Do you like walking? Do you enjoy spending time out with your family? There are thousands of footpaths across the country, from north to south, waiting for you. Stunning landscapes, panoramic views, spectacular beaches and quiet spots. We are spoilt for choice! So, let’s make the most of the longer and warmer days of summertime in Britain with those magnificent National Trust walks.
Heather-clad hills, gritstone tors and a mosaic of wildlife habitats make for a dramatic backdrop to this four-mile walk. The route runs alongside the Ladybower Reservoir, through farmland and up steep wooded cloughs, before emerging high on top of the moors. Soak in panoramic views of the Derwent Valley and much of the Dark Peak – particularly impressive on a clear summer’s day.
For peace and quiet this summer, opt for a stroll among Calke’s veteran trees and secret walled gardens. With no public roads, it’s an ideal spot to get away from it all. The park boasts rich and varied landscapes of grassland, ponds and wood pasture – one of the rarest habitats in Europe. Take a closer look at Calke’s smallest creatures at one of the many bug-watching sites – excellent for curious children.
This bracing and beautiful coastal walk in Northumberland takes in a spectacular beach and ancient ruins. Setting off from the fishing village of Craster, the trail passes the ruined chambers and staircases of the mighty Dunstanburgh Castle. Step inside the fortress (National Trust members can visit for free) or pause outside to spot roosting swallows swirling overhead. Continue towards the long sweep of Embleton Sands for a spot of paddling (or swimming for the brave) before finishing in Low Newton by the Sea.
Gaze at the night sky from the gentle shores of Derwent Water on this atmospheric evening walk. Just a ten-minute stroll from the lakeside car park lies Friar’s Crag, a small promontory with unparalleled views of the water and surrounding fells. On a clear night it’s the perfect spot to set down a blanket and watch the dusky pink sky turn into a thick blanket of stars.
Climb to the top of Collard Hill for far-reaching views of the Somerset countryside. Find a quiet spot to admire the patchwork fields and catch glimpses of the Large Blue butterfly. Having disappeared in the 1970s, this rare and fascinating species is now flourishing thanks to careful conservation work.
At just a mile long, Brownsea’s woodland trail is ideal for little legs. The walk meanders through scented pine trees where visitors can catch glimpses of wildlife and discover traces of the island’s industrial past. By visiting this natural haven, walkers are helping the National Trust protect habitats for hundreds of animals and birds, including the island’s famous red squirrel.
Mount Stewart’s extraordinary gardens are not to be missed at this time of year. Voted one of the top ten gardens in the world, their magnificent array of plants and trees explode into a kaleidoscope of colour during the summer months.
Stroll along paths lined with blooming magnolias and azaleas that lead to a seven-acre lake. Here, children can feed the birds and photography enthusiasts can capture the vibrant reflections in the water. Discover these majestic gardens on an expert-led tour on 22 July. Booking is essential – enquire at the property for details.
Bosherton’s spectacular waterlilies are at their best in June and July. Amble around the ponds, keeping an eye out for the elusive otters. Walkers looking to stretch their legs further can explore the dunes and pools of the Mere Pool Valley behind Broad Haven South beach.
Feel rejuvenated on a clifftop walk across the headland at Rhossili. On a clear summer’s day visitors will be rewarded with spectacular sea views, and if they’re lucky, grey seals lolling on the rocks below. Remnants of history preside over this dramatic landscape – an Iron Age fortress and shipwreck are to be explored along the way.
Sea bird colonies, a medieval harbour and striking clifftop views are waiting to be discovered on this stretch of Cornish coastline. The four-mile route starts in the picturesque fishing village of Boscastle and crosses the dramatic cliffs before heading inland across the Valency valley. Enjoy the dappled shade of the trees whilst following the meandering river back through peaceful woodland.
Cover Photo | ©National Trust Images John Millar