English Countryside – Seven Ways to Explore the UK

People often associate the UK with just London, football or gardens, but there are other things that are profoundly British. Britons love the outdoors, and the English countryside is a green treasure trove of variety and well kept trails.

Whether you are living in the UK, or planning a trip, here are seven great ways to discover the UK:

  1. If you have a spare week, bicycle from one end of the UK to the other, and that means a 870 miles (1407 kilometers) journey from northern end of Scotland to southwest tip of Cornwall. This route from John O’Groats to Land’s End is known as JOGLE amongst the bicycling enthusiasts. Do this as part of a charity challenge, and as well as raising money for a good cause, you will gain invaluable skills in networking and fundraising.
  2. If 800 miles is too long, you can opt for an organised bicycle day trip like Bike Fest to cycle to Stonehenge at midsummer. Starting points are all over the country. If your family is not into biking, get them to cheer you along the route or when you arrive near Stonehenge.
  3. Go on a long walk. Get an OS Explorer map local to your area, and you will undoubtedly be surprised how many footpaths and bridleways there are. There is a good chance are you can reach them without a car from your doorstep. OS maps come in different scales, the Explorer series at 1:25000 is the best one for hiking. Ordance Survey (OS) is the has a helpful page to explain the different map types.
  4. Feeling adventurous? Climb a mountain in four regions called four peaks: Ben Nevis in Scotland, Helvellyn in the Lake District in England, Snowdonia in Wales and, to add a bit of international travel to the mix, Carantouhill in the Republic of Ireland.
  5. At weekends, visit old market towns, stay in an old Inn (some of them are in 400 year old buildings) and get a local OS Explorer map for your destination. Remember to order you map a week or two before your trip.
  6. If you live in the South, walk the South Downs Way from Winchester to Brighton. This route takes more than a day, but you can set yourself a route and walk part of the way each weekend. There is plenty of affordable accommodation and pubs along the way.
  7. For an incredibly beautiful coast line, head to South Devon coast where a National Trail follows the coast. It on a sunny day it resembles the Amalfi coast in Italy, but with cleaner air. It is breathtaking – and sometimes it feels that the locals try to keep it secret.
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