It’s National Walking Month in May. And with so many fabulous walks directly from our parks, or within easy reach, what better way to enjoy the stunning scenery and longer days?
Whether you prefer a gentle stroll or a proper hike, here are the local walks and walking events that our parks would like you to know about. And if you find some pub grub or a cream tea along the way, you’ll know you’ve earned it!
(Above image: Rockford Common in the New Forest near Back of Beyond Touring Park)
Lamb Cottage, Cheshire
There are also several walks from the local pub, The Plough, incorporating historic sites such as Vale Royal Locks, Marton Quarry Pool and some forgotten grounds of the former Delamere estate. Find out more.
The Frodsham Festival of Walks runs from Saturday 27 April to Monday 6 May. The walks will explore the local countryside where you can find out about the local history, geology and wildlife.
Red Kite, Powys, Mid-Wales
Starting just one third of a mile from the Park, the route is based on the Celtic myth of Sabrina, a water nymph said to inhabit the waters of the River Severn. There’s a shorter 12 mile route called the Semi-Sabrina to cater for all abilities.
Overbrook, North Yorkshire
There are so many lovely walks in the area around Overbrook Caravan Park, we can’t mention them all here! A couple of circular routes from the local village, Thornton-le-Dale, take you to Dalby Forest via Ellerburn – see details. The Cleveland Way isn’t far from the park and, of course, there are some stunning walks on the North York Moors.
Old Oaks, Somerset
Directly from Old Oaks Touring Camping & Glamping Park, there’s a footpath to Glastonbury Tor, a World Heritage site. It’s just 3/4 mile to the base of the Tor, then a steep 20-30 minute climb to the top, where you can enjoy panoramic views of three counties on a clear day. The Tor, which rises 518ft above sea level, is steeped in history, myth and legend.
There are lots of short and medium-distance walks directly from the site and nearby. Many are dog friendly and some have places where dogs can be let off the lead. You can borrow free copies of these walks from the park’s tourist information room, or download them from the website.
There are also lots of guided walks around Somerset close by – find out more.
Longnor Wood, Derbyshire
Being located in the Peak District National Park means Longnor Wood Holiday Park is in a fantastic location for walking. There are several good walks from the site, and even better ones a short drive away. The most famous in the area are Kinder Scout, Mam Tor, Lady Bower Reservoir (made famous by the bouncing bomb), Chrome Hill (which is closer to the park and gaining popularity), Lathkil Dale and the Goyt Valley.
Blue Rose Country Park, Yorkshire
Blue Rose Country Park is located between two villages with access to great walks and is rated in the ‘Walkers Welcome’ Visit England Scheme.
The park has put together a guide to some local walks ranging from pleasant 3.7 and 3.8-mile circular routes through the back of local villages, to a moderate seven-mile walk along the Leven Canal or a more rigorous 9.3-mile walk with spectacular views to the Tophill Low Nature Reserve which has a viewing gallery and nest cameras. All walks pass a café or pub – see the Blue Rose walking guide.
Spectacular walks can be found through the 79 miles of stunning East Yorkshire Countryside on the Yorkshire Wolds Way Walks.
Brookside Country Park, North Lincolnshire
Brookside Country Park has walks that start and finish at the park, including Catherine’s Wood circular walk, a very popular, easy three-mile walk. These relatively short walks are in a useful online guide – see walks from Brookside Country Park.
Normanby Hall (just a couple of miles from the park) hosts walks in the grounds from 1 mile to 3 miles every Friday. If group walking isn’t your thing, simply turn up and get lost in the many trails within the grounds. Find out more about walking in North Lincolnshire.
Sroud Hill Park, Cambridgeshire
About 3/4 mile from Stroud Hill Park you can reach the Pathfinder Long Distance Walk. This walk commemorates the Pathfinder Force which operated out of RAF Wyton, RAF Gravely, RAF Oakington, RAF Warboys and their satellite bases from 1942-1945.
