The Buttermere Circuit in the Lake District has been named the UK’s top-rated walk in a survey of more than 50 popular routes, ranging from gentle strolls to full-day hikes.
With the UK continuing to face coronavirus restrictions, limiting opportunities for socialising indoors over the festive season, Which? revealed the UK’s favourite walks, as voted for in a survey of nearly 3,000 members.
The Buttermere Circuit in the Lake District, a 4.5 mile lakeside walk, took the top spot, receiving a score of 88%. It was awarded five stars for scenery – thanks to its combination of a rippling silver lake next to dramatic mountains.
Visitors also rated it for accessibility, peace and quiet, and plenty of places of interest along the route.
It was followed by Helvellyn, a tough eight-hour hike up the third-highest peak in the Lake District, which received a walk score of 87%. Hikers gave it five stars for its stunning scenery and views from the Striding Edge Ridge.
While not one for the faint of heart – Which? recommends only experienced walkers tackle this route – the path is well trodden, and the chances of real danger are slim.
Two coastal walks in Wales, The Rhossili Headland in Gower and Solva to St David’s route in Pembrokeshire, each received walk scores of 87%, too. These routes were both ranked two out of five for difficulty, making them nice options for a pleasant but invigorating stroll.
Receiving the accolade of Scotland’s best walk – was the Anstruther to Crail stretch of the Fife Coastal Path, with a score of 86%. This route was given five stars for peace and quiet and takes just a couple of hours to complete. The path is clearly marked too, allowing walkers to find their way easily while making the most of the views across the Firth of Forth.
Other routes receiving 86% were the Botallack Mine Walk in Cornwall, the Craster, Dunstaburgh and Low Newton Circuit in Northumberland, and the Old Man of Coniston in the Lake District.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “Whether you’re looking for easygoing strolls to fill the space between Christmas and the new year, or you’re after a breathtaking hike to help you shake the dust off your feet, our rundown of the country’s favourite walks should provide plenty of inspiration.
“While coronavirus restrictions might prevent us from travelling to some of the farther-flung destinations on our list, the good news is that we are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to stunning walks across the UK, meaning there are walks to be enjoyed wherever you are in the country.”
Here are the top 10 best walks:
For the full results, head to Which.co.uk.