Take a Hike: to a UK Man-made landmark

What are the 10 best walks to man-made landmarks in the UK?

Ever since human beings came into existence, they have made their mark on the landscape, even in the most remote of places. In the UK, there is everything from ancient standing stones, medieval castles and religious buildings to the many structures conceived and built as part of the Industrial revolution. While out walking, these can provide fabulous focal points and perhaps a reason to get out there in the first place. Here we take a spin to some of our favourite and most impressive man-made landmarks in the UK, all of which can be reached on a guided walking holiday with HF.

HF Holidays Pathways Fund

Guided Walking holidays
In a nutshell

These are the holidays at the heart of HF - they're what we do. All of them are full board and include walks transport, enabling you to enjoy day after day of carefree walking. With a choice of walks at different grades each day, you can just get outside and enjoy a full day's walking and leave all the planning and navigation to us; it’s what we’re best at.
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10 of the best UK manmade landmarks

  1. Hadrian's Wall, Scottish Borders
  2. St Michael's Mount, Cornwall
  3. Ironbridge, Shropshire Hills
  4. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
  5. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands
  6. Callanish Stones, Outer Hebrides
  7. Minack Theatre, Cornwall
  8. Caledonian Canal, Scotland
  9. Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland
  10. Harlech Castle, Snowdonia

1. Hadrian's Wall, Scottish-English border

Hadrian's Wall Guided Walking Holiday

Hadrian's Wall
Scottish - English Border

  • Stay at: Specially selected partner hotels
  • Features: on two guided walking trails, with the option to tackle the whole crossing or just see the most celebrated and best-preserved highlights 

(Roman ruins and evidence of Hadrian's Wall)

Marking the northern-most reach of the Roman Empire, the fact that Hadrian’s epic wall is still largely intact 1,800 years after it was constructed is testament to the skill of the engineers and labourers who built it. Its 73-mile length crosses the wild upland areas of Cumbria and Northumberland and into Tyne and Wear. Walking along its route reveals the many other elements that make it so fascinating; forts, castles, signal towers and even a bathhouse. There are also several museums that contain artefacts and information about life in ancient Britain. This isn’t just a walk; it’s a walk alongside history.

Hadrian's Wall Guided Walking Holidays
Walk Hadrian's Wall
Trek in the footsteps of Roman centurions
See Walk options

2. St Michael's Mount, Cornwall

Western Yorkshire Dales Guided Walking Holiday

St Michael's Mount
Cornwall

  • Stay at: Chy Morvah, Cornwall
  • Features: on Guided Walking Holidays from Chy Morvah or can be visited as part of a Self-Guided Walking holiday from here as well. Join a Discovery Tour for sightseeing or capture it on camera as part of a specialist photography break too

(St Michael's Mount, Marazion, at sunset)

St Michael’s Mount is one of the most recognisable places in Cornwall. This tiny island - just offshore from Marazion - is topped by a castle which helps to give it its classic profile. The island also has a small village with just four streets – today home to around 30 people – and a harbour. Some of our walks along the coast path provide lovely views of ‘the mount’ and if the tide is low, there is sometimes the opportunity to walk across the causeway to the island and have a look around. The castle is still home to members of the St Aubyn family and has beautiful sloping subtropical gardens.

St Michael's Mount, Cornwall
Seek out St Michael's Mount
And cross the causeway if you can
SEE Walk Options

3. Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire Hills

Ironbridge Gorge Guided Walking Holiday

Ironbridge Gorge
Shropshire Hills

  • Stay at: Longmynd House, Church Stretton
  • Features: on Guided Walking Holidays from Longmynd House, and on Self-Guided breaks from here too, or join a Shropshire Discovery Tour for sightseeing opportunities

(The Ironbridge, spanning the Severn Gorge)

The town of Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire played a pivotal role in the birth of the Industrial Revolution. It was here that in 1709 Abraham Darby perfected the art of smelting iron with coke – much cheaper than using charcoal. The area became a thriving hub of factories and houses and also home to the first ever bridge made of iron. The bridge still spans the Severn Gorge today and leads to the 10 different museums beyond. One of the most popular is the Victorian village – a living museum which provides an interactive experience for visitors. Some of our walks end here with plenty of time given to explore.

Ironbridge Gorge Guided Walking Holidays
Cross Ironbridge Gorge
Step back in history
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4. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Bamburgh Castle Guided Walking Holiday

Bamburgh Castle
Northumberland

  • Stay at: Nether Grange, Alnmouth
  • Features: on Guided Walking holidays from Nether Grange, and on Self-Guided breaks here too. Or join a Discovery or Heritage Tour to explore the site as well.

(Bamburgh Castle seen from an elevated hillock)

The Northumberland coast is a relatively flat area of sweeping sandy beaches backed by extensive swathes of marram grass waving in the breeze. But this was also a place where the border with Scotland was hotly disputed for nearly 300 years. This led to the requirement to build fortified castles and one of the most iconic is Bamburgh. Towering 150 feet above the surrounding area, it can be seen for miles around. It makes a wonderful focal point to focus on and photograph while out walking. It has stood for over 1,400 years and was once the seat of early Northumbrian Kings.

Bamburgh Castle Guided Walking Holiday
Storm Bamburgh Castle
Or simply enjoy the striking silhouette
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5. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands

Glenfinnan Viaduct Guided Walking Holiday

Glenfinnan Viaduct
Scottish Highlands

  • Stay at: Alltshellach, Glen Coe
  • Features: on Self-Guided Walking holidays from Alltshellach, or as part of a Highland Railway Tour. Capture it on camera during a specialist photography break too.

