The vibrant cities of Europe have long captured the imagination of travelers, drawing them in with their rich history, captivating architecture, and cultural treasures. However, there’s a lesser-known, yet incredibly captivating way to explore these urban wonders – by embarking on day cruises that navigate the very heart of these metropolises. Imagine cruising along calm waters, absorbing the panoramic views of iconic skylines, and uncovering hidden gems that can only be seen from the water’s edge. These day cruises offer a fresh perspective on city exploration, fusing relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion into a single experience.

In this article, we embark on a journey through seven of the most remarkable day cruise experiences in Europe, each offering an extraordinary opportunity to see these cities from a truly unique vantage point. From the romantic Seine River in Paris to the historic River Thames in London, the article takes you on a virtual voyage through iconic waterways, providing a glimpse into the beauty and character that define each destination.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler seeking a fresh approach to city sightseeing or an adventurer in search of new horizons, these day cruises promise an unforgettable fusion of relaxation and exploration. The article unveils the hidden stories, architectural marvels, and cultural nuances that become apparent when viewed from the water. Join us on this voyage of discovery as we navigate the urban landscapes of Europe’s most enchanting cities, all from the comfort of a luxurious cruise ship.

Seine River Cruise in Paris, France

A Seine River Cruise is a romantic journey that encapsulates the charm of the City of Light. Sail beneath the graceful arches of iconic bridges like the Pont Alexandre III, with landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral as your backdrop. Whether you opt for a leisurely lunchtime cruise or a magical evening voyage, the Seine River Cruise promises an enchanting exploration of Paris.

Barcelona Harbor Cruise in Spain

Barcelona’s vibrant spirit extends to its maritime offerings, with a harbor cruise that showcases the city’s coastal charm. Sail along the Mediterranean coastline, enjoying the Sailing Experience in Barcelona and taking in the striking architecture of Antoni Gaudí, including the renowned Sagrada Familia. A Barcelona harbor cruise offers a delightful blend of urban allure and coastal serenity.

River Thames Cruise in London, United Kingdom

Discover London with a cruise on the Thames River

Discover London with a cruise on the Thames River

The River Thames gracefully winds its way through London, offering a captivating view of the city’s historical treasures. Sail past the imposing Tower of London, the majestic Houses of Parliament, and the modern marvel of the London Eye. Many cruise options provide insightful commentary, giving you a deeper understanding of the history and culture that shape this vibrant metropolis.

Bosphorus Strait Cruise in Istanbul, Turkey

The Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul is a maritime gateway that divides the city between two continents. Embark on a cruise along its waters to witness the city’s rich heritage. Admire the majestic domes of Hagia Sophia and the opulence of Topkapi Palace as you sail between Europe and Asia. A Bosphorus cruise isn’t just a boat ride; it’s an immersive journey into the cultural crossroads that define Istanbul.

Grand Canal Cruise in Venice, Italy

Venice’s Grand Canal is a mesmerizing aquatic avenue that winds through the heart of this enchanting city. Marvel at the grand palaces, intricate churches, and bustling squares that epitomize Venice’s cultural wealth. A cruise along the Grand Canal offers a unique glimpse into Venetian life, as well as the city’s timeless allure.

Danube River Cruise in Budapest, Hungary

Budapest’s Danube River showcases the city’s architectural splendor as you glide past its magnificent structures. From the Buda Castle to the Hungarian Parliament Building and the iconic Chain Bridge, the Danube provides a striking view of Budapest’s landmarks. A day cruise along this historic river unveils the seamless fusion of history and modernity that defines the Hungarian capital.

Amsterdam Canals Cruise, Netherlands

Exploring Amsterdam’s iconic canals is an experience that’s both picturesque and immersive. Cruise past charming houseboats, historic bridges, and the iconic gabled houses that line the waterways. With guided tours and leisurely sightseeing cruises on offer, Amsterdam’s canals invite you to intimately connect with the city’s rich history and artistic heritage.

These seven day cruise experiences within European cities redefine sightseeing, offering a leisurely and refreshing way to explore urban landscapes. Whether you’re drawn to the romantic allure of Paris, the historical richness of London, or the exotic charm of Istanbul, each cruise promises an unforgettable perspective. As you gently sail through calm waters, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the architectural wonders, rich histories, and vibrant cultures that shape these extraordinary cities. So, why not step aboard a day cruise and embark on a journey that unveils the hidden beauty of Europe’s waterfronts?

