Malvern Hills
Begin Chace EndFinish North HillDistance/time 9.Three miles/5 hoursRefuel The Purple Lion, Malvern
Strolling your complete size of the Malvern Hills in both path – heading north from Chace Finish or south from North Hill – is to not be handled flippantly. It’s 9 miles of undulating ridge which may really feel uncovered even on the mildest of days and there’s a deal extra “upping and downing” than you would possibly count on. And, after all, it isn’t round; you’ll want transport at every finish. However you’ll be able to break it into good bite-sized chunks to go well with, as there are many escape routes again to the pubs of Worcestershire and Herefordshire for a warming midwinter dram. The Nags Head in Nice Malvern is without doubt one of the hottest watering holes on the northern stretch; cask ales, open fires, all of the necessities.
Individuals have been having fun with these hills for recreation since William Langland immortalised the view as “a good subject full of people” in his Center English epic Piers Plowman. Now an Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence (AONB), that designation and Elgar’s elegant musical advert marketing campaign for the hills means you’re unlikely to have them to your self.
However that’s not such a nasty factor. Ramblers GB, of which I’m delighted to be president, has themed its Pageant of Winter Walks (runs until the top of January) across the thought of combating loneliness and selling the psychological well being advantages of strolling. Include a pal, or perhaps come and make some new ones alongside this journey by means of the guts of a lot mythologised and maligned “Center England”.• Through the Pageant of Winter Walks, Ramblers teams throughout the nation are providing tons of of free walks of various lengths and problem ranges. Discover a winter stroll close to you at Stuart Maconie, DJ, TV and radio presenter and writer
Shropshire Hills

Lengthy Mynd close to Church Stretton. {Photograph}: Jane Williams/Alamy
Begin & end Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre Distance/time 6 miles/3½ hours
Pack soup, cheese and a replica of How To See Nature by the Bard of Wenlock Edge and Guardian diarist Paul Evans. Begin with tea on the Discovery Centre and test the really helpful figure-of-eight route heading to and from Flounder’s Folly on Callow Hill.
The trail leads over river meadows, down empty lanes, then steeply up by means of muddy woods to Wenlock Edge itself. Evans has seen polecats, even a pine marten up right here, however all we see is a fox, and kestrels mewing as a chilly entrance pushes in.
Excessive on the ridge, we sip our soup beneath the previous crab apple timber beside the 25-metre stone tower. The Welsh borders are unfold to the west, the spires and fields of the Midland plains to the east. You possibly can see Coalbrookdale, the place the commercial revolution obtained going, and past it Birmingham. These are AE Housman’s “blue-remembered hills”, his “land of misplaced content material”.
It’s a straightforward introduction to the unappreciated Shropshire uplands. More difficult could be to cross the heather moorland of the Lengthy Mynd to the mysterious Stiperstones hill and its burial mounds, or comply with the entire Shropshire Manner.
We make do with a stroll again, selecting mistletoe and looking out ahead to a pint and heat pud on the centre.John Vidal, former Guardian surroundings editor and writer of McLibel: Burger Tradition on Trial
Nettleton Valley, Lincolnshire Wolds

Quickly after daybreak close to Nettleton. {Photograph}: Martin Probert/Alamy
Begin & end NettletonDistance/time 6 miles/Three hoursRefuel Salutation Inn, Nettleton or Blacksmith’s Arms, Rothwell
Winter is an effective time for strolling the Wolds: there’s much less livestock, fewer ramblers on the favored routes, and on clear days the huge blue skies and sharp winds give an exhilarating really feel of escape.
This route takes you up among the many hills and valleys of the north-west scarp. It’s riddled with previous ironstone mines, and business washes up the scrubby slopes, leaving frequent and poignant scars.
Beginning at Nettleton (on the A46 close to Caistor, and in addition accessible by bus), stroll south by means of the village and previous the ochre-coloured ironstone church, selecting up the Viking Manner, which leads up a farm observe, and over a stile to the east facet of Nettleton Beck. This path takes you the size of Nettleton Valley, by means of boggy open fields and low, tussocky hills that trace at a higher wilderness.
In winter tear-shaped swimming pools of shadow tinged with frost lie within the landslips that contour the valley, whereas the uplands are lined with rows of wind-shaped hawthorns. Midway alongside the valley, the trail does a dogleg by means of a gate and right into a newish wooden, wherein lurk the sealed-off tunnels of the ironstone mines that have been closed in 1968. Digging for ironstone was a harmful enterprise (the native press referred to the mine as “that gloomy cavern of catastrophe”) however created a neighborhood.
Nettleton nonetheless has the texture of a pit village. The Lincolnshire Wolds are a lesson in geology as future, with chalk and limestone, clay and sandstone figuring out the character of adjoining communities and economies. On the finish of the valley, flip proper on the bridleway and proper once more on Normanby Highway, a quiet street with previous sheep-driving verges that runs north previous Nettleton Prime.
That is the best space of the Wolds, with views of distant energy stations that appear like large toy trains, the white bones of the Humber Bridge and – when you have timed the stroll proper – the stub of Lincoln Cathedral rising darkish in opposition to an infinite orange twilight.
Coming down the hill, you move a parking lot and nature reserve. Lengthen the stroll by following a permissive path from right here, across the high of Nettleton Hill, after which again to the village. Keep to the left of the sphere on the ultimate descent to Nettleton, till you hit a line of hawthorns, and comply with that right down to the trail behind the Previous Parsonage. The appropriate facet of the sphere is boggy, and can have your boots.
There’s a selection of pubs. In Nettleton, the Salutation Inn is a pleasant, easy pub that does steak; a couple of miles again on to the Wolds at Rothwell, the extremely rated Blacksmith’s Arms has pigeon breast, whitebait and native meat on the menu, and an open hearth.Will Cohu, writer of Out of the Woods and Nothing However Grass
North Norfolk coast

