The best winter walks to herald in the new year

The best winter walks to herald in the new year
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After all those mince pies and days indoors celebrating with family and friends, there's nothing quite like taking a big gulp of fresh air in the great outdoors. And in Britain, we are truly spoilt with brilliant places to go a-rambling, from rolling countryside to spectacular stately home estates.

Here's a selection of our favourite routes around the country to burn off the Christmas pounds, courtesy of The National Trust.

South East 

Basildon Park, Berkshire
Winter Wellbeing, 6 – 30 January, 10am – 5pm
Blow away the post-Christmas blues on a winter wellbeing walk around Basildon. Follow the fitness trails through the park and explore the estate’s extensive parkland and informal gardens, inspired by the celebrated landscape gardener, Capability Brown. Afterwards, detox with superfoods in the mansion tea room for an all-round wholesome day.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01189 843040
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park
 
Hatchlands Park, Surrey
Christmas calorie-busting walks, 26 December – 4 January, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Burn off the Christmas calories on a self-guided walk through Hatchlands’ tranquil parklands, ancient woodlands and open fields. Bring the whole family along and let the grandchildren loose on the children’s trails and adventure areas to complete some of their ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ activities; why not climb a tree or play in the snow?

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01483 222482
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hatchlands-park

Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey
New Year's Day Garden and Belvedere Tower Opening, 1 January, 11am – 2pm
Celebrate the start of 2016 and walk off the excess of the holiday season with a stroll around Claremont’s eighteenth-century landscape garden and an opportunity to enjoy stunning panoramic views from the Belvedere Tower. A green sanctuary in the heart of Surrey, this is the perfect spot to escape everyday life with friends and family.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01372 467806
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/claremont-landscape-garden
 
Hinton Ampner, Hampshire
New Year’s Day walk, 1 January, 1pm – 3pm
Bring in the New Year with a guided walk around this beautiful estate and stunning ancient woodland. Hinton Ampner’s head gardener will lead you on the four mile trail, taking in the panoramic views of the South Downs and seeing the estate from a different viewpoint. You will be rewarded with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine on your way round. Dog walkers are welcome – doggie treats for all canine guests.

Price: £10 (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01962 771305
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner
 
Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
New Year's Day holly hike, 1 January, 11am – 1pm
Start the year as you mean to go on with a refreshing guided hike around the lesser-known parts of the estate led by Sheffield Park’s longest serving member of staff. Hear stories and local tales that you won't find in any guidebook whilst enjoying stunning views across the lakes, garden and woodland.

Price: £6 (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01825 790231
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheffield-park-and-garden

South West

Buckland Abbey, Devon
Winter Walkabout, 27 – 31 December, 2 – 3 January, 11am – 4pm
This glorious winter walkabout will give you a breath of fresh air after December’s festivities and celebrations. Get the whole family out of the house on an energising woodland walk with far reaching views across the beautiful Devonshire countryside and natural play areas to entertain the kids.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01822 853607
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/buckland-abbey  
 
Castle Drogo, Devon
Wind down and warm up, 27 December – 3 January, 11am – 4pm
Get a breath of fresh air and take a stroll around the beautiful Castle Drogo garden and estate. Take in the frosty landscapes and recharge your batteries as you get out for a day of fun with the family. Grandchildren can follow the winter trail around the garden and grounds.

Price: Free event (£1.50 per child for winter trail) normal admission fee applies
For more information, please call 01647 433306
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-drogo

Midlands 

Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire
Explore Longshaw, 3 January – 28 February, 11am – 1.30pm
Explore some of the lesser-known parts of Longshaw on an informal ramble led by a team of volunteer walks leaders. Take the opportunity to learn about the area and spot winter wildlife. Afterwards, get in from the cold and treat yourself to a cream tea in the Longshaw tea-room where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views across the Eastern Moors.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01433 670368
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/longshaw-burbage-and-the-eastern-moors

Yorkshire and North East

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Boxing Day Pilgrimage, 26 December, 9.30am – 1pm
On a cold day in 1132, thirteen monks walked from Ripon to a completely deserted valley by the River Skell. There they started their own community from nothing. And so, Fountains Abbey was born. You too can follow the monks in their footsteps in this annual traditional pilgrimage.

Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01765 608888
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey

 
Marsden Moor Estate, Yorkshire
Marsden Meander: Bobus, 23 January, 10am – 3pm
This gentle-paced meander is a great way to get back into moorland walking and explore new routes. Discover the hidden history of Marsden Moor, spot wildlife and enjoy breathtaking views across this internationally important habitat.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 01484 847016
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/marsden-moor 

Northern Ireland 

Mount Stewart, Co. Down
New Year's Day Winter Walk, 1 January, 11am – 1pm
What better way to start 2016. Wrap up warm and enjoy a stroll through these magical gardens. Led by one of Mount Stewart’s gardening experts, you will have the opportunity to hear unique stories and learn unusual facts about these stunning gardens during winter.

Price: £10
For more information, please call 028 4278 8387
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mount-stewart
 
Murlough National Nature Reserve, Co. Down
Our Work - An Explanation, 30 January, 10.30am – 1.30pm
Home to seals, wintering wildfowl, Neolithic sites and a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system, Murlough National Nature Reserve takes a lot of work to maintain. Come along and spend time with Murlough’s rangers to find out how the area is managed and why it is all necessary. Afterwards, enjoy a bracing walk along the ancient dunes and stunning heathland.

Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
For more information, please call 028 4375 1467
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/murlough

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