Ever find yourself aching for a change of scenery from Manchester’s seemingly never-ending concrete? Well, I’ve got you covered. These day trips from Manchester are just a short distance away from the city, but you’ll feel half a world away! 

Manchester’s surroundings are a gold mine of rugged countryside, historic towns, world-class cities, and even the seaside!

And it’s no problem if you don’t have a car. The majority of the day trips from Manchester on this list are accessible by train or bus, so you don’t even need to stress about getting behind the wheel.

Let’s get started.


The Many Sights of Liverpool

The Many Sights of Liverpool

At just a 45-minute train ride away from Manchester, Liverpool is the obvious choice for a day trip from Manchester. 

There’s so much to see and do here that you won’t know where to start! Obviously, Liverpool is the home of the Beatles, so exploring Liverpool’s Beatles sights on a Beatles tour is an unmissable experience. 

For first-timers and casual fans, hop aboard the bright yellow and blue Magical Mystery Tour bus for an unforgettable 2-hour Beatles crash course! You’ll get to check out all of the top sights like Penny Lane, John Lennon’s House and Strawberry Fields.

Another great thing to do in Liverpool is to wander around the Albert Dock, where the old warehouses now burst with a tonne of fascinating museums, bars and restaurants. It’s one of the most photogenic spots in the city.

Wandering further along the water, you’ll come across the Museum of Liverpool, which documents the city’s past from its origins to the present day (including all the music and football trivia you could ask for). What’s more, it’s free! 

Round off your day trip to Liverpool with a night out on Mathew Street. It’s the liveliest part of the city, where you can dance the night away to live music every night of the week.


London Skyline

London Skyline

Yes, you read that right. London is a day trip from Manchester. Who would’ve thought, right? With just a two-hour train journey, you can be in the beating heart of the capital. It’s true that things in London cost more than in Manchester, but if you’re only in the city for a day it won’t be a huge problem.

Standing regally at the city’s core is Buckingham Palace, the royal residence of the monarch. If you time it right, you can even catch the iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony. A short walk away, you’ll find the sprawling expanse of the Royal Parks – including St. James’s and Hyde Park. They’re some of the most stunning places in the city!

No visit to London is complete without capturing that postcard-perfect shot of Tower Bridge. With its iconic blue and white facade, this iconic landmark is a must-see whilst you’re in London, and you won’t be able to resist popping into the nearby Tower of London to get a taste of the oldest building in the city.

For foodies, Borough Market is pure heaven. You’ll find everything here – from fresh produce to home-baked goods, mouth-watering street food, and some of the best coffee ever!

Art enthusiasts can take a detour to the Tate Modern. This former power station, now a world-class art museum, houses masterpieces by artists like Picasso, Hockney, and Warhol. And the best part? Entry to the permanent collections is free!


The Mediaeval town of Chester, England

The Mediaeval town of Chester, England

Just an hour away by train from Manchester, the ancient city of Chester will transport you back in time. Its beautifully preserved Roman walls circle the city, and the best way to kick off your day trip is by walking along it, checking out the sheer beauty of the city and making you feel as though you’re retracing the steps of Roman centurions.

An iconic feature of Chester, The Rows, are a must-visit. These unique mediaeval two-tiered galleries are not just architectural wonders, but they also house quirky boutiques and cafes. This is the most fun and unique place to shop in the city.

On the hunt for designer deals? One of the top reasons people visit Chester on day trips from Manchester is for Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. It’s easy to get to from the city centre, too – just a short, direct bus. This shopping centre boasts a whole host of luxury brands at discounted prices. It’s every bargain hunter’s dream.

If it’s a sunny day, there’s no lovelier way to pass an afternoon in Chester than on a sightseeing boat tour of the River Dee. You’ll drift past some of the city’s most historic landmarks, as well as its most beautiful spots.


Blackpool Tower and the coast

Blackpool Tower and the coast

Just a stone’s throw away from Manchester, Blackpool is jam-packed full of quintessential British seaside charm. It’s fun, it’s tacky, it’s cheap, and it’s by the sea. What more could you want? In a mere 75-minute train ride, you’ll be at the seaside – a far cry from Manchester!