Cley subsequent the Sea’s windmill from throughout the marshes. {Photograph}: Brian Harris/Alamy
Begin/end WivetonDistance/time 10 miles/Four hoursRefuel The Bell, Wiveton
A shoreline of horizontal traces, olive-hued marshes and a grey-brown sea can appear underwhelming should you’re acquainted with the bombast of coastal Cornwall or Pembrokeshire. However the north Norfolk coast has a refined attraction that seeps into you want creek-water at excessive tide.
Cley subsequent the Sea is the epicentre of this more and more gentrified coast however irrespective of what number of guests descend, you will discover wild and empty area on the marshes past.
This stroll takes you into the unpeopled uplands earlier than becoming a member of the well-walked Norfolk coast path. Begin from Wiveton village automotive park, handily positioned for its upmarket pub, The Bell, by an previous flint church. Take the quiet lane instantly left of the automotive park and head in the direction of Wiveton Downs, turning proper on the hilltop to take a path north-west in the direction of the ocean. Somewhat little bit of elevation goes a great distance in such a flat panorama and there are sweeping coastal views. After crossing a B-road and following the wiggling path round mysterious Kettle Hill, cross the coast street and descend to the marsh-edge. Observe the Norfolk coast path eastwards to Blakeney’s fairly harbour and on to the favored loop across the marshes to Cley. The Blakeney Freshes – freshwater marshes on the fitting – are famed for barn owls and wading birds however the winter spotlight are the geese. Nice skeins of overwintering pink-footed and Brent geese commute between fields and marshes, their calls echoing, emissaries from the frozen north.
Refuel at Cley’s George Resort, earlier than turning proper onto the coast street, taking the primary left on a quiet lane again to Wiveton, and the heat of its pub.Patrick Barkham, writer of Islander: A Journey Round Our Archipelago
Beaumaris, Anglesey

Trwyn Du Lighthouse and Puffin Island, Anglesey. {Photograph}: GAPS/Getty Pictures
Begin & end Beaumaris Inexperienced automotive parkDistance/time 9 miles/4½ hours Refuel The Bull in Beaumaris
You start with one of many best views in Wales, wanting throughout the Menai Strait in the direction of Snowdonia. There could also be unhealthy climate brewing within the Satan’s Kitchen, however on a transparent day, you’ll be able to select particular person crags and contours within the mountains. The island’s mild is magical in the best way it performs on stone and water, and the views shift and alter, minute by minute, hour by hour.
With the crumpled ramparts of Edward I’s citadel to your left, comply with the inexperienced till you see the coastal stroll indicators. These will information you the entire manner, however it’s value checking the tide instances as in a couple of locations the best tides can pinch on the fringe of the path. One of many joys of this stroll is the way you’re by no means removed from stressed water. Maintain an eye fixed out for dolphins and porpoises.
In Friars Bay, oystercatchers dabble within the mud, whereas past on the mainland are the curving summits of Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn. Following the shore will convey you to the stranded boulders of Lleiniog seaside, after which to Penmon and its wondrous cluster of sacred and curious dwellings.
The dovecote is one among my favourites, with its octagonal cupola and stone staircase main up into the air, the place on spring days you’ll be able to really feel as should you’re standing among the many swifts and swallows.
Throughout the best way is Saint Seiriol’s Properly. There’s a vespers hush to it, the quiet solemnity of a spot that has been holy since lengthy earlier than the Celtic saints, and even the druids. Deliver your needs, and whisper them quietly among the many historical stones. The water has, they are saying, therapeutic powers.
Additional on is the lighthouse of Trwyn Du, the place you’ll be able to look throughout at Ynys Seiriol (Puffin Island) – as soon as topped by an anchorite’s hut – and past it to the Nice Orme.
There’s a sense of abrasion and growth right here, islands splintering into islands, mountains lingering into promontories, mild falling on to the ocean and shattering into little eternities. It’s no marvel this was a spot favoured by saints and holy males and hermits.
You possibly can return the best way you got here or minimize inland. Both manner, cease in at The Bull in Beaumaris, which has been welcoming footsore travellers for greater than 400 years and provides scrumptious meals, an open hearth and a high quality choice of Welsh ales. Tristan Hughes. His newest novel is Hummingbird
Gower peninsula, Swansea

