Festive Family Winter Walks with the National TrustDecember 21, 2017 • Outdoor Ideas
Enjoy a family winter walk this Christmas at one of the beautiful National Trust sites
The holidays are finally here. What better time than Christmas time to get outdoors and go for a family winter walk! It’s the perfect opportunity to get the whole family together and enjoy a lovely post-Christmas dinner wonder through Britain’s gorgeous woodlands. A little exercise helps everyone recover from the festive overindulgence we all know so well this time of year, plus, spending time outdoors will make sure the little ones have a good night’s sleep.
We had a little help from the National Trust who have selected some of their favourite winter walks. These gardens, estates and countryside look especially wonderful in frosty or snowy conditions. Don’t let the cold put you off – just wrap up your children warm in waterproofs (don’t forget to wrap up warm yourself), get outdoors and explore these breathtaking locations.
Bath Skyline, Somerset
This six-mile route boasts magnificent views over the city of Bath. You’ll wander through history, past an Iron Age hill fort and 18th-century follies. The route takes you through hidden valleys, woodlands and meadows, all rich in wildlife with beautiful views from the Bath Skyline.
Castle Ward, County Down
This trail takes in the ruin of Audley’s Castle on the shores of Strangford Lough. The castle and imposing tower house of Old Castle Ward take on a magical air in winter. Old Castle Ward was used as ‘Winterfell’ in the fantasy drama Game of Thrones.
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
The views of Clumber Lake – particularly from Clumber Bridge – are bound to delight everyone. During this easy two-mile walk you’ll also pass through heathland and woodland.
Follow this route designed by landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. It takes you through the deer park surrounding the 12th-century castle. Fallow deer roam the park and are often joined by a neighbouring second herd in winter when food becomes more scarce. Keep a look out for some of the park’s 150 ancient trees that you’ll pass on this one and a half mile walk.
Divis and the Black Mountain, County Antrim
Divis boasts some very dramatic views. Overlooking the city below and with magnificent views of Lough Neagh, the Mourne Mountains and Strangford Lough there is no better vantage point to take in the magnificent scenery that Northern Ireland has to offer. This dog friendly walk to the summit is the perfect route to energise and recharge after Christmas. A frosty walk is rewarded with incredible views.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Discover the winter landscapes of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden. This five-mile trail takes you through the deer park and elegant Georgian water garden. The route offers views of Ripon, the distant North York Moors and the impressive ruins of Fountains Abbey.
Ham House and Garden, Surrey
This beautiful walk, which links Ham House and Garden with Richmond Station. This four and a half mile circular route leads you from the urban bustle of Richmond town centre to a rural riverside walk along the Thames Path. See the only view in England protected by an Act of Parliament – the iconic view from Richmond Hill.
For more recommendations visit the National Trust website.