After a long and gloomy winter, it’s always a relief when spring begins to unfold across the land, birds start singing in the branches again, and everything looks refreshingly green and dappled in sunlight. The perfect way to celebrate the coming of spring is with a country getaway – complete with plenty of rambling walks through picture-postcard countryside, of course.
If you’re setting your sights on spring cottage breaks in the UK, read on as we offer advice on some of our absolute favourite springtime walks, and the breathtaking rural locations that provide their backdrop.
Each one is guaranteed to provide you with an idyllic holiday and many glorious springtime memories to look back on when next winter arrives!
The Lake District’s Helvellyn hike
In 2018, Helvellyn was dubbed Britain’s favourite walk. From the moment you set foot on the track you will soon see why high-profile walkers such as Julia Bradbury enjoyed it so much.
Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in both the Lake District and in England, so you can expect truly spectacular views – if the weather allows, of course. When it comes to choosing a route up and down the mountain, there are several options to choose from, which offer varying degrees of speed and difficulty.
The easiest route is from the picturesque valley of Thirlmere, which also offers you access to the cairn of Dunmail Raise, reputed to be the burial place of the last king of Cumbria, King Dunmail. Your ascent will take you up using Helvellyn Gill and Lower Man, but if you want a lengthier hike, you can climb via Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon for a challenging circular route.
Explore Devon’s Valley of Rocks and Teign Gorge
Devon is well-known for its remarkable natural beauty. But have you ever encountered the haunting grandeur of the Valley of Rocks? Named one of the best walks in the UK by Countryfile, the eerie majesty of this coastal vale is sure to take your breath away as you enjoy a two-hour circular walk among towering cliffs and craggy outcrops of rock – from which the valley takes its name.
As you follow the winding road through the vale, you will probably feel the weight of history settle on your shoulders. Gaze at the Devonian rock and the grass cropped by feral goats, as you realise what tumultuous tectonic shifts created these dramatic formations.
Heading further inland, another equally picturesque but rather different walk can be enjoyed as you stroll through the resurrected ancient woodland of the Teign Gorge. Named for the river which swirls and cascades off the moors, this awe-inspiring valley in the Dartmoor National Park is home to sylvan tracts of restored woodland, such as Hannicombe and Fingle Woods. It’s the perfect place to slow down, unplug, take things easy, and reconnect with the natural world.
Trek from Padstow to Tintagel on the South West Coast Path
The more adventurous among you may wish to try your luck on the portion of the South West Coast Park that links Padstow and the legendary Tintagel. Hugging the Cornish coast for over 20 miles, this route will take you a good two days of walking, although the rewards for your efforts will be abundant – from tucking into fish and chips in picturesque Port Isaac, to bird spotting along the cliff path, and savouring the mythic splendour of Tintagel itself.
Tackle the popular Snowdon Llanberis walk in Wales
Named the second best walk in the UK this year by Country Living, Snowdon Llanberis is a popular 4-hour route which can be walked throughout the year – although you should take precautions during the winter, as the weather could create severe conditions.
The majority of the walk is relatively untaxing, giving you plenty of time to gaze around you and admire the scenery. Once you reach the steeper inclines of Allt Moses you may find the route more of a challenge, but you will soon be rewarded by the appearance of the summit. Here, you can catch your breath while drinking in awe-inspiring views of the surrounding countryside and perhaps snapping a victorious selfie or two.
Follow in Beatrix Potter’s footsteps
The delightfully named Cat Bells fell, in the verdant hills of Cumbria, ranks very highly on the list of Britain’s all-time favourite walks. Rising to just 451 metres high, it is described as a relatively easy walk. In fact, according to Alfred Wainwright, it is an ascent that both grannies and infants could do together. That said, parts of the fell can be quite steep, so it’s still a worthy hike for ardent walkers.
Beatrix Potter was a big fan, climbing the hill on many occasions and using it as a backdrop for her beloved stories, such as the tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, who made Cat Bells her home.
You may not encounter the matronly hedgehog in her apron during your Cat Bells hike, but you will definitely appreciate the breathtaking views that await you when you reach the end of your walk! These entrancing scenes include the spectacle of the mirror-like sheen of Derwentwater, majestic Skiddaw mountain, and Borrowdale.
Unsurprisingly, Cat Bells is such a popular destination with walkers that its paths are often in need of repair, so be sure to stick to the main pathways on your ascent to help keep this iconic fell pristine for future generations of walkers.
Make the most of your springtime break in a stunning rural location
From the coast of Cornwall to the fells of the Lakes, the England and Wales are full of picturesque routes to accompany your spring cottage break in the UK. At kate & tom’s, we have selected a range of stunning houses that put you just a stone’s throw from all the best walks, so you can get straight out there and fill your lungs with fresh spring air.
Even better, you can enjoy the pool, hot tub, games room or picturesque terrace to unwind after your trek. Take a look at our full range of spring holiday cottages today and don’t hesitate to contact us on [email protected] if you have any questions.