Paviland Cave, close to Rhossili. {Photograph}: Jeff Tucker/Alamy
Begin & end Rhossili automotive parkDistance/time 7 miles, Four hoursRefuel The Worm’s Head Resort
It’s 1823 within the bowels of the Gower Peninsula’s Paviland Cave, and the Reverend William Buckley is making a discovering that’s past the realms of his beliefs. He has discovered a skeleton dyed purple with ochre, dripping in necklaces manufactured from seashells, and surrounded by ritually organized bones, antlers, and ivory rods. He notes with curiosity, that the cranium is lacking.
Reverend Buckley, the primary professor of geology at Oxford College, declared this the physique of a Roman prostitute or a witch. The religious Christian couldn’t conceive of any human stays surviving the Nice Flood, and the headless Purple Woman of Paviland, as Buckland named her, might scarcely dispute in any other case. What we now know is that “she” is the truth is a “he”, that the stays are some 30,000 years previous, relationship from a interval when the cave was 70 miles inland. Buckland had found what remains to be the oldest ceremonial burial website in western Europe.
In the present day the stays are housed in Oxford College’s Museum of Pure Historical past, however if you wish to indulge your inside caveman, park at Rhossili city automotive park and comply with the wild Gower Method to first move the Worm’s Head peninsula, then the Fall and Mewslade bays, until you finally spherical on a pathway main instantly right into a steep gully. Be warned: the pear-shaped opening to Paviland can solely safely be approached from beneath at low tide. It’s a committing scramble over the cliff-top at different instances, and you have to a security rope and climbing expertise.
Full the loop again to Rhossili inland through the dual hamlets of Pilton and Pitton and revel in a pint of Gower Gold within the Worm’s Head Resort with an epic view throughout Rhossili Bay, or pre-ice age savannah in case your creativeness can stretch.Will Millard, presenter of BBC 4’s Hidden Wales and writer of The Previous Man and the Sand Eel
Stonor, Chilterns

Turville village and Cobstone Windmill past. {Photograph}: Caroline Jones/Alamy
Begin/end StonorDistance/time 5 miles/2 hoursRefuel Bull and Butcher, Turville
Poet and novelist Edward Thomas had a stunning phrase for the Chilterns: “wooded on their crests and within the hollows, not very excessive, however shapely”. A extra mundane response is perhaps that these best of all beech woods are lower than an hour’s drive up the M40 from London, really easy to get to from the capital – though it’s even higher if, like me, you occur to dwell in the midst of them.
One in every of my favorite native walks begins at Stonor. Taking the Chiltern Manner, you climb quickly above the deer park, in all probability with a couple of purple kites circling overhead in case you don’t make it to the pub. It was shut by, on the Getty property in 1989, that the species was reintroduced to England after their extinction.
From up right here you not solely have a high quality view of Stonor Home – properly preserved because the Reformation as a result of the Catholic household that has all the time owned it have been marginalised and subsequently unable to rebuild or enhance – but additionally of the prehistoric stone circle that provides the home its identify.
A brisk tramp brings you out on the picturesque village of Turville, acquainted to viewers of The Vicar of Dibley and residential to the fairly glorious Bull And Butcher pub.
In my ebook The Inexperienced Highway into the Bushes, I travelled throughout England in quest of, amongst different issues, the right pie. However on the proof of the pies right here, I needn’t have bothered leaving residence. They’re all do-it-yourself and embrace that uncommon factor, a suet-based steak and kidney pudding. Heaven. And when you have any power left after that, you’ll be able to all the time run up the hill to the windmill the place they filmed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.Hugh Thomson, writer of The Inexperienced Highway into the Bushes: a Stroll by means of England
Shoreham, Kent

Leaving Romney Avenue, heading again in the direction of Shoreham. {Photograph}: Adam McCulloch
Begin & end Shoreham stationDistance/time 7 miles/Four hoursRefuel Ye Olde George, Shoreham
The chalk downs of the Darent Valley possess an austere magnificence in winter, their grassy slopes revealing wide-angle views to the Thames estuary, London and the forested Greensand Ridge to the south. SSSIs point out a treasured biodiversity, and there’s a shocking sense of solitude on this figure-of-eight stroll, which takes in a secret valley, beech woods, and a superb previous village. And it begins from a practice station, Shoreham, that’s simply an hour from London Blackfriars.
Practically reverse, a path units off as much as the valley’s japanese rim. Take the path main south to Fackenden Down by means of scattered yews, swimming pools of darkness on the chalky slope, and shortly passing between hedgerows festooned with winter berries: rose hips, spindle, buckthorn, dogwood and hawthorn. Climb steeply up the hillside, with views over Otford to Knole and Westerham. On the high, quiet Rowdow Lane brings you to a path heading east by means of the majestic beeches of Nice Wooden. This opens out on secluded Magpie Backside, a fascinating rural panorama with a indifferent really feel – not a high quality you’d count on this near the M25. Head north to Romney Avenue, a hamlet with views to glinting Canary Wharf, 20 miles distant.
Return west to Shoreham, recrossing the rewilded glories of the now steeper Magpie Backside valley (nature has had its manner with the golf course that closed right here in 2015), then by means of fields to muddy Dunstall Farm. Late within the day, the hoots of owls would possibly accompany your descent by means of magical Dunstall Woods again to the village.
Head previous the station to the 16th-century Ye Olde George, reverse the flint church, the place after an ale, it’s time for the shorter half two. Enter a softer world right here, painted with dazzling luminosity by 19th-century rustic romanticist Samuel Palmer. A path alongside the River Darent takes you to Mill Lane and a route as much as the western rim of the valley to walk by means of Meenfield Woods earlier than ingesting within the vista from the open grassland above Filston Lane. With its oasthouses, water meadows, copses and hedgerows the scene right here is sort of a youngsters’s ebook illustration of the English countryside. Return to Shoreham on the decrease hillside path.Adam McCulloch, writer of, the place full particulars of this stroll might be discovered
Burwash Weald, East Sussex

