GET OUT WITH THE FAMILY AND ENJOY THE COUNTRYSIDE
Already we are seeing frosty mornings, however there’s still time to enjoy the crisp air and the last rays of sunshine before Christmas. This season is a great opportunity for all the family to grab their wellies and enjoy the fallen leaves and vibrant colours and maybe even enjoy a few beautiful walks around the south of England.
We’ve listed some of our favourite wintery walks across the south, boasting beautiful views, tall trees, sea air and plenty of wildlife. These walks give you a glimpse of some of the most beautiful places in the UK, and should definitely be put on your autumn and winter activities list.
These walks are perfect for all the family to get outside, ranging from short, flat walks to larger, more challenging terrain.
WALK #1: HAM WALL NATURE RESERVE, ASHCOTT, SOMERSET LEVELS
Run by the RSPB, Ham Wall nature reserve is a haven for starlings. Thousands of birds can be seen on Somerset Levels as dusk approaches, swooping and swaying through the air. Make an afternoon of it by parking at Ham Wall RSPB reserve and walking along the rhynes or waterways to Ashcott Corner, with views of Glastonbury Tor. Further information.
WALK #2: TORQUAY TO TOTNES, DEVON
Torbay is in the heart of the English Riviera. Wheelchair and pushchair friendly, this walk is a gentle stroll around the town, harbour and main beach, with plenty of opportunities to stop for a nice hot cup of tea. The walk also explores Agatha Christie’s childhood, with eight landmarks that spell out the name of a character linked to her renowned novels. Further information.
WALK #3: OLD HARRY ROCKS, SWANAGE, DORSET
These tall chalk stacks, with holes carved in them by the sea, always look spectacular. From Studland car park, follow the well signed path across a fields with fantastic views of the bay behind you. From the clifftops, you can carry on over to Swanage and back around for a circular walk. Further information. Caution: This walk is on open clifftops and may not be suitable for young children
WALK #4: ST. MICHAEL’S BRENT TOR, DARTMOOR, DEVON
Brent Tor features 13th century St Michael de Rupe (St Michael of the Rock) and is much like Glastonbury Tor but much wilder, dominating the surrounding landscape. The walk is fairly easy starting through meadows and following a short scramble you can enjoy panoramic views over Dartmoor. Further information: Start at North Brentor, finish at Mary Tavy Elephant’s Nest Inn (OS Explorer Map 112).
WALK #5: TALL TREES TRAIL, NEW FOREST NATIONAL PARK, HAMPSHIRE
There are 20,000 acres of New Forest in southern England, with 150 miles of tracks for cycling and walking. The Tall Trees Trail takes you amongst majestic conifers planted in 1859. The path is smooth and flat with gravelled surfaces. Boasting the tallest Giant Sequoia in the UK, we think this place is one of the most magical places to see in the UK! Further information.
WALK #6: BLISLAND TO LAVETHEAN WOOD, NR. BODMIN, CORNWALL
This short circular walk leads you through the village of Blisland via the churchyard, two areas of the Woodland Trust’s Lavethan Wood reserve and land which was formally part of the Lavethan and Barlandew estates. The walk is completed via the Holy Well of St Hyacinth and St Pratt. Further information.
WALK #7: TINTAGEL, CORNWALL
The Tintagel Circulars are three walks making use of the many winding footpaths surrounding Tintagel village which lead out over the clifftops. The walks are all circular and have something for every age range and ability. Further information.
WALK #8: PORLOCK WEIR TO DUNKERY BEACON, EXMOOR, SOMERSET
For the seasoned walker, this route takes you from the delightful fisherman’s snug pub in Porlock, up 1,704 feet from sea level to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor. On a clear day, you can see both the Bristol Channel and the English Channel and even the Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor too! The climb may be quite gruelling, but the view is worth it. Further information: Start/ finish at Ship Inn, Porlock Weir (OS Explorer Map OL9).
WALK #9: LECHLADE SEVEN STYLES, COTSWOLDS WATER PARK, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
The Cotswolds is a breath-taking place, be it the quaint villages or the Cotswold water park. This walk has both, taking you round the village of Lechlade, up the Thames Path National Trail and through the meadows, keeping an eye out for all the wildlife around you! Further information.
WALK #10: CIRENCESTER TOWN & PARK, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
This flat route takes you through the classic Cotswold market town of Cirencester. There are historic buildings in Dollar and Gloucester Streets and attractive Cotswold stone houses in Cecily Hill. Cirencester Park has a gazebo and beautiful views across the town. Further information.