The annual Pathfinder March is a 46-mile long distance challenge walk (or run) around the four main airbases, and it takes place this year on 22 June. Walkers set off at 4am and have 20 hours to complete the walk in a gruelling test of strength, stamina and map reading skills!
There are a couple of shorter loops of 2.5 and 4.5 miles easily accessible from the park which are ideal for dog walks.
Grooby’s Pit, Lincolnshire
Being in a flat area, Grooby’s Pit is an ideal location fro walking. There’s a lovely walk from the site (which the owners take to exercise their two dogs) of approximately 5 kilometres (just over three miles) and you can find it highlighted in the information pod for guests. You can also walk along the river bank that’s next to the site.
Back of Beyond, Dorset
With the New Forest and the coast and countryside of Dorset and Hampshire on the doorstep, you’re spoiled for choice at Back of Beyond Touring Park when it comes to walking. There’s also a large woodland area in the park itself, where you can let dogs off the lead. You can also take a stroll round the park’s lakes (not for dogs) which are part of an SSSI. The New Forest Walking Festival takes place 12-27 October.
Daisy Bank, Powys
The South Shropshire Hills are a wonderful place to walk. You can enjoy the beauty of a National Park, without the crowds when staying at Daisy Bank Caravan Park. Bishops Castle, the small market town two miles away holds an Annual Walking Festival which takes place this year from 15 to 19 May.
The South Shropshire Hills also have several long distance walks running through them, including the Jack Mytton Trail, the South Shropshire Way, the Kerry Ridgeway and Offas Dyke.
Walking on the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones, both within 15 minutes of the park, is breathtaking. The countryside is varied and the scenery unspoilt. Whether you fancy a good yomp or a short amble, there is something for all. More about Shropshire walks can be found at www.shropshiregreatoutdoors.co.uk.
South Wales Touring Park, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire has become a real hiking hot spot. In fact, there are so many walks in the area that the South Wales Touring Park has put a page on the website just for walking information. Here you can find links to ‘The Way of the Legends’ as well as stunning dog walks and riverside walks– see walking page.
Woodland Springs, Devon
Being in the Dartmoor National Park means there’s so much walking available from Woodland Springs Touring Park, you’ll have to make up your own mind which ones to choose. You can explore the many Tors on Dartmoor or two of the major routes in the area: the Two Moors Way and the Dartmoor Way.
Some of the best Dartmoor walks can be found on the Country File website while there’s another site for ‘Divine Dartmoor Walks‘. Don’t forget the South West Coastal Path is also nearby. If you prefer a circular route, you can find plenty on the Visit Dartmoor site and on Walking Britain.
The Teign Valley, Castle Drogo and Fingle Bridge are only only two-to-three miles from Woodland Springs. If you fancy something a bit different, try Nordic Walking with poles (great exercise for the whole body) or even walking with llamas!
The annual Dartmoor Walking Festival takes place Saturday 24 August to Sunday 1 September.
Hallsdown Farm, Devon
A 35-minute walk directly from Hallsdown Farm Touring Park takes you to the National Trust property Arlington Court, where there’s over 20 miles of footpaths to explore offering something for all abilities. The park’s visitors have spotted a wide range of birds whilst walking and one lucky couple encountered a deer drinking at the lake.
Located just outside Exmoor National Park, Hallsdown is a great base to explore the 600 miles of rights of way. Walk across wild open moorland or stroll through hidden valleys, This year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lorna Doone by R D Blackmore. To celebrate, you can take a guided walk through the countryside that inspired the story. Guided walks take place on 4, 28 and 30 May, and various dates in June, July and August.
Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park, Somerset
Chew Valley and the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are a joy to explore on foot at almost any time of the year, though May’s National Walking Month is a special time for walkers in the area. It’s a time to enjoy breathtaking panoramas before the trees reach full leaf and watch a new generation of wildlife emerging.
Guests staying at Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park can collect walking guides from the park’s information room or internet kiosk, and can even follow online video guides from the park’s Facebook or YouTube libraries.
