Life is what we make of it. Hence, it is up to us how we can make the most of the time we have. Often people get tangled in their professional and work commitments which leaves them with very little time for their families. A hiking trip with your family can provide you with priceless experiences. While hiking with family and kids might seem like a bad idea for the holidays it can turn into a great bonding experience.
The best part about hiking with your family is that it gets everyone moving away from their digital devices and out in the open. Hiking also is great cardio for everyone and improves balance, agility and endurance. For the kids, it is the perfect opportunity to discover more about nature, local plants, birds wildlife and geography.
If you are in the UK, here are some of the best family hikes to try in the UK.
The West Highland Way, Scotland
If you are planning to have a great hiking tour with your family you can start with the West Highland Way in Scotland which can offer you varying degrees of challenges as the scenery changes as you move ahead. This 156 kilometres of hiking trail starts in Milngavie and ends in Fort William. This hiking trail can be completed comfortably in a week and that can provide you with plenty of challenges and experiences. As you navigate through the trail you also have to cross Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland, the UK and the British Isles. If you don’t want to do it on your own, you can cover the West Highland Way with Mickledore which offer the best walking and cycling holidays in the UK.
Hadrian’s Wall Path
Stretching coast to coast across Northern England, the Hadrian’s Wall Path is another excellent hiking trail that can allow you to have a great time with your family as you initiate from Wallsend, Newcastle Upon Tyne in the east and hike through different terrains to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria on the west coast. This 135 kilometres long trail passes along the rolling fields and rugged borderlands of Carlisle. The route is marked and popular for hiking through the summer months. Also, you need to ensure that you pack your hiking backpack the right way to stay balanced. While the wall itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the path alongside is dotted with ancient settlements, museums and forts.
South West Coast Path: Dorset
With amazing geology and stunning landscape and scenery, the South West Coast Path in Dorset is a great hiking trail that can offer your family the best experience to walk together. With around 129 kilometres of trail to walk, you can explore a diverse range of terrain in around 8 days that would challenge your endurance and stamina. Also, this area is packed with a diverse range of birds and wildlife and therefore there is plenty to explore as you go. You can search for fossils in Lyme Regis and Charmouth and climb up the highest point at Golden Cap and explore the arch of Durdle Door.
South Downs Way: Hampshire to East Sussex
With more than 160 kilometres, from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex, this trail passes through various rural areas and national parks that offer spectacular scenery, charming villages and stunning woodlands that would add to your overall hiking experience. One can also split the entire length of the trail into short ones and use clever family hiking tips to make things easier for you. The trail path also interconnects with various routes that traders used since the Stone Age. The route does get easier and more difficult in various sections and overcoming those challenges can make you feel great.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales
If you are interested in learning more about local geography and history, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a great hiking trail that can offer you so much more. Opened in 1970, this was the first National trail in Wales and passes through landscapes where civilizations have thrived for centuries. As you explore the rugged Welsh coastline you also enjoy the vast and stunning landscapes of the sea. This trail is a delight for plant and bird lovers that get to explore plenty of wildlife around. With 299 kilometres of pure adventure and fun, this trail can be covered in 10 to 17 days, depending on your pace.
Cotswold Way, Southern England
With some charming villages and historic sites, Cotswold Way is one of the best family hikes that you should try in the UK. The trail offers a scenic, undulating route from Chipping Campden to the steps of Bath Abbey. This 163 kilometres trail passes through rolling pastures, meadows filled with flowers, historic battle sites, rural woodlands and rustic towns in Southern England. The path also snakes through the twists and turns of River Severn and the Malvern Hills. The best part about this trail is that you can hike this route in all seasons. The route is marked and therefore ideal for those who are hiking with their family. With a comfortable pace, you can cover this trail in around 10 days.
Kerry Way, Ireland
If you are visiting Ireland, hiking Kerry Way must be on your list. This 200-kilometre hiking trail is the longest and most popular hiking trail. Covering the southwest part of Ireland, Kerry Way passes through Muckross Lake and Lough Leane. As you enter the Killarney National Park you also get to view the magnificent Torc Falls. As you approach the southern coast of the peninsula you can get a panoramic view of the golden sandy beaches and rocky islets. You can explore the local fauna and flora and birds and wildlife. While some sections of Kerry Way are easy as you have tarmac roads, some sections would require stamina and strength.
Cleveland Way, North Yorkshire
Opened in 1969, Cleveland Way is the second recognized National hiking trail in England and Wales. With 175 kilometres of walking route, this is a great hiking trail for a family that wants to explore historic locations and landscapes. The trail begins from Helmsley located on the southern edge of the North York Moors National Park and ends on the east coast in Filey. As you traverse this hiking trail you pass through classic moorland scenery, panoramic views over the Cleveland Hills, old fishing villages and lively coastal towns. The trail also runs through the village of Robin Hood’s Bay. The route is practically very easy but it gets a bit challenging as you approach Cleveland Hills. You may also start this hiking route anticlockwise from Filey to Helmsley if you prefer this way. The entire trail can be covered comfortably in 12 days.