If you often struggle to look past London when assessing the UK’s attractions, then it would definitely be worthwhile for you to look closer at the country.
Exciting though its cosmopolitan capital is, the UK has plentiful other gems that, in comparison, can seem rather tucked away. There are, for example, abundant opportunities to explore beautiful rural scenery; here are some nature trails that we reckon haven’t attracted the attention they are due.
Roman Way, Cotswolds
There are still many physical remnants of Britain’s Roman history – and yet, these days, many of them can be tricky to find. A good case in point is the Roman amphitheatre – or, should we say, what is left of it – which is on the east Gloucestershire town Cirencester’s outskirts but covered in grass.
You can find that historical gem at the end of an 11.5-mile trail from Coln St Aldwyns to Cirencester highlighted by The Guardian. This route starts in the beautiful Coln river valley.
Hadrian’s Wall Path
There’s a lot of fun to be had in the northern England city of Newcastle, which has hotels you could easily book through the Toprooms site. The city is also a good starting point for following the path of Hadrian’s Wall, which is among the UK’s best-known Roman monuments.
Nonetheless, with many stones having been taken away from many parts of the wall, you could too easily underestimate the charms – including sights of lovely nature – of taking this route that stretches from Newcastle right through to the Solway Firth.
St Cuthbert’s Way, Northumberland
While you are in the North East, don’t pass up the option of also walking along St Cuthbert’s Way, named after the region’s seventh-century bishop St Cuthbert.
On this 18-mile route, you can enjoy seeing rolling arable fields and the natural sandstone St Cuthbert’s Cave, where the saint’s dead body was reportedly briefly lain. The journey starts at Wooler and ends on Holy Island, which is well-populated with wildlife.
Southern Upland Way, Borders
Head even further north, and you can come across the Scottish Borders – which, though more reputed as an area for horse-riding, warrants hikers’ consideration as well.
This particular walk between the Irish Sea and the North Sea spans a mammoth 212 miles. That might help explain why few people seriously attempt the journey; don’t be surprised if you don’t come across anyone else on the trail, as it is undoubtedly remote, cautions Rough Guides.
Falls of Glomach, Ross-shire
You might scoff at the suggestion that a 114-metre-drop waterfall is easy to miss. However, this applies to the Falls of Glomach, which has the single largest drop of any UK waterfalls. The Falls of Glomach are up a remote, narrow gorge in the Scottish Highlands – hence their concealment.
Some people have gone as far as dubbing them the “hidden” falls; however, you can find them through walking along an 11-mile trail that begins in Morvich. Take note of the spray which also assists in obscuring the Falls from view.