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The Ramblers' Top 10 City Escape Walks

For city dwellers across the UK, there’s nothing better than leaving the hustle and bustle behind for a few hours and escaping to the countryside. And luckily, a few hours of well-deserved fresh air, green spaces and breath-taking views aren’t so far away.

 

Just a short car, bus or train ride away from some of Britain’s most popular city locations, you’ll find some incredible rural walks ranging from leisurely two hours strolls to more challenging, longer routes. Here, the Ramblers take us through their top ten countryside escapes.


1. Birmingham: Clent, Worcestershire

Length: 9.6 miles Walking time: 5 hours Distance from city centre: 27 minutes by car

Grassy hilly field

© Andrew Callow

Starting point: Walton Hill Road at the top of St Kenelm’s Pass, near Clent

 

This walk on the Clent Hills will soon make you forget you’re in the heart of the busy Midlands. Some steep climbs will be rewarded with incredible views across the Cotswolds and Welsh borders.

 

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2. Manchester: Hollingworthall Moor, Derbyshire

Length: 6.3 miles Walking time: 3 hours 30 minutes Distance from city centre: 26 minutes by car

River cutting through hills

© Tim Dobson

Starting point: Hobson Moor Road, Roe Cross

 

This walk from Roe Cross offers up incredible views over the Jaws of Longdendale, one of the most striking features of the Dark Peak. Wooded cloughs add to the charm of this secluded quarter, renowned for wild birds and springtime blooms.

 

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3. Edinburgh: Scald Law

Length: 7.7 miles Walking time: 5 hours Distance from city centre: 23 minutes by car or 41 minutes by bus

Grassy mountain peak

© Magnus Hagdorn

Starting point: Flotterstone car park

 

Escape the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh and head for the Pentland Hills. This route, which is packed full of interesting geographical features and stunning views, takes you over Scald Law, Carnethy Hill and Turnhouse Hill.

 

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4. Oxford: Woodstock, Oxon

Length: 9.5 miles Walking time: 3 hours Distance from city centre: 20 minutes by car or 33 minutes by bus

Large rivver with grassy river bank

© Ruth Johnston

Starting point: Woodstock, OX20 1JQ

 

This circular route takes you from the historic town of Woodstock through the beautiful Oxfordshire villages of Wotton and Combe. You’ll return through Blenheim Park, with the chance to admire the 18th century baroque architecture and grandeur of Blenheim Palace.

 

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5. Norwich: Costessey, Norfolk

Length: 5 miles Walking time: 2 hours 30 minutes Distance from city centre: 16 minutes by car or 29 minutes by bus

River with trees on the bank in winter

© Sarah Robinson

Starting point: The Costessey Centre car park, Longwater Lane

 

Costessey means island or dry ground in marsh. Old Costessey lies between two rivers, with the Wensum meandering along the northern border and the Tud to the south, which serves as the border between the old and new villages. This peaceful walk takes you through the woodland hills and along the lanes of Costessey.

 

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6. Doncaster: Hooton Pagnell

Length: 6.2 miles Walking time: 3 hours Distance from city centre: 18 minutes by car or 29 minutes by bus

Grassy hilly field

© Neil Theasby

Starting point: The Church, Hooton Pagnell, Doncaster

 

Taking you through a charming Yorkshire village, across beautiful open countryside, through woodland and along an old colliery railway path, this route is bound to delight.

 

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7. Swansea: RhossiliI, Gower

Length: 4.3 miles Walking time: 2 hours Distance from city centre: 27 minutes by car

Grassycliff next to beach

© Brian Fagan

Starting point: Car park behind the Worm’s Head Hotel, Rhossili Village

 

Rhossili is up there with some of the world’s most beautiful coastal locations and this walk showcases its postcard pretty sights from the Gower’s most breath-taking viewpoints. The final leg of the walk takes you along sand and surf, with the chance to spot migratory purple sandpipers and other rarities, such as great northern and red-throated divers as they flock to the beach in the winter.

 

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8. Plymouth: Latchbrook, Saltash

Length: 5 miles Walking time: 2 hours 30 minutes Distance from city centre: 16 minutes by car or 31 minutes by bus

Bridge Crossing A river

© Kevin Hale

Starting point: Latchbrook Cottages off Liskeard Road, Saltash

 

Anticipate some beautiful views on this hilly countryside walk taking you through Latchbrook, Forder, Antony Passage, Trehan and Trematon. Take time to admire the majestic Forder Viaduct and Trematon Castle along the way.

 

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9. Worcester: Clifton Upon Teme

Length: 9 miles Walking time: 5 hours Distance from city centre: 27 minutes by car

Grassy mountain top viewing the summit

© Trebvor Rickard

Starting point: Car park in Pound Lane opposite the school

 

Head to the peaceful Midlands countryside for this interesting route, which offers up amazing views of the Teme Valley and the chance to get up close to an unusual rock formation.

 

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10. Rochester: Teston, Yalding And The Medway

Length: 7.3 miles Walking time: 3 hours 30 minutes Distance from city centre: 23 minutes by car or 55 minutes by train

Wollow on the riverbank of a river

© Jane Gilbert

Starting point: Teston Country Park

 

This scenic walk takes you through meadows and fields and meanders along the canal. Enjoy fine views of the River Medway along the way and the chance to spot lots of boats.

 

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