New study reveals the UK to be among the world's top hiking destinations

A group of hikers ascending Ben Nevis
A new study by Sports Shoes reveals the top countries for a walking holiday, and every part of the UK made the top 10 (Image credit: Westend61)

Coming to the UK? Get your hiking boots on: a new study has revealed the best countries in the world for a hiking holiday, and every country of the UK has made the top 10 thanks to its rugged peaks, windswept moors and craggy coastal paths. 

The study by Sports Shoes examined search data from Google and Instagram hashtags over the past 12 months and collated the list based on popularity, placing England at number three behind only Spain and Japan, Scotland in fourth place, Wales at number eight and Northern Ireland coming in tenth. 

Scafell Pike

The Lake District's Scafell Pike and Helvellyn made the cut in England (Image credit: James Forrest)

The study also listed the most popular hikes in each destination. It will come as no surprise that some of the best hikes in the Lake District such as Scafell Pike and Helvellyn made the cut in England, along with the epic South West Coast Path. Meanwhile, up in Scotland, the UK’s highest peak Ben Nevis and the famous West Highland Way earned the top spots among hillwalkers and in Wales, the best walks in Snowdonia such as Snowdon and Tryfan were the most popular. 

The results also provided a list of the most popular hikes in the UK to help whet your appetite for from stunning UK adventures:

  1.  Snowdon, Wales 
  2.  Ben Nevis, Scotland 
  3.  South West Coast Path, England 
  4.  Pen-y-fan, Wales 
  5.  West Highland Way, Scotland 
  6.  Scafell Pike, England 
  7.  Coniston, England 
  8.  Helvellyn, England 
  9.  Buttermere, Scotland 
  10.  Old Man of Storr, England 
  11.  Malham Cove, England 
  12.  South Downs Way, England 
  13.  Cat Bells, England 
  14.  Tryfan, Wales 
  15.  Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland 

Read the full study results to find out more about the best hikes in each country. 

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.