Dawn after snowfall in Burwash. {Photograph}: Robert Harding/Alamy
Begin & end The Wheel Inn, Burwash WealdDistance/time 7 miles/Four hoursRefuel The Wheel Inn, Burwash Weald, or The Bear Inn, Burwash Village
Setting off from the Wheel Inn in Burwash Weald, this round stroll takes you eastwards alongside a ridge-top bridleway. Mossy banks are smattered with puffball mushrooms in winter, and to the facet the land sweeps down right into a mosaic of coppice-edged pastures initially cleared by the smallholders who drove their pigs down from the flanks of the South Downs to feast on acorns in autumn.
This seasonal migration created the distinctive Wealden small fields, scattered settlements and sunken, slender droveways lined with banks that brim with wildflowers in summer season.
Cross into an orchard of low-boughed, gnarly apple timber and stroll previous a superb Heath Robinsonesque treehouse. On the finish of the sphere, cease on the footbridge for a fast recreation of Pooh sticks (the close by Ashdown Forest impressed Milne’s books) earlier than arising into the gorgeous village of Burwash. The Bear Inn is an effective pit cease.
From Burwash, the stroll heads downhill throughout extra fields and previous one of many many native ponds, relics of the area’s ironworking historical past, which formed the panorama for two,000 years. Iron was extracted from the sandstone and smelted in bloomery furnaces fuelled by wooden the encircling coppices.
Move the spectacular Bateman’s, as soon as residence to Rudyard Kipling, earlier than circling a mill pond and getting into a muddy valley, or gill. Clearing the boggy riverside and crossing a number of fields, the trail climbs up into a bigger space of historical woodland, the place you would possibly spot deer.
The ultimate leg crosses a small gill river with vivid rusty sandstone rocks, and the leads again as much as your recharging level on the pleasant Wheel Inn, which serves first rate pub meals and Harvey’s ale. Lulah Ellender, writer of Elisabeth’s Lists
Beaminster, Dorset

Waddon Hill, wanting south in the direction of the West Dorset Heritage Coast. {Photograph}: Christina Bollen/Alamy
Begin & end BeaminsterDistance/time 7 miles/Three hoursRefuel The Ollerod, Beaminster, or New Inn, Stoke Abbott
The small picture-perfect city of Beaminster lies in a bowl-shaped valley and on the head of the River Brit within the midst of a few of the most stunning countryside in West Dorset. The inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s Emminster in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the city, six miles north of Bridport, was as soon as a centre for Dorset’s wool business.
The close by Jurassic Coast, with its coastal path, is well-documented, however inland, walkers can uncover enchanting, hidden nation tracks and bridleways, together with the Wessex Ridgeway Path. Beaminster is the right start line for a lot of of them.
Head for The Sq. and on alongside Church Avenue and Shorts Lane to fulfill Stoke Highway. This results in the medieval hamstone village of Stoke Abbott, though footpaths might be substituted for the lane should you want.
The late countryside knowledgeable and author Ralph Wightman described the village as “an attractive place of deep lanes, orchards and previous homes with a church of quiet attraction”, and it nonetheless retains customs from way back resembling an early bell tolled 100 instances to waken the farming neighborhood.
The climate in Stoke Abbott, which nestles beneath Waddon Hill – an early iron-age fort with stays which have thrown up varied “treasures” now to be discovered within the Bridport Museum – appears all the time sunny.
Passing Anchor Cottage, a pretty holloway ascends the hill’s steep flanks. From the ridge of its summit, there are panoramic views throughout the valley to the ocean within the south, to the pyramid type of Gerrard’s Hill within the east and west over the undulating panorama to the beech woods of Lewesdon Hill. That is one other iron age hillfort and the best level in Dorset, at 279 metres.
Dip right down to the Wessex Ridgeway, with a quarry to the left, and on to Chart Knolle Farmhouse, the place a footpath cuts again to the village and the New Inn, which can welcome you with a mouth-watering Dorset ploughman’s and a quaff of native cider.Tanya Bruce-Lockhart, director of the Bridport Literary Pageant
The Mendips, Somerset

