Burn off those Christmas calories, or kick start your New Year’s resolution to get fit with a walk or a run in the great outdoors.
From spectacular landscape gardens with follies and temples to bracing windswept beaches and wild ancient woodlands, the National Trust cares for some of the best places to explore during the cold crisp winter months.
Here are some of the National Trust’s top walking events to give you a spring in your step this winter:
Dunstable Downs, Chilterns Gateway Centre and Whipsnade Estate, Bedfordshire
Christmas Burn off Walk, 26 December, 11am – 1pm
New Year’s resolutions walk, 1 January, 11am – 1pm
Banish the overindulgence of Christmas and walk off all those extra calories with the Bedfordshire countryside team on a guided walk over the beautiful Downs and beyond. Enjoy the spectacular views and crisp fresh air as you enjoy a healthy walk and start the New Year with your best foot forward.
Price: £2 (booking essential, normal admission fee applies)
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Boxing Day Pilgrimage, 26 December, 12pm – 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. It will begin at Ripon Cathedral at 9.30am with a celebration of Eucharist and end with a service of carols and prayers in the Cellarium of the abbey.
Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)
Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
Boxing Day and New Year’s Day walks, 26 December & 1 January, 10am – 1pm
The 820-acre Parkland at Kedleston is almost entirely manmade, and was designed by Robert Adam when the house was built. Discover veteran trees and take in some frosty views on a six mile walk around the park followed by soup and sandwiches in the restaurant.
Marsden Moor Estate, Yorkshire
Boxing Day Walk, 26 December, 1.30pm – 4.30pm
New Year's Day Walk, 1 January, 11am – 2pm
Take this chance to burn off some of that Christmas pudding and celebrate the New Year on an invigorating walk across the rugged scenery of Marsden Moor. Explore a landscape steeped in history, from prehistoric man to historic trans-Pennine transport routes.
(This route may have to be amended depending on the weather conditions).
Price: Free event
Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
Boxing Day Walk, 26 December, 1pm – 2.30pm
New Year Walk, 1 January, 2pm – 3pm
This hillside arboretum has now been maintained by the National Trust for 60 years and has built up a collection of more than 1000 different shrubs and trees, many of them rare. Bring along family and friends to walk off the mince pies and start the year in style with a stroll around the impressive arboretum.
Price: £2 (normal admission fee applies)
Basildon Park, Berkshire
Boxing Day Walk, 26 December, 11am – 12pm
Join a free guided walk with the ranger around the rolling parkland of Basildon. If you have spent too much time in front of the TV this Christmas, you can join a walk around the grounds of this magnificent mansion which has been used as a location in many films and period dramas, including Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice. The house and grounds are open daily from Boxing Day to the 6th January, so you can also look around the elegant rooms, beautifully decorated for Christmas as well.
Price: Free (normal admission fee applies)
Castle Drogo, Devon
Wind down and warm up, 27 December – 4 January, 11am – 4pm
Relax after Christmas with a walk in the fresh air of the beautiful Drogo Garden and Estate and explore the last castle to be built in England. Recharge your batteries in the café by trying something from the winter warm up menu and indulge in some retail therapy with sale offers in abundance. Children can follow the winter trail around the garden and grounds.
Price: £1.50 per trail (normal admission fee applies)
Sheringham Park, Norfolk
Post-Christmas Walk, 27 December, 11am – 1pm
Walk off the excesses of Christmas with a relaxing stroll around Sheringham Park taking in the natural beauty of the woodland garden with miles of refreshing coastal views. Round off the walk with a hot drink and mince pies.
Price: Adult £5.25 (five mile walk), Child £2.75
Hinton Ampner, Hampshire
New Year Walk, 1 January, 1pm – 3pm
Eaten too much over Christmas? Watched enough Christmas television? Bring the family and the dog, and go on a Boxing Day walk around the 1600 acre estate of ancient parkland and magnificent beech woodland. Take in panoramic views of the South Downs as well as stunning woodland. After you’ve stretched your legs, sit back and relax with a glass of mulled wine on your return.
Price: £10 (booking essential, normal admission fee applies)
Bateman's, East Sussex
New Year’s Day Breakfast and walk, 1 January 2015, 11am – 1pm
Follow in Rudyard Kipling's footsteps with either a guided Boxing Day or New Year’s Day walk. Start the day with a hearty English breakfast before a gentle walk through the fields, hills and woodlands of the Bateman’s estate for an invigorating ramble on New Year’s Day around the beautiful Wealden landscape, with the head gardener highlighting some of the best views.
Price: £15 (booking essential)
Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down
New Year's Resolution- Get Fit, 1 January, 12pm – 3pm
Explore the dune landscape of Murlough and take the chance to start the New Year as you might mean to go on and work off the excesses of the Yuletide and New Year binge. Take the guided gentle exercise trail and blow the cobwebs away.
Price: Free event (booking essential)
New Year's Day Walk, 1 January, 11am – 1pm
Stourhead is a beautiful, tranquil place to visit during winter. There’s plenty of fresh winter air on offer in the surroundings of this world-famous landscape garden, where a magnificent lake reflects classic temples, mystical grottos and swathes of surrounding trees. Join Kim, Head Ranger and Alan, Head Gardener on a wonderful walk through the garden, woods and parkland. Discover how they look after this world-famous estate and finish the day off with a warming mulled wine and a mince pie.
Price: Adult £10, Child £5 (booking essential)
Studland Beach, Dorset
Get Fit for 2015, 7 January, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Start the year with a healthy walk along the shore and across the heath at Studland Beach. A glorious slice of natural coastline in Purbeck featuring a four-mile stretch of golden sands with gently shelving bathing waters and views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. Meet at the Shell Bay car park.
Lyme Park, House and Garden, Cheshire
Walking to Health – Cage Walk, 15 January, 10.30am – 12pm
Nestling on the edge of the Peak District, Lyme Park is a glorious house surrounded my gardens, moorland and deer park. Keep active and improve your health by joining an experienced volunteer on a guided walk around the estate this January. This is a gentle two mile walk ending at the Timber Yard and is the perfect stroll to burn off those extra Christmas calories. These easy to moderate walks take in beautiful scenery where you can discover lesser known areas of the Park.
Price: Free event (vehicle admission fee applies)
Gibside, Tyne & Wear
Get Active! Health Walk, 7, 8, 21 & 24 January, 11am – 12.30pm
Visit Gibside for fine Derwent Valley views and refreshing open spaces. Get inspired for gentle exercise on short sociable walks with the healthy walking group. Each walk is tailored to suit the abilities of participants so whether you’re new to walking, recovering from an injury, going back to an old hobby or just looking to spend time outdoors in good company.
Price: Free event
White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
New Year walk, meet at 11am
Enjoy an atmospheric walk along the cliff tops throughout winter, spot some of the winter visiting birds including the Guillemot out at sea, short eared owl feeding over the grassland or the unmistakeable Waxwing in the hedgerows. On New Year’s Day, join a free turn up and go walk from the White Cliffs visitor centre to the lighthouse at 11am. Your guide will cover the history and interesting features of the cliffs as you go and there’s the option to return by mini bus for those with tired legs.Last modified: June 10, 2021