A walking holiday is an ideal experience for the active traveller, and the UK and Ireland provide the ultimate backdrop. Here are three places to discover on foot.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
With dramatic mountains, rugged peninsulas, clear streams and a rich culture as the historic homeland of Clan MacDonald, the Isle of Skye is like a greatest-hits compilation of the Scottish Highlands. From the jagged ridges of the Black Cuillin to bucolic glens, crumbling castles, whisky distilleries and hillside food trucks serving fresh oysters, a few days’ visit to Skye offers hikers a range of hard and soft adventure. Absolute Escapes has custom tours from four to six nights, with budget, standard or premium accommodation. They do the work; you focus on the walking.
The Burren Way, Ireland
This 100-kilometre route on the country’s west coast is named after an otherworldly karst landscape called the Burren, but its signature attractions also include a vertiginous footpath overlooking the legendary Cliffs of Moher, and the nearby village of Doolin, Ireland’s traditional music capital, where locals hit the pubs armed with fiddles and flutes and the songs don’t stop until last call. Although some of the walk is on asphalt, other sections traverse fields of wild flowers and terraced limestone hills. Give yourself at least five days, and let Hillwalk Tours handle the logistics.
Hadrian’s Wall Path, England
Crossing the country south of the Scottish border, this 135-km National Trail follows the route of the 1,900-year-old Roman defensive fortification, with many sections of the UNESCO World Heritage Site still standing. You’ll also see Roman settlements and forts, bustling market towns and classic views over the open countryside. Fairly flat and well signed, the trail can be done in less than a week, and there are dozens of outfitters to choose from if you want a luggage shuttle and/or a trip planner to book your accommodation.
Read more: A Walking Holiday in the British Isles
Getting there: Seasonal service to Glasgow from Halifax returns April 30, 2017; Seasonal service to Dublin from St. John’s returns April 30, 2017; WestJet flies to London 10 times a week from Calgary and Toronto.