Walking holidays offer relaxation, exercise and a choice of contrasting locations throughout the UK. Taking a break in a self-catering holiday cottage provides a great base from which to explore the surrounding area, giving you the freedom to plan and enjoy your holiday at your own pace.

Here is a selection of great walking holiday routes and locations.

Explore the Pennine Way

Obviously, you might not expect to explore the entire Pennine Way on your walking holiday, given that it runs a total of 268 miles, stretching from Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders.

However, you can focus your holiday activity on selected parts of the Pennine Way, in different regions of the UK.

The Peak District National Park is great walking country, and at Edale you can access the Pennine Way, where it crosses Kinder Scout at the highest point in the Peak District.

Holiday cottages in the Peak District offer a choice of locations, from small towns and villages to more remote areas.

As the Pennine Way makes its way through the Yorkshire Dales, you can explore the country of the Bronte sisters, at Howarth, in the South Pennines, and the limestone landscapes of the spectacular Malham Cove. The Dales area provides a wide variety of holiday cottages from which you can choose your ideal base.

Further north, and the Pennine Way reaches Hadrian’s Wall. This is rugged country indeed, marked by distinctive crags and some of the most well-preserved sections of the Roman wall itself. The end of the Pennine Way is at the village of Kirk Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders.

Choose your holiday cottage in Scotland, or Northern England to explore this part of the world.

Walking in the Lake District

The Lake District is England’s largest National Park, covering 912 square miles. For the walker, it offers many different terrains and levels of exercise; from scenic lakeside ambles to adventurous climbs up high ridges. The choice is yours.

There are accessible, easy walks, what the Lake District calls its Miles Without Stiles routes. These take in areas such as Pooley Bridge, Bowness and Grasmere. These total 48 routes overall.

There are also the routes made famous by the fell walker Alfred Wainwright, some of which can involve climbing up crags and covering rugged terrain.

Walking distances can range from under three miles to seven miles or more, depending on your ambition, and energy levels.

Lake District holiday cottage accommodation offers a wide choice, from 18th century oak-beamed cottages to converted barns.

Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path

At Holme-next-to-the-Sea, two trails come together to form Norfolk’s section of the National Trail.

The total trail is 93 miles in length, following the north shoreline through Sherringham and Cromer, and passing inland via Swaffham. With this expanse covered, you can choose different parts of the trail to explore, from the forest, heath and low river valleys of the Brecks, to tidal saltmarshes and harbours and villages of the North Norfolk coast.

It is a quite magical area of the country, from the mysterious beauty of the heathland along the Peddars Way to the wild remoteness of the coastal path.

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to holiday cottages with character in Norfolk, giving you somewhere comfortable and welcoming to come back to after a great day out.