Fleetwith Pike, Cumbria
Size/time 3½ miles, 2-Three hoursStart/end Honister Slate Mine Refuel Sky Hello Cafe, on the mine
There aren’t many mountains you possibly can discover in and out however a hike on Fleetwith Pike gives the possibility to do each. The realm is residence to the toughest inexperienced slate on the earth – mining as soon as accounted for 80% of Cumbria’s wealth – and the panorama tells the story of the miners who, from the 17th century, labored right here in enormous caverns hacked out of Honister Crag.
Begin the stroll with a tour of Honister Slate mine (£17.50 adults, £9.50 kids). The doorway is marked by a tiny slate bothy, the place the self-employed miners used to sleep, and also you get to discover the damp low tunnels beneath.
Alfred Wainwright wandered right here and mistakenly referred to the mine as a quarry. He commented: “There isn’t any magnificence in despoliation and devastation, however there could be dramatic impact and curiosity, and so it’s right here.”
From the cafe, take the mine highway, which runs parallel with the Honister Move. It’s on the trail of an outdated tramway used for shifting slate. Ignore the footpath to Nice Gable on the left. The gray monitor zigzags upwards previous a slate memorial marking the reopening of Honister as each a working mine and vacationer attraction by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1997. It had closed in 1989.

Then it’s views of the ravaged crags throughout Honister Move, a Tolkienesque mass of spoil, tracks and mysterious shafts. It’s a shattered panorama, however set into towering crags it has a unusually desolate magnificence. There’s extra mining detritus on the shoulder of Fleetwith, with the highway marked by standing stones of slate. Flip proper and head upwards on a grassy path. Near the false summit is a ruined miners’ constructing, making you realise simply how excessive up they labored.
The lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water seem forward, usually amid wisps of cloud. A brief dip and ascent takes you to the 648-metre summit. You possibly can then both keep on down Fleetwith Edge to Gatesgarth and stroll on to Buttermere for a welcome pint, or retrace your steps for one thing on the slate on the Honister cafe and store.Pete Could, writer of Man About Tarn: How a Londoner Realized to Love the Lake District
Hickling Broad, Norfolk

A birdwatcher scans Hickling’s reed beds for species reminiscent of marsh harrier and bearded tit. {Photograph}: Alamy

Size/time Three miles/90 minutesStart/end Hickling Broad customer centreRefuel Pleasure Boat Inn, Hickling
For the primary 20 years of the 20th century, an excellent ornithologist lived in a houseboat referred to as Water Rail on Hickling Broad, the biggest of the flooded medieval peat-diggings that make up the Norfolk Broads. It was an uncommon vocation for an Edwardian lady however Emma Turner was an especially independent-minded particular person.
On the time the bittern, a big and furtive brown fowl, was believed to be extinct as a breeding species in England. However Turner found a bittern’s nest deep in Hickling’s reed beds, and took glorious images to show it. She turned the primary feminine honorary member of the British Ornithologists’ Union and a small island on the broad is known as in her honour.
Turner’s work was instrumental in getting Hickling’s wild riches recognised and later protected. At the moment it’s a Norfolk Wildlife Belief reserve and stays residence to the resurgent bittern.
Strolling south from the customer centre, take the right-hand path by way of oak woods to achieve a low floodbank above the reedbeds that encompass Hickling. Sails of boats seem above the reeds on the horizon, emphasising simply how low this panorama is. Comply with the financial institution alongside the north-eastern aspect of the broad, previous fowl hides and the thatched Edwardian looking lodge as soon as utilized by rich wildfowlers.
Whereas the bittern stays elusive, Hickling is a hotspot for the marsh harrier, a raptor rarer than a golden eagle, in addition to Chinese language water deer, kingfishers and barn owls. Stroll alongside the floodbank round Hundred Acres Marsh and also you’ll attain Stubb drainage windmill, certainly one of round 200 outdated windpumps that after drained these marshes. Comply with Stubb Street again to the customer centre.
This broadland panorama is wealthy in birdlife however you actually expertise its unusual riches on the water: and this stroll could be mixed with an enchanting one- or two-hour wildlife water path by electrical boat (£7.50/£9.50 adults, £4.50/£6 kids ): guide on the Norfolk Wildlife Belief customer centre or name 01603 270479. Admission to Hickling is £Four for non-Wildlife Belief members.Patrick Barkham, Guardian author and writer of Islander (Granta, £9.99), The Butterfly Isles and Badgerlands
Moel Goedog, standing stones, Gwynedd

Walkers can prolong the Moel Goedog stroll to soak up the Bryn Cader Faner
bronze age cairn. {Photograph}: Alamy