The Queen Victoria Inn in Priddy Wells, Somerset. {Photograph}: John Joannides/Alamy
Begin & end Deerleap carparkDistance/time 6½ miles/ 3½hoursRefuel Queen Victoria Inn, Priddy
From the southern escarpment of the Mendip Hills, the bottom falls away and the Somerset Ranges open out beneath, with Glastonbury Tor peeping out like a magical island within the winter mist.
No marvel so lots of our ancestors selected to construct their hillforts and sacred websites right here. Beginning at Deerleap automotive park the stroll heads down into the depths of Ebbor Gorge, wooded and way more secretive than its cousin at Cheddar. The chasm was created when an enormous cavern collapsed 200,000 years in the past. Take time to discover the various palaeolithic caves that may be discovered dotted across the greater slopes. Climb again out to comply with the well-signed Monarch’s Method to Truthful Woman Properly, the location of Roman lead mines. The lead was used for all kinds of issues, together with aqueduct piping, pewter bowls, coffins and guttering for villas.
The workings have now flooded to develop into a collection of wetland ponds wealthy with wildlife. A you head greater, the Priddy 9 Barrows stand proud upon North Hill. This line of big grave mounds date from the bronze age and supply excellent views.
You’re near Priddy village now, residence of the Queen Victoria Inn, with actual ales and roaring fires. There are a number of choices for the brief return leg, however the best is alongside Pelting Drove to Deerleap, having fun with the perfect sundowner view in Somerset.Daniel Begin is writer of the Wild Information to South West England
Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

The Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor. {Photograph}: Philip Sharp/Alamy
Begin & end Hurlers automotive park, Minions villageDistance/time 3½ miles/1½ hoursRefuel The Cheesewring Resort or Minions tea rooms
What higher time of 12 months for a bracing, cobweb-clearing stroll throughout the moors? Wrap up tight, benefit from the crunch of frost underfoot and revel within the sweeping views in the direction of Plymouth Sound and Dartmoor. Author Wilkie Collins wrote of the “majestic loneliness” of Bodmin Moor when he visited in 1850, and at first look this does appear a desolate, inhospitable panorama. However look carefully and the moor is a script ready to be learn.
This brief stroll reveals over 5 millennia of human exercise in one of many UK’s few remaining wild locations.
Just a few steps from the automotive park is a bunch of three stone circles. The very best-preserved, the Hurlers, dates again at the very least 3,000 years. Stroll into the center of this circle of upright stones, which in response to legend are native folks turned to stone for taking part in sport on the Sabbath. Simply past, the distinctive bumps and hollows that rise and fall throughout the moor are proof of later human exercise – mining. The hollows are the pits, dug by hand, and the bumps are the piles of spoil thrown up beside them. Pure streams washed the copper and tin from the ore and made the fortunes of the fortunate ones.
On the stroll’s midway level is a wierd rock formation often known as the Cheesewring. Up shut it appears like an enormous recreation of Jenga. Extra native folklore desires us to consider it’s the results of a giants’ rock-throwing contest. However it is a pure geological phenomenon – the results of tens of millions of years of wind, rain, frost and snow eroding the encircling softer rocks to go away a curious form on the horizon which John Betjeman as soon as described as like “large nodding mushrooms”.
Move past the Cheesewring to squeeze by means of a spot that appears extra prefer it belongs in Monument Valley than Cornwall and also you’ll stand earlier than the towering edifice of an previous granite quarry. Now abandoned, apart from the noisy ravens circling overhead, it equipped the stone for Tower Bridge, the Albert Memorial and the docks in Kolkata.• Full stroll route at discoveringbritain.orgCaroline Millar, mission supervisor, Discovering Britain
Forest of Bowland, Lancashire

A lonely street excessive on the Bowland Fells. {Photograph}: Stephen Fleming/Alamy
Begin & end Wray village automotive park at Bridge Farm Home TearoomsDistance/time 10 miles/5 hoursRefuel Bridge Home Farm Tearooms or George and Dragon, Wray
Strolling alongside Harterbeck beside the Roeburn speeding over rocks beneath its wooded cliff, it’s exhausting to think about that the Wray flood of 1967 destroyed stone cottages within the village. Greater, past the timber, strike left at Alcock’s Farm for a footbridge over Hunts Gill Beck and emerge on Helks Forehead, turning proper between its excessive hedgerows to realize top. Cross the primary cattle grid and also you’re in a unique world.
Hedgerows are changed by stone partitions. Moorland expands to the south. Up right here it’s silent and empty – the place I come to clear my head. Behind you, the Lake District hills are drawn blue on the horizon round to the Howgills within the north; within the north-east the Three Peaks stand proud above the intricate busyness of distant fields and farms and roads. Forward is a mass of excessive fells.
A lot of Bowland is moorland and, though open entry, just isn’t simple strolling, as names like Thick Sod Holes and Sunken Delves recommend. However don’t count on a sighting of the emblematic chook of this AONB, the hen harrier: the moors should not managed for his or her profit, however for grouse. On the Summersgill signal, drop down beside wild woodland becks and waterfalls to cross the younger Hindburn at Stairend Bridge.
After Ivah hamlet and Lowgill village, cross Croasdale Beck the place a pointy proper behind Mill Bridge Barn will take you to the tranquillity of the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Then it’s uphill once more and on to Fairheath Highway so far as Little Plantation for the footpath in entrance of Thimble Corridor throughout to 4 Rating Acres and right down to Millhouses. Fifty metres up Trinket Lane, a stone stile in your left leads you thru a website of particular scientific curiosity (SSSI), over a footbridge and on to Hindburn Bridge. Cross the street for a concessionary path again to Wray. The confluence of Roeburn and Hindburn lies behind the tearoom’s willow labyrinth.Jane Routh, poet and writer of Falling into Place about this space
Howardian Hills, North Yorkshire

