Seven great hillwalks near cities
If you need your hill fix but don’t live near Britain’s most celebrated mountains regions, here are seven fantastic hillwalks near cities for hikers of all ages and abilities to enjoy.
1. Chiltern Hills, London
Less than 30 miles from London and with easy links to Marylebone Station, this is a great escape for anyone wanting to leave the capital for a lovely loop that climbs Coombe Hill – a stunning panoramic viewpoint and the highest peak in the Chiltern Hills.
2. Kinder Scout, Manchester
Located in the western reaches of the Peak District National Park and just a short journey from Manchester, Kinder Scout is a wild and impressive hill with a huge sprawling plateau to explore. This route from near the village of Hayfield shows off many of its finest features.
3. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
Not content with being near a major city, the craggy peak of Arthur’s Seat is located smack in the middle of Scotland’s capital! The short and steep climb to its summit through Holyrood Park is a must for anyone visiting Edinburgh, with city skyline views as your reward.
4. Pen y Fan Horseshoe, Cardiff
Pen y Fan is the highest mountain in southern Britain and can comfortably be reached in around an hour by car from Cardiff and Swansea. This horseshoe walk takes in the popular peaks of Corn Du, Pen y Fan and Cribyn in one awesome mountain route.
5. High Willhays, Exeter
People don’t picture mountains when they think of Dartmoor, but at 621 metres High Willhays is a proper hill with a rugged and remote feel. Dartmoor’s a weird and exciting place to walk, with granite tors, wild ponies and endless moors just a short drive from Exeter.
6. The Malvern Hills, Worcester
Acting as a natural dividing line between Worcestershire and Herefordshire, this impressive chain of hills runs for eight miles along the border of the two counties. The highest point is Worcestershire Beacon at 425 metres, all just a few miles from Worcester’s city walls.
7. Stanage Edge, Sheffield
The four-mile gritstone escarpment of Stanage Edge is one of the Peak District’s most recognisable landmarks. It’s a walk for all ages and abilities, across a wild and dramatic landscape with massive views over the Dark Peak area and the Hope valley.
Subscribers to Trail magazine get a 50% discount on a digital subscription to OS Maps, allowing you to view routes online and download them to your smartphone. You can also view and print OS 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scale maps at no extra cost. Click here for full details.
What is a GPX file?
A GPX (GPS Exchange Format) file is a digital version of a route. Each GPX file contains a long list of the precise GPS coordinates that make up a route, which can be placed on top of a digital map for printing or following on a GPS device or smartphone. How to upload and use a GPX file depends on which navigation device you’re using, but they work on everything from handheld Garmin devices and Suunto watches to smartphone apps like OS Maps. As GPX files are made up of unique and universal latitude/longitude coordinates, they can be used with almost any type of mapping software.