The majestic Blackpool Tower is an icon on the Lancashire skyline and an absolutely beloved symbol of Blackpool’s history. You’re able to visit the top and stand on a glass platform (if you’re brave!) for a panoramic view that stretches as far as the eye can see. It’s a must-do whilst you’re in Blackpool.

For adrenaline junkies, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the best theme parks near Manchester and promises a day of heart-pounding excitement. The star attraction, the Big One rollercoaster, towers 235 feet over the park and offers a thrill ride that’ll have you gripping the edges of your seat.

Stroll down to Blackpool’s iconic piers for a solid dose of history and entertainment. These structures harmoniously blend old-world charm with modern-day attractions. From vintage carousels to modern rides, and plenty of old and new arcade games, there’s fun to be had by everyone here.

But what’s a visit to the seaside without ice cream? Head over to Notarianni’s for some of the best ice cream in Blackpool. This traditional ice cream shop has been passed down through the family, so you’re guaranteed fabulous ice cream made with the family recipe.


York Minster from the Lendal Bridge

York Minster from the Lendal Bridge

York, a city that feels like time forgot, is just a two-hour direct train ride from Manchester, making it perfect for a day trip. Stepping off the train, you’ll instantly be transported to a place where the mediaeval and the modern coexist harmoniously.

The imposing York Minster, with its intricate Gothic architecture, dominates the city’s skyline. You’ll want to step inside to witness the sunlight as it streams through the stunning stained-glass windows.

For a deep dive into the city’s Viking past, the Jorvik Viking Centre is a treasure trove – and well worth the fairly hefty price tag. Interactive displays and immersive experiences transport you to a time when Norse settlers walked these very streets.

Speaking of streets, no visit to York is complete without wandering through The Shambles. With its overhanging timber-framed buildings and cobbled pathways, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped onto the set of a Harry Potter film. It’s even rumoured that this street was the influence behind Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.

Wind down your historical day out with a leisurely stroll along the River Ouse, watching rowers race one another along the water. It’s one of the most peaceful places in York, and on a sunny day, there’s no better place to be.


Leeds Market

Leeds Market

A swift hour-long train journey from Manchester will bring you to Leeds, a city not too dissimilar from Manchester but that still offers a whole lot of fun.

Leeds Kirkgate Market is one of the top places to devour epic food in the city and stands as a testament to the city’s history. Pushing your way through its busy aisles, the chatter of traders and the aroma of fresh produce will take you back in time. This is far more exciting than modern-day grocery shops! 

The city’s Victorian grandeur is evident in every brick and beam, but it’s arguably most apparent at its many shopping arcades. Just look up and let the intricate facades and ornate detailing and you’ll feel like a very sophisticated shopper indeed.

For art aficionados, Leeds has plenty of galleries, but the best is Leeds Art Gallery, where you’ll find all sorts of art, from huge paintings completed hundreds of years ago to modern sculptures completed just a few months ago.

If you’re a student, or fancy heading to Leeds on a day trip to party, you really can’t miss the Otley Run. This epic pub crawl is a rite of passage for students in Leeds, and a whole load of fun to participate in, or just to spectate. Costumes are pretty common, so it’s entertaining to just sit back and watch the craziness unfold.

Hebden Bridge

Just a 45-minute train hop from Manchester, Hebden Bridge is the perfect escape from the city if you’re looking for countryside and hiking. This quaint town, nestled within the Calder Valley, is a bohemian wonderland where everybody is welcome to be themselves and express their creativity.

Begin your day out in Hebden Bridge by exploring its many independent shops, each brimming with arty finds, from handcrafted jewellery to one-of-a-kind antiques.

For those with a penchant for nature, the town is crisscrossed with scenic trails. An easy walk is to simply follow the path of the Rochdale Canal, watching narrowboats drift lazily by. For a more invigorating hike, trek up to Heptonstall. This picturesque village, perched above Hebden Bridge, is where famous author Sylvia Plath is buried, and it’s really old-fashioned.

For a more traditional hike, the walk to Hardcastle Crags is another must-do. It’s one of the best walks near Manchester! Visiting Hebden Bridge on a day trip from Manchester is the perfect escape from city living.


Edale Church

Edale Church

Just an hour away from Manchester by train lies Edale, a gem in the heart of the Peak District. This is another one of the many brilliant day trips from Manchester by train for hikers. As the gateway to the famed Pennine Way, this tranquil village serves as the perfect starting point for all sorts of adventures on foot.

