Hiking Ancient Landscapes with Walking Holidays in England

Whether you’re seeking respite out among the hills and mountains, or a meander through quaint seaside villages – set out walking in England and you’ll find a landscape of staggering contrasts.

It could be argued that no-one does heritage quite as well as the English, and through the setting up of National Parks and AONB’s (Areas of Outstanding National Beauty) the UK has earmarked some of the more wild and beautiful aspects of England for conservation. Most of our self-guided walking holidays in England cross paths with these protected areas, ensuring unspoiled scenery and an invigorating environment along the way.

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Overview of England's Paths

England is generally flatter than ScotlandWales and Ireland, but you will still find an enormous amount of variety - including vigorous hill walking, coastal walking and gentler walks through picturesque villages.

For a more challenging walk with dramatic scenery, head to the north of England. There you will find the most mountainous and least populated region of England, particularly as you near the Scottish border. The area is dominated by the Pennines, a mountain range running down the central spine of northern England. To the west is the scenically impressive Lake District, explored via the Cumbria Way, and to the east is the wild landscape of Northumbria. Head north towards the Scottish border, and you’ll find an area of enormous historical significance, best explored via the Hadrian’s Wall path.

Those looking for a more easy-going pace, with an abundance of beautiful country villages and rolling green hills - should head south. The Cotswolds offer particularly scenic walking, whilst other highlights include the South Downs, the Shropshire Hills and the Thames River. Here, you will also generally enjoy the best of the UK’s weather. Excellent coastal walking can be found across England. The Northumbria Coast offers a more windswept beauty with misty, deserted beaches, whilst a walk along the South West Coast will take you across white cliffs, green fields and sandy little coves. For a slightly different coastal experience, we also offer a number of island walks including the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey.

Celtic Trails Walking Holiday

Best Time for Walking Holidays in England

England is one of the milder parts of the UK and can be visited at any time of the year. However it is worth noting that it does experience high rainfall and cool temperatures, particularly in late autumn and winter. For this reason the best months to walk are between mid March and late October.

The further north you go, the colder and wetter the weather gets and consequently we would recommend that the north of England is best walked in the summer. In the south of England, temperatures stay warm and dry for much longer, making it an ideal destination for spring and autumn holidays.

The main school holiday period in the UK runs for 6 weeks from mid-July to the end of August, which can make certain touristy spots, particularly around the coast, quite busy. If you would like to travel in summer but avoid crowds, we would recommend travelling in June, early July or early September.

Image of Broadway Tower, Cotswold Way

How to get to England

By Plane: The most popular city to fly into in England is London. London has 3 major airports - Heathrow , Gatwick and Stanstead. All of these airports have excellent connections, however it is worth noting that Stanstead is approximately 1 hour north-east of London and so the least convenient of all the London airports. London airports are particularly useful when visiting the south of England, however they do all have good transport links into central London and then onto every city within the UK.

If you are visiting northern England, you may prefer to choose a closer city to fly into. Manchester is the biggest airport in northern England and is convenient for visits to the Lake District and Yorkshire. Those visiting the most northern parts of England including Northumbria, will find Newcastle to be the most convenient.

By Ferry: Those visiting from Europe may wish to consider travelling to the UK by Ferry. All of the UK’s main ferry ports are located in the south of England. The busiest and quickest is Dover on the South East, which serves Calais. Also convenient is Portsmouth on the south coast (connections to Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, St Malo, Bilbao, Santander and the Channel Islands). Both have good bus and train connections into London and onto the rest of the UK.

Eurotunnel: The Eurotunnel connects to the UK in Folkestone on the south-east coast, close to Dover.

By Train: The UK can be reached by train from Paris, Brussels and Lille using the Eurostar. The Eurostar arrives in London, and from there you will find excellent train and bus connections onto the rest of England.