Hovingham Park. {Photograph}: FLPA/Alamy
Begin & end SkewsbyDistance/time 9½ miles (brief cuts out there)/4½ hoursRefuel Park Café, Hovingham Bakery and Rolling Pin Cafe
This stroll begins with a little bit of a thriller. On a lane close to the village of Skewsby, about 12 miles north of York, a wierd turf maze sits on a broad grassy verge. It’s not a type of find-your-way-out hedge mazes, quite a geometrical design minimize into the turf. Some say that the so-called Metropolis of Troy maze is historical, even pre-Roman; others assume a Victorian vicar made it from a design he noticed in a newspaper. Nobody actually is aware of.
In case you’re beginning right here – this stroll is round, so it might additionally start within the villages of Coulton or Hovingham – park close by and take the footpath down the facet of the adjoining subject, heading roughly north-east. On the finish of the sphere bear left down a holloway that passes by means of pretty woods and copses.
Proceed north with Maidensworth Wooden in your left earlier than turning proper by means of a gate and heading roughly east-north-east, passing by means of the hamlet of Coulton after which Horse Coppice, an historical oak woodland, all the best way to the gorgeous village of Hovingham.
There’s cafe right here, the Park, with newspapers on stripped wood tables, pleasant service and good espresso. Additional into the village there’s the Cricketer’s bar within the Worsley Arms Resort serving York ham and pints, plus the Hovingham Bakery and Rolling Pin cafe (high quality mince pies) by the stream. It is a great spot to take a seat out in good climate, and the beginning of an alternate loop across the village, taking in views of Hovingham Corridor, a Palladian mansion relationship again to the 18th century.
Retrace your steps by means of Horse Coppice earlier than reducing away to your left and reaching a collection of lanes – Scackleton, Grange and Inexperienced – that return you to the start line. Kevin Rushby, Guardian journey author
Druridge Bay Nation Park, Northumberland

Druridge Bay seaside. {Photograph}: Stephen Brian/Alamy
Begin & end Druridge Bay Nation ParkDistance/time 8.Four miles/3½ hoursRefuel The Drift Café, Cresswell
Guests to Northumberland often head for the north of the county, for the castles and wild surroundings of Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, however my favorite winter stroll is additional south, alongside the large sweep of Druridge Bay with Coquet Island at its northernmost tip. I prefer it finest on clear, icy mornings when each reed and blade of grass is roofed in frost, and the sunshine is pink and gray.
Go away your automotive at Druridge Bay Nation Park and take the footpath in the direction of the seaside. This crosses one other observe, which leads south to the subsidence swimming pools managed by the Northumberland Wildlife Belief. A financial institution of dunes separates the observe from the seaside. The swimming pools might be to your proper, hidden by timber and bushes, however should you comply with the birders with their binoculars and telescopes to the hides that look out over the water, you should have good views of the waterfowl.
Past the swimming pools the observe hits a street that leads from the inland village of Widdrington to Cresswell. The street has no pavement, so it’s extra nice to cross the dunes to the seaside and proceed south alongside that. The shore is dramatic in stormy climate when the breakers roll in however beautiful too in low winter sunshine, when the sunshine catches the pale sanderling, little wading birds that scurry alongside the tideline like mechanical toys.
By the general public carpark at Cresswell Boat Membership is the Drift Café. That is dog-friendly and fabulous, frequented by locals and well-known for its residence baking and breakfasts. After a cease right here, you’ll be prepared for the stroll again alongside the seaside to the Nation Park.Ann Cleeves, writer of the Vera Stanhope crime novel collection
Solway Firth, Cumbria

