First Spring Departures For The UK’s Top Walking and Cycling Breaks

Cumbria Way, Lakes District | John Millen
Cumbria Way, Lakes District | John Millen

Hit the trails as early as the first week of March, which is when many of our UK walking and cycling breaks have their first departures. 

March marks the beginning of the UK’s walking season, with many trips offering departures as early as the first day of the month.

If you would like to be among the first to get back hiking on the trails as they reopen after the winter, below are ten of the best options in Britain to consider when exploring the UK over spring.

Dorset & the Jurassic Coast from the first day of March

Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and St. Oswalds Bay - Jurassic Coast, Dorset

The popular Dorset Coast Path largely follows the Dorset coastline, an area of outstanding geological importance: over 200 million years of rocks have been laid down, bent and twisted before being eroded by the sea to expose rock profiles on beaches, accessible to fossil hunters and scientists. Away from the crowds and with some of the warmest weather in all of the UK, you will never be too far away from attractive villages and towns. There will be several opportunities to explore ancient hill forts and visit Roman and Saxon remains.

Keswick & Lake District from the first day of March

The lane into Great Langdale |  <i>John Millen</i>

The so-called ‘Adventure Capital of the UK’, in the north of the English Lake District, Keswick is a bustling market town established in 1276. It is here, right at the heart of Cumbria, that we have found you the perfect guesthouse to use as a base for a series of scenic spring walks. On your first walking break of the year, take in classic English landscapes, unforgettable viewpoints, waterfalls and scenic woodlands covered in bluebells at this time of year.

Cornwall’s South West Coastal Path from the first day of March

Walking the Salt Path, or South West Coast Path, in England |  <i>Roy Curtis</i>

Cornwall is one of British holidaymakers’ favourite active holiday destinations. White sandy beaches, turquoise waters, a vast network of trails and rugged cliffs dot Cornwall’s long coastline. It has also kept enough space for traditional fishing villages to try its famous pasty or Cornish ice cream. Walkers will rejoice as they follow the iconic South West Coastal Path, with four week-long, self-guided walking breaks with daily departures from March so you can choose the best one for you.

Rob Roy MacGregor’s Scotland from the end of February / early March

Taking a break at Rob Roy's cave in Scotland

Scotland is a land of spectacular scenery that gets lots of colour returning in spring. It is also rich in legends and folk tales. Scottish Rob Roy MacGregor was a notorious outlaw and a hero for many (he escaped capture several times!) and today you can follow in his footsteps through classic Highland scenery and areas that were his old haunts on the Rob Roy Way. The hiking break begins in Drymen, whose Clachan Inn is the oldest registered licensed pub in Scotland and would have been known by Rob Roy as it was run by his sister!

Cotswolds, the ‘Heart of England’ from mid-March

Wisteria on Broadway High Street |  <i>Trevor Rickard</i>

The Cotswolds are a range of gentle hills extending northeast of the city of Bath, through Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon, the ‘Heart of England’. An ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, the Cotswold landscape is an entrancing mixture of idyllic villages, serene rolling hills, cultivated fields with dry-stone walls and patches of unspoilt woodland. On your walks here, you’ll be surrounded by lots of spring flowers in the woods and gardens. Alternatively, you can cycle your way through the quaint villages for a scenic ride through one of the most beautiful and historic parts of England. The Cotswolds is the perfect introduction to the English countryside with our first departures of the season in mid-March.

St Cuthbert's from mid-March

Our hikers enjoying the St Cuthbert's Way |  <i>Alan Hunt</i>

St Cuthbert’s Way stands out among UK walks, taking you through two countries and concluding on an island. Originating in Melrose, Scotland, where the saint was born, this pilgrimage mirrors the life of St Cuthbert, culminating on Holy Island in Northumberland, where he served as Bishop of Lindisfarne. The trail traverses remote grassy hills, showcasing Northumberland's prime hiking terrain, including The Eldons, Wideopen, and Cheviot's side, leading to the coast and caves where the bishop's remains were sheltered from Viking raiders. Amid sheep and livestock grazing areas, visitors may encounter moorland birds like the golden plover and the haunting call of the curlew. The trail's lesser foot traffic adds allure, revealing charming market towns, villages, and landmarks associated with Sir Walter Scott along the way.Walk through the scenic Cheviot Hills from mid-March.

Hadrian’s Wall from mid-March


Embark on an inspiring journey along the 84-mile (135km) Hadrian’s Wall Path, tracing the footsteps of the Romans from Wallsend in Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway in the west. This incredible hike unfolds the rich history and cultural significance of the world’s largest Roman artefact, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hiking Hadrian’s Wall is not just a walk; it's an exploration of a British cultural icon that invites you to connect with the past while savouring the present. You can also cross England by bike through the rugged Northern English countryside, immersing yourself in the tales of ancient forts and small villages. Experience the scenic diversity, from quaint towns to bustling cities, and relish traditional British fare in charming country B&Bs.

Offa's Dyke Path from mid-March

Descending to Lower Redbrook |  <i>John Millen</i>

The Offa's Dyke National Trail is a renowned path crossing the England-Wales border. The 80-mile embankment covers the southern half, from Chepstow to Knighton, offering a captivating exploration of diverse landscapes – from fields and ridges to rivers and ancient castles. Witnessing unchanged farming practices, flourishing wildlife in hedgerows and oak woods, and the occasional Red Kite, this trek unveils the historic charm of border market towns, making it a memorable adventure. The historical trail originates back in the 8th century when King Offa of Mercia faced challenges from Welsh marauders encroaching on his kingdom. Determined to mark his territory decisively, he constructed a massive earthwork along high vantage points, creating Britain's longest archaeological monument. 

West Highland Way from the end of March

Walking beside Buachaille Etive Mor, Scotland

Take in the majesty of Scotland’s great outdoors as you follow this famous footpath on its course from the south of Loch Lomond. The West Highland Way walking route continues to Fort William and Ben Nevis, linking Britain’s largest lake with its highest mountain. The exhilarating long-distance trail is a step back into history, with stages that follow military roads that link the highlands to the lowlands and hotels that originated from droving inns operated for centuries. You can choose from daily departures to start your West Highland Way break falling over the first weeks of spring.

British Isles from March

Watch the sun set over the famous Needles, Isle of Wight |  <i></i>

Surrounded by plenty of smaller isles and islets, the British Isles offers unique opportunities to go for a splendid walking or cycling holiday in the United Kingdom. Two of the main islands –  Isle of Wight and Isle of Man offer spring departures for an island life escape that is usually slow-paced and local people seem more relaxed, and hospitable and are often in for a chat. Add to that a constant sea breeze, fresh seafood and stunning ocean vistas and you’ve got yourself the perfect active holiday on the British Isles

The Isle of Man Coastal Path passes around the southern point of the island following dramatic high cliffs and the 'Calf of Man' a small island where tidal races whip around the rocks and seals play. From cultural heritage towns to wildlife spotting opportunities as seascapes embracing views to England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, The Way of The Seagull path is a must-experience.

You can cycle right the way around the island of Wight for a lovely short break that offers an attractive sightseeing tour, with a mixture of town and country. The route is undulating and there are a few hills but nothing particularly difficult making cycling in the Isle of Wight achievable with plenty of time to stop and take in the beautiful villages, forest and farmlands, and views of the estuary.

View all spring walking and cycling holidays >

If you would like support from our experienced team in planning your next spring walking break in the UK, you can contact us directly or request a callback at your convenient time.
UK Spring Walking Breaks, Spring Holidays UK, United Kingdom, Walking, Early Season Walks

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