England Client Reviews

4.9/5 based on 26 reviews
"Thank-you, we have thoroughly enjoyed our walk, the personal touch given by yourselves & the hospitality of the B&B owners."
- September 2018
"Please let me congratulate again for the rapidity and effectiveness that you have shown by organising the whole trip on a very late request of mine. The experience we had with you/Celtic Trails was excellent and we’d like to try another one in the future. Before contacting you, we contacted another company – they told me that they could not organise the trip at such a short notice. Your attitude made the difference. The material was complete to even to the slightest detail and such a thoroughness was extremely appreciated."
- July 2016
"Impeccable logistics, we always trust Celtic Trails to select first-rate accommodation - our first choice for walks in the UK."
- April 2018
"Outstanding service, well documented packs (the best I've ever had), fantastic accommodation choices and real focus on the client."
- June 2018
"The uphill bits were a struggle, but the views were breathtaking! The walk also contained various terrains, which made it more interesting. The B&Bs that we stayed in each night were wonderful. Warm and welcoming at the end of a long day's walk! It doesn't get much better than this!"
- May 2018
"Once again you and your team have excelled in the organisation of the Cotswold Way walk we undertook last week. All accommodation and transport arrangements worked perfectly and the hospitality of our hosts was beyond expectations. That was my second walk with you and my walking partner's third and we both have every intention of using your organisation again in the future and we continue to spread your name wherever we go. Many thanks for the wonderful experience."
- June 2015
"I just wanted to thank all of you your great logistical planning. It all went perfectly! We couldn't have asked for better accommodations and they were very welcome after a long day of walking."
- June 2017
"I wanted to thank you for providing one of the very best vacations of our lives. You planned our walking infrastructure down to a "T", but always allowed us the choice of veering off from the plan. Your maps, trail books, and day-by-day destination sheets were impeccable. All we had to do was walk and find adventure. We did."
- September 2015
"Your wonderful organisation of the trip, excellent accommodation meant I could relax and enjoy my walk - even walking alone."
- April 2017
"We would like to thank you for a great holiday. All your organisation of the accommodation and luggage transfer worked smoothly and we were free to enjoy the walking. The path was very well signed and maintained so there were no problems along the way."
- May 2015
"Celtic Trails provided a perfect first walking experience, thank you!"
- May 2017
"It is always a highlight of a holiday doing a long-distance walk. This walk was superb, no disappointments, every day was a privilege. Thank you so much once again for your superb organising. Until next time!"
- June 2015
"This was a magnificent walk through varied and very beautiful countryside. It was more up and down than some walks, but that ensured an ever-changing landscape. Definitely one of the best walks I’ve done – memorable and beautiful. Our visit to Coleridge’s cottage made a lovely end to the walk."
- May 2015
"Some of the hosts mentioned how well organised you are and keeping in touch with them is obviously the key to making sure everyone has a memorable holiday! Ta!"
- June 2015
"Luggage and personal transfers carried out ‘very efficiently’ ‘[attracted by] the challenge, peace & quiet, closer to nature, can notice more. We feel that nothing could be improved – it was all very easy and the organisation and communication exceeded all expectations! If we were to use an organisation again – we would certainly use Celtic Trails & will introduce to our friends! Thank – you."
- May 2016
"I wanted to see the Cotswolds, but not from a bus tour or driving holiday! I am proud that I completed the trail! Thank you Celtic Trails for the wonderful memories!"
- May 2016
"[what attracts me is that] life is reduced to a simple question – can you get to the next overnight stop? The gold standard for hospitality – an offer of a pot of tea, and cake too on arrival! Thank you, Penny, for making it possible for us to enjoy this adventure. We loved every minute!"
- July 2016
"Our experience was fantastic, one of the marvellous and memorable holidays we've had. We're already thinking about our next walk with you."
- July 2013
"I enjoyed completing an ambition, walking with friends and your help to allow me to walk with my dog."
- April 2017
"Very very happy with all accommodations! Thank you for planning such an excellent trip!"
- June 2017
"We had a great time. The people were very friendly and easy to talk to. Being interested in geology, there was lots to see - especially the 'Lapetus Suture'. The wildlife was excellent: wonderful choughs (over 50 varieties of bird seen)."
- April 2017
"Time spent for reflection and meeting people appealed to me' ‘It was a fabulous experience and I’d like to do it again, on another walk organised by Celtic Trails."
- September 2016
"Celtic Trails organisation was immaculate & the baggage transfers seamless. Our hosts were all great and there was a lovely variety in the places we stayed. We are looking forward to completing the Thames Path next year."
- June 2016
"Celtic Trails is one of the best walking holiday companies we have used, we set off with very high expectations and we were not disappointed."
- June 2017
"I want to thank you once again for your work in organising this walk. I know it was a tough one for you with our special requirements and the need for transportation off route to accommodation, but it worked out perfectly."
- November 2014
"I have to admit we did not believe everything would go so smoothly. Everything worked according to your very detailed plans. Thank you for making this such an excellent walk."
- April 2012
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Walking Holidays In England - Destination Guide