Size/time 6 miles, 3½ hoursStart/end Harlech railway stationRefuel Y branwen resort
It is a pretty moorland stroll, together with a number of standing stones marking what will need to have been a prehistoric trackway to the summit of Moel Goedog (367 metres). It passes two ring cairns and a late bronze age hill fort on the summit, with breathtaking views.
From Harlech, the going is initially steep however eases off. With Edward I’s citadel seen on the left, comply with the highway that winds up, bordered by excessive stone partitions, proper previous Harlech citadel and its customer centre. Go straight throughout the crossroads, with its retailers, and the moor beckons – after about three quarters of a mile, flip left at one other crossroads. The primary standing stone, simply to the left of the highway, is named Moel Goedog 8. Keep it up straight and the following stone is simply by the cattle grid, with an additional stone a bit additional on the fitting; sadly it’s only a damaged pointed stump now.
The subsequent standing stone is on the left: right here, sheep roam freely, and such stones have, in folklore, been mistaken for sheep – and tales inform of gross sales made to the drunken and gullible. Keep left and comply with the trail to a different pair of stones, in a subject of younger bullocks. The ultimate standing stone is Moel Goedog 5.
Earlier than the summit there are two ring cairns. First is Moel Goedog West, which is surrounded by different stones as much as a metre tall. An excavation in 1978 uncovered bronze age cremation urns. From right here, the Dwyryd estuary glistens beneath, throughout to distant mountains past. The second cairn is a few 50m east, on the opposite aspect of the trail. The hill fort is near Moel Goedog’s summit and although the ditches and financial institution are worn, sufficient stays of it to be price a go to.
It’s potential to hold on an additional six miles north-east to the famend and distant “crown of thorns” cairn circle of Bryn Cader Faner, or head again down previous the stones for a drink on the Branwen resort, the rear of which you handed on the way in which up near the citadel.Andy Burnham, editor of The Outdated Stones: A Discipline Information to the Megalithic Websites of Britain and Eire (Watkins Media). Extra data on these websites at megalithic.co.uk
Hawker’s Hut, Morwenstow, Cornwall

View from Vicarage Cliff close to Morwenstow. {Photograph}: Alamy
Size/time Three miles, 1½ hoursStart/end/refuel Bush Inn, Morwenstow
This round stroll in north Cornwall takes in clifftops and wooded valleys in addition to a tiny driftwood hut. Hawker’s Hut, the main focus of the stroll, sits excessive on the cliff and is the place eccentric opium-smoking poet-priest Robert Stephen Hawker meditated and wrote poetry.

The Hawker’s Hut. {Photograph}: Martin Siepmann/Getty Photographs
From the Bush Inn, comply with the highway right down to Morwenstow church and into the churchyard, previous the figurehead of the Caledonia, a brig wrecked in 1843, which marks the burials Hawker officiated at. Morwenstow, set again from a treacherous stretch of coast, was the place Hawker turned identified each as a missionary to a neighborhood of wreckers and smugglers, and as a poet with an eclectic costume sense. (He was usually seen in a classy mixture of purple coat, white cravat, fisherman’s jumper and beaver hat.)
Comply with the trail by way of the graveyard to a stone stile, then previous the Outdated Vicarage into the wooded valley beneath. Flip left earlier than you attain the stream and comply with the valley to emerge on the sea, with Lundy Island seen within the distance. Climb steep steps in your left to the cliff high and 5 minutes additional on is Hawker’s Hut, a tiny room the vicar constructed out of timbers from a wrecked ship. It was his place of sanctuary and inspiration, the place he wrote – and indulged within the odd toke on an opium pipe.
With a determine like Hawker it’s troublesome to differentiate the person from the parable however sit within the hut and take heed to waves surging in opposition to the cliffs and it’s simple to know why he beloved this place. It’s a tough spot to go away however, again on the trail, head on in the direction of the GCHQ radar array earlier than turning left, away from the ocean, by Increased Sharpnose Level (the place The Caledonia ran aground) up the valley to the signed path left throughout the fields and again to the 13th-century Bush Inn.Wyl Menmuir, writer of Man Booker long-listed The Many (Salt, £8.99)
Loch Nam Ban Mora, Isle of Eigg

