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The Best UK Walks 2019

Walking socks on, laces pulled tight and waterproofs packed; we're heading out on the trails for a fantastic year of walking.

We've put together a brand-new Best UK Walks Blog to give you a little inspiration when you're deciding where your next adventure should take you. From the Scottish Highlands to London's urban maze, there is something for everyone to enjoy this year.

Stackpole Circular, Pembrokeshire, Wales

6 miles | 3.5 hours

This is a peach of a walk. In just six miles you can condense the entire South Wales coastal experience into on walk. Taking in some seriously impressive cliffs, a lake primed for bird watching, and not one but two beaches that could be lifted straight from Costa Rica.

Starting at the Stackpole Quay car park (already a trek from the nearest town – you'll need a car) you follow the coast up a steep(ish) climb. From the top of the first cliff you descent quickly down rough-hewn steps to the splendour of Barafundle Bay. Take some time to soak up the sunshine and the hot sand before leaving the beach through the woods on the far side.

Now it gets HIGH. Cross the clifftops, pausing to look down nervously at the crashing waves and the Lattice Windows. These natural arches are a wonder to see, especially with the waves battering between them. Once again you descend, this time to the even-better-if-such-a-thing-is-possible Broadhaven Bay.

~Pembrokeshire Wales Walk

An easy walk winds to Bosherton Lake. This sleepy pond is alive with birds and butterflies, making it a great place to stop for your picnic. Cross a narrow wooden bridge and proceed to the Bosherton Causeway. These lily ponds are covered in leaves during the summer. If you are lucky you may spot an otter raising its head above the waterline.

From here it's a simple trek back to where you started at Stackpole Quay, and the delights of the National Trust Café.

If you only have one walk to do on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path then this is the one to do.

Tobermory Circuit, Isle of Mull, Scotland

3.5 miles | 2 hours | 142m

Sometimes you don't need more than a few miles to really get the feel for a place. A few hours spent circling Tobermory will cement your love for Mull forever. Starting at the southern end of Tobermory harbour begins with a signpost for Aros Park. Yes, it does warn you about steep trails ahead, but with a bit of effort you'll be fine.

The path winds upwards to give fantastic views of the little multicoloured town. Picture perfect. From here things can get muddy, especially after rain so boots are needed. Cross the bridge to find the showering waterfall called Sput Dubh.

~Pembrokeshire Wales Walk

You will reach a natural impasse and follow a trajectory towards the right. Climb the steps ahead and admire the wide vistas of the island. A left-hand fork will take you down to a rough picnic area. You can eat your butties here before heading on through the woods, zigzagging down to the second, and more impressive waterfall. Don't make the mistake of veering towards it; your path continues straight on.

The next landmark of note is Loch a'Ghurrabain. Keep this on your right and begin your walk back. Cross a footbridge and climb to Aros car park. If you aren't ready for the walk to end yet, there are plenty of other signposted routes beginning and ending here. It's a simple, if steep, procession back to Tobermory. But with no need to rush and plenty of benches along the way, make sure to enjoy yourself. If the going does get a little sweaty just console yourself with the thought of that first dram back in the town.

Whernside Circular, Yorkshire

9.2miles | 736m climb

Tick one of Yorkshire's three peaks off your bucket list. The Whernside Circular takes in views of the Ribblehead Viaduct and, like all the best walks, offers a pub lunch on route.

Starting at Ribblehead Station, the route leaves the Dales Way footpath and heads uphill onto the northern slopes of Whernside. Look out for the Viaduct, a Grade II listed structure constructed in 1870, and maybe you'll spot some of the remains of the old railworker's settlement of Batty Wife Hole situated below (yes, that is its actual name).

~Whernside Walk Yorkshire

Past the Viaduct and towards the Whernside Summit, you climb to a height of 736m above sea level and reach the highest point in Yorkshire.

After descending you have a decision to make. Turn right towards Chapel-le-Dale and the pleasures of a pub lunch at the Old Hill Inn, or take the road back to the Viaduct. We know which we'd go for.

London's South Bank

4.2miles | 90 mins

Arriving at Embankment Station, the 4.6-mile walk's first turn takes you past the Playhouse Theatre on Northumberland Avenue. Built in 1882 with a capacity of 1200, the Playhouse has undergone many changes throughout its iconic history and even hosted the likes of The Who, Queen and The Beatles. Once the music has stopped ringing in your ears, its past the Equestrian Statue of Charles I and onto The Mall. Basically the Queen's driveway, The Mall has been the red carpet for a whole host of royal events and saw well over 1 million visitors on the day of Prince William and Princess Kate's Wedding Day.

