The best spots to find your hillwalking feet

There are so many incredible hillwalking spots to visit in the UK that it’s hard to pick out just a few, but here are some of the very best places for an introduction to Britain’s hill country.


Barren, soulful and rich in myth and folklore, Dartmoor is the wildest place in southern England. Popular tourist spots include Haytor and Hound Tor on the eastern side of the national park, but to get away from the crowds head for the north-eastern corner of the moor where the highest of the granite tors are found.

Haytor in Dartmoor|Martin Sweeney

Haytor in Dartmoor|Martin Sweeney

Lake District

England’s highest mountains, set within its largest national park, form the impressive backdrop to Lakeland. Don’t expect to have the hills to yourself on a hot summer’s day, but a little exploration away from the beaten track can still yield some solitude amongst bubbling mountain streams and hidden tarns, high above the main tourist routes.

Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons offer a relatively gentle introduction to Britain’s mountains. Rolling green hills rise up to impressive heights and ridges above broad glacial valleys, while for the more adventurous, the 24km ‘Fan Dance’ route – used as part of the Special Forces selection process – offers a tough challenge. 

Male walker near Corn Du summit looking over to Pen y Fan Brecon Beacons | Visit Wales

Male walker near Corn Du summit looking over to Pen y Fan
Brecon Beacons | Visit Wales

Lochaber and Glencoe

The self-styled ‘Outdoor Capital’ of the UK, Lochaber is home to the country’s highest mountain – Ben Nevis. Incredible vistas can be found from almost every hilltop in the region, while just a short drive will take you to Glencoe, steeped in Scotland’s sometimes bloody history. The mountains of Glencoe and Lochaber often retain snow cover well into the summer, so demand respect and thorough preparation before setting out. 

 Words: Martin Sweeney