A view of Sgùrr from above Galmisdale. {Photograph}: Alamy
Size/time 4½ miles, Three hoursStart/end GalmisdaleRefuel Galmisdale Bay cafe and pub
The tiny island of Eigg, off the west coast of Scotland, was, based on legend, the dominion a Pictish queen and her tribe of outsize feminine warriors. This stroll takes you to the Loch of the Massive Girls, the place the sisterhood met an premature finish.
From the hamlet of Galmisdale comply with the left hand fork within the highway by way of mossy woods scented with wild garlic. Head to Galmisdale farmhouse throughout a meadow and switch left the place the footpath reaches the tough hill monitor. Look out for the crimson spots that mark the ascent up Sgùrr, a rock shaped from volcanic lava, which sits atop the island like a barely squashed Hovis loaf.
The climb up the hill is regular moderately than gruelling. Wheatears bob alongside in entrance, flashing their white undercarriage and the excessive hill nation opens up round you. Within the distance you possibly can see the Celtic cross that marks the positioning of the monastery of Kildonan. It was right here that St Donan and his brotherhood of 52 monks arrange residence. The queen took exception to this invasion of her island and sought revenge in a style typical of the bloody historical past of the Highlands by chopping off the monks’ heads after mass.
The loch seems as the principle monitor veers away to climb the summit. Comply with a sheep monitor by way of the heather to the little mirrored bowl set throughout the hills. In accordance with the story, after murdering the monks, the queen and her followers noticed lights seem within the sky and adopted these throughout the moors to this spot the place they have been led into the water and drowned whereas making an attempt to achieve the tiny island within the centre. Carol Donaldson, author and conservationist, is the writer of On the Marshes (Little Toller Books, £10)
Rombald’s Moor Spherical, Ilkley, West Yorkshire

A bunch of younger folks take a break from their stroll on Ilkley Moor. {Photograph}: Alamy
Size/time 7.1 miles, Four hoursStart/end Cow and Calf Rocks automotive parkRefuel Cow and Calf Cafe
Ilkley Moor, or Rombald’s Moor because it’s formally titled, has all the time loomed massive in my world. I grew up in an outdated home on its north-west edge, and lived in its shadow till I used to be 23. Its wild, heathery expanses, niches of wooden, hidden streams and peat bogs have been a playground for us children. From bronze age cup-and-ring carvings to stone circles, alien sightings to tales of Charles Darwin taking its waters – the moor’s histories and myths seized our imaginations as certainly because the panorama acquired in our blood.
Now, at any time when I return to stroll this seven-mile round, it feels no much less eerie and spectacular – a spot that may change in a second, but stay timeless. On the age of 17, half-cut and exhibiting off, I carved my identify on that moor however Ilkley Moor had carved itself into me lengthy earlier than.
Begin on the Cow and Calf Rocks automotive park, scrambling up the simple climb contained in the gritstone quarry or taking the footpath round it. The expansive views of the River Wharfe and the Yorkshire Dales have been a magnet for hundreds of years, because the rock graffiti testifies. Search for “E M Lancaster, 1st Battalion XXIV Foot, 1882” – chiselled a number of years after that regiment fought at Rorke’s Drift. As soon as up, comply with the footpath left to wind on to moor correct.
Head in the direction of The Haystack, a slab of rock coated with among the 400 neolithic and bronze age cup-and-ring marks on this moor. Whereas the city beneath dates its origins to a primary century AD Roman cavalry fort, these patterns are 4,000 years outdated. It’s the identical with the Twelve Apostles – a restored stone circle, one other 20 minutes additional south alongside a boardwalk path, on Burley Moor.

Double again and carry straight on by way of Ilkley Crags earlier than turning left and following the footpath west. That is heather and bracken upland nation that turns a stunning russet and rust-brown beneath autumn skies, and the place you possibly can hear curlews – particularly now the moor’s grouse capturing license has been revoked. Drop right down to the Swastika Stone, overlooking the valley. This historical curved-limb cup-and-ring carving was once regarded as bronze age however its placing similarity to the Camunian Rose means it was more than likely carved by a Roman soldier stationed at Ilkley.
Trek again east alongside the footpath over city, in search of a white dot up on the moor line. White Wells is a relic of Ilkley’s boomtown previous as a spa resort with its personal, freezing chilly, peat-brown dipping pool for the courageous. It was right here that Charles Darwin rambled, hid out and took the waters when On the Origin of Species was printed in 1859. It was right here, too, that in 1987 a retired copper photographed what he believed to be an alien being, which beckoned him away earlier than vanishing in a UFO. Apparently, the incident has but to be uncovered as a hoax, which lends the moors a good higher charisma.
Comply with the trail up high and open your stride all the way in which again to the Cow and Calf automotive park, tracing the footsteps of the mill-working Methodists from Halifax who, on a chapel outing to the moor, created Yorkshire’s anthem, On Ilkla Moor Baht ’At, in regards to the perils of courting with out acceptable headgear. Time it proper and there’ll be a tremendous autumn sundown as you are taking a restorative tea within the automotive park cafe, or one thing stronger within the pub throughout the highway.Rob Cowen, award-winning author and writer of Widespread Floor, voted the UK’s third-favourite nature guide in 2018
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