~London South Bank Walk

Walking up The Mall, less than a mile brings Buckingham Palace into view. Head on up past the palace and round the royal gardens onto Grosvenor Place and through into Eaton Square Gardens. From here it is a short walk to the famous Sloane Square in Chelsea. Here you'll find a whole host of restaurants and shops but if you've got a sweet tooth I'd instead suggest a stop of at Peggy Porschen in Belgravia. Yes, the cupcakes are expensive and the queue can sometimes be out the door but the cakes are fantastic and the whole shop is painted pink. What more could you ask for?

Far from the hills of the Peak District or the coastal views of Cornwall, London's South Bank provides a blast of Thames air for office workers needing a break from the desk or tourists exploring the southern sights.

Divis Ridge Trail, Northern Ireland

4.2miles | Circular route | Black Mountain Summit 390 metres

The Divis Ridge Trail is 4.2miles of pure Irish perfection. It provides you with 180-degree views across the city of Belfast and chance to spot birds of prey

Heading out of the Divis Mountain Car Park, the trail heads towards the Divis transmitter mast and then bears right onto the Boardwalk. Reaching the end of the Boardwalk, the gravel path takes you to the summit of the Black Mountain for those wonderful views of Belfast we had promised. On a clear day it is even suggested that you can see Scotland, the Isle of Man and Cumbria.

~Divis Ridge Trail Northern Ireland

Once you've had your fill of city views at the summit it's time to head on down towards Long Barn and cross over the Collin river. Enjoy walking on the stone paving as you make your descent as it comes all the way from County Clare which is just over 309km away!

Prawle Point, Devon

4.8km | 1hour 30 mins

The Prawle Point walk is situated just outside of Devon's busy town of Slacombe but yet feels undisturbed and gorgeously remote.

Full of drama and tough cliff edges the coastal walk shows off a great deal of Devon's history. You will pass ancient boundary stones and a whole range of wildlife, including the nocturnal Nightjar birds which can be pinpointed by their 'churring' call sound.

Starting along the South West Coast Path, the trail takes you towards Gara Rock and then up to the Prawle Point look-out. For the history lovers among you, these fields were the site of a radar station in the Second World War and still now house a grass-covered bunkers that used to house the transmitter receivers.

~Prawle Point Devon

From here continue along the coastal path and take some time to enjoy the views of the English Channel. Carrying on along the coastal path, you begin to climb past cairns that were built by walkers and head on to Pigs Nose. Originally created as an Iron mine, Pigs Nose actually only operated from 1857 to 1860. If you look down onto the beaches you should also be able to spot blocks of Iron still lying on the sands.

Heading on past Pigs Nose and onto the cliff edge, the path heads uphill and takes you back onto the lane towards the carpark (and then hopefully on to the pub!)

Pokehouse Wood, Hereford

5.5 miles | 3 hours | Dog friendly

On the lookout for a river Otter or two? The Pokehouse Wood walk is definitely the right choice for you. Planted right in the heart of Herefordshire, the Pokehouse Wood walk takes you along the River Lugg and into the Pokehouse Woods.

Running from Shropshire into Herefordshire, the Pokehouse Woods are famous for their many sightings of ghouls and spirits. These sightings went so far as to distract travellers from the path causing the town to agree that the Aymestrey Church bell should ring for one hour at sunset to guide travellers across the path and safely into the village without being met by spirits. It's like the end of any club night in Manchester when Wonderwall plays and you find your way safely to the nearest taxi.

~Heredord Pokehouse Wood

Trail your way along the river path and look out for otters and the fields of bluebells in springtime. Once you begin to wind your way into the valley make sure you watch your footing as the paths can become steep and unpredictable. Once you've climbed out of the depths of the valley you make your way all the way down into the castle grounds and can enjoy great views of rural England.

If you have some of your own favourite walks, best pub lunch spots or unmissable trail paths then let us know in the comments below!

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Emma can normally be found walking her dog around Lancashire searching for cake. Determined to see as much of the world as possible, Emma enjoys travelling to new regions especially to ski, sunbathe and soak up the culture. From Lisbon and Barcelona, to Australia and New Zealand, as long as there is some sort of cake on offer, Emma will be happy.

When she's not travelling the world, Emma enjoys walks on the hills, looking after her chickens and trying to be the next Andy Murray on the tennis court.

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