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 breathtaking views aren’t so far away.
Just a short car, bus or train ride away from some of Britain’s most popular cities, 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
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.
2. Manchester: Hollingworthall Moor, Derbyshire
Length: 6.3 miles Walking time: 3 hours 30 minutes Distance from city centre: 26 minutes by car
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
7. Swansea: Rhossili, Gower
Length: 4.3 miles Walking time: 2 hours Distance from city centre: 27 minutes by car
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.
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
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.
9. Worcester: Clifton Upon Teme
Length: 9 miles Walking time: 5 hours Distance from city centre: 27 minutes by car
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.
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
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.
The Ramblers is Britain’s largest organisation for walkers with over 100,000 members across England, Scotland and Wales.
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