In a fast-paced world, the art of purposeless walking is fading. On these five spectacular trails, rediscover the benefits of wandering – no goal in sight.

May is national walking month in the UK, and BBC News Magazine has kicked it off by arguing that purposeless walking is becoming a thing of the past.

But we would argue that purposeless walking – perhaps better described as walking with the purpose of being alone with one’s thoughts, rather than to get somewhere or accomplish a task – still has a place in the world. In fact, it has several places, some of which are particularly spectacular.

Whether you are looking to for a slow ramble or an epic jaunt, these paths may help revive your interest in the fading art of taking a walk.

England’s Lake District
Hailed as the region where William Wordsworth found his inspiration, the rolling green mountains of England’s Lake District offer the perfect backdrop for a mindful stroll.

Australia’s Red Centre
With 223km of mountain trails, dusty tracks and narrow canyons, the Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most isolated, awe-inspiring long-distance walks.

Israel’s ‘Jesus Trail’
If you’re seeking a bit of spiritual introspection, venture to northern Israel’s 65km Jesus Trail. With a reputation as one of the world’s greatest hikes, it has as much to offer lovers of archaeology and nature as it does to those on a religious journey.

Coastal Wales
The first long-distance trail to trace a country’s entire shoreline, the 1,400km  Wales Coast Path is alive with vibrant scenery and legend, from the Llŷn Peninsula to Pembrokeshire.

Peru’s Santa Cruz Trail
While more challenging than a slow saunter, this lesser-known alternative to the Inca Trail offers inspiring views of ultramarine lakes, granite mountains and flowing waterfalls.