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Family fun at Christmas is wonderful but it’s always a good idea to include plenty of fresh air in proceedings. With mountains of food and barrels of booze to tempt you during the festive season, getting outdoors and going for a hearty walk makes you feel better and is a great way to work up an appetite too.

There are so many wonderful winter walks on offer in the UK, from a march on Christmas morning to a gentle totter on Boxing Day. These are some of the popular Christmas walks around the country – but no matter where you live, there is bound to be a great walk not far from you that you can enjoy over the festive season.

  1. Bedgebury National Pinetum, Kent
    With 320 acres of forest to explore, there are some fantastic walking trails as well as a guided Boxing Day walk available. This woodland looks particularly magical when covered in snow.
  2. Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
    If it’s good enough for Robin Hood then it’s good enough for a family walk over the Christmas period! Famous for the heroic outlaw, Sherwood Forest boasts ancient oak trees including Major Oak where Robin and his band of merry men are said to have sheltered, as well as lots of different walking trails to choose from.
  3. Kew Gardens, London
    In addition to the London parks which look so pretty on a crisp winter’s day, a walk around Kew Gardens is a must at Christmas time. The Holly Walk is particularly Christmassy and you can enjoy all the different varieties of the festive plant with red, black and white berries as you stroll.
  4. Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
    A stunning, dramatic part of the country, this national park is the ideal location for walking. You are spoilt for choice, with walks along the River Spey, walks around the lochs – including Loch an Eilein on the Rothiemurchus estate which features a castle in the middle – and walks to see the reindeer. The reindeer herd is the only one in the UK and the animals are allowed to roam free over the mountains. Each day there are hill walks to feed the reindeer, but don’t worry if the animals have ventured too far for you to spot them, as a small number are kept in a paddock over the winter which is easy to reach.
  5. Kingley Vale, Woodend, Chichester
    These ancient trees are said to be the oldest living things in Britain, so it’s easy to let your imagination loose as you stroll among the trees. Kids love pretending they’re in Lord of the Rings as they walk among the enormous branches!
  6. Tenby Beach, Wales
    The South Beach is ideal for strolling along the sand – wrap up warm so you can head to Giltar Point on this picturesque winter walk. And if you’re feeling brave, you can always immerse yourself in the Tenby Boxing Day swim on the North Beach.
  7. Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton, Devon
    The last castle to be built in England, this castle is great to explore and offers stunning views as well as a lovely riverside walk to Fingle Bridge.
  8. Reynard’s Castle, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
    This large cave with a natural arch and amazing views of Dove Dale is in the heart of the Peak District, and has beautiful landscape all around for you to explore.

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