This year, many people around the world have turned their attention to outdoor activities, opting to get out and about to explore mountains and hiking paths in a bid to be active, safe, responsible and away from crowds. With that in mind, a new study has just been released that focuses on heatmap data to reveal the least busy trails in Britain that are most suitable for getting out on your own.

Released by hiking trail app AllTrails and done in association with Holidu, the study looked at user’s recorded hikes to find out which routes offered the best chances for getting away from crowds. Scooping the top spot was the Crag Lough and Housesteads Roman Fort Loop in Hexham, Northumberland, a moderate route used for hiking, walking, running and nature trips that sees visitors passing by the remains of a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site

Steall Gorge and Waterfall via AllTrails
Steall Gorge and Waterfall was included in the list © AllTrails

Top ten list:

1. Crag Lough and Housesteads Roman Fort Loop in Hexham, Northumberland
2. Kinder Scout and Mam Tor Circular in Castleton, Derbyshire
3. Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Loop in Caterham, Surrey
4. Tilford Birds and Bridges Circular in Farnham, Surrey
5. Haystacks from Gatesgarth in Cockermouth, Cumbria
6. Bledlow Great Wood and Radnage in Chinnor, Oxfordshire
7. Steall Falls Path in Kinlochleven, Scottish Highlands
8. Beinn Chabhair in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire
9. Cader Idris via Minffordd Path in Dolgellau, Gwynedd
10. Witley Trees and Commons Circular – Godalming, Surrey

In second place was Kinder Scout and Mam Tor Circular in Castleton, Derbyshire, a 10.6 mile loop that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside but has steep and rocky sections only suitable to more experienced hikers. Surrey proved to be a great pick for trails offering freedom from crowds, as three in the top ten list were located there.  

To create the ranking, heatmaps and traffic on trails were analysed based on user recordings and the volume of visitors at any given time. The full selection of hiking trails plus more information on each one is available here. Travelers should always check with relevant local authorities for safety guidelines before planning any travel. 

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