Following the chaos of Christmas Day, there is no better way to unwind than by going for a long walk to explore the outdoors with loved ones. The UK is brimming with countryside, perfect for a post-Christmas walk to dust off the cobwebs.
Big Cottages, the UK’s holiday cottage provider for groups, has put together some of its top picks for a boxing day stroll across the country.
Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire
Nestled in the heart of Ripon in North Yorkshire, Fountains Abbey has a lot to offer nature lovers this Boxing Day. The delightful estate is full of wildlife with three different types of deer on site and the route can be made as long or short as walkers like, making it the perfect choice for a family outing1. The circuit goes through the grounds of Fountains Abbey and around its extraordinary collection of buildings and gardens, giving walkers a taste of what this heritage site has to offer. The walk is family-friendly with organised activities for children and paths suitable for buggies, making it a stress-free option for parents this Boxing Day.
Matlock Bath, Derbyshire
A fairly short but enjoyable trail, Matlock Bath leads walkers down from Starkholmes through woodland before reaching stunning views over Matlock Town and Riber Castle. Derbyshire has an abundance of country walks on offer, so if experienced walkers feel under-challenged, they won’t struggle to find an additional route.
Beatrix Potter Walk, Lake District
This walk at Bowness, Windermere, is one of the many places in the Lake District that writer and illustrator, Beatrix Potter, visited for inspiration to write her novels. The trail circles the shores of Lake Windermere and over Claife Heights to the villages of Sawrey and Hawkshead2. If it's a white Christmas, walkers will see the mountain hilltops dusted with snow and there is plenty else to do than just walking, with the Beatrix Potter Gallery, Wray Castle and Hawkshead town centre nearby.
Botallack Mine Walk, Cornwall
This historical mining walk in Cornwall lies within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and passes through a series of industrial sites and gardens. The trail starts at the Court House Cafe and weaves down to Crown Mines, with various ruins scattered along the way. The coastal area rose to fame when it was used as a filming location for BBC drama, Poldark, and has seen a boost in tourism ever since3. As well as Cornwall being home to some of the country’s most picturesque coasts, there is also plenty of restaurants, pubs and bars on offer, giving walkers the opportunity to extend their stay until the New Year.
Sycamore Gap, Northumberland
This walking route surrounds one of the most photographed trees in England known as the "Robin Hood Tree" which stands alongside Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. The circular trail follows a section of the wall and the Pennine Way Path towards Crag Lough and provides breath-taking views over the stunning Northumberland National Park. Visitors can also wander into the centre to hit the Boxing Day sales and Northumberland Christmas markets, which will be around until the end of December.
For places to stay near these walks this Christmas, visit: www.snaptrip.com