From the rolling hills of the Lake District to the craggy cliffs of the Cornish coast, the UK promises endless opportunities for day hiking, with everything you need to scratch that all-too-familiar itch for adventure! If you’re dreaming of packing a bag and hitting the road, just know that you don’t need to leave the UK to satisfy your travel bug – and you certainly don’t have to struggle as a vegan. To prove it, I’ve listed five wonderful hiking routes with a vegan-friendly café along the way!
These vegan hiking adventures are perfect for late spring or early summer when the sun is gentle, the light is golden, and the crowds haven’t yet become overbearing. Enjoy!
1: Bleaklow Head, The Peak District
You could spend weeks exploring the Peaks. No, seriously! Well-trodden trails and brand-new adventures await, with plenty of opportunities to take in the Peak District’s stunning scenery from Glossop. Lace-up your vegan hiking boots and head towards the Higher Shelf Stones and Bleaklow Head, with a circular trail leading you right back to where you started. You’ll even have the chance to visit the Bleaklow Bomber aircraft remnants or follow the mountain-flanked Pennine Way towards Snake Pass.
Either way, don’t forget to make Pepino Deli the first stop on your vegan hiking adventure. Once you’ve ordered a fresh juice and eaten a healthy dose of homemade cake, it’s time to take in the lavender-dotted moorland and swooping hills of the Peak District!
2: Derwentwater & Bleaberry Fell, The Lake District
A patchwork of heath-topped fells. A maze of please-dip-your-toes-in-me lakes. An otherworldly stretch of grass and sheep and cobbled streets and hairpin bends. That’s right – it’s the Lake District. The whole region is a criss-cross of hiking trails that just beg to be explored, with some of the most spectacular in the Borrowdale region.
Why not meander the 10 miles around the shores of Derwentwater, or climb up, up, and up with a hike to the Bleaberry Fell summit via the Walla Crag Trail? Both promise awesome landscapes at every turn – and are best enjoyed with a creamy oat milk latte and a huge homemade chocolate chip cookie, made by Gloria Queen of Coffee, Espresso Machine Extraordinaire, who lives in her owner’s much-loved VW Fox. New Dawn Vegan Coffee Shop is located by Derwentwater Independent Hostel on the shores of Derwentwater in Borrowdale
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3: East Mendip Way, Shepton, mallet
South West England may be known for its coastal trails, but the Mendips – a smattering of limestone hills and dramatic gorges, each awash with blueberries in the spring – definitely deserve some attention! There’s a 50-mile footpath traversing through the Mendips, with a particularly lovely section of the East Mendip Way connecting Shepton Mallet and Cranmore Tower.
Cut through freshly mowed fields, nod to passers-by on the route’s dusty, tree-lined tracks, and let your thoughts take a moment to still as you enjoy this peaceful walk. Heading back towards Shepton Mallet, why not stop at The Cheeky Bean for one of their famous superfood lattes or hearty vegan brunch?
4: Bryn Cader Faner, Talsarnau
From the dramatic slopes of Snowdon to the pine-forested coast of Anglesey, North Wales is one of the UK’s most beautiful travel destinations. It’s also home to The Eating Gorilla, a dog-friendly vegan café with plate-spilling breakfasts, homemade cakes and oh-so-tasty smoothies. Once you’ve eaten every last bite, hydrated with a fresh juice, and made friends with the lovely café owners, it’s time to get going!
From Penrhyndeudraeth, head towards Llyn Tecwyn Isaf – it’s a spot of blue in a world of green, where lily pads drift across the lake throughout the summer months. It’s also the perfect place for a quick break before hiking to Bryn Cader Faner, a cairn dating back to the Bronze Age. You’ll have epic views of Snowdonia National Park from here, so don’t forget to press pause on the day and take them all in.
5: Ben Nevis Lochaber
Soul-lifting scenery. Ever-changing colours. Air so fresh it catches you by surprise. Climbing Ben Nevis is one of the most epic day hikes in the UK, especially during the summer months when visibility is at its best. New landscapes seem to unfold in front of you as you climb higher and higher, with everything from shimmering glacial lakes to streaming waterfalls to appreciate.
Why not celebrate that ‘OMG I did it’ feeling at The Wildcat, a vegan café and zero-waste food shop in the heart of Fort William? Plant-based haggis wraps, warming soups and gooey brownies are on the menu here, alongside laid-back vibes and friendly faces. Your legs will be aching by this point, so take a seat and enjoy that well-deserved coffee!
What are your favourite vegan-friendly hiking routes? Here at Vegan Adventure Holidays, I’m always looking for new destinations to add to my vegan travel bucket list – here in the UK and further afield.
If you’re daydreaming of setting off on a vegan adventure holiday of your own, don’t hesitate to check out my range of tours and expeditions. Vegan adventurers, let’s travel together!
Emma – Vegan Adventure Holidays