The North West of England is renowned for being a beautiful balance of busy towns and cities alongside stunning acres of countryside and it’s the miles and miles of rolling landscapes that provide this region with such a stunning array of walks and hikes.
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise that pretty much anyone can get involved in, regardless of age or fitness, so it’s a great habit to get into. Also a perfect past time that doesn’t cost a penny, if you’re looking for something to do on a sunny day, why not tackle one of these top 10 walks in the North West?
- Scafell Pike
In no particular order, we’re going to start with Scafell Pike in the Lake District! A 5.5 mile walk that is considered ‘strenuous’ by Ramblers, this classic up and down route may involve quite the uphill trek but the views at the top are certainly worth it.
A reasonably long walk but nothing crazy, this 8.9km walk is thought to take about 3.5 hours to tackle, starting and ending at the Wasdale Head car park.
Walking boots are definitely recommended for this one as there’s rocky terrain along the way.
- Alderley Edge – ‘The Edge’
A perfect walk for beginners or experienced ramblers, as well as a nice route for dog walkers, The Edge at Alderley Edge is a National Trust location that offers a number of different walks of varying lengths and effort levels.
Spend just an hour or a good few exploring this part of the Cheshire countryside, choosing between flat routes and more strenuous paths with heights and drops, depending on what you fancy but whichever direction you head in, be sure to stop by the famous ‘Edge’ on your way.
The majority of the Alderley Edge walk is muddy paths, so walking boots or wellies are a must, especially during the wet weather.
- Buttermere Lake Walk
More of a wander than a testing trek, Buttermere is in the lake district and offers a beautiful lakeside amble for walking beginners or those just looking for a relaxed walk.
A 4.3 mile walk that takes around two hours to complete, the walk begins at the Bridge Hotel and takes a natural path around the lake that leads you back around. Best enjoyed when the weather is good to allow you to enjoy the scenery, Buttermere is definitely worth a visit in the summer.
- The Sandstone Trail
If you want to spend a whole day taking in the Cheshire countryside, The Sandstone Trail, sometimes known as the Sandstone Ridge, is a 11 mile walk through Frodsham and beyond.
A 5-6 hour, long distance trek with peaks and drops throughout, this walk will lead you to heights that allow you to view the whole of Cheshire from one spot before leading you to new parts of the county you’ve never experienced before.
The majority of this walk is pathed, however walking boots are a must have for the rockier parts.
- Wirral Way
Another lengthier route for those looking to spend a whole day out exploring, the Wirral Way is a 12 mile walk that will take you around 6-7 hours to complete. A traffic-free path for walkers and cyclists that leads you around the highs and lows of the Wirral countryside and even alongside the River Dee.
The route starts at Hooton Railway Station near Ellesmere Port and you’ll pass a number of paths and country reserves along the way, providing you with an array of scenery to enjoy.
- Cat Bells
One of the Lake District’s shorter and easier walks but equally as beautiful as the rest, Cat Bells is suitable with all the family, ranked as a moderately difficult walk, meaning it is generally manageable for all ages.
A 3.5 mile walk that is set to take about 2 hours, the Cat Bells trek starts at the Hawes End car park and is mostly uphill for the first portion of the walk before you reach optimum views across the Lakes before descending back down to wear you started.
It is worth noting that this walk does involve some serious uphill trekking, so although it is short and smooth pathed, it is strenuous on your leg muscles!
- The Tolkien Trail
Inspired by author J.R.R Tolkien, this 5.5 mile walk in Lancashire, known as The Tolkien trail, is a gentle and enjoyable wander around some of the county’s most beautiful and iconic landmarks, all closely associated with the Lord of the Rings.
The route is a circular path, starting and finishing at the Shireburn Arms in Hurst Green, which is a pub and hotel, perfect for extending your walk to a meal out or night away. The walk takes a few hours but is generally a relaxed and easy feel with mainly flats and actual paths set out for walking.
- Middlewood Way
A stunning 8.5 – 10.5 miles walk that passes through Marple and Macclesfield, the Middlewood Way is a Well-known route in the North West. A relatively flat and easy to walk path, the Middlewood Way walk can start at a number of points but to enjoy the full route, it is recommended to start at Rose Hill Station in Marple.
The full path passes Marple Golf Club, the Ring O’ Bells pub, The Boars Head pub and a whole host of scenic views along the way.
- Pennine Bridleway
The Pennine Bridleway starts in Rochdale and passes through the Peak District, South Pennines and can even lead you into North Yorkshire and Cumbria if you follow the full route. A route designed by the National Trust for walkers, cyclists and even horse riders, the full length of this route is actually 47 miles but there are much smaller, shorter circular routes that are perfect for a day trip.
The different routes offer different scenery, some having a more urban feel whereas others take you up and down hills and other along the reservoirs.
- Southern Woods Walk
A short route that packs a real punch when it comes to beautiful scenery, this short 1 mile walk is a circular path around the wider Quarry Bank estate. A dog-friendly path that will take 45-minutes to an hour, you’ll take in views of the mill, the Quarry, the pond and more along this woodland walk.
Beginning at the Mill Yard, this walk is signposted around the estate and is generally flat, even terrain throughout, making it ideal for all ages and fitness levels. Once you’re done, visit the Mill or grab a drink at the café.
Lace up your walking boots and get fit with beautiful views to help you along the way with these 10 stunning walks that are pretty much on our doorsteps!