New walks: discover hidden gems

Go for a Walk About and discover hidden gems with new walks.

One of the greatest joys of heading out for walk is the anticipation of what you might find on the way; a spectacular secret view, a hidden historical ruin or perfect picnic spot. Here are ten fantastic new walking routes featuring some incredible hidden gems.

The new walks are being released to celebrate the charity’s Walk About festival, which takes place from 26 May to 3 June 2018, and the routes are free to download during the festival.

Chief executive of the Ramblers, Vanessa Griffiths, said: “Anyone who loves walking will know it’s the best way to discover the world around you – it could be an amazing view, a quirky old building tucked down a side-street, or simply a great new walking route. We know lots of fantastic spots and want to share them with others.

“Each of these wonderful new routes we are sharing has a gem en route; some are more hidden than others, but all are undoubtedly worth the walk.”

The new walking routes are all available to download for free only until 3 June.


Harpley Common, Norfolk: Norfolk’s archaeological hidden gems

  • Length: 4.5 miles
  • Walking time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Leisurely
  • Starting point: Harpley Common Barrows

A treat for archaeology enthusiasts, this walk through fields and woodlands begins at one of Norfolk’s Bronze Age round barrow sites, burial places also used by local communities for ritual practices. The barrow is thought to have been constructed between by the Bell-Beaker people, so named because of their distinctively shaped earthenware pots. The journey into the past continues as you walk part of the Peddars Way, which follows an ancient Roman road.

Find out more, and download the route.

Deep Dale and Monsal Dale, Derbyshire: a million dazzling cowslips

  • Length: 7.4 miles
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting point: Car park at Ashford-in-the-Water

A varied circular walk in the White Peaks around the pretty village of Ashford-in-the-Water and along the meanders of the River Wye. Walkers will be rewarded with dramatic views from Monsal head and the flowers, birds and butterflies of the deep dry valley of Deep Dale. In late spring and early summer, the steep slopes here are awash with a dazzling yellow display of cowslips, beautiful orchids and flitting green hairstreaks.

Find out more, and download the route.

Ilmington and Hidcote, Warwickshire: Cotswold views and mouse carvings

  • Length: 7.2 miles
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Leisurely
  • Starting point: Ilmington Village

Explore the countryside around the beautiful honey-stone village of Ilmington, where a mosaic of open greens offers glimpses to the surrounding hills. The route provides extensive views into the Cotswolds, passes the famous gardens at Hidcote and climbs to the highest point in Warwickshire. It’s worth popping into the church in Ilmington too, to search for the eleven oak-carved mice, created by Yorkshireman Robert Thompson, ‘The Mouseman of Kilburn’.

Find out more, and download the route.

Cheviot Hills, Northumberland: Views of the Usway Burn

  • Length: 10 miles
  • Walking time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting point: Shilmoore, Upper Coquetdale

Enjoy unrivalled views of the Usway Burn as it snakes between a series of beautiful interlocking shanks, climbs to the windswept summit of Shillhope Law before eventually returning to the River Coquet along the ancient cross-border track of Clennell Street. There are magnificent, far-reaching views throughout. 

Find out more, and download the route.

Kinlochleven and the Grey Mare’s Tail, Lochaber: loch and waterfall

  • Length: 3.5 miles
  • Walking time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Leisurely
  • Starting point: Lochaber Road (B863), Kinlochleven

Starting at Kinlochleven, a secluded village at the eastern tip of Loch Leven, this walk takes you to the dramatic Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall. This remarkable cascade drops the Allt Coire na Ba some 50 metres vertically into a narrow wooded gorge and adds to the drama of this walk, which also includes a section of the West Highland Way.

Find out more, and download the route.

Taxal Edge and the Todd Brook Valley, Cheshire: Spectacular views from Windgather

  • Length: 6 miles
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting point: Kettleshulme Church

This part of eastern Cheshire is a muscular landscape of ridges, crags and moorland. From tiny Kettleshulme village, this circular walk heads up to magnificent viewpoints over the Dark Peaks’ moors and crests before plunging into secluded Todd Brook Valley, passing breeze-riffled haymeadows and Jenkin Chapel, built in 1733 for the workers on the  packhorse routes carrying salt inland and refreshingly unaltered since.

Find out more, and download the route.

Breamore Down Circular, Hampshire: a mysterious maze and Roman remains

  • Length: 9 miles
  • Walking time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting point: Breamore Church

A walk so rich in historical and archaeological interest that it really is worth taking a full day to explore; there is so much to see. The Giant’s Grave long barrow, the intriguing Medieval Miz-Maze and the impressive Roman villa at Rockbourne are all but short diversions from the main route, and add up to a  fascinating history-filled ramble.

Find out more, and download the route.


Exe Head, Exmoor: wonderful wilderness views

  • Length: 7.5 miles
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting point: Ashcombe car park, Simonsbath, Somerset

From the lonely village of Simonsbath, wind your way up over the Exe Plain to the spring that is the source of the River Exe. Follow the river south across a stark and crumpled landscape, with one last haul to one of the most exquisite views of Exmoor from a lonely moorland road. The ascent to the source can be quite arduous but is well worth the effort, offering exposed and uninterrupted views of some of the wildest and most startlingly empty countryside in southern Britain. 

Find out more, and download the route.


Trellech, Monmouthshire: wildflowers and Wordsworth

  • Length: 7.75 miles
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Leisurely
  • Starting point: Trellech village centre

This circular walk starts from the small village of Trellech, which was formerly one of Wales’ largest medieval towns. It passes standing stones and the waterfalls and shoots where Wordsworth composed Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey, before rising to an outstanding secluded hilltop viewpoint, where nightjars visit in summer. Superb wildflowers and fine woodland abound high above the Wye.

Find out more, and download the route.


North York Moors, Yorkshire: haunting historical remains

  • Length: 13 miles
  • Walking time: 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting point: Car park at Cawthorn Roman camp, near Cropton

A circular walk around the south west corner of the North York Moors, which is full of treasures. You will pass the well-preserved earthworks of a Roman training camp at Cawthorn, the haunting abandoned church of St Mary the Virgin, and the ruined hunting lodge of Skelton Tower perched high on Levisham Moor.

Find out more, and download the route.

Supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery

People's Postcode Lottery

The Ramblers’ Walk About festival is funded thanks to the support of the fantastic players of People's Postcode Lottery.