The most popular walks are Chew Valley Lake’s Grebe and Bittern Trails which are a few moments’ walk from the park entrance. The Grebe is a gravel lakeside path extending almost a mile to a popular fish restaurant and picnic spot beside the Chew Dam. Birdwatchers might prefer the Bittern trail, a conservation area featuring a hide and viewing area.
Knowle and Burledge Hills overlook Chew Valley Lake, rewarding walkers with spectacular panoramic views. Both these walks are available as video guides and start within a very short distance of the park.
The Mendip Hills ridge, a few miles south of the park, is a magnet for walking enthusiasts eager to tackle the ‘moderate’ graded walks around Burrington and Cheddar Gorges. Walking along Cheddar Gorge from the top of the ridge, 400ft above the road, is a memorable experience no walker would want to miss…
Bristol Walk Fest has a programme of city and countryside walks taking place throughout May, providing something for every interest in a diverse selection of over 100 guided walks, most of which are free to join.
September’s Bathscape Walking Festival, from 15-23 September, is another highlight of the walking year. Discover more of the city and its parks, plus surrounding skyline trails that you might not otherwise find.
York Caravan Park
There are several walks near to York Caravan Park, including the Millennium Way (just 200 yards from the park). The Way links the historic Strays of York and some of the best countryside around the City, crossing Hob Moor, Knavesmire, Fulford Ings, Walmgate Stray, Monk Stray, Bootham Stray and Clifton Ings. It provides an opportunity to view the lesser known historic sites of interest in the City and you cross the River Ouse by way of the Millennium Bridge.
York’s City Walls Trail, 3.4 kilometres (a little over two miles), takes you along the beautifully preserved York Walls which are the longest medieval town walls in England. About 2.5 million people enjoy the amazing views from the City Walls each year. Completion of the entire circuit takes about two hours. There are five main bars or gateways and 45 towers.
Another favourite walk in York is The Shambles, taking you around York’s ancient roads and alleys.
Tyddyn Du, North Wales
Tyddyn Du Touring Park is located on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, where the mountains meet the sea, so visitors only have to cross the road to access the walks. From the park, you’re in easy reach of Stone Age circles and the ancient Roman roads that cross the area. It’s also just a short distance to the Wales Coastal Path with walks into Conwy and Llandudno.
New Lodge Farm, Northamptonshire
It’s a little known secret that New Lodge Farm is less than half a mile from the Jurrassic Way, a famous 88-mile route connecting Banbury in Oxford to Stamford in Lincolnshire. It follows an ancient limestone ridgeway traversing Britain.
Somers Wood, Warwickshire
There’s a two-mile walk from Somers Wood Caravan Park that leads you directly onto the Heart of England Way. This 100-mile route connects Milford on the northern tip of Cannock Chase with Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds. The Heart of England Way Association organises regular guided walks and also promotes and maintains The Arden Way, a 26-mile circular walk in the Forest of Arden area.
Eye Kettleby Lakes, Leicestershire
Located on the outskirts of Melton Mowbray, Eye Kettleby Lakes is set in 150 acres of rolling Leicestershire countryside, making it the perfect destination for beautiful long walks, wildlife and scenery.
Melton Mowbray is a 3-mile walk from the park itself, offering guests the opportunity to take a steady walk through the fields into town.
Just a 10 minute walk from the centre of Melton Mowbray is the Melton Country Park, an area of open space around 137 acres in size. It includes informal and formal recreation areas, lakes and waterways, sports facilities, play areas, picnic areas, footpaths, and cycle tracks. Other facilities include a visitor centre, café and bird hide.
Burrough Hill Country Park, less than seven miles away from Eye Kettleby Lakes, is one of the most historically important sites in East Leicestershire. The well-preserved Iron Age hill fort dramatically crowns a steep-sided promontory of land reaching 690ft with superb views. A prominent landmark and ready-made arena, the hill has long been a place for public recreation. As well as the grassy hilltop, the country park offers diverse wildlife habitats and varied areas to visit.