Jan 03, 2024
10 new year’s walks to help you kickstart 2024
After spending a week or so indoors eating and being merry, you might be after some fresh air in the new year. Luckily, the UK is absolutely teeming with incredible walking trails where you can stretch your legs and soak up some awesome vistas.
Instead of challenging yourself with a strenuous hike up some steep mountainside, why not consider a gentler walk that the entire family can enjoy? Here, we take a look at 10 lovely walking trails scattered across the UK that’ll help you kickstart your 2024:
Llangollen Canal, Wales
Combine a countryside walk with visiting a feat of Victorian engineering in Llangollen. This small town in Denbighshire, Wales sits along the River Dee. It is the perfect starting point for a flat four-mile walk along the Llangollen Canal to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s famed for being the highest aqueduct in Britain.
Buttermere, Lake District
We can’t talk about UK walking routes without mentioning the Lake District. The National Park is inundated with epic trails, from those that climb lofty peaks to those that encircle stunning lakes. If you’re craving the latter, make your way to Buttermere.
This beautiful valley is located in the North Lakes area and offers an easy 4.5-mile loop. Soak up fabulous views of the surrounding fells as well as vistas of glittering lake shores. You can park in Buttermere village and pop into the Syke Farm Tea Room afterwards for a warming cuppa.
The Cleveland Way, North Yorkshire
Yorkshire has no shortage of stunning trails. If you’re near the North Yorkshire Coast, though, make a beeline for the Cleveland Way. This spectacular path runs for over 100 miles, passing dramatic moorland and gorgeous coastline.
For a relatively easy walk, complete the section between Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay. It should take you less than an hour and provide you with panoramic sea views. Plus, you can grab some fish and chips once you make it to the quaint former smuggling town of Robin Hood’s Bay.
Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria
Want to walk along a piece of ancient history? The Hadrian’s Wall Path – nearly 2000 years old and over 70 miles long – is a no-brainer. One of the easiest spots to hop on the path is in Carlisle. From there, you can walk for as long or as little as you like, soaking up the breathtaking Cumbrian countryside as you go.
Delamere Forest, Cheshire
Tucked away in the pretty Cheshire countryside, Delamere Forest is a favourite with families seeking a gentle stroll through magical woodland.
The area is mostly flat (besides a couple of trickier trails), plus many of the paths are suitable for pushchairs if you’ve got young children in tow. Or why not rent mountain bikes from the visitors’ centre and traverse the trails on two wheels? Don’t miss the new Zog walk based on the Julian Donaldson book – the kids will love it.
Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District
When thinking about slow, easy walks, the Peak District National Park might not immediately come to mind. Nevertheless, this stunning area is home to many walks for all abilities.
If you’re not keen on climbing any crags (here’s looking at you, Mam Tor), head for the Ladybower Reservoir instead. The Y-shaped reservoir was built in the 1930s/1940s and offers several circular walking routes that skirt around the water. Feeling more energetic? Head up to one of the reservoir viewpoints, such as Bamford Edge, for breathtaking views of the surrounding moorland.
The Camel Trail, Cornwall
If Cornwall is your destination of choice for the New Year, this gentle coastal trail which follows a disused railway track is ideal for a little fresh air. The Camel Trail runs for 18 miles between Padstow and Bodmin, giving you various access points. A section of it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so you might just spot a few native birds or even an otter.
Falls of Acharn, Scotland
Scotland’s scenery is the stuff of legends. From lochside trails to hikes up majestic mountains like Ben Nevis, there’s no shortage of major walks to tick off. For something a little gentler but no less picturesque, make your way to the Falls of Acharn near Loch Tay in Perth and Kinross.
This enchanting 1.25-mile walk weaves its way past tumbling waterfalls along dedicated wooden walkways. At the top of the trail, you’ll be able to stop and admire the amazing vistas of the loch itself.
Dalby Forest, Yorkshire
If you can’t get enough of wintery woodland walks, Dalby Forest is a must. This pretty walking area sits on the edge of the North York Moor National Park and is dotted with towering Scots pines and ancient elder trees.
You’ll find a couple of dedicated car parks in Dalby Forest with maps showing you exactly which routes to take. The Ellerburn Red Trail is a great option. Just over two miles long, this loop follows the tinkling Ellerburn Beck and past an artificial bat cave – but enter at your own risk!
The South Downs Way
Another national walking route with lots and lots of options for a New Year’s stroll is the South Downs Way. It sits within the South Downs National Park, beginning in Winchester and finishing at Beachy Head on the stunning South Coast.
The entire path would take at least a week to traverse. If you’ve only got a few hours, make your way to Haslemere to join the Serpent’s Trail section. This route snakes its way through woodland and the rolling Surrey hills, offering lovely views as you go.
Need to stock up on some brand-new gear for your New Year’s stroll? From walking boots to men’s fleeces and women’s gilets, there’s so much to browse in our latest TOG24 collection.