Hikers flock to Edale for its unparalleled trails that weave through valleys and ascend rugged peaks. And when every step you take is accompanied by the soundtrack of chirping birds and the gentle rustle of leaves, you’ll understand why so many hikers head here on days out from Manchester.

If you’re up for a challenge, the Kinder Scout trail is perfect for you. As you make your way up this iconic peak, the terrain will vary, keeping even the most seasoned hikers on their toes. The climb is worth every bead of sweat, though. Standing at the top of Kinder Scout, the world stretches out beneath you in a panorama of rolling green and endless sky. This is worth leaving the city for!

But Edale is not just for the ambitious and energetic among us. Gentle walks alongside babbling brooks or through flower-laden meadows are also on offer, and you won’t have to look far to find them.

Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District

Venture a little beyond Manchester’s borders, and you’ll be greeted by the wonderful Lake District. With a journey to Oxenholme taking just over an hour, followed by a quick hop to Windermere on a local service, the Lakes are surprisingly accessible by train.

This huge national park boasts shimmering lakes, rugged fells, and picturesque towns, each with its own charm. And while public transport will get you far enough for a day trip, to truly uncover the beauty of the Lakes, it really is best if you have a car.

Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, is the obvious starting point for your Lake District adventure. Hiring a rowboat here is the best way to fall in love with the lake and get away from the crowds during summer.

If you’re a book lover, you’re going to love the town of Grasmere. Here, you’ll get to wander in the footsteps of Wordsworth, checking out the same landscapes that inspired his verses.

Got your hiking boots ready? Then tackle the Helvellyn via Striding Edge Ridge hike, an 8-mile circular route offering some of the best views the Lakes has to offer.


Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle

If you’re willing to venture slightly further afield, heading to Conwy in Wales is well worth the effort. Plus, with the direct train from Manchester taking just 2 hours, it’s really not all that much hassle.

Dominating the town’s skyline is Conwy Castle. With its imposing towers and battlements, this UNESCO World Heritage Site shows off centuries of Welsh history and is absolutely brilliant to visit. 

Adding to Conwy’s mediaeval charm is its well-preserved town wall. A stroll along these ancient fortifications is the best way to get a birds-eye view of the city and soak it all in.

Fancy checking out some quirky sights? Conwy won’t disappoint. The smallest house in Britain is a fun and kitschy find, with its bright red facade making it the perfect photo opportunity.

If you’re planning a road trip around the UK this summer, then here are seven absolute essentials you’ll need for a safe, stress-free journey.

Driving Licence

This is by far the most important as you can’t go anywhere without it! Ensure your driving licence is up-to-date. If you need to change any details, such as your address or surname, you’ll need to fill in the relevant form and return your old licence but you can still drive while you wait for your new licence to arrive.

You’ll also want to check that your driving licence covers you for the category of vehicle you’ll be driving, especially if you’re hiring a vehicle, such as a campervan for your trip.


A close second in order of importance is insurance. You need to ensure that you’re covered by the appropriate car, bike or motorhome insurance before your trip. It’s a good idea to keep your insurance documents and policy number with you when travelling in case you need to report an accident or make a claim.

GPS and Map

Most people use a GPS device or maps app of some kind to help them navigate their route but it’s also a good idea to pack a hardcopy of a map just in case your phone battery runs out or you lose signal.

Hands-Free Kit

It is illegal to hold your phone whilst driving in the UK, however, it can be used for navigation purposes, provided it’s stored in a hands-free mount and doesn’t block your view of the road or traffic in front of you.

Therefore, if you intend to use your phone during your road trip, whether to utilise its sat-nav capabilities or listen to music or take important calls, you must invest in a hands-free kit that will allow you to glance at your phone screen and operate it with voice commands or via the steering wheel so you can keep your focus firmly on the road ahead.

Phone Charger

There’s nothing worse than your phone battery dying at an inopportune moment during your road trip so make sure you pack a charger that can be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter or USB port to charge your phone as needed.

First Aid Kit

You should always carry a well-stocked first aid kit in your vehicle in case of accidents during your trip. Typically, a basic first aid kit should contain waterproof plasters in a range of sizes, a pair of gloves and a pair of scissors, sterile gauze, and an assortment of dressings as a minimum.

Food and Drink

There’s no denying that people have a tendency to get hangry during road trips, particularly if they’re stuck in traffic or broken down. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a selection of drinks and snacks available to keep you going until your next pit stop!

