The best British hiking trails for social distancing


This year many of us have turned our attention outdoors and taken up hiking as a way to discover new areas, clear our minds, and stay fit. We are spoilt for choice here in the UK, so it can often be hard deciding where to plan your next adventure.

Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals, teamed up with the outdoor experts at AllTrails, home to the largest collection of detailed, hand-curated hiking trails, to bring you the ultimate hiking trails bucket list for this autumn. After analysing heatmap data from AllTrails user recorded hikes, we can now inform you of the top 10 trails in the United Kingdom where the routes are not too crowded, perfect for social distancing times.

1. Crag Lough and Housesteads Roman Fort Loop – Hexham, Northumberland

Rating: 4.6/5, 17 reviews | Distance: 8.1 miles / 13.04 km | Difficulty: moderate

First on the list is a loop trail that is located in the Northumberland region of England. Enjoy this picturesque circular walk around the wonderful Crag Lough. This trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. You can travel back in time to the Roman Empire as you explore the Housesteads Roman Fort. This trail is part of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site.

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Crag Lough and Housesteads Roman Fort Loop credit AllTrails

2. Kinder Scout and Mam Tor Circular – Castleton, Derbyshire

Rating: 4.8/5, 64 reviews | Distance: 10.6 miles / 17.06 km | Difficulty: hard

Next up we have Kinder Scout and Mam Tor Circular, which is a 10.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Castleton, Derbyshire, that even features a river. The trail offers a number of activity options, from standard hiking to mountain biking (for the brave!). This trial is marked as difficult, due to some very steep and rocky sections. It’ll be worth it, though, as you will find arguably one of the best views in England from the summit of this trail!

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Kinder Scout and Mam Tor Circular credit AllTrails

3. Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Loop – Caterham, Surrey

Rating: 4.6/5, 98 reviews | Distance: 4.9 miles / 7.89 km | Difficulty: moderate

Heading down to the first of three trails in the Surrey region, the Farthing Downs and Happy Valley loop offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. This trail is also dog-friendly, meaning you don’t have to leave your furry friend at home! The walk includes mostly well-worn paths through fields, hilltops and woodland.

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Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Loop credit AllTrails

4. Tilford Birds and Bridges Circular – Farnham, Surrey

Rating: 4.7/5, 51 reviews | Distance: 7.4 miles / 11.90 km | Difficulty: moderate

Next up is another trail located in the Surrey area, Tilford Birds and Bridges Circular, which stretches over 7 miles and is rated as moderate difficulty. This is a picturesque walk which can be enjoyed by taking in the Frensham Great and Little Ponds and the River Wey, discovering the medieval bridges at Tilford and enjoying a wide variety of birds and wildlife.

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Tilford Birds and Bridges Circular credit AllTrails

5. Haystacks from Gatesgarth – Cockermouth, Cumbria

Rating: 4.6/5, 17 reviews | Distance: 4.8 miles / 7.72 km | Difficulty: moderate

This is a wonderful walk and gives truly unique scenery in the Lake District National Park. At 4.8 miles long and moderate difficulty, on this trail you will find yourself crossing streams, stepping stones, and spotting a number of small waterfalls – making it the ideal trail for adventure seekers.

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Haystacks from Gatesgarth credit AllTrails

6. Bledlow Great Wood and Radnage – Chinnor, Oxfordshire

Rating: 4.6/5, 32 reviews | Distance: 10.9 miles / 17.54 km | Difficulty: moderate

Enjoy this 10.9 mile long circular walk into the wooded hills by Bledlow. With an interesting history, varied terrain, and plentiful wildlife, this is a must do for anyone in the Chilterns Countryside. This trail is perfect for dogs as there are a lot of fields and many of the stiles have dog-flaps. It is worth noting, however, that this trail encompasses many narrow, risky paths so is not suitable for large volumes of people.

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Bledlow Great Wood and Radnage credit AllTrails

7. Steall Falls Path – Kinlochleven, Scottish Highlands

Rating: 4.8/5, 38 reviews | Distance: 2.4 miles / 3.86 km | Difficulty: easy

This trail takes you to one of the tallest waterfalls in Scotland! Steall Falls Path is a 2.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kinlochleven, Scotland that follows an easy path, which is suitable for all levels and boasts impressive views of the falls. When approaching Steel Falls, the valley is very picturesque, and you will even find a fun steel tight rope to cross the river.

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Steall Falls Path credit AllTrails

8. Beinn Chabhair – Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire

Rating: 4.1/5, 7 reviews | Distance: 9.4 miles / 15.13 km | Difficulty: hard

From the top of Beinn Chabhair you will have good views of Loch Long and several of the surrounding Munros. This is a classic Scottish hike which is rated as difficult due to the ridgeline which can be difficult to hike on but is perfect for keen hikers seeking more of a challenge.

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Beinn Chabhair credit AllTrails

9. Cader Idris via Minffordd Path – Dolgellau, Gwynedd

Rating: 4.8/5, 35 reviews | Distance: 5.9 miles / 9.50 km | Difficulty: moderate

Regarded as one of the best hikes in South Snowdonia, the Cader Idris via Minffordd Path is a scenic beauty. The trail is home to a variety of terrain including a gorge, forest, rugged ridges, and a climb to the summit. You will be met with stunning views of the waterfalls and sweeping landscapes, and this is a great hike to choose to escape the crowds in the main popular routes in Snowdonia.

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Cader Idris via Minffordd Path credit AllTrails

10. Witley Trees and Commons Circular – Godalming, Surrey

Rating: 4.7/5, 16 reviews | Distance: 5.1 miles / 8.21 km | Difficulty: moderate

Last but not least, rounding off our ranking today is another walk to be found in Surrey. Witley Trees and Commons Circular is a trail which takes you through the historic village of Witley, with its beautiful surrounding rolling farmland, it’s a countryside beauty not to be missed. With a distance of just over 5 miles, this hike is of moderate difficulty.

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Witley Trees and Commons Circular credit AllTrails

AllTrails is home to the largest collection of hand-curated trail guides. To create a social distancing ranking, heatmaps and trail traffic were analysed based on AllTrails user recordings and the volume of visitors at any given time. Because rankings are based on live data, rankings can change, making this the current Top 10 List for Fall 2020.

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