Ten inspiring routes for 2015

Last year we hiked up and down the length of Britain to find the best routes to walk - and we found them. From windswept coastal adventures to hidden treasures in the Lake District, we’ve pulled together ten of the best walking routes try in 2015.

If you’ve got a new year resolution to do more exercise, burn off the festive indulgence, or just enjoy the outdoors more, these walks are bound to inspire you.

To make it super-easy for everyone to get out and enjoy these walks, every route comes with a printable OS map, full written directions, and - for the tech geeks - GPX downloads so you can follow the route on your smartphone.

All our routes are developed and checked by walking experts to ensure you won’t get lost or miss the most stunning views and points of interest.

Plus for the whole of January 2015 all these routes are free to view – just register online (or login if you're already registered).

Want to find more walks? Search our online library of more than 2,000 routes.

Rhossili Bay 

1. Rhossili, Gower, Swansea

Length: 4.3 miles Walking time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Leisurely
Starting point: Car park behind the Worm’s Head Hotel, Rhossili Village
Description: Rhossili is up there with some of the world’s most beautiful coastal locations and this walk showcases its postcard pretty sights from the Gower’s most breath-taking viewpoints. The final leg of the walk takes you along sand and surf, with the opportunity to dip your toes in the sparkling blue-green sea before heading back up the hill.

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Arthur's Seat 

2. Arthur’s Seat, Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh

Length: 2.7 miles
Walking time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Leisurely
Starting point: Main entrance to the Scottish Parliament Building on Horse Wynd
Description: Arthur’s Seat is a dramatic dollop of Scottish wilderness rising unexpectedly from the heart of Edinburgh. There may be a steep climb to the top, but on a clear day you’ll be rewarded with views over the entire Scottish capital and beyond.

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Derwent Water 

3. Derwent Water, Cumbria – a walk with a difference

Length: 2.4 miles
Walking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
Starting point: Theatre by the Lake, Lakeside, near Keswick
Description: This is a walk with a difference. Not only will you wander through woodland and fields, with fantastic viewpoints en route, you’ll also swim out to and between two islands in Derwent Water: Lord’s Island and Rampsholme Island. The swims give you spectacular views down the centre of the lake to the surrounding fells.

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Harting Down 

4. Harting Down, Hampshire

Length: 5.6 miles
Walking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Leisurely
Starting point: Harting Down, Hampshire
Description: Within the South Downs National Park, this circular walk starts and finishes at Harting Down – one of the National Trust’s largest areas of ancient chalk downland, and also a local nature reserve. Initially following the South Downs Way, the latter part of the route visits a splendid bit of land at Millpond Bottom overlooking a lovely valley. The final stretch involves an ascent of Beacon Hill for a breath-taking 360-degree panorama of the surrounding Downs.

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Brimham Rocks 

5. Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire

Length: 9.3 miles
Walking time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
Starting point: Nidd Bridge, Pateley Bridge
Description: This route approaches the Brimham Rocks, an amazing collection of weird rock formations, via a delightful waterside path, along the river southeast from Pateley Bridge. Delving into the thickly wooded tributary valley of Fell Beck it then winds towards the hill’s base over land inhabited since Neolithic times. Having crested Brimham Moor and explored the famous boulders, you descend over farmland criss-crossed with ancient dry stone walls. The final leg follows Pateley’s Panorama Walk, offering stunning vistas over beautiful valleys.

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Bedruthan 

6. Bedruthan, Cornwall - The Devil’s Steps

Length: 10.7 miles
Walking time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
Starting point: Mawgan Porth Beach
Description: This linear walk takes you past seven perfect sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs with distinctive marine flora. Long stretches of this exceptionally beautiful coast remain wild and unspoilt and you’ll be treated to picture-postcard coves, windswept headlands as well as some old-fashioned holiday resorts. One of the highlights of this walk is the cliff top vista over Bedruthen Steps.

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Hadrian's Wall 

7. Hadrians Wall, Northumberland

Length: 5.2 miles
Walking time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Strenuous
Starting point: Housesteads National Trust Visitor Centre
Description: This route takes you along the most dramatic stretch of Hadrian’s Wall, which offers stunning views, particularly when snow settles on the moors. Allow plenty of time to look around Housesteads Roman Fort, finding out how life was for the Roman soldiers once based there. The fort also offers stunning panoramic views from the top of its walls.

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Colleges and the Backs 

8.Colleges and the Backs in Cambridge

Length: 3.1 miles
Walking time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Starting point: Devonshire Road entrance/exit of Cambridge YHA
Description: This circular walk gives you a tour of some of Cambridge’s most beautiful buildings, as well as taking you to the picturesque area of the Backs, where several of Cambridge University’s colleges back onto the River Cam.

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Win Hill

9. Win Hill, Peak District

Length: 2.7 miles
Walking time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Strenuous
Starting point: Yorkshire Bridge
Description: Win Hill is the Cinderella of the Peak District’s hills. It’s at the epicentre of a number of honeypot summits and ridges, such as Mam Tor, Derwent Edge and Kinder Scout, yet receives far less attention. Its distinctive, wind-pummelled flanks and conical shape can be seen from miles around, adding an aesthetic quality to the rugged, peaty landscape. The climb is among the stiffest in the area but rewards you at the summit, with great views showing the transformation from the green, white, limestone landscape of the south to the dark, brooding gritstone of the north.

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lang Mynd 

10. Long Mynd from Church Stretton, Shropshire

Length: 8.2 miles
Walking time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Starting point: Church Stretton market square
Description: The Long Mynd rises to an open plateau, cut by steep sided valleys, especially on the eastern side around Church Stretton. This walk climbs up by the well-known Carding Mill valley and descends into the scenic Small Batch. The views from Long Mynd are particularly stunning in winter.

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