Mountains of England and Wales
Published: Wednesday 22nd Apr 2015
Written by: The Original Cottages Team
When it comes to walking there are so many benefits to reap; it lowers cholesterol, helps combat dementia and osteoporosis, tones the bum, legs and tum and of course, it makes you happy! Walking to and from work every day is one thing, but when on holiday there is no better way to see the area and take in stunning vistas than on foot. The best place for a view is from atop a mountain and luckily for us, we don’t have to venture to Nepal or the Pyrenees to get our fix. England and Wales have some jaw droppingingly beautiful aspects and some (not too) challenging climbs to see them. If you’re one to go on holiday and set yourself a feat of physical endurance, then perhaps staying in one of our gorgeous cottages amongst the mountainous regions of England and Wales is a great base from which to set off and complete your Sir Edmund Hillary impersonation.
We have scoured the lands and have discovered some of the best mountains to trudge up, take in breathtaking views and stop for a spot of tea, before beginning your descent in the general direction of the nearest watering hole.
Wales and it’s fresh Welsh mountain air will do anyone a whole host of good and we all know the green and pleasant land has more than it’s fair share of rolling hills and peaking mountains. One for the bucket list has to be Snowdon, if you are moderately fit then taking on Mount Snowdon should be reasonably easy and if stories are to be believed, it’s a friendly mountain for the novice walker. There are six easy to follow paths right up to the summit and all with route markers and, easy underfoot terrain ( proper walking boots a must, mind) - In the summer months, the cafe at the top is a welcome oasis where you can enjoy a good brew and take in the vistas. If walking down the mountain seems just a little bit too strenuous, we say ‘take the train;’ running from May through to October it will take you down in comfort. For something a little more challenging we suggest the more adventurous amongst you take a look at the Pen y Fan Horseshoe Ridge walk. Pen y Fan is one of the three most iconic mountains in Wales and although this ridge walk is a little on the challenging scale - it is certainly worth it. The horseshoe walk, in its entirety, takes you across four peaks of the Brecon Beacons, over 8.8 miles and is made up of footpaths, flat ridges and steep climbs. This leg stretching romp will be more than worth it - the views are spectacular! We suggest set a whole day aside for this and remember; wear solid footwear, pack warm and waterproof clothing and take a compass for good measure - the weather can be changeable!
If driving across the breadths of the country is a little too far, then head for Cumbria and the Lake District - certainly not short of its own spectacular views, mountainous surroundings and well trodden paths, Scafell Pike is definitely the most famous and of course, the tallest mountain, in this region and England. Like so many challenging hikes, you may ask why bother? Well, it’s quite simply because it is there! Gain yourself painful blisters, battle some of the toughest sheep in England and brave the unpredictable weather - all to gain the glory of ‘you’ve done it.’ Scafell is not short of routes to ascend and you can start your journey from Wasdale, Barrowdale, Eskdale or Langdale - Once you have reached the summit you can see Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man on a clear day; scenery which justly inspired the creative writings of wordsmiths such as Coleridge, Wordsworth, Bains and Wainwright.
Another beauty in these parts is Skiddaw and at just over 3000 ft it is a grand and majestic sight, which can be seen with unobstructed views from Keswick and across Derwentwater. The surrounding flat valleys isolate it from other Lakeland fells, creating a magnificently buttressed summit. Skiddaw is made up of a network of interlocking ridges and unlike other fells of similar height, it benefits from not having edges, crags or rocky climbs; making it a relatively easy climb with excellent paths and outstanding views. Perfect for the novice walker or ‘ordinary’ holiday maker.
Now, with all these mini-adventures on your doorstep, it surely leaves you with no excuse but to book your holiday, don your sturdy footwear, throw on your coat and get up a mountain. It’s time to breath in crisp air and marvel at Mother Nature doing her finest.