If we didn’t already know it, Andy Williams confirmed that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. And what a time for a walk. With family and friends all together, ‘tis the season to wrap up, welly up and take your four-legged friends out for a stroll. Wherever you are in the UK there’s sure to be a good spot for a wander, not too far away.
London boasts a few famous parks in and around the centre, but if you want your walk to be epic, then it’s got to be Epping Forest. It’s the capital’s largest open space, covering almost six thousand acres and home to 50,000 ancient pollard trees and 100 lakes and ponds. At one of the four visitor centres, you’re certain to find the perfect route for your festive foray into the forest.
How about the coast at Christmas? Norfolkhas more than its share of beaches and plenty that make for a cracking Christmas ramble. If we had to pick one, it would be the huge expanse that is Holkham Beach. There’s usually plenty of parking and it’s just a short wander through the woods to the edge of the sand. From there, it’s a good long walk to the sea – especially if the tide’s out. It’s a huge hit with hounds and humans, especially over the festive period.
We love Wensleydalefor more than just cheese, as delicious as it is. Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, it boasts some pretty grate walks too. The Aysgarth Woods and Waterfalls route, only takes about 45 minutes, but it packs a lot in. Woods and waterfalls, obviously, but also birds and deer if you’re lucky and a view of Castle Bolton if it’s a clear day. At over 600 years old, it’s one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles. For stunning scenery and a little bit of history this December, try a Wensleydale winter walk.
Trust the National Trustto know a good spot for a stroll. Pembrokeshirein West Wales has some absolute gems and the Porthgain to Abereiddicoastal walk is an absolute belter. The four miles or so is part coastal and partly inland, but it’s fully stunning. With craggy cliffs, a lagoon and a dramatic valley it truly is an early Christmas present – for you, your family and your furry friends.
We may all dream of a white Christmas but Black Mountain, overlooking Belfast, is also a Christmas treat. There’s little more invigorating than climbing Divis and the Black Mountain to be rewarded with panoramic views of Belfast. So, wrap up warm, pop your walking boots on and go get an eyeful of winter at its most wonderful. And, don’t forget your canine companion.
It wouldn’t really be a winter walk in Scotland without a loch, so our last stop on this walkers’ tour of the UK is the majestic Lock Morlich. The loop offers stunning views of the northern Cairngorm mountains, which more than likely will have a dusting of snow. And these views, paired with the Glenmore Forest, are enough to convince you you’ve stepped straight through the wardrobe and into a magical land. It couldn’t be any more Christmassy if it tried.
Merry Christmas to you and your pet. We hope you enjoy the walks as much as we did.