Circular Walks

 

There's a certain sense of satisfaction in returning to the place that you started your walk. A sense of completion fed by the knowledge that you have just circled miles of surrounding countryside, exploring the hills, lanes, flowers and fields that make a place special. Of course, returning to the start of the trail also means that you can revisit the places you overlooked when you were too eager to begin your walk! Here are our walking holidays that follow a circular route.

Circular walks in the Cotswolds

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When thinking about a 'typically' English countryside scene, many will think of charming cottages with roses and wisteria climbing the fences, ancient trees overlooking village greens and rolling fields made loud with the bleating of lambs. It is an idyllic scene that has been painted by artists for centuries and one that can be experienced first-hand on a walk through the timelessly beautiful countryside of the Cotswolds.

Our circular walks in the Cotswolds vary in length, from the week long Cotswolds Villages Trail that visits twenty seven of the Cotswolds' finest towns and villages, to the two day Cotswold Short Break that follows peaceful countryside through the Windrush Valley. For those who would prefer to visit a less frequented part of the Cotswolds, our South Cotswold Walk combines history and villages with spectacular scenery. Whichever tour you choose, returning to one of the lovely Cotswold villages will give you more time to sample the delightful tea rooms, browse the village shops and rest your feet at the end of your walk.

 

Dartmoor Way

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Dartmoor is one of the largest and wildest areas in England, rich in archaeology and brimming with myth and legend. For a circular walk that explores the historic moorland towns, lush valleys and ancient woodland of Dartmoor, the Dartmoor Way is a wonderful choice of walk as it circles the fringe of the national park without crossing the wild expanse of the moor.

 

Isle of Wight Coast Path

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Towering white stacks rise from a coastline of golden white sands and the Isle of Wight Coast Path encounters every inch of this wonderfully varied coastline. From the rich bird and plant life, to thatched cottages, seaside resorts and historic houses, circling an island has to be one of the most rewarding walking experiences.

 

Land's End Round

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If walking Britain's longest way marked trail around the South West Coast Path sounds a little extreme, but you like the idea of savouring everything that Cornwall has to offer, consider the Land's End Round, which combines the Far West of Cornwall path with St Michael's Way. This extension departs the South West Coast Path at Penzance and heads inland along Britain's only designated European Cultural Route, the Santiago di Compostela. With splendid views over Cornwall, the trail guides you back to the lively coastal town of St Ives where extra time to explore the narrow streets, museums, galleries, beaches and shops is the perfect way to end your holiday.

 

Bob Graham Round

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The Lake District is England's largest national park, its only true mountain region and for many, it is considered to be the adventure capital of the UK. There is truly no better place for a challenge, so what better than a walk following in the footsteps of Keswick adventurer, Bob Graham, who set the record for climbing 42 mountains in just 24 hours. Our somewhat slower version of the Bob Graham Round visits all 42 peaks over five days, but with 29,100ft of ascent, remains a challenge even for experienced walkers. Your return to Keswick at the end of the walk is sure to inspire a sense of pride at your achievement and will likely leave you in awe of the Lake District and its spectacular mountain scenery.

 

Lake District Short Breaks and Lakeland Round

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If it is an unhurried pace that you are looking for, or you are short of time, consider our four circular Lake District Short Breaks that have been designed to encounter fabulous Lake District scenery without actually climbing any of the summits. If you have more time, the Lakeland Round offers a wonderful overview of the Lake District, visiting many famous beauty spots and twelve iconic lakes including Windermere, Ullswater and Derwentwater.

If it is the lakes that get your attention, the Coniston Round, Windermere Way and Ullswater Round all perform a circuit of one of the Lake District's famous lakes. As you circle the shore you will be able to admire the reflection of mountain scenery in the glistening water and when you return to the start, you may have to resist the temptation to start again!

