (177km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Yorkshire and Humber

Those of us who like variety on a walk are well served by the ever changing landscape of the Cleveland Way.
It is often described as two walks in one. The first half showcases the North York Moors and the second half brings walkers along a spectacular coastal route.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/clevelandway

Cotswold Way

  • Start point: Bath Abbey, Bath
  • End point: Market Hall, Chipping Campden
  • Distance or area: 102 miles (163km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South West England

This hugely popular trail offers beautiful rural surroundings with the convenience of facilities and services which are never far away. It runs between the town of Chipping Campden in the north and the city of Bath in the south.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold

Thames Path

  • Start point: The source of the Thames 2 miles (3km) north west of Kemble
  • End point: The Thames Barrier, Woolwich
  • Distance or area: 184 miles (294km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: London, South East England and South West England

This glorious riverside trail trail shows off England’s most famous river, from its origin in the Cotswolds to the capital itself, taking in beautiful countryside and bustling urban areas such as Oxford, Henley, Windsor and Greenwich.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/thamespath

The Ridgeway

  • Start point: Overton Hill, 2 miles (3km) from Avebury
  • End point: Ivinghoe Beacon, 1.25 miles (2km) from Ivinghoe north of Tring
  • Distance or area: 87 miles (139km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South East England and South West England

Welcome to Britain’s oldest road, where you can retrace the steps taken by prehistoric man. The route takes you on a broad track along a chalk ridge past the ancient hill forts of the North Wessex Downs, across the Thames and then along low lying paths through the wooded countryside of the Chilterns.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/ridgeway

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

  • Start point: The slipway north of St Dogmaels, near Cardigan
  • End point: The bridge east of Amroth Castle, near Tenby
  • Distance or area: 186 miles (299km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South West Wales

If a proper ‘blow away the cobwebs’ type walk is needed look no further than the Pembrokshire Coast Path. This imposing 186 mile route along the cliff tops of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park promises to rejuvenate even the most jaded soul!

More information:nt.pcnpa.org.uk

Pennine Bridleway

  • Start point: Hartington Station OR Middleton Top, near Middleton-by-Wirksworth (routes merge south of Parsley Hay)
  • End point: Street (planned extension to Byrness)
  • Distance or area: 205 miles (330km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: East Midlands and North West England

Riding helmets off to Mary Towneley who rode from Derbyshire to Northumberland in 1986 to underline the poor state of the country’s bridleways and to launch the idea of a Pennine Bridleway. It is the only national trail specifically designed for horse riders but a great route for walkers too.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway

Yorkshire Wolds Way

  • Start point: The Humber foreshore at Hessle – near the Humber Bridge 2 miles (3km) from Hull
  • End point: Filey Brigg outcrop, on the coast 7 miles (11km) south of Scarborough
  • Distance or area: 79 miles (127km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Yorkshire and Humber

This 79 mile long curving route goes from the North Sea to the Humber, around and across the Yorkshire Wolds via Market Weighton, taking walkers through some of the most peaceful countryside in England.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/yorkshirewoldsway

Offa's Dyke Path

  • Start point: The Marker Stone on Offa’s Dyke at Sedbury Cliff, near Chepstow
  • End point: The Marker Stone on Prestatyn seafront
  • Distance or area: 177 miles (285km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Welsh-English border

This splendid route takes walkers through the border country of England and Wales, from the Severn Estuary to the Irish Sea via Knighton, Welshpool and Llangollen. It passes through no less than eight different counties and crosses the border between England and Wales over 20 times.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offasdyke

Hadrian's Wall

  • Start point: Segedenum Roman fort at Wallsend on Tyne
  • End point: The Banks Promenade, Bowness-on-Solway
  • Distance or area: 84 miles (140km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: North East England and North West England

Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is a 84-mile sign-posted trail that stretches from Wallsend in North Tyneside in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to the west, taking in beautiful countryside, vibrant cities and coastal views not to mention fascinating archaeological sites.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrianswall

North Downs Way

  • Start point: Farnham, A31 junction near station
  • End point: Dover Esplanade
  • Distance or area: 153 miles (246km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: London and South East England

If you want picture-postcard villages, iconic sites and glorious countryside this is the trail for you. This 153 mile route follows ancient ways along the chalk ridges and wooded downland of Surrey and Kent through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, touching the southern edge of Greater London and ending at the famous White Cliffs of Dover.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/northdowns