Whether you’ve just finished opening your presents or you’ve gone into a food coma from eating one too many pigs in blankets, the best way to finish the festive period is a family walk in the most gorgeous and festive settings.
We understand that Christmas is a busy time of year, which is why we’ve compiled some of the best walks in each region, so no matter where you live you can still appreciate the great outdoors at Christmas.
So why should we be spending Christmas time walking? There is nothing more festive than taking your first steps outside and stepping onto crisp sheets of frost. Christmas day is the one day of the year where you can escape the chaos of the high street and spend quality time in the refreshing winter air.
As promised we have found some incredible scenic routes around Great Britain, so let’s craic on with Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland – The setting for Game of Thrones has the scenery to bring Westeros to life. If you’re a Belfast local then there’s no better place to spend your Christmas afternoon than on the Black Mountain. This 5-mile walk will fill your lungs and unveil panoramic views of the spectacular city. On clear days at the top of the 1,275 foot mountain you can even see Scotland far to the east.
Scotland – Arthur’s Seat tower's nearly a thousand feet above Edinburgh and the view from the summit shows a view of Edinburgh like no other. It takes a couple of hours to complete the three mile walk, but the long uphill stretches will help you burn of the copious amounts of turkey that you've challenged yourself to eat.
Wales – Wales is home to some incredible nature trails, but Great Orme in Llandudno catches the eye for many reasons. The Great Orme is known for being a place of complete mystery; its geological history dates back 350 million years and fossils litter the landscape. Take the kids and see if you can spot any records of ancient flora and fauna. The most popular trail offers two routes depending on your choice of distance. At the most you're facing four miles, so it's perfect for taking little hikers if you can tear them away from their toys.
North West – The Lake District is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream and it would be sinful to not to allocate our chosen North West walk to the area. Tarn Hows is one of the most visited routes in the Lake District, situated only two miles away from Coniston, and the beauty of this walk is its endless possibilities. Routes are numerous and you will never tire of the changing views. The range of options means you can find a distance that suits you. However most people can get around Tam Hows in a couple of hours. Backlit by waterfalls, wildlife and woodland, it’s the perfect setting for a winter ramble with the family.
North East – You’ll find Walbottle and Throckley Dene not far from the urban rush of Newcastle upon Tyne. The ancient woodland has roots stretching back 50 million years and makes for an ideal spot to explore with the family and dog (optional). The walk itself is under five miles but can be challenging if it has rained. Swap the Christmas music for the soundtrack of the flowing river and find some calm amongst the Christmas chaos.
The Midlands – Swap one battle (the threat of family boardgames) for a real historical battlefield. Bosworth Country Park is the site of one of the most significant usurpations in British history, but over the centuries it has become a beautiful setting for a relaxing festive walk. The Park has a wealth of historic value as well as open woodland settings, so it's a great place to let the kids run wild whilst you sneak some learning in under the radar.
South West – Cornwall is home to some of the most amazing beaches in the UK, so it would be wrong to not give them a mention. Quiet beaches and impressive coastal scenery make up the Roseland peninsula, known for being one of the few, truly unspoilt areas in the region. Roseland is definitely a gem in the crown of the UK. The picturesque scenes will make you forget all about the seasonal stress and the coastal breezes will be sure to relieve any unwanted post-party hangovers.
South East – Victoria park in South Hackney has 86 hectares just waiting for you to explore. It's known as the People’s park and it lives up to its name. So if you live nearby then get yourself there and check out the incredible setting. There are two playgrounds located on the park which makes it a perfect place to take the kids and let them burn off some steam. For the adults, the incredible Chinese Pagoda creates a stunning backdrop for next year's Christmas cards.
Hopefully you’re now fully prepared to liven up your Christmas Day. However if Father Christmas didn't bring you everything you need then we can help.