Descending down the hike in Ireland.

As we look forward to a summer when lockdown restrictions may be eased, we’ll all eagerly hoping and planning for future holidays. If you love being outdoors and exploring Mother Nature, here are five hiking trails to add to your bucket list when travel resumes. 

These hikes are just a few of the top trails covered in Big Trails: Great Britain and Ireland Volume Two(If you’re in the UK, please see the book here.)

Big Trails Great Britain Ireland Volume
Big Trails Great Britain Ireland Volume

While the guide contains several popular, iconic trails in Great Britain and Ireland – such as the Beacons Way, the Cumbria Way, the Dingle Way and the Southern Upland Way – it also describes several undiscovered gems, which are perfect if you want to escape the crowds. 

Here are five top trails that you may not have heard of.

  • Best Seaside Trip – Channel Island Way

The 165-kilometre Channel Island Way winds its way around five of the Channel Islands –  Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney and the car-free Herm.  You can enjoy the islands’ unique culture, tall towers, military history and, of course, delicious Jersey ice cream on beautiful beaches.

John Coefield Sedbusk High Pasture above Sedbusk in Wensleydale
Sedbusk High Pasture above Sedbusk in Wensleydale. Photo by John Coefield
  • Lakes and Dales Alternative – Lady Anne’s Way

If every bed and breakfast on the Dales Way is booked up through to 2025, why not explore away from the tourist honeypots and hike the 154-kilometre Lady Anne’s Way? It follows in the footsteps of the intelligent and independent Lady Anne Clifford–starting in the charming market town of Skipton; it meanders over the Dales, visiting Lady Anne’s castles, and finishes in Cumbria’s verdant Eden Valley.

  • Great Long Weekend – Burren Way

On Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Coast, the Burren Way packs a whole lot of scenery into just eighty kilometres.  Starting at Lahinch, you walk the length of one of Ireland’s favourite tourist destinations, the spectacular, striated Cliffs of Moher.  You then head inland to explore the other-worldly landscape of the Burren Park’s limestone karst.

  • Family Friendly Fun– Isle of Wight Coastal Path

The 113-kilometre Isle of Wight Coastal Path encircles the pretty island, taking in beaches, high cliffs, seaside towns and castles and forts. If little legs get tired, you can take a break at Fort Victoria’s planetarium, marvel at Alum Bay’s multicoloured sand or visit Queen Victoria’s home – whilst the kids have an adventurous day out at the UK’s oldest amusement park, Blackgang Chine.

long distance hiking trails
long distance hiking trails
  • Great Trail Running – Yorkshire Wolds Way

This summer, people rushing for Yorkshire’s fantastic coast will blithely drive past Yorkshire’s best kept secret – the butterflied, flower-rich rolling chalk hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. Starting on the Humber estuary, the 124-kilometre Yorkshire Wolds Way offers grassy paths through gentle green dales, perfect for easy running.

You can reward your efforts with fish and chips on the beach at Filey (although the route technically ends further on at Filey Brigg, where the Cleveland Way begins).

Big Trails: Great Britain and Ireland Volume 2 is the second volume of this inspirational guide to the most iconic long-distance trails in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

The 25 routes featured in this book comprise more of the best trails in Great Britain and Ireland. From some of Wales’ best views on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the magnificent moorlands of the Two Moors Way (Devon Coast to Coast) in South-West England, to Scotland’s wild moors on the Southern Upland Way and over high cliffs on Ireland’s Burren Way.

Long distance hiking with family
A hiking adventure with family makes you feel alive and refreshing

In the shadows of Lakeland peaks on the Cumbria Way and around five islands on the Channel Island Way, the book incorporates the highlights of Great Britain and Ireland, from its centre to its outermost edges.

Big Trails books are designed to inspire big adventures. Rather than being carried along the route, this guide provides everything you need to plan and explore further, including a general overview of the trails, specific technical information, overview mapping, key information and stunning photography.

As well as this, each route specifies approximate timings devised using the Jones–Ross formula, which allows for custom itineraries to be generated depending upon the speed of the user.

Whether you’re walking, trekking, fastpacking or running, let Big Trails: Great Britain and Ireland Volume 2 be your guide. Available for purchase here on Amazon. UK readers please see Amazon link here.

For more info on the book, see

Author Bio: Kathy is Vertebrate Publishing’s guidebook researcher and spends all her days looking at maps, collecting photos and writing directions, then after work, she looks at maps, takes photos and reads directions as she makes her way from one point of interest to another on some far-flung ultra trail.

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