Now that summer’s fast approaching and the weather is â€˜hopefully’ improving, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities to keep the kids amused throughout the summer months.
One of the cheapest activities available to families involves using two things that come free to us – our legs to enjoy all of the great walks that Britain has to offer.
Here are four great walks that families around the UK can use to bond…and get fit (well, for a few hours at least:
Where: Ashridge Estate, near London
Distance: 2 miles (medium difficulty)
The Ashridge Estate is a large area of ancient woodland that runs across the borders of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire along the ridge of the Chilterns Hills.
There are two routes with a firm surface and no stiles, gates or other obstructions, making it great for those with small children and pets. Start near the Visitor Centre and meander through the estate at your leisure. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of rest points as well as a lovely tea room to relax in after a great day out. Additional facilities include car parking and toilets.
Where: Conic Hill at Balmaha, Scotland
Distance: 3.25 miles (medium difficulty- a sharp summit but worth it for the phenomenal views)
Conic Hill is the perfect family walk set against the stunning backdrop of Loch Lomond and some of the majestic mountains of Southern Scotland. Start in the car park in the centre of Balmaha, where you’ll also find an information centre to help get you on your way. Truly a great day out in a beautiful setting.
Where:Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge, Lake District
Distance: 2.4 miles (moderate difficulty)
Enjoy a breath-taking walk while taking in lakeside meadows, the iconic Skelwith Bridge, a roaring waterfall and great food at a variety of locations. Quite simply this remarkable walk has it all! After your trek enjoy refreshments at the Britannia Inn or Chester’s CafÃ©.
Where: Janus Path, Snowdonia
Distance: 1mile (Easy, mostly flat)
At the edge of Llynn Cwellyn, this walk boasts an accessible wooden boardwalk (disabled/buggy accessibility) through the woodland where you can enjoy total tranquillity. Stroll through wild flower meadows and put your feet up at a variety of seating areas where you can take in the views of the beautiful Lake Janus to the mountains beyond. Quite simply a magical place.
If your family like walking, but need something that keeps you on more than your toes, try doing a treasure hunt. Treasure hunts encourage families to explore a local area, unearthing hidden historical gems that they might ordinarily have walked right past, or didn’t know existed.
Huntfun.co.uk produces treasure hunts that cost as little as £4.99 that the family can enjoy. They include everything you need â€“ directions, clues and a map.
The treasure hunts take about two hours to complete, but if you want to make a day of it you can stop off for a bite to eat at some attractions en route.
If you’re visiting London for the Olympics, there are several hunts to explore during your time in the capital, and at other Olympic destinations like Weymouth, Windsor, Coventry, Newcastle and Manchester. The hunts offer a great way to explore these areas while enjoying the Olympic buzz, even if you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to see the Olympic Games.