Sundown at Drumburgh nationwide nature reserve. {Photograph}: Samuel Mossop/Alamy
Begin & end DrumburghDistance/time 5¾ miles/Three hoursRefuel Highland Laddie Inn, Glasson
A lot of those that try and stroll your complete Hadrian’s Wall nationwide path might be acquainted with the Solway Firth, which divides England from Scotland. Few will discover past this well-trodden pathway, but this AONB, with its mixture of sea, sand, wildlife reserves and historic monuments, actually packs in all of the elements for a major winter wander.
Beginning within the small hamlet of Drumburgh – residence to a “citadel” (now a non-public dwelling) in-built 1307 from stone taken from adjoining Hadrian’s Wall – it is a cracking round stroll.
Following the trail of the identical identify because the well-known Roman partition, head south-west, alongside the trackbed of a former steam railway line. Leaving the nationwide path on the crossroads, proceed straight on to skirt the Drumburgh Moss nature reserve, residence to wetland crops resembling sphagnum moss and sundew, in addition to assorted chook life together with purple grouse, short-eared owl, reed bunting and curlew.
Stick with it to succeed in a street, past which is the meandering River Wampool, which is residence to wild otters – search for pawprints within the mud. Flip proper and comply with the minor street earlier than turning proper twice extra to finish up on Mill Lane heading in the direction of Glasson and the pleasant Highland Laddie Inn, a warming place to cease for a pint or plate of scorching meals.
Past Glasson, on the fundamental street you’ll be able to flip proper to go again to Drumburgh, however higher to first proceed straight on alongside the tough path to Raven Financial institution, for views over the Solway Firth itself.Phoebe Smith, writer of the Wilderness Cookbook
Purple Tarn, Lake District

Walkers heading for Purple Tarn. {Photograph}: Jamie Smith/Alamy
Begin & end GlenriddingDistance/time 6-7 miles/4-5 hoursRefuel Travellers Relaxation
This a round route as much as the long-lasting Purple Tarn, one among just a few historical glacial tarns in England. Purple Tarn just isn’t solely stunningly stunning, enclosed at 718 metres by Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, however is nationally important due to the schelly fish, an historical species that has survived in simply 4 tarns within the Lake District.
On the shores of the tarn you may be surrounded by panorama options carved out over 1000’s of years by ice age glaciers. It’s a easy route with beautiful surroundings.
The stroll begins and finishes within the village of Glenridding – the place there are outlets, cafes, pubs and ample parking – on the shores of Ullswater. It’s a brief stroll previous the Glenridding campsite to the bottom of Mires Beck, the place the trail then runs parallel up into the fells alongside the stream and banks proper onto Birkhouse Moor.
After this steep begin, the trail ranges off, following what’s affectionately often known as the Nice Wall of Glenridding – it’s a number of miles lengthy and stretches deep into the fells.
The Gap within the Wall is the following cease the place the fantastic Helvellyn crags, Swirral and Striding Edge, will develop into seen. Bear proper as the trail splits and also you’ll be on the Purple Tarn in lower than 10 minutes, and may cease for a packed lunch.
The journey down is easy: zig-zagging down the trail beside Purple Tarn Beck, heading by means of the small gate over the river and down Greenside Highway, you may be again within the village in two hours or so, and heading into the Travellers Relaxation, a low-beamed and panelled two-bar pub that serves glorious meals and native ales. Isaac Johnston, Glenridding ranger, the John Muir Belief
Coire Loch, Glen Affric, Highlands

Glenn Affric in mid-winter. {Photograph}: Craig Bevil/Alamy
Begin & end Canine Falls automotive parkDistance/time Four miles/2 hoursRefuel The Slater’s Arms, Cannich
Glen Affric’s magnificence lies in its lochs and its historical Caledonian pine forest, probably the most necessary and biologically various forest ecosystems within the UK.
The Coire Loch stroll is a circuit over undulating however not difficult floor. Take the A831 from the pleasant village of Beauly and journey up the more and more scenic Strathglass, which hugs the Beauly river, turns into the Glass on the confluence of the River Farrar, and winds on up the valley to the crossroads village of Cannich. The doorway to Glen Affric lies 1¼ miles additional upstream on the imposing hydro energy station of Fasnakyle.
The street is single observe and winds uphill by means of delicate groves of downy birch. The glen abruptly opens out and grand vistas of historical pines welcome you to what has been a nationwide nature reserve for a lot of a long time.
Observe the marked path downstream from Canine Falls automotive park. The River Affric plunges, brandy wine brown, by means of the darkish rock partitions of a slender gorge the place dippers and gray wagtails nest, over the falls in a surge of froth. Cross the footbridge and enter the forest.
Coire Loch is a small oval of darkish water surrounded by a grove of twisted and gnarled “granny” pines with rounded crowns. Climb the stepped path to a high quality previous sessile oak and sit for a couple of minutes. Little grebes work the bottle sedges on the loch edge and, in spring, 4 species of dragonfly, together with the spectacular golden-ringed, flicker over marsh with three species of sphagnum moss.
As you descend to the loch edge, be careful for Scottish crossbills working the pine cones within the crowns, and troops of siskins flooding noisily by means of. Right here, too, are uncommon and enchanting crested tits, which belong to the forest ecosystem, and in case you are fortunate you would possibly see a pine marten or a roe deer.
After some time the path joins a observe by means of extra historical forest and leads you again to the Canine Falls automotive park. John Lister-Kaye, founder-director of the Aigas Subject Centre close to Beauly. His newest ebook is The Dun Cow Rib, a Very Pure Childhood
Glen Rosa circuit, Isle of Arran

