Hiking is one of the best and most accessible ways to breathe some fresh air, reconnect with nature and get some exercise. It’s also an ideal activity to combine with a caravanning or camping trip.
Whether you want to climb the peaks of Snowdonia, explore the stunning natural beauty of the Isle of Skye or take a leisurely stroll through the Lake District – the UK is a hiker’s paradise.
You’ll find a range of routes and trails perfect for all fitness levels, which is what makes hiking one of the easiest physical activities to get stuck into.
The pleasures of hiking
There are so many reasons to lace up your boots and set out on a hike.
First and foremost, hiking is a wonderful way to appreciate the natural world while providing a cardio workout that engages all of your muscles and senses. By giving you the opportunity to slow down and focus on simply placing one foot in front of the other, you have ample time to take in your surroundings and discover a sense of peace.
Hiking is also proven to be beneficial to mental health and is often used as a tool to fight common conditions like stress, depression and anxiety. When you embark on a hike, whether it’s for a few hours or the entire day, you can switch off and unplug from the chaos of everyday life and totally immerse yourself in the world around you.
What equipment do you need?
One of the best things about hiking is that it’s an activity that’s accessible for everyone.
Similar to other activities like wild swimming, you don’t need any special equipment to immerse yourself in a simple day hike. Of course, you’ll need to have some sturdy walking shoes, particularly if you’re embarking on more challenging paths.
However, if you are feeling more adventurous and want to undertake a multi-day hike – you’ll need to ensure you’re prepared with gear such as a hiking backpack, weatherproof clothing, a first aid kit, navigational tools, plenty of food and even walking poles if you require them.
Planning and preparing for a hike
Before setting off on your touring and hiking adventure, you’ll need to do a little planning.
First, think about which kind of hike you’d like to do, whether that’s a short day hike, more strenuous multi-day trekking or a challenging summit hike.
To find the ideal route, take into consideration factors such as location, distance, elevation gain and time required. In the UK, you are spoiled for choice with gorgeous spots to explore on foot.
Before setting out, be sure to check the weather forecast so you can prepare accordingly. The last thing you want is to find yourself soaked through because you didn’t expect a sudden change in weather.
Although most hikes in the UK are well signposted, it’s always advisable to know the route or carry a map in case you stray from the path.
When it comes to knowing where you’re going to sleep, many of the cheapest pitching spots in the UK are located near top hiking destinations. Be sure to do your research or ask the campsite for information or directions to ensure you make the most of the day.
Best caravan sites for hiking
It’s a breeze to combine a touring trip with hiking. If you want to make the most of your surroundings, it’s a good idea to seek out caravan sites situated near the beginning or end of the trails you want to tackle.
Here are some of our top choices for hiking and caravanning in the UK:
- Moss Side Farm Campsite – Explore the stunning landscapes and glistening waters of the Lake District on foot from this charming, family-run campsite located in Ambleside.
- Hayfield Camping and Caravanning Club Site – Situated in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, this is the starting point for many of the area’s most memorable hikes.
- Bryn Gloch Caravans and Camping Park – Enjoy the peaks and valleys of Snowdonia National Park.
- Glenbrittle Campsite – Immerse yourself in the wild beauty of Scotland’s Isle of Skye while basing yourself in this quiet campsite surrounded by striking scenery.
- Riverside Caravan Park – Embark on some of the best trails in the Yorkshire Dales National Park when you park up at this well-regarding caravan park.
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