We think of walking as a family friendly activity and of course it really is, but certain walks can be more suited to different age groups. Just like you wouldn’t send somebody with walking difficulties up and down steep and rocky terrains, you might also want to take some factors into consideration when walking as a family of varying ages and abilities. Getting children into walking at a young age can influence their habits in later life, hopefully leading to a healthier and more active lifestyle, which is exactly what we all want for our children. So which are the best family friendly walks nationally and how can we spark our children’s interest in these? Let’s discuss.
It’s always good to choose an interesting walking spot when accompanied by children. They don’t want to be walking long and flat paths, they would much rather be exploring, climbing over logs, running through forests and splashing through puddles. Don’t be in a hurry to reach your destination, stop at look at all of the plants and bugs on route, discuss the surrounding countryside and it can even be fun to make up games to play along the way. This will hold your children’s interest and make your walk really fun for everybody.
We love the Kerry Ridgeway on the Welsh Borders. This family friendly walk would certainly keep the littlies entertained with views of 70 miles or more, from Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons in Wales across to the Shropshire hills, it’s really quite breath taking. This is also a red-kite breeding area so animal lovers will enjoy spotting these beautiful birds.
Next up is Walberswick nature reserve in Suffolk. The variety on offer here is enough to keep all ages happy and so makes for a really family friendly walk. Here you’ll find sand dunes, estuary marshes, saline lagoons and shingle beaches, plus a lovely circular walk. You can even hop on the ferry on the return route if little legs are becoming tired.
Brownsea Island Nature Reserve in Dorset must definitely make the list. After jumping on a ferry from Sandbanks, Poole, you’re transported to an island with diverse habitat, flooded woodland, lakes, reed beds and pine woods. This is a really beautiful spot that feels like a little break away from the real world. As autumn approaches it’s a great time to go and spot the red squirrels on the island. On route back you should definitely have a stroll on beautiful sand banks beach to round off your day.
Speke Hall in Liverpool is another wonderfully family friendly walk. With hidden paths through ancient woodland it’s a playground for children. There are many butterflies, beetles and birds to be spotted in this area which will go down well with those little bug enthusiasts!
Our final fave family friendly walk is Brockhampton Estate wildlife walk in Herefordshire. This area is brimming with wildlife from ravens and woodpeckers to insects and all kind of flowers and trees. There is a 30 minute route which is nice and short and is also dog friendly. The magical thing about this trail is the oak carved sculptures you’ll find along the way as you walk through large areas of ancient oak woodland. There are also lovely waterside paths around a small lake and along a little stream.
We hope there are some useful tips here and you manage to get out on a family friendly walk. It can be really special as a family, the children can be free and spontaneous and it’s a great way to spend quality time together. The fresh air and nature is great for everyone’s mind set and will help the kiddies sleep well… you can thank us later!