4 great hikes

Enjoy the magic of Mother Nature! We choose four great hikes for varied tastes and levels of experience.

By Doug O’Neill

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Hikes to boost your body and soul

There’s a magical dimension to hiking that’s not always apparent to the uninitiated, but once you experience it, you’re hooked for life.

I had my first hiker’s epiphany in my mid-20s, standing at the top of the white chalk cliffs called Seven Sisters, in the south of England. It was the tail end of five days of hiking along the South Downs Way, an ancient walking path once favoured by travellers in the Middle Stone Age. A salt-scented wind blew in off the English Channel as the sun beamed through a cloudless sky. My new hiking boots pinched like hell, my calf muscles ached and I was exhilarated beyond belief. I suddenly knew why religious pilgrims, like those who walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, eschew horses and other forms of transport in favour of their own feet: Getting there under your own steam, one blessed footstep after another, not only re-energizes the body but also reinvigorates the spirit.

Here are four incredible hikes to boost your body and soul.

Photograph courtesy of Visit Wales

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