Lonely Planet Writer

Snowdon beats the Lake District as Britain’s most popular hiking spot

The Ordnance Survey has revealed that Snowdon in Wales is the UK’s most popular spot for walkers, cyclists and runners, coming in ahead of the Peak District and Lake District in England. Its findings came after it completed an analysis of almost 400,000 public routes created over the past twelve months in its digital map and planning tool, OS Maps.

The Pyg Track on Mount Snowdon in Wales. Image: Jason Jones Travel Photography/Getty Images Nant Peris.

And while it may not have come in first place, the Edale area of the Peak District can take comfort in the news that it occupies six of the top ten spots, while the Lake District occupies two. The national mapping agency compiled the list by dividing Britain into square kilometres and counting the number of downloaded routes that passed through each square.

Stanage Edge in Peak District, England. Image: Valdis Skudre/Shutterstock

The organisation also created a second league table of the most popular towns and cities in which to create routes, and Ambleside came top there. “It may be a relatively small island we live on, but it’s crammed with variation and beauty,” says Nick Giles, MD of Ordnance Survey Leisure. “There is a nice geographic spread, though it would be nice to see more routes being created in Scotland. The Peak District is up there with any place in the world, and Edale, its village and valley, is a vast and stunning part of the country.”

Top ten most popular routes and number of downloads

  1. Snowdon summit, Gwynedd, 3779
  2. Edale, Peak District, 3590
  3. Scafell Pike summit, Lake District, 3007
  4. Edale Cross, Peak District, 2636
  5. Edale Jacob’s Ladder, Peak District, 2632
  6. Ambleside, Lake District, 2587
  7. Snowdon Pyg Track,  Gwynedd, 2581
  8. Edale Mam Tor, Peak District, 2529
  9. Edale Hollins Cross, Peak District, 2492
  10. Edale, Peak District, 2452
Stickle Ghyll in the English Lake District. Image: Duncan Andison/Shutterstock

Top 10 cities and towns and number of routes created

  1. Ambleside, 2731
  2. Keswick, 2523
  3. Richmond upon Thames, 1278
  4. Bath, 1234
  5. Sheffield, 1205
  6. Wandsworth, 1169
  7. Winchester, 1147
  8. Guildford,1140
  9. Bakewell, 1091
  10. Church Stretton, 1003

To check out the full list of results, see here.