Our walking vacations in England
Escape the crowded cities and tourist hotspots for rural landscapes that have inspired countless artists and poets, with our England walking vacations. Long distance routes such as the Thames Path, the Pilgrimsí Way from Winchester to Canterbury and the Cumbria Way explore some of Englandís finest (and emptiest) scenery, while your hosts in locally owned B&Bs along the way are never short of recommendations for the best restaurants and pubs nearby. A typical walking vacation as part of a sociable small group lasts around a week but opt for a tailor made and self-guided trip and you can take your time.
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From Stratford-upon-Avon to The Globe Theatre
More about our walking vacations in England
Walking the The Pilgrimsí Way
Pilgrims and avid walkers have followed the 200km route between Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire to Canterbury Cathedral in Kent for centuries. If you’re familiar with the satirical characters of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this is the journey they’re on. Mostly flat, with a few uphill bits, the Pilgrims’ Way flaunts its literary connections, taking you past the former homes of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Expect stunning North Downs scenery and choice pubs to stop at for lunch, including the wittily named Dirty Habit in Hollingbourne. It’s a two-week jaunt, but like most long-distance walks can be easily broken into sections.
Walking the Thames Path
You probably didn’t know that there are beaches in central London. Small ones, but beaches nonetheless, and you can stop off for a paddle while walking the Thames Path. Beginning in Gloucestershire, it’s one of England’s most celebrated long-distance walks. You can walk in either direction, but our expert vacation partners suggest going west to east and finishing in London, so that you have the wind at your back. Across two weeks, follow footpaths from villages in the Cotswolds and Chilterns to historic towns such as Oxford and Windsor, and finally to the Big Smoke itself.
Walking the South West Coast Path
The decline of traditional industries such as tin mining and fishing has hit many Cornish coastal communities hard, as has a rise in second home ownership. Our responsible walking vacations on the South West Coast Path bring valuable out-of-season income to guest houses, pubs and restaurants along the route, as well as providing needed employment. And don’t be put off by the crowds around popular sites in Cornwall – there are many lesser-known but equally lovely locations along this long-distance route, such as Saunton Sands, Bideford and Croyde, that attract just a fraction of the visitors.
Walking in the Lake District
One of England’s most beloved – and busiest – national parks, the Lake District was drawing crowds well before William Wordsworth wandered lonely as a cloud. But you needn’t be confined to crowded lakeshores and tearooms; our responsible walking vacations pair you up with local guides. This is the best way to get some breathing space on lesser-visited fells, as well as to gain a proper appreciation of the Lake District’s heritage. You’ll stay in locally owned guesthouses and skip the most eroded paths, contributing to more sustainable tourism – something that’s badly needed in the Lake District.
Walking the South Downs Way
The South Downs Way between Winchester and Eastbourne can be undertaken on a gruelling 24-hour, 161km marathon, but it’s best appreciated at a much more leisurely pace. Self guided walking vacations let you flit from village to village, making use of excellent public transport connections for much of the way, with daily distances of no more than 18km and generally easygoing gradients. Your luggage will be transported between locally owned B&Bs, benefitting small communities, so you can walk these undulating, idyllic landscapes with just a daypack. And naturally, our vacation organisers are full of recommendations on pubs, bakeries and restaurants en route.
Our top 10 walking vacations in England
Call us biased if you must, but we think England is one of the best countries for walking in Europe. Our top 10 walks demonstrate the variety on offer across long-distance routes, from the Thames Path and historic Pilgrims’ Way, to the South Downs Way across England’s youngest national park. On the White Cliffs Country Trail, Two Moors Way and Cumbria Way, you’ll roam some of England’s most iconic and soul-stirring landscapes. And all of them lined with classic English pubs where you can celebrate your endeavours with a foaming beer. Cheers!