After all the excitement of Christmas, there’s nothing like the peace and quiet of a country walk on Boxing Day. Whether it’s a tradition in your house or you’re thinking about making it one, we’ve found a few walks to get you going. You’ll need your hiking boots for a couple, but we’ve plenty of ideas that are perfect for leisurely strolls with the kids and dogs in tow too.
So let the sofa have a rest, stretch your legs, and fill your lungs with crisp, fresh Boxing Day air.
Off we go!
Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs – North Yorkshire
Peaceful, picturesque and perfect for all ages. Nice and flat, the paths are pretty well kept and the one around Swinsty is mostly accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. (Just beware if it’s muddy.)
There are two reservoirs here, so you can set your walk to the length that suits you – ranging from about 3 – 8 miles. Being by the still water is beautifully calming and it’s a great habitat for all kinds of wildlife so see what you can spot.
Sefton Coastal Footpath – Merseyside
The Sefton Coastal Footpath stretches for 21 miles from Crosby to Southport and takes in some amazing sights along the way.
To the North there’s Southport’s famous pier and the Royal Birkdale Golf Course. You’ll discover an abundance of stunning nature reserves, with everything from red squirrels to shorebirds. And as you get closer to Crosby, you’ll come across Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ where 100 iron figures pop up across two miles of coastline.
Wooly hats off to you if you do all 21 miles. But we’d recommend picking the bits you’d most like to see to choose your starting point.
Cairngorms National Park – North East Scotland
As the UK’s biggest national park, the Cairngorms offers walks for all abilities. You could take a stroll or go mountaineering. But we prefer to keep it festive with a bit of reindeer-spotting. Yes really! The Cairngorms has the UK’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer. If you want to see them, your best bet is to book with the Cairngorm Reindeer (www.cairngormreindeer.co.uk) for a chance to get up close and personal with Santa’s favourite animals.
Perranporth – Cornwall
Take your pick of beautiful coastal walks around Perranporth. The 4-mile walk to St Agnes includes some vertigo-inspiring cliff top paths – with incredible views too. Or go when it’s low tide, and stay and play on the 3-mile stretch of golden sands.
We love that feeling of being wrapped up on a blustery beach, cheeks getting reddened. And it’s the ideal excuse to end the day with a warming visit to a nearby pub!
Heath Circuit – London
Fancy a walk in the big city with a real country feel? Step forward the Heath Circuit. More demanding than an amble through Hampstead Heath itself, the sights are as spectacular as they are varied. Take in the peaceful ponds, the grandeur of Kenwood House and even Highgate Cemetery if you like. We think the perfect place to finish is Parliament Hill. It means the last stretch is an uphill ascent, but your reward is an enviable view across the city. (And this walk also gives you an excuse to get lost in some of Hampstead’s exceptionally stylish streets.)
Aber Falls, Abergeyngregyn – Snowdonia
Snowdonia doesn’t have to mean a trek up Snowdon or Tryfan. There are plenty of family-friendly walks to enjoy too. Head north, close to Bangor, to take in the spectacular views of Aber Falls – a 120-foot waterfall most people agree is even more beautiful in the winter.
The walk itself is a steady climb on stone paths and the views along the way are as picturesque as can be.
Sun or snow, winter in the UK creates some stunning variations to our natural environment. But the only thing the weather guarantees is that it can change in a moment! So take plenty of layers, sensible footwear, and if you’re going somewhere off the well-trodden path, go prepared. That way you’re sure to have a wonderful Boxing Day, wherever you get to. Happy walking!