Ah, Blighty with its satanic mills, rolling hills and quaint thrills. The history of the UK is unlike anywhere else in the world, stretching back thousands of years and encompassing everything from life in the stone age to medieval sieges and territorial disputes.

There are countless intriguing landmarks still scattered across the landscapes of England, Scotland and Wales to this day, and together they tell fascinating stories of how this little island became the world-famous destination we know today.

There's no better way to get a unique insight into the chapters of riveting British history than throwing on your boots and embarking on a walking trail, but where to start? Contours Holidays have got your back, offering self-guided walking holidays along UK trails, with flexible itineraries to suit walkers of all ages and abilities, including soloists, families, novice hikers, and veterans. Even better, some are also dog friendly.

All the walking holidays include nightly accommodation, breakfast each morning, daily luggage transfers, a comprehensive pack with guidebooks and maps, and 24/7 emergency support as standard, making it easier than ever to enjoy a multi-day adventure in the Great British countryside at your own pace.

Five historic UK trails by Contours Holidays

Scotland: Borders Abbeys Way (Scottish Great Trail)

The Scottish Borders is renowned for its enchanting ruined abbeys at Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso. The Borders Abbeys Way is a magnificent self-guided walking holiday which tours you through these abbeys, as well as the rolling hills, wooded riverbanks, pine forests and lush farmland of the Scottish Borders. It's a fantastic circular walking route through a historically fascinating area of Scotland.

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North of England: St Oswald’s Way

Warkworth Castle, St Oswalds Way

This long-distance walking route links the breathtaking landscapes and fascinating history of Northumberland and the 7th-century King of Northumbria – St Oswald. The course starts from the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and hugs the coastline of Northumberland past countless majestic castles, fishing villages and old market towns. You'll frolic through heather-clad moors, scenic river valleys, beaches, forests and farmlands.

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Central England: Lady Anne’s Way

Brougham Castle, Lady Anne's Way

Follow in the footsteps of Lady Anne Clifford, an unconquerable woman whose work still influences the Yorkshire Dales and the Eden Valley 400 years after her birth. She was a powerful landowner with a vast estate, including several castles, and this walking route follows in her footsteps, re-tracing journeys that she travelled between her homes. The 100-mile walk takes you to the important buildings associated with her history. It guides you through Wharfedale and Wensleydale, following an ancient green lane known as Lady Anne's Highway through Mallerstang and the Eden Valley.

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South of England: The Ridgeway (National Trail)

Avebury, The Ridgeway

The Ridgeway is a walk of incredible variation as it takes you through the rolling North Wessex Downs, the flat open plateau of the Salisbury Plain and a landscape of beech woodland and farmland dotted with historic towns in the Chiltern Hills. This ancient track established by prehistoric man once stretched across the country from Dorset to Norfolk, and the Ridgeway follows it from East Kennet to Ivinghoe Beacon. Although the full Ridgeway is a challenge for any experienced backpacker, it is also open for walkers of all abilities.

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Wales: Offa’s Dyke Path (National Trail)

Offa's Dyke Path Descending into Redbrook

Running alongside the border between England and Wales, Offa's Dyke Path is a breathtaking 177-mile National Trail. But what the hell is Offa's Dyke you ask? Well, it all started during the 8th century when King Offa of Mercia ordered a great dyke to be built to mark the western boundary of his kingdom with Wales. For over 60 miles, the route of this National Trail runs along or close to the 8th-century dyke, passing many other historical sites. The trail visits historic border towns and charming villages, including Monmouth, Hay-on-Wye and Welshpool.

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