The UK&'s top secret walks
A new survey has revealed that almost a quarter of the UK population walks less than five miles a month. Incredibly, according to the National Trust poll, almost 25% rarely even go for a walk and almost one fifth never walk more than 450 metres from their car. This is shocking news indeed – and really does seem so sad when there are so many amazing places to see in Britain on foot.
Now the National Trust is keen to highlight a list of walks and hidden gems that can be accessed on foot. The charity is publishing their list – and encouraging more people to go out and explore the UK on foot – as they launch the annual Great British Walk festival this weekend.
Here we pick five of the Trust’s top walks and five more of our own. Each walk showcases something special.
Five top secret walks from the National Trust
The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
The land acquired by the National Trust last year is now opened up to the public for the first time, allowing visitors to walk a new route to the South Foreland Lighthouse. Walkers will see for the first time a previously hidden view across this stunning landscape.
Minnowburn, Northern Ireland
The Giant's Ring is the largest henge and stone circle in Ireland. It was built around the same time as Stonehenge and Avebury in 2,700BC, but its story is little known. The walk is only two miles so it’s perfect for al kinds of walkers and it sets off from a car park. What could be easier? The walk is also just a few miles form the city of Belfast.
Malham Waterfall, Yorkshire Dales
The path leads to a magical waterfall where walkers will discover a secret cave. Local legend has it that the cave is home to the Queen of the Fairies. Make a wish and see where it takes you… perhaps even on another great walk!
Sizergh Castle, south Lake District
A 1,600-year-old yew tree can be found deep in the woods at Sizergh Castle. But can you find it and what does it look like? This is a great walk for families.
Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland coast
Many people know of this castle but few people walk around the back to see the breathtaking views of the remains, as well as fabulous hidden cliffs and volcanic rocks.
Alex Hunt, from the National Trust, said: “The Great British Walk is all about celebrating the outdoors and discovering new places on foot. There is something magical about walking somewhere new and uncovering its story, and the Great British Walk is the perfect way to join in and discover something new.”
Our favourite top secret walks
Sandwood Bay, Caithness, Scotland
A longer walk that is rewarded with a beach that is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in Britain. The beach is only accessible on foot and seeing is believing as you come over the sand dunes and se the wide sandy beach and sea spread out before you.
Holy Island, Northumberland
Walk through some of Scotland and England’s less-trodden countryside to reach the spectacular Holy Isle. The St Cuthbert’s Way
is a long-distance walk that can be enjoyed over many days of walking or you could walk a shorter section. Take your pick and discover places less seen.
Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland
You can drive to this magnificent World Heritage Site or you can reach it on foot for an even more rewarding view. In fact, the entire coastline here in Northern Ireland reveals a host of gems for walkers, including diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife and geological wonder. See Antrim Glens and Causeway Coast
Davaar Island and the Crucifixion Cave walk, Scotland
Head off for an island adventure on Davaar, near Campbeltown in Scotland. You’ll cross a long causeway linking Davaar Island with the mainland at low tide and can then walk to see a number of sea caves including one that features a famous crucifixion painting.
Eas a' Chual Aluinn, Scotland
A fabulously scenic walk in Assynt's rocky landscape that takes you to the top of Britain's highest waterfall, Eas a' Chual Aluinn. Seeing is truly believing.
Tell us about your top secret gem walks in the UK.