10 Wintery walks with pitstops
You've consumed your bodyweight in turkey and trimmings (and what a joy it was) but now it's time to blow away the carb-webs.
Sling on the wellies and woolies and head out for one of our utterly fantastic 10 wintery walks, complete with warm outside spaces for that essential pick-me-up along the way.
A scenic 40 minute walk will take you from the centre of pretty Minchinhampton village, across wild, National Trust land with its beautiful, deserted trails and footpaths with stunning views across the valleys. Along the way make a beeline for Burleigh Court Hotel, an exquisite boutique hotel with a friendly team who will happily ensconce you on the heated outside terrace, under a gazebo complete with funky fire pit and furry throws, and did we mention the views over the rolling countryside? You may not want to walk back (ever).
The Bathurst Estate & The Beano, Cirencester Park, Glos
The circular walk through Cirencester Park on the Bathurst Estate is a brilliant Boxing Day jaunt if you want a gentle post-Christmas amble. The parkland covers hundrds of acres which border the stunning Bathurst Estate House, with its sociable (but still socially distanced) main drag, secluded glades, and peaceful woodland trails, plus kids love it here for tree climbing. End up at the fantastic Beano Trailer, a converted horse box by the entrance gates which will be serving up delicious barista coffees, teas, gluten-free hot chocolates to die for, homemade cakes and soft drinks.
The details: Very easy; duration, 1-2 hours; distance, 2-3k
This pretty Boxing Day walk is for riverside lovers and if you want a really good thigh and calf work out post Christmas excesses. A circular walk it takes in a 10.1 kilometer loop trail that winds around the pretty Sapperton Valley taking in Siccaridge Wood, Barnage Wood and the River Frome. End up at the fabulous The Bell at Sapperton which has recently converted its courtyard to feature a safe indoor/outdoor space, pick up a drink or pizza from its gas heated covered courtyard. Remember to bring your own blankets and sweaters for an extra layer of warmth (or just order endless hot chocolates why not).
A stroll around Rodborough Common is one of Muddy’s favourite fresh air go-tos all year round. With more than 300 acres of rolling National Trust land to explore (that should balance out the goose fat spuds) it’s a walk with 360 degree panoramas over the famous Five Valleys. Refuel at the Bear of Rodborough, you can sit inside or take a table in the outside heated gazebo. Or, check grab a winter warmer from Winstone’s Ice Cream Parlour in the heart of the Common.
The details: Distance, 4 miles; duration, 1-2 hours; difficulty, easy.
Bibury to Coln St Aldwyns, Glos
This circular walk takes you around the delightful village of Bibury (and famous Arlington Row) and the surrounding countryside. Admire the pretty cottages and Saxon church then follow a scenic riverside path to the idyllic village of Coln St. Aldwyns. Follow the winding River Coln into the village before returning to Bibury through the open countryside on wide footpaths and bridleways. One of our all time, fresh-air faves. Take your pick either end to refresh in Bibury at The Trout Farm where they have a warm, outside gazebo area, serving hot drinks and snacks, or refuel at the other end at the New Inn in Coln
Plus … Baz & Fred at the brilliant New Inn in Coln, will have heaters in full pelt on their outdoor terrace, make sure to book ahead. We love the snack sharing plates of pigs in blankets and their seasonal turkey Christmas Cracker burgers if you’ve worked up an appetite! And if you need a pick-me-up back in Bibury the Trout Farm’s outdoor gazebo will be open serving up hot drinks and snacks too (plus there’s a special Winter Trail for the kids you can pick up, just ask in the shop.)
The details: Distance: 6 miles (10k), duration: 2 hours, difficulty, moderate.
Take a serene stroll around lovely Westonbirt Arboretum, it’s opeb every day of the year except Christmas Day. Tickets are released seven days ahead of each date so make sure to book. Add the super cool new SkyWalk in the canopy to the walk for a bit of fun for little ones (guaranteed they won’t moan once!), or take one of the trails around this lush tree-filled nirvana. Just ten minutes away is the Trouble House pub which has
Cotswold Water Park and the Gateway Takeaway Hatch
Head to the calm-inducing lakes of the Cotswold Water Park in South Cerney, Glos – hundreds of miles of open water lakes to walk around and get some fresh air and exercise.
Plus ... Visit the Gateway Takeaway Hatch for a coffee and slice of cake before you head off on one of the many beautiful walks around the lakes.
Broadway Tower & The Shepherd’s Hut
his enchanting walk leads you through the picturesque Cotswold lanes of Broadway, along historic tracks and up to the stunning Broadway Tower (the second highest point in the Cotswold after Cleeve Hill) with spectacular views across the Severn Vale into Wales.
Plus … The fantastic Morris & Brown Cafe is having to shut down during lockdown this month but keep a look out for the Shepherd’s Hut, a mobile drinks and snacks truck that will be serving up refreshments.
The details: Distance, 4 miles; duration, 2-3 hours; difficulty, Moderate, some steep sections and stiles.
Hollybush Walk, The Malvern Hills
The stunning Malverns are teaming with great walks. It’s really fun to walk the length of the ridge (get some sturdy shoes on) and take in the incredible views. One of our faves is the Circular Hollybush Walk. It forms a figure of 8, loops around the Ragged Stone Hill, passes through the pretty village of White Leaved Oak and loops north to Midsummer Hill with its stunning Iron age fort – dramatic views guaranteed. Make a beeline for the famous St Ann’s Well Cafe on the slopes of these pretty hills for some great homemade treats along the way.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 2 hours; distance, 3.2 miles.
Martley Circular Walk, Teme Valley, Worcs
This is a super circular walk in the Teme Valley taking in traditional orchards, pastures and ancient woodlands, sounds lovely doesn’t it? Plus you get gorgeous views across Worcs from certain spots. The walk also meanders along the River Teme which is a haven of wildlife and heaven for dogs. We love the Mill Farm cafe and Angel Gardens in the heart of the Teme Valley in nearby Stanford for grabbing a hand-warming hot choc or slice of cake.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 3-4 hours; distance, 6 miles.