Undoubtedly, The UK’s National Parks are among its greatest treasures. From the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Lake District National Park to the world-famous Jurassic Coast, England and South Wales are full of stunning landscapes waiting to be explored.

But the Top 10 UK National Parks are not just about the landscape – they are also a haven for wildlife, with an incredible diversity of plants and animals to be found in each one.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure while backpacking in the UK, or want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, then make sure you visit one of these top 10 must-see National Parks in the UK.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the best places in the UK to return to nature. With over six hundred miles of trails winding through the mountains and hills, it’s perfect for an exhilarating hike.

Mickledore views are highly recommended when hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The trail can be rough at times, but it is well worth the effort it takes. The Mickledore ridge is a pass-through mountain range with breathtaking views of wildlife everywhere.

Overall, it is one of the best national parks in the UK for an adventure visit.

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a must-see for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With majestic mountains, deep valleys, and pristine rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the top 10 National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot rare wildlife in the Cairngorms National Park. The area is home to red squirrels, reindeer, ospreys, and golden eagles, so keep your eyes peeled!

Many Munros – Scottish mountains over 3000 feet – also make for great hiking trails. Be sure to take on at least one of these when visiting the park!

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe UK National Park

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe Park is one of the many beautiful national parks in the United Kingdom. It is known for its picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation. The park is also home to various wildlife, making it a perfect place for nature lovers to explore.

Since its establishment in 2020, Duncombe National Park has become a popular destination for hikers and campers. Many trails wind through the park, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park is the newest park in the UK and is one of the best national parks near London. A short train ride will get you to the park. It is the best place to stargaze because of the large rolling hills that allow you to lay in peace without the lights from a city blinding the view.

Woolmer Forest, a lowland heath site, is home to many rare species and is the only place in the country with all twelve species of native reptiles and amphibians.

South Downs Way is a hiking and biking trail that is scenic beyond what you can see when driving. There is also a section of the park that has been turned into a battlefield site where you can learn about and experience what it was like to fight in the Battle of Hastings.

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its beautiful lakes, stunning mountains, and tranquil valleys make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

But there are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, from hiking and climbing to water sports and mountain biking. And, of course, no visit to the Lake District National Park would be complete without taking a ride on a steam train!

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor UK National Park

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park is a stunning area of natural beauty in Devon, England. With its ancient forests, wild moors, and tumbling rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of things to do in Dartmoor National Park, from exploring the many hiking trails to visiting the historic sites. You can even go horse riding or camping in the park!

But one of the best things about Dartmoor National Park is the wildlife. With red deer, wild ponies, and rare birds, it’s a haven for nature lovers. (Do not forget to bring your camera, though)

The Peak District National Park

The Peak District - the UK's most popular National Park

The Peak District – the UK’s most popular National Park

The Peak District National Park is one of the top 10 National Parks in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its stunning landscapes and incredible views make it the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

There are plenty of things to do in the Peak District National Park, from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and caving. You can even go horse riding or take a scenic drive through the park!

But the wildlife is one of the best things about the Peak District National Park. With red deer, badgers, foxes, and otters, it’s a haven for nature lovers.

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park is a stunning park located in the UK that offers 125 miles of water to boat, swim or sail in. You can rent a boat for a day or use your own, making it the perfect place to spend a summer day.

Wildlife viewing is a huge part of this park, especially if you enjoy bird watching. As with every other national park, you can find miles of hiking or biking trails offering breathtaking views you cannot see from the main roads.

Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

If you’re looking for a taste of the wild in the UK, head to Exmoor National Park. This sprawling area of unspoiled countryside covers over 400 square miles, making it one of the biggest and best national parks in England.

Exmoor is home to various landscapes, from woodlands and valleys to moors and hills. Wildlife is also abundant here, with red deer, Exmoor ponies, and otters calling the park home.

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland UK National Park

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is located in the northeast of England and is one of the best national parks in the UK. The park is home to various landscapes, including forests, heathland, moorland, and coastline.

The park is also home to many castles, including Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, and the Turf Knowe burial site.

If you are interested in exploring the UK’s national parks, then Northumberland National Park is one that you should not miss.