England, Great Britain or the United Kingdom (UK)?

The words England and Britain are often used interchangeably to mean the same place but this is incorrect. England is just one country in Great Britain - the other two are Scotland and Wales. You may also hear the term United Kingdom or ‘UK’ used, which also includes Northern Ireland. Together, they are one nation - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Medical Cover

No vaccinations are required for entry into Britain. All citizens of the EU are entitled to free medical treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). If you are travelling from outside the EU you will receive free treatment from the Accident and Emergency Unit, but not if you are admitted into hospital or receive treatment at a general doctors surgery. Consequently health insurance is highly recommended.

Money

Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major debit and credit cards, although you should always carry a bit of cash on you, particularly when visiting more rural areas or when using small businesses. You will also find an ATM in most small towns.

Tipping is expected in most cafés and restaurants but not mandatory. Anything between 5% and 15%, depending on the quality of service is acceptable. It is not necessary to tip bar staff as you will usually order and collect your drinks at the bar.

Internet and Phone coverage

Whilst phone and internet coverage in England is generally good, you should be aware that in more rural areas you may have limited coverage. Bearing this in mind, it is best to plan ahead and not rely on having access to calls when you are out and about. In towns and villages there will generally be phone reception but not always mobile internet. It is increasingly common to have free wi-fi in cafes, hotels and B&Bs but not guaranteed.

Getting Around

Celtic Trails will arrange necessary transfers for yourself and your luggage for the duration of the walk. This is included in the price of the holiday, but does not include transport to the start of the walk. We are very happy to arrange private transfer to the start of your walk at an additional cost. Alternatively, there are the following options:

Train: England has an excellent train network and it is the most popular form of public transport because it is comfortable, safe and fast. It is also suitable for travelling on with large pieces of luggage. The train network covers all cities and many towns, but it's worth getting a firmer idea of train timetables and routes in England prior to your visit. If you would like advice on which is the nearest train station to the start/end of your walk please get in touch. Train tickets can be bought on the National Rail website or at the train station on the day.

Coach: Coach travel is often one of the most affordable ways of making long journeys across the UK (but not necessarily the quickest). National Express and Megabus are the main long distance coach companies in the UK. Tickets for long distance coach journeys should always be bought in advance from the respective company website.

Bus: Buses (generally smaller than coaches) are used across the UK for shorter journeys. There are thousands of bus routes and you will find a service running through almost every town in England. Tickets are generally bought from the bus drive upon boarding the bus. Search here for bus timetables in England. If you are at all unsure, we are very happy to offer advice on bus routes.

Taxi: Travelling by taxi is not cheap but it is the most convenient way of travelling if you only have a small number of journeys to make. Taxi journeys should always be booked in advance unless you are in a major city. Celtic Trails are very happy to provide you with the numbers of local, trustworthy taxi companies and also to book a taxi if enough notice is given.

Car: If you plan to drive to the start of your walking holiday, please let us know as we can provide advice on where to leave your car whilst walking.

Travel Documents

Citizens of the EU are free to visit the UK for any length of time with just their passports, whilst those from the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand can visit for 6 months with just their passports. Those from other countries will need to look into Visas. Once you have arrived in England, you are free to cross the borders of Scotland and Wales without having your documents checked again.

Reading List

Great Books For Great Walks: Essential reads for walking in… EnglandReading for Walking

Enquire about walking in England
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