Scenic Long-Distance Hikes in the United Kingdom
Floyd Sandford, Emeritus Professor of Biology
In the United Kingdom, walking is one of the most popular recreational activities, and because of this England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are excellent destinations for hikers. Because of liberal rules for rights of way, UK citizens and visitors alike are permitted easy access to most of the countryside. A vast network of public footpaths and national trails allows day ramblers or long-distance hikers to experience beautiful and dramatic coastal scenery and lovely countryside with attractive villages of thatched-roof cottages, gardens, historical monuments, abbey ruins and more. This two-session Thursday Forum will introduce you to two of the many scenic long-distance hiking trails in the UK and take you on a virtual journey through the stunning landscapes of Scotland and England. In the first session, we will travel Scotland’s West Highland Way, one of the UK’s premier hiking experiences. Our journey begins in Milngavie (near Glasgow), follows the shores of Loch Lomond (one of the largest lakes in the UK), and continues north into the beautiful Scottish Highlands. In session two, we will explore one of England's most popular long-distance hikes, the 102-mile long Cotswold Way, which begins in the picturesque village of Chipping Camden and ends in the historic city of Bath. In addition to admiring the scenery of the beautiful villages, we will learn some historical background about our destinations, including the destruction of abbeys during the reign of Henry VIII and the impact of the English Civil War on some Cotswold villages.