Getting out on foot and exploring the varied landscapes the United Kingdom has to offer is one of our top pastimes here at Cool Places – not just during National Walking Month, but at any time of year. What could be better than hitting a scenic UK walk, whether it's a coastal trail in Devon or a countryside route in the Cotswolds? And even better if there's a pub at the end for a pint or a bite to eat. In fact, we like making a holiday of it – so with that in mind, we've put together a selection of top UK places to stay for walkers, ranging from boutique hotels and chic hostels (yep, that's right) to dog-friendly cottages and pubs with rooms. Which tickles your fancy?
If you're searching for a boutique hotel with an acclaimed restaurant in a seaside destination not far from London, Port is the place for you. This is a classy example of all the good things happening in the town: a Victorian water-facing townhouse with terrific views and chic interiors. What’s more, The South Downs and wonderful Sussex coastal walks are on the doorstep.
Who says hostelling and hiking have to be rough and ready? And thank goodness for that, or The Rocks would be in trouble. Offering a stylish Alpine feel, top-quality accommodation and an exceptional location, this is one classy hostel in the heart of Snowdonia National Park – known as Eryri these days. A walker's paradise, you can see the mighty Snowdon horseshoe range from your window.
Enviably positioned in Danehill on the borders of East and West Sussex, The Nest is a light-filled woodland haven, close to Ashdown Forest and its array of trails, and only a three-minute stroll from the award-winning Coach and Horses pub and restaurant. Nestled in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this wonderful self-catering cottage sleeps two to four in luxury.
Situated halfway between Newquay and St Ives, Rosehill is buried deep in the woods, but you're a mere 10-minute amble from Blue Flag Porthtowan Beach. Home to a collection of eco-friendly lodges with outdoor hot tubs, you're also right on the South West Coast Path. Each luxury unit has between two and three bedrooms, making them ideal for both families and friends.
Bang on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall, this former family home offers pure relaxation: fabulous sea views, sub-tropical gardens and fine local cuisine. The airy rooms and suites are individually decorated (and dog-friendly): a roll-top bath in one, a sleigh bed in another. A short walk away is glistening Talland Bay – head east to Looe and west to Polperro.
Situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the motto of this rather special gastropub with rooms is 'The simple things in life done well'. It lives up to its billing in every way possible: seven very comfortable rooms above a Top 50 Gastropubs restaurant that's one of the best in the region. Keep an eye out for their sister properties in Cornwall: the Gurnard's Head and the Old Coastguard.
Set on the Duffus Estate, one of Eastern Scotland's undiscovered gems, Cabin by the Castle provides stylish and uber-comfortable eco-friendly accommodation for two people, with fantastic views of the Castle thrown in. Surrounded by 14 acres of native woodland, there's a host of walking trails to explore and wildlife to spot, including roe deer, hares and woodpeckers!
The stone cottages of Westley Farm have a fairytale appeal, boasting walled gardens, views of the Golden Valley and a backdrop of trees. Halfway between Cirencester and Stroud, the dog-friendly properties sleep four to six, and 'Jackdaw ' has an outdoor hot tub. Out and about, enjoy scenic cross-country walks to nearby inns and farmer’s markets.
Meaning 'Number One' in the local dialect, we reckon The Yan will be numero uno on your agenda after spending a night or two here. The seven individually decorated rooms come in various shapes and sizes, and two are dog-friendly. Downstairs, there's a bistro serving hearty British fare – just the sort of food you need after walking the fells of the Lake District.
Fabulously restored, this quirky retreat sits on the edge of the village of Cley and the interior is full of character – beautifully furnished in a country-chic style. There are nine rooms to choose from – six in the windmill itself and three in outbuildings. And the location is sublime, skirting the Marshes and perfectly placed to discover the North Norfolk Coast.