The trail goes alongside Glenrosa Water at one level. {Photograph}: David Robertson/Alamy
Begin Arran Heritage MuseumFinish Isle of Arran BreweryDistance/time 5.Three miles/Three hoursRefuel Isle of Arran Brewery
The Isle of Arran has all of it – a correct sense of escape, but easy-enough entry from Glasgow by practice and the 55-minute ferry journey to make it a superbly manageable day journey. The Highland Boundary Fault, which divides Lowlands from Highlands, slices throughout the island, giving it distinct landscapes in miniaturised type.
For the time-pushed and scenery-starved, the pleasant Glen Rosa circuit lies inside the Nationwide Scenic Space that covers the northern, or Highland, half of the island.
It provides the walker a way of remoteness and views of Arran’s craggy Corbetts (mountains between 2,500 and three,000 ft; Munros are over 3,000 ft). For this lower-level choice, take the signposted and well-maintained route from the Arran Heritage Museum north of Brodick.
This path leads by means of a forest path to the U-shaped Glen Rosa, alongside Glenrosa Water and into the glen, with panoramic views again to Brodick Bay and forward to Beinn Nuis. In case you’re feeling daring, there are some inviting swimming pools to take a dip in.
Return by the trail on the northern facet of Glenrosa Water, the place you’ll finish with the right reward – a refreshing Isle of Arran beer from the island’s very personal brewery. Richard Goslan, Glasgow-based author
The Falls of Falloch, Loch Lomond

A daybreak mist over Loch Lomond. {Photograph}: theasis/Getty Pictures
Begin & end The Drovers Inn, InverarnanDistance/time 2¼ miles/1 hour
On a beautiful December day, pearl sky turning gold within the morning solar, I set off from the Drovers. This well-known inn, a landmark of the West Highland Manner, is full of taxidermied animals: it one way or the other manages to be completely genuine and kitsch on the similar time.
Snow glittering on the hills is mirrored within the mirror-shard floor of close by Loch Lomond. I’m heading north, strolling beside the A82 on paths and grass verges. I’ve in my pack a flask of espresso and a replica of Dorothy Wordsworth’s Recollections of a Tour Made In Scotland. On 12 September 1803, she and her brother William handed this manner. They heard, she wrote, “the sound of torrents ascending out of the lengthy hole glen”.
That thrilling noise was the Falls Of Falloch. Simply off the A82 and well-signposted, the waterfall is gorgeous. A terrific gush of white water drops 10 metres right into a darkish pool from which a tree trunk juts just like the antler of some prehistoric stag. A viewing platform bears William Wordsworth’s celebrated comment that they need to name this place “the Vale of Terrible Sound”.
Throughout their Scottish journey, the Wordsworths loved such delicacies as “boiled sheep’s head – with the hair singed off”. Returning to the Drovers, you are able to do higher. Scotch broth adopted by mince and tatties is the lunch of traditionalists. The stroll to the falls and again in all probability isn’t lengthy sufficient to justify including apple crumble however what the heck – it’s the Christmas holidays.Peter Ross, writer of The Ardour of Harry Bingo: Additional Dispatches from Unreported Scotland
Glenarm Braes, County Antrim

The countryside of Glenarm Braes. {Photograph}: Garrett Carr
Begin Feystown, GlenarmFinish Glenarm villageDistance/time Four miles/1½ hoursRefuel Glenarm Citadel tea rooms
At solely 3pm the shadows of 12-metre tall timber stretch for over 50 metres. I head for the place symbols on the map point out steep inclines, hoping for satisfying strolling and good views. I get each. The play of sunshine and shadow on the distant Scottish headlands is definitely readable however the low winter solar leaves Glenarm valley in shadow.
Laborious issues – the roads, the rock partitions – have a shiny moist sheen from the final bathe whereas mushy issues – sheep, the fields – have been left darkish and weighty. Right now of 12 months bales of silage are stacked excessive and the ferns have lain down and turned copper brown. Christmas timber in entrance home windows are large and can usually have a view of the place they grew up.
You possibly can have a high quality, simple stroll sticking to the roads. There’s little visitors and I might not wish to have missed the farmer’s quad with three border collies on the again having fun with the trip. It’s also possible to go away the street and hike to Black Hill following a waymarked path between banks of gorse. Starlings winter right here and a murmuration briefly varieties overhead earlier than dispersing once more. The sinking mild has turned their ideas to roosting, and mine too.
The Gaelic phrase brae seems in lots of glen place names and means a steep manner. I comply with the City Brae Highway to Glenarm village. It has a few pubs, the Coast Highway Inn and the Bridge Finish Tavern, however should you want to eat, go to the tea rooms by Glenarm Citadel.Garrett Carr, writer of The Rule of the Land: Strolling Eire’s Border
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