 

The Peak District

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The Peak District was the first national park to be established in the UK, attracting tourists because of its varied and beautiful scenery. The wild heather-clad moorland of the Dark Peak rests to the north, its dramatic gritstone edges overlooking the patchwork of green fields, drystone walls and tumbling streams that characterise the White Peak to the south. It is this landscape that the White Peak Way explores, visiting all of the tranquil valleys and charming Derbyshire villages that make the area so appealing. If winding your way through attractive villages and uncovering fascinating tales from the past is more to your taste, try the Peak District Boundary Walk.

 

Yorkshire

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Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK and with three National Parks, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and countless other attractions to discover, there is plenty to grab your attention. Any encounter with Yorkshire is likely to leave you hooked; on its fabulous coastline, patchwork of emerald green fields or on its wild and remote moorland. A circular walk will see you savour every part of this county, returning to the start to revisit anything you may have missed the first time.

For a true 'overview' of Yorkshire, look upon the glorious scenery from atop the county's highest mountains on the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk. As well as tackling Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen y Ghent, the trail visits the Ribblehead viaduct, a truly spectacular example of Victorian engineering.

To evoke the charm of Yorkshire, try the Three Dales Way, a short break through fabulous Limestone scenery and visiting the natural wonders of Malham Tarn, Malham Cove and Gordale Scar as well as a series of typical Dales villages. Similarly, the Herriot Way treats you to a sense of the 'real' Yorkshire as it visits the sights and sounds made famous by James Herriot in his books 'All Creatures Great and Small' and 'James Herriot's Yorkshire.'

If it's tranquillity and solitude that you're after, look no further than the overlooked and much underrated Nidderdale Way. You'll have plenty of time for quiet reflection before returning to the attractive little town of Pateley Bridge.

 

Arran Coastal Way

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Majestic mountains, sparkling lochs, enchanting islands and turbulent history. For every one of these features there is a circular walk that captures the essence of Scotland. Of course, you may want to experience everything in one, circular bundle and for this the Arran Coastal Way is ideal. Also known as 'Scotland in Miniature', the Isle of Arran is home to caves, castles, mountains and moorland, surrounded by the glistening water of the Firth of Clyde and inhabited by herds of red deer, otters and golden eagles. The whisky distillery at Lochranza will also ensure that your Scottish experience is complete.

 

Cateran Trail & Borders Abbeys Way

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If it is Scotland's history that interests you, the Cateran Trail follows a circular route around the southern edge of the Grampian Mountains, following in the footsteps of the ferocious brigands who once roamed the land. On the borders, the Borders Abbeys Way links four great ruined monasteries, forming a circle through pretty market towns with castles, churches and history galore to carry you back to where you started the walk.

 

Isle of Anglesey Coast Path

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The coastline of the Isle of Anglesey is simply delightful with fine beaches, sandy dunes, estuaries teeming with bird life and towering cliffs. Circling the island allows you to experience every change in the scenery. Remaining close to the mainland of North Wales, with glimpses of the mountains of Snowdonia, gives you a real sense of how your journey is progressing, not to mention superb views!

 

Glyndwr's Way and the Offa's Dyke Link Path

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Having learned about Owain Glyndwr and discovered the wealth of history along Glyndwr's Way, an enticing prospect is to extend the walk by returning to the start on foot. This can be done by joining the Offa's Dyke Path at Welshpool, continuing southwards along the ancient earthwork that divides England and Wales. With spectacular views of the Shropshire Hills from Offa's Dyke and wonderful history on Glyndwr's Way, this circular walk unites two of Wales' best loved features.

 

Three Castles Walk

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If you only have a few days to spare and would like to spend your time relaxing in a tranquil part of the Welsh borders, consider the Three Castles Walk. Using Grosmont as your base for the entire walk, you will visit Skenfrith, Grosmont and White Castle, set within the beautiful Monnow Valley.

 

Kerry Way

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The Kerry Way walk is the classic circular walk, taking in the wild, historic landscape of the Iveragh Peninsula. Otherwise known as a walkers' Ring of Kerry, the route is low level, allowing you to experience the lakes, mountains, glens and coastline in an unhurried fashion, savouring the Irish hospitality and returning refreshed to Killarney at the heart of the Killarney National Park.