Nairne McBeath May 16 2023

“Sometimes making progress means taking rest days.”

Britain and Ireland are home to some of the most spectacular long-distance walks in the world. Whether you are looking for a challenging adventure or to spend a relaxing few days rambling around beautiful countryside and idyllic villages, our walking trails have something for everyone.

But have you taken into account rest days?

Absolute Escapes have been organising unforgettable self-guided walking holidays since 2004. We have put together a list of some of our favourite rest days that will allow you to relax, refresh, and recharge on some of our most popular trails.


Aberfeldy – Rob Roy Way

After a long day walking from Ardtalnaig, why not take the next day to explore the local area with Highland Safaris in Aberfeldy?

They offer thrilling Land Rover Safaris, picturesque boat tours of Loch Tay, and inspiring walking and biking activities. You could even be fortunate to spot the majestic Red Deer, the renowned Grouse, the elusive Mountain Hare, or the soaring Golden Eagle.

If you have relaxation on your mind and you fancy a touch of luxury, why not head to nearby Kenmore where you’ll find the Hot Box Wellness Spa at Taymouth Marina? This 2 hour rejuvenating and unwinding experience includes full use of the outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, and Loch Tay slide, all surrounded by breathtaking scenery.


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Hunstanton – Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path

Whether you have been walking along the Peddars Way from Sedgeford or are about to begin your journey on the Norfolk Coast Path, Hunstanton is the ideal destination for a rest day. The seaside town is known for its white sandy beach, unique striped cliffs, and lively promenade. What’s not to love?

Perhaps it is more appealing to leave the hustle and bustle of this seaside town and take a short taxi ride to Sandringham Estate, the much-loved country estate of the British Royal Family since 1862.

Sandringham Royal Parkland spreads over 245 hectares with way-marked trails for walking and cycling.

Why not relax and enjoy an afternoon tea experience in Sandringham Courtyard, prepared with the best local ingredients, traditional recipes, and many goods grown on the Estate?


Anstruther – Fife Coastal Path

To enhance your East Neuk adventure, why not spend the day exploring the charming fishing village of Anstruther?

Start the day off right by sailing to the Isle of May, which is a remarkable little island that lies only 5 miles off the Fife coast. This National Nature Reserve is owned by NatureScot and is inhabited by a wide range of wildlife, with up to 200,000 seabirds nesting on the island, including up to 90,000 Puffins.

It would be a crime not to end your day in Anstruther with a visit to the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar, which is situated at the harbour overlooking the Firth of Forth.

Their premium Scottish haddock, which is fried in a light and crispy batter or beautifully textured breadcrumbs, is their best-seller and the star of their legendary fish supper, an absolute must-have.


Dunbar – John Muir Way & Berwickshire Coastal Path

Fancy challenging your adventurous side? Why not try coasteering with Ocean Vertical and explore the rugged East Lothian shoreline from the cliffs and ocean, by climbing, jumping, and swimming?

In the beautiful clear waters by Dunbar, you will be surrounded by stunning wildlife, including puffins, gannets, seals, and even the occasional dolphin.

Whether you are about to complete your trek across the heart of Scotland on the John Muir Way or begin your journey on the beautiful Berwickshire Coastal Path, a completely new perspective of your surrounding natural environment can be gained through the exciting, daring, and fun sport of coasteering.


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Seahouses – Northumberland Coast Path

The popular fishing village of Seahouses is known as the ‘Gateway to the Farne Islands’, which makes for a fantastic day trip.

The islands are home to the most spectacular seabird colonies in the UK, with unrivalled views of 23 species, including over 43,000 pairs of puffins. The sight of such numbers in the natural and untamed habitat of the Farne Islands is indeed a sight to behold.

The islands are also the permanent home to a sizable colony of inquisitive grey seals.


Hay-on-Wye – Offa’s Dyke Path

Hay-on-Wye is a tiny town packed with character, world-famous for its books and bookshops. Explore the charming streets, which are lined with art galleries, home goods stores, unique antique shops, and, of course, many bookshops.

Try to attend the Hay Market if you are in town on a Thursday; it is jam-packed with more than 40 stalls, selling delicious gourmet goodies as well as antiques, arts and crafts, jewellery, and ceramics.

The town itself has a lot of charm, but its location may be its best quality. There is no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the spectacular scenery, with the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, and the winding River Wye.

Want a Canoe? allow you to get a taste of river life with a half-day paddle to Whitney-on-Wye, and as you wind downstream, keep an eye out for kingfishers, herons, cormorants, swans, and otters.


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Lyme Regis – South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is not short of picture-perfect fishing villages, beautiful sandy beaches, and rich local heritage. However, when it comes to simply relaxing and recharging, Lyme Regis is the perfect destination. This bustling town is known as the ‘Pearl of the Dorset Coast’ and is situated on the world-famous Jurassic Coast.
Lyme Regis is renowned for its geology and fossils. The regional clay preserves remarkable fossil remains of sea animals from 180 million years ago.

Mary Anning, a pioneering palaeontologist, and fossil hunter was a resident of the town; you can read more about her life and career at the Lyme Regis Museum.

For first-hand experience and to collect some unique souvenirs, why not join an expert guide on a Fossil Hunting Walk on Lyme’s famous East beach and Black Ven?


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Freshwater Bay – Isle of Wight Coastal Path

Freshwater Bay is a picturesque beach in a spectacular setting on the Isle of Wight‘s western point.

Tall white cliffs and spectacular coastline formations surround the bay, as well as a patchwork of the island’s diverse countryside, therefore, providing an ideal location for walkers in need of a rest day.

The Needles are one of the Isle of Wight’s most iconic sights, situated practically a stone’s throw away from Freshwater Bay. For a close-up view, take a Needles Pleasure Cruise for a scenic tour of the multi-coloured sand cliffs and panoramic views of Alum Bay and stunning coastal views.


Waterville – Kerry Way

Waterville is the only seafront village on the famous Ring of Kerry in Southwest Ireland and is the ideal destination for people that want to get a little bit more out of their epic walking adventure.

An absolute must is to get up nice and early to travel to Portmagee, from here you are able to take a boat trip out to the Skellig Michael.

The majestic Skellig Michael is one of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Republic of Ireland. One of the country’s oldest foundations, St. Fionan’s monastery is perched atop this spectacular rock off the Kerry Coast.

Aside from the rich history, the island is home to an abundance of bird life, and the second-largest gannet colony in the world is located here.


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Bath – Cotswold Way

Bath, built for pleasure and relaxation, has been a wellness destination since Roman times, which makes it a perfect rest stop for long-distance walkers.

The waters continue to be a popular draw at both the historic Roman Baths and the contemporary Thermae Bath Spa, which has the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain where visitors can bathe.

The New Royal Bath is a mix of glass, stone, light, and water, which offers a unique environment to rest and revive. Experience their cutting-edge Wellness Suite while taking a bath in one of the two magnificent tubs that are fed by the naturally warm, mineral-rich water, and as if it couldn’t get any better, spectacular views of the City of Bath and the surrounding hills are available day and night in the Open-air rooftop pool.


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Complete a journey, not a walk

Absolute Escapes have been organising self-guided walking holidays in the UK and Ireland since 2004.

With a multitude of idyllic villages awaiting on the trails, there is no better time to get in touch with our team of Travel Specialists. Contact us today and start planning your next walking holiday.

Nairne McBeath

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