Exploring the UK’s National Parks – Final Thoughts

To ensure you have a great experience exploring the UK’s National Parks, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in the UK, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

10 Best UK National Parks for Wildlife and Unforgettable Hikes

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Rolling countryside at your fingertips, cliffs ascending and then descending into the crashing Atlantic Ocean and craggy moorland sprawling over the country’s interior make British nature well worth visiting – and it can all be explored with the best hikes in England

While England isn’t world-famous for being a hiking destination, it deserves a lot more than it’s given credit for. Rolling countryside and moorland punctuate the country’s interior, and the coastline is linked up by a variety of easy and challenging routes. 

If you’re keen to explore England on two feet, there are plenty of walking trails in the country. These are typically well-marked and organised, with suggested stops en route (with accommodation for multi-day hikes!). 

To ensure you have a great hiking experience in England, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in England, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

I’m an England local, and I’ve put together a list of the best England hikes below – be sure to save it for future travel inspiration!

Hiking in England: these are the best walking trails

The best walking trails in England include the South West Coast Path in the West Country, Hadrian’s Wall which is close to the border of Scotland, Offa’s Dyke which follows the England/ Wales border and Devon Coast to Coast which traverses Devon’s two spectacular national parks. Read on for information about them all! 

The South West Coast Path

South West Coast Path between Land's End and Sennen Cove

South West Coast Path between Land’s End and Sennen Cove

England’s longest hiking trail, the South West Coast Path extends 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset, around the tip of Cornwall, and down to Studland Bay in Dorset. 

The entire path takes most hikers at least six weeks to complete (although myself and my partner only completed half of it when we hiked it during a summer at a very leisurely pace!), but it’s completely possible to just do a short section!

If you’re interested in hiking in Cornwall and seeing its dramatic craggy coastline, I’d recommend the hike between St Ives and Penzance. This multi-day route will take you around 3-4 days and all stops are connected by the Land’s End Coaster. 

Devon Coast to Coast

Near Ilfracombe along the Devon Coast to Coast Trail

Near Ilfracombe along the Devon Coast to Coast Trail

If you’re interested in hiking in South West England but want to see some of its countryside, check out the Devon Coast to Coast Trail!

It’s not as well-known as the South West Coast Path (and other trails on this list!), but it’s a beautiful English hiking trail that leaves the northern coastline by the Bristol Channel, travels through the moorland and ventures through Devon’s idyllic countryside. 

The path then traverses past Dartmoor, England’s largest national park. With epic tors and dramatic moorland, dotted by temperature rainforest and bright blue reservoirs, this part of Devon is a spectacle – and the fact that the path weaves its way through means that you’ll have a chance to see some of the lesser-touristy spots! 

You can complete the Devon Coast-to-Coast trail by hiking to Wembury, one of the best beaches in Devon.

Hadrian’s Wall

One of the most famous hikes in the UK, Hadrian’s Wall spans 84 miles (135 km) from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway, from east to west. 

It follows Hadrian’s Wall, which is a Roman structure that marked the northern end of the province of Britannia in the Roman Empire. 

Contrary to popular thought, it isn’t (and never was) the border between England and Scotland, although it is located close by; in fact, Bowness-on-Solway is right next to Scotland! 

The terrain encompasses charming English countryside, with preserved sections of walls and various historical sites. 

Generally, it takes walkers at least a week to hike the entire path, but like all of these long-distance hiking trails, you can just walk sections!

Offa’s Dyke

Goodrich Castle along Offa's Dyke

Goodrich Castle along Offa’s Dyke

Offa’s Dyke follows the (actual) border between England and Wales. 

Starting at the South Wales village of Sedbury and terminating on the north coast, in Prestatyn (a popular holiday town for Liverpudlians!), Offa’s Dyke follows the border between England and Wales. 

It dates back to the 8th century when the king of the Saxon province of Mercia wanted to mark the border between the two countries and decided to build the fortification. 

Nowadays, it’s been remade to form a hiking trail, which spans 177 miles (285 kilometres). 

One of the best hikes in England is from Chepstow to Tintern Abbey, and it’s one of the easiest to reach! Chepstow is a short drive from Bristol and Tintern Abbey is a glorious historical site – it dates back to 1131 AD and the ruins have stood since the dissolution of the monasteries.  

Yorkshire Three Peaks

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Yorkshire Dales National Park

If you’re heading to the north of England, don’t miss the Yorkshire Dales National Park!

