England

In England the International Appalachian Trail is not a single route, but instead incorporates the network of National Trails. These long distance routes pass through England’s finest landscapes and give walkers a chance to explore over 2000 miles of beautiful countryside steeped in history.

The English National Trails became part of the IAT network in October 2014, when the South West Coast Path hosted the IAT AGM in Plymouth. Plymouth was chosen due to its strong links to the USA, with 2020 being the 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers setting off from here on the Mayflower. To get a feel for what the delegates packed into a 4 day visit to Plymouth check out our news page.

 

All the information you need to plan your hike in England can be found on the National Trails website.

 

National Trails

Each of the National Trails offers a different experience and vary in popularity.  The southern trails tend to get more visitors due to their proximity to London, while the iconic northern trails tend to be the ones people have heard of and aspire to complete.  Each offers a wonderful walking experience though, and combining them to walk the International Appalachian Trail is a life-changing experience.

 

Cleveland Way - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cleveland-way

The second National Trail to be completed, opened in 1969.  Crossing the wild moors of North York Moors National Park then down the spectacular coast to Filey.  With fabulous views, castles, ancient stone crosses and fishing villages tucked into tiny coves, it has everything you could wish for in just 109 miles.

Cotswold Way - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold-way

One of the most popular National Trails, the Cotswold Way offer just over 100 miles of magical walking with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment.  It passes through picturesque villages and past famous ancient sites.  It is the perfect trail for a short walk or family stroll, as well as an excellent introductionfor first-time long distance walkers.

Glyndwr's Way - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/glyndwrs-way

One of the newest and least known National Trails, Glyndwr's Way is steeped in history.  It takes you through 135 miles of rolling farmland, open moorland and forests, and past lakes and reservoirs in the footsteps of Owain Glyndwr.

Hadrian's Wall Path - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrians-wall-path

One of the newest and best known National Trails, Hadrian's Wall Path is very popular with walkers from both the UK and overseas.  Following the World Heritage Site for 84 miles from coast to coast and taking just a week to complete, it makes the perfect holiday. 

North Downs Way - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/north-downs-way

Following in the footsteps of pilgrims, the North Downs Way takes you on an inspirational journey of 153 miles from Farnham to Canterbury and the White Cliffs of Dover through a beautiful landscape rich in heritage.

Offa's Dyke Path - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offas-dyke-path

Offa's Dyke Path follows and crosses (27 times!) the English/Welsh border.  For much of its 177 miles it is alongside the 8th century Offa's Dyke and through varied and beautiful landscapes steeped in history.  The countryside is perfect for walking, as can be seen by the number of additional circular walks associated with the trail.

Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/peddars-way-and-norfolk-coast-path

This trail of two halves takes you through 93 miles of big sky country with fantastic scenery, a Roman Road, the unique Brecks, low cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches and dunes.  One of the most accessible Trails, it really is suitable for everyone.  Even cyclists can enjoy the Peddars Way section too.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pembrokeshire-coast-path

If you are looking for spectacular coastal scenery, the 186 mile long Pembrokeshire Coast Path is the trail for you.  It takes you to almost every kind of maritime landscape, from rugged cliff tops and sheltered coves to wide-open beaches and winding estuaries.

Pennine Bridleway - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pennine-bridleway

The only national trail specifically developed for equestrians and mountain bikers, the Pennine Bridleway follows 205 miles of old packhorse trails, drovers routes, lanes and tracks through the magnificent Pennines.  This trail is especially popular with mountain bikers.

Pennine Way - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pennine-way

The oldest and best known of all the National Trails, the 268 mile long Pennine Way celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.  Winding up the spine of England, it offers a real 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for walkers up to the challenge.  But they don't have to do it all in one go, as some of the very best sections make excellent short walks with the thrill of knowing you are on the Pennine Way.

South Downs Way - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/south-downs-way

The most visited trail on the National Trails website, the South Downs Way can be walked, ridden or cycled for its entire length.  It passes through 100 miles of beautiful South Downs countryside between Winchester and the white chalk cliffs at Eastbourne.  If you're looking for attractive wildlife, visible prehistory, fine pubs and pretty villages, the South Downs Way is perfect for you.  It is popular and easy to access.

South West Coast Path - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/south-west-coast-path

The longest of all the existing National Trails, at 630 miles the South West Coast Path isn't one that many people complete in one go, but it is understandably very popular for short walks and weekend or week-long breaks.  It follows the stunning coastline of Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Exmoor.

Thames Path - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/thames-path

A very popular Trail and one that offers a gentle introduction to the National Trails.  It follows the River Thames for 184 miles from its source in the Cotswolds to the Thames Barrier.  The river is a constant comparion, making navigation straightforward with plenty of opportunity to look around and enjoy the landscapes and activity on the river.

The Ridgeway - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/ridgeway

Recently featured on Countryfile, The Ridgeway follows a route used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers.  The Ridgeway is 87 miles of history passing through ancient landscapes, secluded valleys, downland and woodland.

Yorkshire Wolds Way - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/yorkshire-wolds-way

The hidden gem of the National Trails, the Yorkshire Wolds Way is one of the most surprising.  The Yorkshire Wolds present amazing chalk landscapes with dry valleys and stunning wildlife along vibrant market towns and ancient villages.  it is a landscape that is unfamiliar to many, but once visited never forgotten.

England Coast Path - http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/england-coast-path

When completed in 2020, the England Coast Path will be the newest and longest of the National Trails.  It will be one of the world's longest coastal paths, stretching 2,795 miles all the way around the coast of England.