Five Nature Walks to Get the Kids Enjoying the Great Outdoors

16th March 2017

Here’s our pick of child-friendly nature walks that provide eye-opening adventures for the whole family.

Some say the best way to discover nature is on foot, and going on a nature walk with your children is a fantastic way to get your little ones excited about the world around them. With much of the UK’s most beautiful scenery within reach of a railway station, it’s easy to hop on a train and explore the countryside. Here’s our pick of child-friendly nature walks that provide eye-opening adventures for the whole family.

Box Hill, Surrey

With incredible views across the North Downs and lots of walking trails to explore, Box Hill is the ideal place to put your best foot forward and discover the Surrey Hills. With Box Hill & Westhumble station less than a mile away, the area is serviced by trains from Dorking and London Victoria. For little legs, the Stepping Stones trail ambles down to the River Mole and is teeming with plants and wildlife. Look out for the brightly coloured wings of Adonis blue butterflies around the woodland. For fearless explorers, there is a free three-mile guided walk covering hilly, uneven ground every Wednesday.

Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Stretching across the mountains down to the forests and lakes of this mountain range, you’ll find different trails to suit your family. With its stunning landscape in between three mountains, the town of Abergavenny provides the perfect base for exploration. Near to Abergavenny Castle and Museum, take a leisurely stroll through Castle Meadows, looking out for kingfishers along the riverside. Or why not tackle the slope up to the Sugar Loaf Mountain, which starts off easy but gets more challenging as you near the summit. Even though this national park seems off the beaten path, getting here is straightforward with direct trains running to Abergavenny from cities such as Cardiff, Newport and Manchester.

Knole Park, Kent

Home to sika and fallow deer, this 1,000-acre deer park boasts an unmanaged landscape that gives visitors the opportunity to get up close to nature. Venture to the edges of the park for the best view of the famous seven oaks, gather the whole family together for a woodland walk or see a selection of the best spots on a pushchair and wheelchair-friendly tour. Keep an eye out for ant hills amongst the tress on the Chestnut Walk or head up to the park’s highest point, Echo Mount. Here you’ll see deer and maybe even the occasional deer fight during rutting season. If you’re feeling peckish, the family-friendly onsite café serves snacks, ice cream, drinks and hot and cold meals. The closest station, Sevenoaks, is within walking distance at just over a mile away.

Rutland Water Nature Reserve, East Midlands

Occupying nine miles of shoreline along the edge of Rutland Water, this nature reserve hosts magical and bird watching hides. Bring a camera and encourage your children to take photos of anything interesting they spot among the 25,000 waterfowl that take sanctuary in the reserve. The county of Rutland is popular with walkers thanks to its precious and tranquil landscape. Oakham train station is 2 miles away and is served by trains running between Stansted and Birmingham with connections at Leicester and Peterborough.

Kendal, Cumbria

Regarded by many as The Gateway to The Lakes, Kendal is a busy market town overlooked by the ruins of Kendal Castle. With plenty to see and do amongst the town’s cobbled streets, Kendal also offers some of the best views in the Lake District. Amble up to Castle Hill for a picnic surrounded by striking scenery and sculptured seats. A steep, quick walk from the town, Scout Scar offers views as far as Blackpool Tower and the Yorkshire Dales. For those with toddlers, much of the route is suitable for pushchairs. The station is a few minutes’ walk from the centre with direct trains to Windermere, Preston and Manchester.

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