Work off a little of that turkey dinner on Christmas Day or Boxing Day this year by taking a winter walk through frosty landscapes and beautiful scenery. Here’s our top tips for where to go to soak in nature and enjoy the crisp weather.
Enjoy an invigorating walk across the Dunstable Downs this winter. Pass through beautiful countryside, iron age forts and burial mounds. More details can be found here: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunstable-downs-and-whipsnade-estate/trails/dunstable-downs-winter-walk
With specially selected shrubs and trees designed to provide vivid colour, textures and amazing scents, the gardens at The Anglesey Abbey come alive during the winter. The Himalayan Silver Birch Grove with brilliant white stems really stand out in the gardens. Pop along later in January to enjoy beautiful snowdrops. Visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/anglesey-abbey-gardens-and-lode-mill to find out more.
Follow the 23 mile circular Roach Valley Way for a real winter warmer of a walk. It passes through a variety of landscapes including the ancient woodlands of Hockley in the west and the coastal margins of the Roach and Crouch estuaries in the south and east. Download the guide here: http://fs-drupal-rochford.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/woodlands_walks_roach.pdf
Heartwood Forest might be famous for its beautiful bluebells in May, but there’s plenty of beauty to be found in the winter months. As the nation’s largest new native forest, there’s plenty of room for dogs to run around, kids to explore in the woods and build forts and for mum and dad to enjoy the views from atop the hill. There’s also free parking and The Wicked Lady Pub is just up to road for an after walk tipple or two. Visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk to find out more.
Park at Burgh Castle and take a walk along the River Yare and Breydon Water through to Great Yarmouth via Angles Way. Take a detour up to Burgh Castle Roman Fort by taking a left through the gate besides the church and then bear right across the field. On a clear day you’ll be able to see right across Burgh Castle Marshes with stunning blue sky views. The walk is only about 4.8 miles, but isn’t circular, so you’ll need to get the bus back to the start – or if you are feeling particularly energetic, then walk back!
For an easy wintertime meander, why not visit Framlingham Mere. With some of the best views of inland Suffolk, set in front of a beautiful ancient castle backdrop, this walk will help clear the cobwebs and if you are lucky, you’ll be able to spot some birds in the wet meadows. Just watch out for the mud. Come prepared with wellies and some warm clothes to wrap up in. Combine with a visit to the bustling market town, so you can stop off for a warming hot chocolate. Visit http://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/reserves/framlingham-mere to find out more
Article by Amanda French www.anoseforfood.com