5 Family Friendly Walks In The UK
Image source: Nicki Dougan Pogue
A family walk is a great way to get some fresh air and spend time with your kids and partner - you get to enjoy the countryside and savour a break from work, phones and Peppa Pig!
We understand that planning and realising a family walk can become more like a military operation than a pleasant stroll, so we have selected five hassle-free walks for you.
Brockhill Country Park
Two gravel paths guide you through the ex-country estate, along grassy meadows and around a lake. The trails provide plenty of opportunities to spot butterflies, ducks and wild flowers. If your children are a little bit older and you are looking for more of a challenge then there is a longer circular walk around the whole park and country lanes.
At the end of the walk you'll find a café and adventure play area where you can go to grab a cup of tea or let the kids’ burn off any extra energy they may have. If you prefer to take your own food, the open field in the middle of the park makes for a good picnic area.
- How long does it take? 25 mins blue route, 50 mins red route
- Distance: Blue route 1.3km, Red route 2.7km
- Hilly or flat? Flat with gentle slopes
- Buggy friendly? Yes
- Parking availability and price: Car park available. Mon – Fri £1.50 (all day), weekend and bank hols: £2 (all day)
- Local amenities: Toilet (including disabled), Café, play area
- Photo opportunities: Lake, wildlife, meadows
- Postcode for starting point: CT21 4HL
Five Pits Circular Trail
Image source: Alan Heardman
Running along an old railway line that serviced local coal mines, the five pits trail and the surrounding area has been transformed into a haven for wildlife and flora.
The route is mainly gravel paths with the occasional steep section although these can be negotiated with moderate ease. Starting at Grassmore Country Park, the walk leads you to Williamthorpe Nature Reserve which has lots of picnic spots. From there you pass through Holmeswood Woodlands, home to various wildflowers, before heading back along the disused railway to Grassmore Park.
- How long does it take? 3hrs
- Distance: 6.8 km
- Hilly or flat? Mainly flat but a few steep sections
- Buggy friendly? Yes
- Parking availability and price: Free parking available on the road
- Local amenities: Picnic site and shop
- Photo opportunities: Wildlife, lake, nature reserve
- Postcode for starting point: S42 5BP
Surrounded by steep hills, Loch Muick’s 3.6 km of fresh water provides a dramatic centrepiece to this circular walk. The trail follows the edge of the loch passing a boat house, beaches and Queen Victoria’s hunting lodge.
If you have time it is worth having a look in at the visitor centre (open from 9am- 5pm, Mon-Sat, over summer) - there is plenty of info and facts for the kids to learn about the local wildlife.
- How long does it take? 3hrs 20mins
- Distance: 12.8 km
- Hilly or flat? Flat
- Buggy friendly? Yes
- Parking availability and price: Pay and display £4
- Local amenities: Visitor centre, picnic area, toilets with baby changing facilities
- Photo opportunities: Lake, wildflowers, red stags, boat house, Queen Victoria’s hunting lodge
- Postcode for starting point: AB35 5SU
Image source: Michael Clarke
The walk starts from Porthgain harbour guiding you along the coast to Traeth Llyfn beach and on to Abereiddy Bay. The bay is about half way and makes for a great place to stop for lunch or stop and appreciate the view out to St' George’s Channel.
From the bay you come inland to farmer’s fields and country lanes winding your way back to the harbour. If you didn’t stop for a bite to eat, there are a couple of pubs that serve excellent sea food and kid friendly dishes.
- How long does it take? 1hr 45mins
- Distance: 6km
- Hilly or flat? Undulating coastline with one steep descent
- Buggy friendly? No
- Parking availability and price: Next to Porthgain harbour – Free parking all day
- Local amenities: Toilets, shops, ice cream parlour, pubs/restaurants, art gallery, playing fields
- Photo opportunities: Traeth Llyfn beach, Porthgain harbour, Blue Lagoon slate quarry
- Postcode for starting point: SA62 5BN
Slieve Martin Circular
Image source: Albert Bridge
Located within Kilbroney Forest Park, Slieve Martin rises up to just under 500m providing great views over the forest, Park and Carlingford. The route has way-finding markers at every junction and leads you past the 40 ton Cloughmore Stone, a gigantic stone left behind from the end of the ice age. After that you follow the trail through oak woodlands and back along the river to the car park.
- How long does it take? 1hr 55mins
- Distance: 6.4 km
- Hilly or flat? Steep ascent and descent to Slieve Martin
- Buggy friendly? No – but Kilbroney Forest Park has plenty of other paved paths for short walks with buggies
- Parking availability and price: Cloughmore car park - Free
- Local amenities: Reservior country park, picnic area, toilets, café, playing fields
- Photo opportunities: Cloughmore stone, Slieve Martin viewpoint, Glen River
- Postcode for starting point: BT34 3AA (from here, follow a single track road 800 yrds to the car park)
Any walk as a family unit is going to require a little bit of work and organisation. Having said that the rewards of fresh air, exercise and time spent together far outweigh any difficulties. A good starting point is to devise your own set of requirements and see which walks in the surrounding area meet them. Local council and county websites are another good source for family walks.
About the Author:
Pete Fletcher - Outdoor Expert
Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A decade later and you’re most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding or making a mean coffee.