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Best Child-Friendly Mountains to Hike in UK

17 December 2022

It can be great fun to take the kids hiking in the mountains, to foster an appreciation of nature and the outdoor life during their early years, which will hopefully last a lifetime. As well as being fun, it can also have its own challenges, and it is important to ensure the difficulty level isn’t too high for their ability or it will be a miserable trip all around. 

We have compiled a list of some of the best family-friendly mountains to hike. This should help to ensure that maximum fun is had and you get the chance to see some truly stunning scenery along the way. As always when venturing out onto the hills, make sure you have the proper gear for doing so. Prepare as if you were going to be stranded overnight, bring plenty of water and warm clothing and wear hiking boots if possible.

Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia, Wales

The highest mountain in Wales tops the list for us. This may seem counterintuitive but there are paths that are manageable by even the youngest children and the views from the top more than make up for the climb. Manage expectations though, as it will be a challenging but doable climb for the kiddos, no matter which path is taken and will take somewhere between 4 and 8 hours to complete.

A train service is available to take you back down to the bottom of the mountain and this will most likely be needed after the climb. 

Ben A’an, Trossachs, Scotland

Located in the Trossachs of Scotland, Ben A’an is one of the easiest but at the same time most diverse climbs on this list. The view takes in Loch Katrine and Loch Achray and is spectacular, no matter what the weather is doing. Even though it is only a 2.5 mile hike on a well-signed path, the variations in the scenery as you go will make it feel like you have travelled a much larger distance. Not too taxing a climb, even for children and a huge payoff with the views from the summit. A great introduction for the kiddos. 

Cat Bells, Lake District

Cat Bells in the Lake District is thought to derive its name from “Cat’s Bield” or “Home of the Wildcats” and is an easy walk for all of the family. Perhaps best undertaken after a boat trip across the Derwent Water, this family-friendly 3.6 mile walk should take around 2 hours to complete. The scenery from the top is amazing, the stillness and mirror-like quality of the Derwent Water far below is mesmerising.

Fun Fact: Cat Bells was so beloved by children’s author Beatrix Potter that she based some of her tales there. Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s home is on Cat Bells; a “door on the hill” will take you to her house. See if you can spot it with the children.  

Cley Hill, Wiltshire

Legends and myths abound about this hill in Wiltshire, from UFOs being regular visitors to the devil himself dropping a sack of earth he had meant to bury a town with which then became Cley Hill. It is a fairly short but steep walk up the hill and the views from the top more than make up for the strain on the legs from the climb. This is one of the more challenging ones but is definitely doable and a great family adventure. 

Black Crag, Lake District

Only a two mile walk, so not too taxing on smaller legs, Black Crag in the Lake District offers stellar panoramic views over the fells. The climb is mostly through forest which is ideal for a quick game of hide and seek on the way. This makes for a fun family trip and makes the short climb seem even quicker. The end portion of the walk is a little steeper and care should be taken but overall it is an excellent hike for all the family. 

Photo by Fas Khan on Unsplash

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