May 10th, 2021

7 of the best days out for National Walking Month

When your day-to-day life is stressful, sometimes there’s nothing more enjoyable than getting out into the countryside and getting some fresh air. It’s well-known that walking has a variety of benefits for both your mental and physical health.

As you may have heard, May is National Walking Month which means that if you need an excuse to grab your boots and take a stroll, there has never been a better time. Here are seven of the best days out for National Walking Month.

1. Cotswold Way, Gloucestershire

Starting off with an area close to home, the Cotswolds is designated as one of the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and when you see it for yourself, it’s easy to understand why.

Running from the market town of Chipping Campden to the historic Roman city of Bath, the Cotswold Way is an excellent choice for any avid walker. The route takes you through green rolling hills, ancient woodland, and quaint villages built of honey-coloured local stone.

While you may not have time to visit all sites along the 102-mile trail in one afternoon, wherever you choose to visit, the Cotswold Way is sure to be a good day out for any walker.

2. Thames Path, Berkshire

From Marlow to Cookham, the Berkshire stretch of the Thames path is a lovely day out for walkers of all abilities. Following the river, you’ll pass rumbling weirs, green meadows, and wooded islands on your way.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Quarry Wood on the south bank of the river, which is said to be the inspiration for the Wild Wood in the classic children’s book The Wind in the Willows.

3. Malham Tarn, North Yorkshire

A popular National Trust site, Malham Tarn is a beautiful location which is sure to delight any walker. Nestled in the rugged moorland of North Yorkshire, Malham Tarn is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer and otter.

If you have time, you may also want to stroll down towards Malham Cove, which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

In the nearby Malham village, you can also take a trail which leads to the waterfall of Janet’s Foss. This lovely route curves through ancient woodland, which is typically carpeted with bluebells in spring.

4. Dunstanburgh, Northumberland

One of the many hidden gems of Northumberland, Dunstanburgh is the perfect place if you need to escape the noise and bustle of the city.

The area’s rugged coastline gives spectacular views and history enthusiasts are sure to be impressed at the spectacle of the 14th century Dunstanburgh Castle, which has seen many fierce battles over the years.

You may also want to take the time to visit the pristine beaches of Embleton Bay, just a few miles up the coast, which is a beautiful sight in late spring and early summer. If you’re lucky, you may even see seals playing just off the shore.

5. South Downs Way, East Sussex

If you want a more laid-back walk, then you can do no better than by following the South Downs Way from Lewes to Ditchling. The trail is a beautiful route, taking you past Tudor mansions and quaint villages, which sit between the area’s gently sloping chalk hills.

The South Downs is also a great spot for nature lovers, as you can see a variety of animals such as skylarks, otters, and even some rare species of bats.

If at any point you need a rest, the area boasts a variety of cosy pubs which are perfect to stop at and grab a bite to eat while you take in the scenic views of the countryside.

6. Buttermere, Lake District

While the Lake District is famous for its mountains and difficult trails, there are a variety of walks to appeal to all sorts of walkers. One of the most enjoyable is the relatively level walk around one of the region’s most beautiful lakes, Buttermere.

Surrounded by rolling green fields and impressive fells, the lake has stunning natural views. As you walk, keep an eye out for the region’s ubiquitous sandpipers, which nest and lay their eggs in late spring and early summer.

The area also has several cafés in which you can stop and enjoy some refreshments, such as locally produced ice cream made from the area’s Ayrshire cattle.

7. Mam Tor, Peak District

The trail that leads from Castleton to Mam Tor is known as one of the most stunning parts of the Peak District. The route is suited for walkers of all abilities and is perfect for families with young children as the trail is not a difficult one.

Overlooking the picturesque village of Edale, the mountain has been a home for Britons since the bronze age and the crest of the peak was once home to an iron age hill fort. The surrounding area is also home to many scenic views, with green meadows punctuated by ancient hedgerows.

History enthusiasts may also want to take the time to visit Peveril Castle, a Norman fortress that dates back to the 11th century.

 

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