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6 top UK hill and mountain hikes

The Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

It is not always necessary to go far into the countryside in order to enjoy a pleasant hill walk. It is located right in the middle of Edinburgh in the 640-acre Holyrood Park, which is home to Arthur’s Seat, a reasonably short hike to the top of which rewards you with a historic hill fort at the peak. Arthur’s Seat, which began its existence as a volcano, is now home to many species of unusual flora and animals, and as a routine escape-from-the-city walk, it has remained enormously popular with both residents and visitors alike for centuries. Allow two hours for the climb and down, take in the occasional bagpiper performance at the peak, and then take in the breathtaking views of the city and the Forth Valley.
The path is suitable for people of all fitness levels, however there is some climbing towards the peak.

Snowdon, Gwynedd

The Miners’ Track is the most popular of the six paths that go to the top of Wales’ tallest peak, Snowdon. However, if you want to escape a crush of climbers, take the Snowdon Ranger track, which is an easy-to-follow path that meanders slowly upwards until the last hard ascent. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular vistas along the way, as well as a feeling of accomplishment at the summit. Do you like a good challenge? In May, June, and August, you may join a guided Snowdon by Night walk and enjoy the experience of reaching the summit by moonlight.
The path is a strenuous walk that takes between six and eight hours.

Slieve Donard, County Down

With a track that begins at Newcastle Beach and ascends to Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest peak, this is an excellent opportunity to blend sea and mountain on a hiking trip. This peak, which stands at 2,800 feet above sea level, offers spectacular views over the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man, then into Wales, Scotland, and beyond. Track north along Donard’s north side until its steepest point, and then return the same direction in order to avoid the very steep Eagle Rocks cliffs on that side.
The path is moderate to difficult and takes around six hours.

Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons

Because it is the tallest peak in the southern hemisphere at 2,900 feet, the weather may be harsh at the top. This does not discourage experienced climbers from attempting the route. Pen y Fan is a must-do climb that, when the weather is cooperative, rewards climbers with expansive views of untamed moorland and awe-inspiring vistas. Mountain bikers choose the nine-mile yomp that includes the other peaks of the National Park: Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan Y Big, while families prefer the pleasant four-mile round route that starts at the Storey Arms and ends at the Storey Arms. The peak has Bronze Age burial chambers, so keep an eye out for these.
Depending on the path you choose, this route is suitable for all skill levels.

Parkhouse and Chrome Hills

While peak enthusiasts may go toward Mam Tor and the Great Ridge, these two mini-mountains provide an equally rewarding ascent for those seeking something a little calmer. In the lush meadows of the White Peak, where they were created from the calcified remnants of massive coral reefs, they support a diverse range of flora and animals, including hoverflies, butterflies, and unusual lichen. Either take the longer route around Chrome Hill’s spiny summit, which is known as “the Dragon’s Back of the Peak District,” or the shorter route up Chrome Hill and up to scrambly Parkhouse Hill: either way, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular Peak District views.
Five kilometers long and moderate to simple in difficulty, with a top elevation of 1500 feet, this trip is worth doing.

Beddingham Hill, East Sussex

Contrary to popular opinion, the South Downs are not always easy on the muscles and joints. This 10-mile walk takes you over the wind-buffeted Firle Beacon and Beddingham Hill – both of which provide spectacular sea views – before winding your way down chalky bridleways to the little town of Alciston. Expect to see trees, meadows, chalk pits, and fantastic cultural excursions along the way. The Charleston Farmhouse, owned by the Bloomsbury Group, is located nearby, as is 15th-century Firle Place, which is next to Firle Church, which has a stained-glass window by John Piper.
The journey is difficult in places; plan on spending six hours on it.

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