Making the most of winter walks

Making the most of winter walks


Posted 2nd November


It may be getting dark by 4pm now, but that doesn't mean it's not the perfect time to wrap up warm and set off on an invigorating winter walk. What could be a better way to celebrate the festive season?

The perfect time to blow away the December cobwebs while rambling along blustery coastal paths, or taking a stroll through frosty countryside, it will also allow you to keep your eyes peeled for seasonal wildlife.

South West

Godolphin, Cornwall

Godolphin Hill walk


Image courtesy of Juliet Turnet

A gentle ramble up to the top of Godolphin Hill which boasts one of the best views over West Cornwall. On a clear winters day you can see as far as St Michael's Mount and St Ives bay. Every time you venture into the Cornish countryside you are helping National Trust rangers maintain pathways and trails for family walks all year round.

Studland, Dorset

Old Harry Rocks walk


Image courtesy of John Bish

Get a view of the breath-taking Jurassic coast from the edge of these unique rock formations. Beautiful on both a calm or blustery day, the sound of the waves beneath is the perfect winter escape to the coast.

London and the South East

Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey

Walk the grounds and Belvedere Tower


Image courtesy of Wendy Alldiss

A walk around the lake at Claremont is special in the winter time. See the mist rise off early in the morning or the frozen edges in the crisp clear water. For a special New Year’s treat, take the chance to climb to the top of Belvedere Tower and you'll be rewarded with a view stretching for miles in all directions. Open specially on New Year’s Day (11am till 2pm) by kind permission of Claremont Fan Court School.

Bateman’s, East Sussex

Self-guided walks and trails


Image courtesy of John Miller

The beautiful Sussex countryside around Bateman's provided the inspiration for many of Rudyard Kipling's famous characters. Choose from a variety of routes for all abilities to take in some of the best features of this inspiring landscape. Pop in from the cold to see the festive house and tuck into seasonal treats in the café.

East of England

Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

Family Christmas Walks


Image courtesy of Justin Minns

From gentle strolls on the all-weather Boardwalk around Sedge Fen to longer walks exploring new wetland habitats, with opportunities to spot amazing wildlife from hen and marsh harriers and short-eared owls to Wicken’s herds of highland cattle and konik ponies.

Sheringham Park, Norfolk


Image courtesy of Fisheye Images

Woodland and Coastal Walk

Winter walks to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas are on offer at Sheringham Park this year. Frosted plants and clear coastal views is the ideal backdrop for the whole family to explore. The landscape is picture perfect when covered in snow.  Some early flowering species of rhododendron will be in bloom at this time of year and it’s a great place to spot over wintering wildfowl passing through.

Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire

Whipsnade and Dunstable Downs walk


Image courtesy of Justin Minns

Dunstable Downs is an ever popular spot for Boxing Day and New Year’s walks, and it’s not hard to see why. On this circular walk there's a chance to rest and wonder at the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral before climbing up through Whipsnade Heath and returning to the Chilterns Gateway Centre. The view northwards from the Chilterns Gateway Centre is a great place to start and finish your walk.

Midlands

Longshaw, Peak District

Winter walks at Longshaw

Why not take advantage of the amazing views now that the leaves have gone from the trees, and enjoy a wintry stomp or warming wander at Longshaw over the Christmas break. Pull on those wellies and zip up your coats to get the whole family out of the house.

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Kedleston long walk


Image courtesy of Robert Morris

Enjoy a bracing winter morning walk at Kedleston this Christmas. From spotting winter wildlife to historic parkland there’s plenty on this walk to suit everyone. This walk gives fantastic views of the gardens and the back of Kedleston, and gives a good perspective of the size of the whole park.

North

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Ancient tree walk


Image courtesy of Chris Lacey

Get a different perspective on the fine collection of veteran trees in the park at Dunham Massey in winter when the trees are frosted and bare. They also provide a sparkling backdrop for the herd of more than 150 fallow deer that live among them. 

Marsden Moor, Yorkshire

Marsden Moor heritage trail


Image courtesy of Joe Cornish

Blow away the cobwebs on an invigorating 8 mile walk above Marsden that is great for families.  Crunch over the crisp moorland and look out for the elusive mountain hare – this native species is found on Marsden Moor and stands out a little bit more in winter as their usually brown coats begin to change to white in anticipation of snow.

Wales

Gower, Swansea

Rhossili headland walk

The Rhossili headland walk is a perfect walk to blow away the cobwebs this winter. The fresh air is the perfect antidote to over indulgence this Christmas, and the peaceful landscape is enough to leaving you feeling completely at ease.

Cwm Gwdi, Brecon Beacons

Walk Pen y Fan – the hard way!


Image courtesy of Chris Lacey

For a more adventurous way to end the year try this favourite but challenging route. Starting from Cwm Gwdi, you’ll experience some of the most spectacular views of the Brecon Beacons whilst challenging yourself to get up to the peak of Pen y Fan, the hard way.

Northern Ireland

Castle Coole, County Fermanagh

The Killynure Trail at Castle Coole

The Killynure trail is open from November to February at Castle Coole. Located off the lake walk, take a brisk winter walk up the hill to be rewarded with stunning views across the estate to the house and beyond.
 





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