Britain’s best Christmas walks

Keswick in the Lake District

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a long wintery walk in the countryside, says Carys Matthews. Wrap up warm and enjoy one of these scenic walks from BBC Countryfile Magazine – just don’t forget to pack some mince pies and a flask of tea for a festive snack.

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View from Mam Tor in the Peak District

Peak District

The hills of the Peak District are a walker’s paradise at any time of year, but in the winter months the rustic Derbyshire villages come alive with festive lights and roaring fires, making it a particularly special time to visit.

Hike through Winnats Pass to the top of the Mam Tor to look down on the bright lights of Castleton with the Castleton to Winnats Pass walk or the Mam Tor circular walk.

Complete this circular route to finish in a cosy café or country pub in Castleton and warm yourself by the fire.

For more walks, visit: www.visitpeakdistrict.com

Exmoor ponies

Devon

Head to the wilds of Exmoor National Park this Boxing Day to enjoy an amble across rugged moorland, sweeping coastal views and traditional villages. Check out Countryfile’s best Exmoor walks

The pretty village of Lynmouth in Devon sits on the edge of Exmoor National Park. Wander through ancient woodland along the East Lyn River to Watersmeet on Boxing Day to enjoy a warming mulled cider in the Rockford Inn.

The South West Coast path is gorgeous in the winter months, when the coastline takes on a cold, bleak beauty and the trails are quiet from summer tourists. Visit, www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk to plan your walk.

 

A hiker in Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park can be a winter wonderland with snow capped peaks providing a dramatic landscape. If you feel up to a challenge, climb Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdon during this seven-mile mountain walk.

Alternatively, blow away the Christmas indulgences with one of these 10 walking routes.

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Reindeer in the Cairngorms

Cairngorms

It doesn’t get much more festive than seeing the Cairngorm reindeer herd where you can enjoy feeding Britain’s only wild herd and learn about the species.

While you’re in the area, take a stroll through Glenmore Forest Park, which is perfect for wildlife spotting and offers panoramic Highland views.

For more walks in Scotland, take a look here.

The Lake District in winter

Lake District

The UK’s most visited national park is home to mountains, lakes, rivers and parkland. While it is heaves with visitors in the summer, come winter the landscape is peaceful, making it the perfect time to enjoy a wintery walk.

Walk beside high tarns and copper-mining relics to a magical fell-top vista in the Lake District National Park to climb to the top of Old Man Coniston.

For more walks, visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk.

Women walking in the countryside

Britain’s National Parks

If you’re after more walking ideas closer to home, visit www.nationaltrail.co.uk.

With 15 national parks across the UK, from the Scottish Highlands to the South West Coast path in Devon and Cornwall, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor space in Britain.

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Photos by Matt Heaton on Unsplash and Getty Images.