If you find you’ve eaten too much over the festive period, you could always get out and enjoy the beautiful British countryside and stretch your legs with friends and family. We usually publish a walk of the week on Wednesdays throughout the year covering town and county areas across Great Britain. We’ve just looked back at 2013 and found the top ten walks you’ve enjoyed reading about and trying out. See if any of these inspire you:
1. Fritham, New Forest: There are countless walks you can try around the lovely New Forest, but this one offers some woodland views, covers a typical New Forest plain, offers the chance of some deer and pony spotting – and starts and ends near The Royal Oak pub. What more could you ask for?
2. Studland, Ballard Point and Old Harry Rocks, Dorset: Equally enjoyable in summer and winter, but brace yourself for the wind when you reach Ballard Point. There are spectacular views across Christchurch Harbour, Swanage and over to the Isle of Wight on a clear day.
3. The Thames Path from Henley to Marlow: This particular trail starts in the mecca of modern rowing; Henley-on-Thames, home to Henley Royal Regatta and some of the most prestigious rowing clubs in the world. It is also one of the prettiest, picturesque stretches of river.
4. The Forest of Bere, Hampshire: The Forest of Bere is fondly known as the 100 Acre Woods and is a firm favourite to stretch the legs, don the wellingtons and walk off the inevitable excesses of Sunday (or Christmas) lunch.
5. Jane Austen’s house and the Chawton loop: We celebrated the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with this walk starting from her former home in Chawton, Hampshire.
6. Parwich, Fenny Bentley and Tissington: Explore the Peak District with this eight and a half mile loop.
7. Aspley Woods, Bedfordshire: Aspley Woods also known as Brickhill woods is a large stretch of woodland found between Woburn and Woburn Sands in Bedfordshire. Due to its miles of bridleways suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding and its close proximity to London it has become a very popular outdoor activity destination.
8. Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park, Edinburgh: Holyrood Park is in an excellent central location at the bottom of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. It is perfectly situated to be included in a day of sight-seeing, as surrounding it is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Queen’s official Scottish residence; Scottish Parliament and the Dynamic Earth museum.
9. Box Hill, Surrey: A view that stretches for 26 miles. That is a pretty impressive statement, one that can only really be confirmed if you have seen and marvelled at it yourself. Give it a go!
10. Pride and Prejudice revisited at Lyme Park: The second walk related to Jane Austen to make the top ten. Relive the iconic moment that Colin Firth’s Darcy emerged from the lake at Pemberley in the BBC1 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.