Walking is one of Britain's most loved pastimes. It's easy to understand why when you look at magnificent scenes like this one taken within the picturesque Yorkshire Dales.
For many of us, the countryside and the views that come with it are part of our day to day lives. As the weather warms up, it gives us the perfect opportunity to really explore what Mother Nature has to offer. With ancient woodland, rolling hills and breathtaking cliff tops decorating our countryside, we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a walking destination.
Here at In The Country, we have collated our top five country walks from across the nation and want to share these with you. With the added bonus of Spring's arrival, there has never been a better time to get out and about with nature. Our countryside is bursting with life, with wildflowers blooming, birds nesting and singing in the trees along with the delightful additions of newborn animals springing up in the fields up and down the country.
We'll start at five and work our way down to the coveted number one spot, culminating in the ultimate country walk this Spring.
5. Ilam Park and The Dovedale Stepping Stones. Nestled within the southern Peak District in Derbyshire, this walk starts at Ilam Park. This is a fairly short walk at only 1.5 miles and with this in mind it has the perfect makings of a family walk. Ilam Park has a National Trust car park, cafe and toilets. Dogs are welcome on this walk but it is important to ensure that they are under control at all times as there may well be livestock grazing throughout the route. There is lots of wildlife to be seen on this walk, if you keep a look out for it.
The walk culminates at the Stepping Stones, these were put into place back in the 19th century and have been a popular tourist attraction ever since, there are even fossils within the stones that are visible when crossing, The exact details of this walk are listed on the National Trust's website here.
4. The Stunning Seven Sisters.
Often hailed as the best walk in the South East, the dramatic Seven Sisters cliff walk is perfect for a sunny Sunday walk this Spring. As with all the walks featured here, there will almost always be a variety of luxurious pit-stops nearby for you to rest your weary eyes or put your feet up after a long day of walking and exploring. The full Seven Sisters route is a mammoth one, covering a whopping 13 and a half miles, but you'll be pleased to hear that there are shorter options with different starting points for you to choose from.
The incredibly famous white cliffs of the Seven Sisters located between Cuckmere Haven and Birling Gap are the main focal point on this route, there is also a bus route that runs along much of this walk allowing you to stop and start where and when you like. Bear in mind, due to the nature of this walk, there is a lot of climbing and downhill stages so it is advised that you should be fairly fit and able bodied before setting off on this one. There are also a number of opportunities for you to take a refreshing dip in the refreshing sea below. The iconic white cliffs of the Seven Sisters are thought to have been formed by glacier water which melted at the end of the last Ice Age. This water would have carved steep valleys within the landscape which would then have eroded to form the cliffs we see today.
3. Catbells, The Lake District. This walk was awarded second place by ITV's Britains Favourite Walks: Top 100, hosted by Julia Bradbury and Ore Odbuba. There are a number of routes listed on Walk Lakes' website (here) and a number of these are circular which would minimise the risk of you getting lost on the way home! This is another fairly short walk, making for a great afternoon's
activity. The most commonly walked route takes approximately 2 hours and is just over 3 and a half miles. Whilst the terrain is fairly rocky, the route is marked as 'easy' and dog friendly too which is always a bonus for us country lovers, rarely seen without our canine companions. You will be going out in the wilds of the Lake District so ensure that you are stocked up on food and water before setting off.
2. There's nothing quite like, The New Forest. The Wiverley Inclosure walk is perhaps on of the most popular New Forest walks. This one is located in the south-west of the forest, close to the A35. This walk is approximately 3 and a half miles and so it is advised that you leave yourself at least an hour and a half to complete the route. There is a tea room situated along the way so, be sure to stop off for a coffee and cake to refuel before setting off again.
This walk takes you ambling through plenty of ancient woodland, with ample opportunities to get up close and personal with the beautiful, native New Forest ponies. Spring is the perfect time to venture out on this walk, you may even spot a foal or two if you're lucky. The New Forest is a hugely popular tourist destination and is the perfect place to plan a weekend away, factoring in walks such as this. This is just one of the almost unlimited number of trails available to explore throughout the roughly, 92,800 acred National Park that is, The New Forest.
1. Walking Ribblehead's Viaduct.
Our ultimate top spot position goes to this utterly breathtaking walk alongside one of Britian's greatest monuments. The feeling of grander this walk gives you really has to be experienced to be believed. Walking Ribblehead's Viaduct will take your a minimum of two hours depending on how far you want to go, the whole route covers a total of 5 miles.
Strolling through peaceful moorland and secluded farmland, dogs are again welcome on this route but we must stress that you keep them on leads throughout any farmland. Given it's monumental beauty and Victorian history, In The Country felt that this walk was a worthy winner, we're sure you'll agree!
Until next time...
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*Note images within this article have been sourced from royalty free site; Pixabay. They are not my own.