(Train crossing the great span of the Glenfinnan Viaduct)

Sitting at the end of Loch Shiel, the 21-arch, 30-metre-high Glenfinnan Viaduct is a striking feature. No wonder it featured in two of the Harry Potter films! It is the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland – 380 metres long. It carries the famous Jacobite steam train across its mighty span and the train sometimes stops so that passengers can admire the view over the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel. Whether you are on the train looking down or on the ground looking up, you get an impressive view. We offer both options on different holidays and of course you could choose to do both if you go self-guided.

Glenfinnan Viaduct Guided Walking Holidays
Cross Glenfinnan Viaduct
Or marvel at the height and width of this extraordinary structure
see walk options

6. Callanish Stones, Outer Hebrides

Callanish Stones Guided Walking Holiday

Callanish Stones
Outer Hebrides, Scotland

  • Stay at: Specially selected partner hotels
  • Features: On Guided Trail holidays and island hopping breaks on Lewis and Harris                  

(The standing stones at Callanish)

Pre-dating Stonehenge by some 2,000 years, the Callanish standing stones on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides are world-famous. The 13 monoliths were erected in a cross-shaped setting in the late Neolithic period and were used throughout the Bronze Age. Unlike Stonehenge, visitors can walk amongst them and get a real feel for the mystery which surrounds their purpose as well as enjoy views across the sea. This is one of the most complete stone circles in Europe and is a highlight of the Island Hopping holiday we have in the Outer Hebrides.

Callanish Stones Guided Walking Holiday
Discover Callanish
To walk among the standing stones
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7. Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Minack Theatre Guided Walking Holiday

Minack Theatre
Cornwall

  • Stay at: Chy morvah, St Ives
  • Features: on a Guided Walking holiday from Chy Morvah or Self-Guided break from here too. Join a Cornwall Discovery Tour or specialist Cornwall photography break to explore the site as well

(The stepped amphitheatre at Minack)

Cornwall’s open-air Minack Theatre is a theatre like no other. Hewn into the steep granite cliffs and surrounded by glorious gardens, it has the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop to all performances. A more spectacular setting is hard to imagine. The audience sit outside on terraces with the weather and sea conditions contributing as much to each performance as the actors. The theatre is right next to the South West Coast Path and can be viewed from above or by going down to the beach below. It’s a highlight for many of our walks near Porthcurno.

Minack Theatre Guided Walking Holidays
Visit the Minack Theatre
For a spectacular show setting
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8. Caledonian Canal, Scotland

Caledonian Canal Guided Walking Holiday

Caledonian Canal
Scotland

  • Stay at: Alltshellach, Glen Coe
  • Features: As part of Discovery Tours in the Western Highlands, or can be walked along the Great Glen Way guided trail

(The Caledonian Canal through the Scottish Highlands)

Running for 60 miles across the entire breadth of Scotland, the Caledonian Canal is Scotland’s longest waterway. It connects Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east and follows the course of the Great Glen fault line – a geological feature of epic proportions. Walking along the course of the canal is a fantastic way to see some of Scotland’s best-known landmarks including Ben Nevis and Loch Ness as well as enjoy the peace and tranquillity that comes from walking beside water. This man-made feature provides a fantastic place from which to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Caledonian Canal Guided Walking Holiday
see the Caledonian Canal
Discover a waterway through the mountains
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9. Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland

Lindisfarne Priory Guided Walking Holiday

Lindisfarne Priory
Northumberland

  • Stay at: Nether Grange, Northumberland
  • Features: On Self-Guided Walking holidays from Nether Grange, Northumberland Discovery Tours and the St Oswalds Guided Trail

(The striking outline of Lindisfarne Priory)

Just off the coast of Northumberland lies the tiny island of Lindisfarne, only accessible on foot at low tide via its causeway. The island is also known as Holy Island as it was one of the most important centres of early Christianity; it is still a place of pilgrimage today. One of the most striking features of the island are the ruins of the Priory with its ornately carved stone and ‘rainbow arch’. The priory was founded in AD 635 and had a somewhat turbulent history, finally being abandoned and left to go to ruin. Visitors can discover its long and interesting history as well as enjoy its unusual location.

Lindisfarne Guided Walking Holidays
Explore Lindisfarne
Discover the history of Holy Island
See Walk options

10. Harlech Castle, Snowdonia

Harlech Castle Guided Walking Holiday

Harlech Castle
Snowdonia, Wales

  • Stay at: Dolserau Hall, Dolgellau
  • Features: On Guided Walking Holidays from Dolserau Hall and on Self-Guided Walking beaks from here too. Also on Southern Snowdonia Discovery Tours

(Harlech Castle catching the first rays of sunlight)

Built in the 13th century by Edward I, Harlech Castle still stands tall over 700 years later. The castle is built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Irish Sea in one direction and the mountains of Snowdonia in the other. It is remarkably intact with a massive twin-towered gatehouse and imposing battlements. The castle sits in a splendid setting and makes a wonderful focus for the coastal walks we have in the area. Harlech’s walls were once lapped by the sea but over time a build up of sediment created land so that today, its water gate is somewhat redundant.

Harlech Castle, Snowdonia Guided Walking Holidays
Discover Harlech Castle
During a classic coastal walk
SEE Walk Options

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