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A Year of Walks with the National Trust

"Arnside Knott - Brilliant for butterflies in July"Jo Burgon, Head of Access and Recreation at the National Trust, says, ‘We’ve picked a selection of walks that reflect the seasonal delights of the British landscape, from a bracing walk along the Gower coast in South Wales in January to the autumnal splendours of the Chiltern beech woods at Ashridge.’

These walks range from a stroll through beautiful woodlands to witness the annual bluebell spectacle to striding up hills in the Yorkshire Dales. Remember to take the appropriate clothing, suitable footwear and a supply of refreshments. It’s also worth taking a notepad to record what you see and a camera to take pictures of the places and wildlife en route.
Picture of Arnside Knott, brilliant for butterflies in July. 
January - Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula
Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula in south Wales has some of the most beautiful and spectacular views in Wales: ideal for a bracing winter walk. The stunning Rhossili beach with its golden sands is popular with surfers and home to numerous shipwrecks, which can be seen at low tide, and tales of smuggling. This whole walk will take around 3 hours, is 5 miles long, and can be downloaded for free from the National Trust website. For further information contact: 01792 390707.

February - Kingston Lacy in Dorset –
Kingston Lacy in Dorset is an elegant country mansion set in attractive formal gardens with waymarked routes through extensive parkland. Kingston Lacy is famed for its annual display of over six million snowdrops which create a winter wonderland carpet throughout the gardens. Visitors will have a chance to wander around the park and woods surrounding the 17th-century mansion during the weekends and there are also special Snowdrop open days. For further information contact: 01202 883402.
March – Trelissick Gardens in south Cornwall
Trelissick Gardens in south Cornwall can be found at the head of the Fal Estuary in south Cornwall. With all year round colour and a circular woodland walk, this is the ideal place to enjoy the first days of spring. Taking a couple of hours this 2.5 mile walk will pass through a number of interlinked woods with great panoramic views of the estuary and a possible sighting of the greater spotted woodpecker or even a glimpse of a Kingfisher on the river Fal. For further information contact: 01872 862090.

April - Hatchlands Park in Surrey
Hatchlands Park in Surrey is one of the largest estates within the green belt surrounding Greater London and a peaceful haven for wildlife. If you want to experience Bluebell heaven follow the one mile walk through Little Wix Wood, where you’ll end up in the ancient woodland with its stunning annual display of Hatchlands famous bluebells together with a carpet of primroses and wood anemones. For further information contact: 01483 222482.

May - Brockhampton in Herefordshire
Brockhampton in Herefordshire is a special place with woodlands, meadows, traditional orchards and rolling countryside. This haven for wildlife, especially in the orchards, is the ideal place for a walk. Try the 1.5 mile Holly Walk which follows a route through beautiful woodland you’ll come across sculptures created by local schools. Listen out for the deep croaking call of ravens and woodpeckers drumming on tree trunks. You can download a free walk from the National Trust website. For further information contact: 01885 482077.
June - Upper Wharfedale in Yorkshire
Upper Wharfedale in Yorkshire. This 6 mile walk takes in the golden haymeadows and the dramatic hills of the glorious Yorkshire Dales. Discover an exciting landscape of limestone pavement, glaciated valleys and stunning flower-rich hay meadows where you’ll see birds such as the yellow wagtail and the Common Blue Butterfly. A free downloadable walk is available on the National Trust website. For further information contact: 01729 830416.
July - Arnside Knott on the Lancashire/Cumbrian border
Arnside Knott on the Lancashire/Cumbrian border is a 2-mile walk over looking Morecambe Bay on one side and the drama of the Lake District on the other. Look out for rare butterflies such as the Scotch Argus, which is dusky black with red border spots, and only found at two sites in England and flies during the end of July and beginning of August. This is also a top site for the rare and declining High Brown Fritillary, big, bold and fast flying in July. You can download a free Arnside walk from the National Trust website. For further information contact: 01524 701178.
Arnside Knott 

August – Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire
Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire is only seven miles from Sheffield and home to the newly opened Moorland Discovery Centre. With its woodland and farms there are great walking opportunities with dramatic panoramas across the beautiful landscape of the Peak District. Why not try the Burbage Brook walk with stunning views across the Peak District National Park. There is fantastic wildlife to be seen here, from rare birds to hairy wood ants, and a wonderful display of heather during the long lazy days of summer. For further information contact: 01433 631708.
September - Formby on the Lancashire coast
Formby on the Lancashire coast is an ever-changing stretch of coast not far from Liverpool. Formby is a terrific place to get close to nature. Pinewoods and close encounters with red squirrels contrast with views of the golden mobile yellow sand dunes and former asparagus fields. It’s worth following the 1.8-mile circular walk through the pinewoods of Formby to see the famous Formby red squirrels in their natural environment, darting between the trees. You can download a free red squirrel walk from the National Trust website. For further information contact: 01704 878591.

October - Ashridge in Hertfordshire
Ashridge in Hertfordshire is a majestic estate only 27 miles from the centre of London with towering ancient trees including beech and oak. The 2 mile wildlife walk is perfect for families and during the late autumn is awash with yellows, golds and reds as the leaves on the trees start to turn. It’s also worth looking out for gliding red kites above and a great time to see the annual spectacle of the deer rut. This walk is free to download from the National Trust website. For further information contact: 01442 851227.
November – Dunwich Heath on the Suffolk Coast
Dunwich Heath on the Suffolk coast is exposed to all the elements and the power of the North Sea and is one of the best examples of Suffolk Sandlings Heath which once ran the length of the coastline. During the 3.5 mile circular walk you’ll see fungi and gorse, ideal locations for kestrels, sand martins and wintering birds. You can stroll along the shingle and sandy beach in either direction. For further information contact: 01728 648501.
December - Castle Ward in Northern Ireland
Castle Ward in Northern Ireland is situated on the southern banks of the beautiful Strangford Lough, just a short distance from Belfast. Follow a 5.9-mile walk around the estate, which combines two walks, past the house, along the edge of internationally important Strangford Lough, with its wealth of wildlife and one of the best bird watching sites in Northern Ireland, and the Victorian Walled Garden. Walk leaflets are available from a dispenser in the car park. For further information contact: 028 4488 1204.

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