With the return of the sun, we've put together a list of 5 of the best summer hikes to make the most of the sun and the longer days.


Valley of Rocks, Devon

The best way to experience Valley of Rocks, which lies just around the corner from the twin coastal villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, is with a 3.5-mile circular walk. From the Exmoor National Park car park, cross the road and follow the footpath up Hollerday Hill. Turn left at the T-junction onto the South West Coast Path, with cliffs on one side and the sea on the other. Pass beneath Rugged Jack and ascend to Castle Rock for stunning views of Wringcliff Bay. Spot the White Lady rock profile and Devil’s Cheese Ring across the valley. Descend to the beach at Wringcliff Bay, then head towards Lee Abbey. Take the left track before Six Acre Wood, then the trail through heather towards South Cleave. Continue east, passing the cemetery, back to the car park. Nearby, enjoy dining options in Lynton, such as the Crown Hotel on Market Street.


Nant Bochlwyd and Llyn Bochlwyd. Conwy

A two-mile walk from Llyn Ogwen to the secluded waters of Lly Bochwlyd in Snowdonia National Park.

From the National Trust’s Carneddau and Glyderau parking area, take the path left of the toilets. Ascend among heather to a wooden gate and cross the Afon Idwal via a wooden bridge made of sessile oak. Beyond the falls, the path leads to Y Garn, one of Wales's 15 peaks over 3,000ft. Continue for 150m to Cwm Idwal, home to the rare Snowdon beetle. Take the left side-trail, ascending towards Tryfan. After 500m, the path steepens between Clogwyn Y Tarn and Bochlwyd Buttress. Climb the steps alongside Nant Bochlwyd to reach Llyn Bochlwyd. Enjoy the scenery, then return to the gap. Cross the river and follow the path north-east to the Llyn Ogwen car park. Cross the road, turn left, and follow the pavement for half a mile to complete the loop.


Crail to Anstruther, Fife

A walk along the gentle coastline in the invigorating sea air is the best way to discover the area and its heritage. It’s also straightforward thanks to the waymarked Fife Coastal Path.

Walk up the steep, cobbled Hen’s Ladder from the harbour, passing stone houses, and turn left along the main road. Look for the Fife Coastal Path sign leading to the sea. Enjoy views of the Firth of Forth and the Lothian coastline, spotting eider ducks, turnstones, shags, and grey seals. The Isle of May, home to Britain’s largest grey seal colony, and Bass Rock, with the world's largest gannet colony, are visible. Continue to the Caiplie Caves, a weathered sandstone outcrop with ancient carved crosses. The path leads through pasture to Cellardyke and its ancient harbour, Skinfast Haven, near Anstruther. Anstruther, once a herring industry hub, now lands shellfish at its south-facing harbour. Enjoy fish and chips from the harbourside fish bars to end your walk.


Chee Dale, Miler's Dale and Wye Dale, Derbyshire

Peer into the arboreal canyon of the Wye, a tantalising foretaste of what is to come. The return leg of this stunning ramble is a fairytale-like riverside ravine walk via stepping stones, crags, rapids, languid pools and gushing springs.

Leave Miller’s Dale old station car park and head right along the Monsal Trail towards Wye Dale. Cross several viaducts and enter Chee Tor Tunnel, reopened in 2011, offering a scenic route along Wye Gorge cliffs. After 1.5 miles, follow the sign for Wyedale car park and the Pennine Bridleway. Drop into Wye Dale for a snack, then cross the footbridge to the cottages' terrace. Follow the footpath beside the River Wye, rich with summer blooms. Stay right at the fork, passing stepping stones and vibrant vegetation. Avoid flooded stones by returning to the viaduct and Monsal Trail. Cross footbridges, navigate rock outcrops, and enjoy shaded pools and trout. Watch for dippers, then ascend limestone steps to the woodland path. Cross Wormhill Springs, rejoin the river, and continue through meadowsweet and willowherb. Reach a footbridge, then climb to the Monsal Trail and return to Miller’s Dale station for a snack from the Citroen van.


Ennerdale & Haystacks, Cumbria

Footpaths completely circle the lake, and are accessible from either of the two car parks, Broadmoor Wood to the west and Bowness Knott – this walk starts at the latter.

Park at Bowness Knott and walk or cycle up the rough track to the head of the lake, following the River Liza through the forest for nearly two miles. Pass Ennerdale YHA and continue until views of the high fells open up. Visit the remote Black Sail Youth Hostel for a cuppa and homemade cake from the honesty box shop. Marvel at the amphitheatre of high fells: Pillar, Steeple, Kirk Fell, and Great Gable. Adventurous souls can climb to Haystacks, Wainwright’s beloved peak, where his ashes were scattered. From Black Sail, take the path to Scarth Gap, then scramble up Haystacks. Enjoy breathtaking summit views, visit Innominate Tarn, and descend via Loft Beck. Return across the valley, descending the southern bank of the river to Middle Bridge. Rest beside the clear River Liza, spotting trout or arctic char. Return to the car park along the same track.

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