Image courtesy of National Trust
Throughout the UK, there are 15 members of the national park family, which are protected areas because of their beautiful countryside. Camp Xplode has chosen some of our favourite family walks and accompanying shoes best suited to each walk and to inspire you to explore one of these beautiful areas with your children.
Camp Xplode’s Top Tips for Engaging Kids:
- Go for an ‘adventure’, ‘expedition’ or ‘quest’ rather than just a walk.
- Involve children in choosing which route to take. Woods and streams are great for paddling, log balancing and stick collecting
- Let them carry their own expedition pack of snacks, drinks and spare clothes such as gloves and hats
- Children burn in the sun quicker than adults as their skin is more delicate. Slap on the sunscreen and a hat.
- Dress for mess! Embrace the mud and encourage children to stamp through puddles
- Don’t expect a steady pace. Children will run headlong down a hill then spend forever looking at a gate hinge – go with it.
Great Walking Challenges for Kids:
- Name 3 things you can hear right now
- Find a twig in the shape of a letter
- What do the clouds look like?
- Find 3 different coloured stones or leaves
- Race to an object
- Play hide and seek
Our Top 4 Recommended Walks
1) North Yorkshire Moors: Forge Valley Woods
Image courtesy of Northyorkmoors.org
This is easy going 2-mile walk through the strikingly beautiful woods of Forge Valley. The Forge Valley form a link with the ancient Wildwoods of yesteryear. The place teems with loads of animals and plants of all shapes and sizes – you can see nuthatch up in the trees and crayfish swimming through the river, along with elusive deer skulking through the undergrowth. This woodland walk is a pleasure to walk at any time of the year.
To make the most of this top walk, we would recommend Regatta Holcombe Mid Jnr. These are waterproof to keep out any splashes and have a padded collar for extra warmth while exploring the ponds in Forge Valley Woods
2) Yorkshire Dales: Bolton Abbey
Image courtesy of boltonabbey.com
Nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales on the banks of the River Wharfe, Bolton Abbey is one of our top choices for family walks. Boasting over 80 miles of footpaths within 30 acres of beautiful countryside you will never get tired of visiting. Our favorite walk is through the Valley of Desolation. Once at the end of this short walk, you will be rewarded with the tranquil views of a beautiful waterfall.
There are even I Spy packs which you can download and play as a family. If you are feeling brave, try the 60 stepping stones which were the crossing point for the lay workers at the priory. Alongside mesmerizing views of the abbey, it offers a visitor’s center which can help you replenish those weary legs while the children build sandcastles on the beach and paddle with their fishing nets.
We would recommend Karrimor Suede Snow Kids for this adventure.
These snow/winter boots are designed to protect your feet from the elements, so after exploring the many trails and streams that Bolton Abbey has to offer your feet will still be warm and dry after your day’s adventure. These grippy walking boots will keep muddy pups on their feet over any terrain.
3) New Forest: Standing Hat Circular
Image courtesy of Daily Mail
There are potentially many New Forest walks for you to enjoy. With an impressive 235 kilometres of public footpath and 26600 hectacers of crown land and open spaces to explore. Our personal favourite walk in the New Forest is the Standing Hat Circular Walk, which offers an excellent opportunity to spend a few leisurely hours enjoying the scenery and atmosphere of this magical place. On this walk, you will pass through the richly varied landscape, and when in the new forest, there’s always a chance that around the next corner a deer or New Forest Ponies will be present to captivate and entertain.
The short circuit starting and finishing in central Lyndhurst explores both trees and heath. The views across the surrounding countryside are good whatever the time of year. You will fall in love as you walk through the enchanted forest, and there are plenty of places to stop and have a picnic.
For this walk, we would choose a pair of Hunters Wellies, because they come equipped with rubber soles, ideal for walking in off-road conditions and on the beaten track. They are stylish and extremely durable.
4) Lake District: Buttermere
Image courtesy of The National Trust
The Lake District has some of the best walks to help young people develop a love and appreciation for the outdoors. The trees of the southern tip of Buttermere known as The Sentinels, are said to be the most photographic in the country. The large lake is fed by Scale Force, the highest falls in the Lake District. Walk to the north of the lake and you will find a little pebbly beach, which is a great place for a picnic and paddle in the summer. Then head to Rannerdale Knott where Norman Warriors were defeated in battle – bluebells during spring cover the landscape in amongst the trees.
We would highly recommend Adidas Performance Kanadia 7 trainers.
These walking shoes are our favourite, not just because of the trademark three strips. These rugged, lightweight outdoor shoes are built for easy trails and multifunctional use. They are breathable with large grip for unpredictable terrain. Your children will be able to conquer any terrain in these.
Guest Post by Camp Explode