Seven incredible mountain walks

Looking for some great hillwalking this year? Then try these incredible routes. These walks take you to some of the most stunning scenery in Britain.

To make them super-easy to enjoy, 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. Find out more in our digital routes library.

These seven routes are free to view – simply register. And if you like these walks, there are over 2,000 more to discover – become a member you can access them all.

West Highlands 

1. Stac Pollaidh, West Highlands

Category: Moderate
Distance: 2.5 miles
Typical duration: 2 hours
Start: Stac Pollaidh car park on the Achiltibuie Road

Nothing can quite prepare you for the stark beauty of Scotland’s far northwest and this walk climbing Stac Pollaidh showcases this area at its very best, treating you to panoramic views over Britain’s great wilderness.

Other than a very steep climb to reach the ridge, the rewards far outweigh the efforts you will expend on this walk, with relatively straightforward terrain to negotiate along the way. Be prepared for a short, simple scramble to reach the ridge, from which you’ll enjoy the kind of views that you’d expect to have to mount an expedition to experience. 

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2. Moel Wnion and Aber Falls, Snowdonia

Category: Challenging
Distance: 6.7 miles
Typical duration: 4 hours 10 minutes
Start: Abergwyngregyn Bus Stop and Car Park

From the quiet village of Abergwyngregyn, this walk takes you along part of the long distance North Wales Path, which runs from Bangor to Prestatyn, through fields to Moel Wnion, a hill sitting within the northern carneddau range. You’ll climb to the summit to enjoy stunning views, before heading down the other side, walking past streams and gulleys.

The pinnacle of this walk is Aber Falls, one of Wales’ most beautiful waterfalls. After stopping to admire the dramatic, tumbling water, you’ll return to Abergwyngregyn through a pretty national nature reserve.

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Lake District 

3. Great Langdale, Lake District

Category: Moderate
Distance: 8.4 miles
Typical duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
Start: The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, Great Langdale

This walk in the stunning Langdale Valley is a real treat. Sticking to low levels, this route gives you a taste of mountain walking, complete with stunning views, but without too much serious exertion. Meander along tracks, paths and across pretty bridges while you admire the unique mountain lakes of the Lake District, known as tarns.

The final return of this route is particularly spectacular, along the Cumbria Way’s much loved route in the shadow of some of the finest mountains in England.

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Peak District 

4. Kinder Scout, Peak District

Category: Challenging
Distance: 12.5 miles
Typical duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
Start: Edale Station

This invigorating circular walk allows you to sample the best of the iconic Kinder Scout by skirting the southern and western edges of this 600m gritstone plateau.

After a stiff ascent from Edale, it’s then a relatively straightforward and level walk. You can trace the original route of the Pennine Way from Edale, joining it above Grindsbrook Clough, then return on the current path down Jacob’s Ladder into the green Edale valley.

The panoramic views on this walk are truly amazing and the exposed rocky chasm of Kinder Downfall is a real highlight.

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5. Cross Fell, Pennines

Category: Challenging
Distance: 16 miles
Typical duration: 8 hours
Start: Kirkland car park

The North Pennines are truly spectacular and in recognition of this the area is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This circular walk starts in the tiny village of Kirkland, climbing steadily up Brown Hill then skirting around the side of High Cap, up moorland slopes. You’ll then climb up to the summit of Cross Fell, where you should pause to admire the far-reaching views.

From the summit you’ll head east-southeast, looking out for the distinctive radar dome on Great Dun Fell, which can be seen from miles away. You’ll next climb Little Dun Fell then head down and up again to Great Dun Fell, along the Pennine Way, where you’ll head towards Knock Fell and Knock Old Man, eventually making your way back to Kirkland.

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North Yorkshire 

6. Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire

Category: Moderate
Distance: 9.3 miles
Typical duration: 4 hours 45 minutes
Start: Nidd Bridge, Pateley Bridge

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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7. The Roaches, Staffordshire

Category: Easy
Distance: 8.6 miles
Typical duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
Start: Roaches Gate car park, 1 mile west of Upper Hulme

This route on Staffordshire’s Roaches follows in the footsteps of Sir Gawain from the fourteenth century story Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

First you’ll head along the ridge’s high tier and down the far side through a magical tract of oaks and beech trees. Hidden in the depths of this fairytale forest is Lud’s Church, a miniature gorge covered in ferns and moss, which scholars have identified as the inspiration for Sir Gawain’s Green Chapel.

From Lud’s Church, you’ll loop back up to the ridge to the foot of Hen Cloud, the Midlands’ answer to the Rock of Gibraltar, which offers the perfect grand finale to this breath-taking walk.

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