Posted 11th Nov 2016
Do you feel crunching through some leaves while taking in some gorgeous surroundings? Then why not try taking a walk at one of these National Trust locations?
Breath-taking views of the Jurassic coast and the striking chalk sea stacks of Old Harry and his ‘wife’ await you on this circular walk. There’s plenty to look out for along the way, from peregrine falcons to far-reaching views over the Isle of Wight. The route starts and finishes at the Bankes Arms pub, so after your adventures you can refuel with local ales and delicious home-cooked food.
This one-mile circular walk takes you along the clifftops at Botallack in west Cornwall, where you can see the ruins of old mine buildings perched precariously on the edge. As part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site the landscape really brings to life the area’s industrial past – which made it the perfect location for filming the recent BBC adaptation of ‘Poldark’.
Image courtesy of ©National Trust / John Miller
This walk takes you along the cliffs at Belle Tout to Lookout Hill, from where customs officers used to keep an eye out for smugglers lurking on the beaches below. Only a few bricks now remain of the lookout tower, but you can still see the cottages which were built in the 1820s to house the local coastguards and their families. Come for a winter walk and a fossil hunt, then stop off in the café for a warming cup of tea and a slice of cake.
Dunwich Heath is a rare and precious habitat, home to special species such as Dartford warblers and woodlarks. This walk takes you around the perimeter of the heath, where you can take enjoy the brisk coastal air and take in spectacular views out to sea. If you’re visiting between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, you’ll be able to finish your walk by curling up next to the log burner in the Old Coastguard Cottages tea room. Don’t forget to try the special Christmas-themed scone.
Image courtesy of ©National Trust / Justin Minns
Coastal views are central to landscape designed by Humphry Repton in 1812, and the winter light shows them off at their best. Climb to the top of the gazebo tower perched on the top of the oak wood hill for a panoramic view of the North Norfolk coastline. A walk to the cliffs will often be accompanied by the sound of skylarks soaring high above you and flocks of finches busily feeding during the short winter days.
Image courtesy of ©National Trust / Fisheye images
Wrap up warm for a bracing walk on the Northumberland coast, where the scenery becomes even more dramatic in winter. Keen photographers will have the chance to capture some of the country’s most spectacular coastline, from the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle to the miles of often deserted sand along Embleton Bay, which shifts on windy days. When you reach Low Newton you can warm up in the Ship Inn, before following the route back to Craster.
Hidden secrets, past and present, are waiting to be found on this varied walk through a beautiful coastal landscape. Sweeping coastal pinewoods, prehistoric footprints and dramatic sand dunes are just waiting to be discovered, and a crisp winter walk is the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs.
From the seaside town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea with its Victorian pier and cliff lift, this walk takes you up to the summit of Warsett Hill where you can admire the Yorkshire Coast and surrounding countryside. With beautiful views out to sea, this is the perfect spot for a bracing winter walk on the coast.
If you love the coast, winter wouldn't be complete without a stroll along one of Wales' best beaches. If you're feeling adventurous you could head out to the tidal island of Worms Head – just make sure to keep an eye on the tides so you can get back safely.
Image courtesy of ©National Trust / John Miller
This scenic circular route offers far-reaching coastal views, wildlife and the chance to learn a bit more about Pembrokeshire’s industrial past. During the winter months you can see some truly spectacular sunsets over the Blue Lagoon, an old slate quarry that has since been breached by the sea. Chough can often be seen swirling up above the cliffs on sea breezes, and if you’re lucky you might also spot pods of porpoise swimming offshore.
Porthdinllaen is a great spot to enjoy a walk on the coast. You’ll discover magnificent views and fine sandy beaches, along with plenty of rockpools to explore. The Tŷ Coch Inn is on hand to provide warming refreshments, so you can take the opportunity relax after your walk and watch the comings and goings of local fishermen.
The Red Trail at the Giant's Causeway is a bracing clifftop walk, with spectacular views of the world-famous Causeway Coast and North Channel. The other-worldly landscape of basalt columns is truly the stuff of legend, with local folk lore claiming that the Causeway was built by the giant Finn MacCool, in an attempt to cross to Scotland to fend off his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. Scientists discovered the real cause behind the rock formations in the late 18th century, but a walk along the clifftops is still sure to raise a sense of mystery.
Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images / Joe Cornish
Image courtesy of ©National Trust / Ben Selway