Situated close to the city of Leeds, the Yorkshire Dales incorporate three tall peaks: Whernside, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough. 

The “Yorkshire Three Peaks” challenge involves climbing all of these mountains on the same day! 

The entire hike is 24 miles in total, and involves climbing over 2000 metres/ 6000 feet! 

Of course, you don’t have to complete all three peaks – many hikers opt to climb just one instead. Pen y Ghent is the most popular – although some consider it to have the most challenging terrain! It takes most hikers around three to three and a half hours to complete. 

Monarch’s Way

Monarch’s Way is one of the longest hiking trails in England – and it’s rare that somebody will hike the whole distance, as it spans from Worcester in the Midlands to Shoreham on the south coast. 

However, its length means that it spans quite a few British towns and cities, plus it offers a range of different terrains. 

The hiking trail follows the route of King Charles II after his defeat in the Battle of Worcester in 1651. He left Worcester and made his way south, to the coastline of East Sussex where he retreated to France. 

Its historical significance makes Monarch’s Way unique and appealing to a range of hikers, whether they be long-distance trekkers or day trippers! Notably, it leads through part of the city of Bristol and offers a connection from the city to its surrounding nature. 

South Downs Way

Seven Sisters in Eastbourne along the South Downs Way

Seven Sisters in Eastbourne along the South Downs Way

The South Downs Way is a 100-mile-long hiking trail that connects Winchester in Hampshire with Eastbourne in East Sussex. 

It’s one of the best hiking trails near London, and it’s suitable for people of most fitness levels; it even offers off-road cycling and horseriding opportunities as well! 

Many hikers prefer to stick to the southeastern section of the trail, around Eastbourne and Beachy Head, and Seven Sisters (close to the eastern end) is widely regarded to be one of the most beautiful places in England. 

Pennine Way

We don’t have all that many mountains in England, but the Pennine Way is regarded as “the backbone of England” and provides challenging hiking to anyone who’s up for a challenge!

The entire route is 268 miles long and leads from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders. 

The whole trail would take at least 16 days of non-stop hiking, but there are plenty of points of interest on the way, including a beautiful valley called High Cup Nick, Wensleydale Creamery (home of Wensleydale cheese!) and the beautiful Kinder Scout plateau in the Peak District. 

The Mendip Way

Fancy heading out on a quiet, lesser-known hike close to Bristol? 

The Mendip Way is just that. It sprawls from Weston-super-Mare on the Somerset coastline and journeys 80 kilometres/ 50 miles before it terminates in Frome. 

The rolling hills are the ideal backdrop to rural English hiking, and along the way, you’ll find a few charming towns and villages to stop off in, including Shipham and Priddy. 

The highlight of the hike is certainly the part around Cheddar Gorge, the largest of its kind in England. If you’d like, you can detour to do the Cheddar Gorge Rim Walk or spend some time enjoying Cheddar’s main attractions. 

The route also takes you through historic Wells, England’s smallest city, before terminating on the eastern side of the hills. 

The route takes most hikers three days, but single-day hikes are possible. 

Cotswold Way

The City of Bath at the end of Cotswold Way

The City of Bath at the end of Cotswold Way

The Cotswolds are usually most famous for their charming villages which are made for road-tripping around – but did you know that they’re home to a stunning hiking trail as well? 

The Cotswold Way begins in the town of Chipping Camden, and leads through the beautiful English countryside, past villages like Winchcombe (home to Sudely Castle, an ancient property where one of Henry VIII’s wives lived), the spa town of Cheltenham and picturesque Broadway. 

At 102 miles in total, this hiking trail has a mix of easy and more challenging terrain. Experienced hikers could complete the whole lot, but others may opt for a flatter section. 

It terminates in Bath, where you can rest your muscles with a well-deserved soak in the thermal waters! 

Are you ready to go hiking in England?

While England’s a slightly underrated hiking destination, that doesn’t mean that its natural allures should be ignored! 

The island nation encompasses beautiful coastal trails, dramatic peaks (they’re not the Alps, but you can still take in some incredible views from the top!) and rolling countryside dotted with quaint villages. 

The hiking trails in England are generally very well-marked and maintained, typically running through villages and towns that offer places to stay each night. Or, if you’d rather do day hikes, you can break most of them up into shorter sections. 

Hiking in England is one of the best activities to do when backpacking in the UK – so grab your boots and get ready to explore the great outdoors!