Step into spring with our top spring walks

After a long, cold winter now is the perfect time to get outdoors to spot signs of our gardens and countryside bursting into life this spring.

There's plenty to enjoy from snowdrops to daffodils, apple blossom to magnolias as well as plenty of wildlife, including birds nesting, hares ‘boxing’ and lambs gambolling in fields.

Here are just some examples of walks all around the country to enjoy this spring:

    East of England

    Ickworth Walled-garden and canal walk, Suffolk – 1.8 miles
    A circular walk taking you to the Ickworth walled garden, and canal lake, which is a haven for wildlife, The view from the far side of the canal is one of the best at Ickworth, looking over the former vineyard, and sneaking a peek at the church, and the Rotunda.

    Signs of spring: Spot snowdrops and aconites in early spring, then spring flowers bloom in the walled garden where the spring meadow is full of 60,000 bulbs.

    Sheringham Park woodland and coastal walk, Norfolk - 7 miles
    This wonderfully varied woodland and coastal walk takes you through parkland, fields, woods, and along cliff edge by the sea. Savour the views from the tree-top gazebo and absorb the history and rich variety of trees, bird and animal life.

    Signs of spring: The highlight is found on the middle part of this walk, by the coast, where you can hear skylarks singing, then comes the first of the summer warbles.

    London & South East

    Hatchlands Park, Surrey - 1.8 miles
    This circular walk follows the edge of the park and then cuts across the centre of the estate through woodland and open parkland with distant views of the house and the wider Surrey countryside.

    Signs of spring: The show-stopper on this walk is the brand new carpet of bluebells which burst into bloom each spring.

    Eartham to Puck Lane and Nore Hill Folly wak, West Sussex - 3.75 miles
    This walk around Nore Hill Folly from The George Inn at Eartham is perfect for warm days in spring, with much of the route overhung and shaded by trees.

    Signs of spring: Feast your eyes on the superb show of bluebells here, from as early as mid-April.


    Ilam Park to Dovedale stepping stones, Peak District - 2.5 miles
    Discover the limestone countryside of the southern Peak District, famed for its wildlife and geology with this walk from Ilam Park to Dovedale Stepping Stones. Starting at Ilam Park, this easy walk takes you into Dovedale, an iconic gorge carved out by the river Dove.

    Signs of spring: There are wood anenome, bluebell, wild garlic, cowslip, early purple orchid, lesser celandine, red campion, and wild daffodil to look out for.

    Derwent Valley: a bracing walk, Derbyshire - 4 miles
    Taking in the many Peak District habitats, this walk will lead you alongside the Ladybower Reservoir, through farmland and steep wooded cloughs, before emerging high up on the moors.

    Signs of spring:  See if you can spot some of England's only mountain hares, which were introduced to the moors many years ago, as an alternative game to grouse.

    Northern Ireland

    Shore trail at Castle Ward, County Down - 1.2 miles
    Try our shore trail - an excellent trail for spotting wildlife and taking in the stunning scenery of Strangford Lough.

    Signs of spring: Gorse is starting to flower, as well as hazel, catkins, celendines and fragrant butterbur. There are Brent Geese on the Lough, fuelling up before they migrate back to the Canadian arctic.

    Downhill Demesne walk, County Londonderry - 2 miles
    Come and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the stunning Downhill Demesne with its beautiful gardens and cliff walks. Visit the apple orchard in the walled garden, and the beautiful 18th-century folly, Mussenden Temple, originally inspired by the Tivoli Temple of Vesta.

    Signs of spring: Look out for snowdrops in the garden and see how many fish you can spot in the pond at the Black Glen.

    North West

    Hawfinch spotting at Sizergh Castle - 2.5 miles
    Birdwatchers flock to Sizergh to seek out this special visitor on our wildlife walk. Hawfinch are usually shy birds spending most of their time in tree tops and are easily overlooked within even the lightest of foliage. In spring when leaves are absent they can be observed easier in the trees here in the car park. 

    Signs of spring: March and April is an ideal time for this walk, with hawfinches visiting hornbeam trees, woodland wildflowers including daffodils.

    Wordsworth House countryside walk, Cumbria - 8 miles
    This scenic walk through the quiet countryside of the North Lakes starts from Wordsworth House in Cockermouth - birthplace and childhood home of the poet William Wordsworth. Much of the route follows the Allerdale Ramble, taking in views of the fells and the hamlet of Isel, before returning across fields to the charming Georgian town of Cockermouth.

    Signs of spring: Look out for the heritage plants in the walled garden that Wordsworth played in as a child.

    Yorkshire and North East

    Newton Pool coastal walk - 1 mile
    Enjoy a gentle walk alongside the Northumberland coast with plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities along the way. Remember to bring your binoculars as there are great views and lots of birds to spot from the beach and wildlife hides.

    Signs of spring: Skylarks are one of the first signs of spring with their unbroken calls of warbling. Also look for the tortoiseshell butterfly on sunny days and early coastal flowers such as coltsfoot, celendines and scurvy grass.Things to see and do in the North East

    Hardcastle Crags woodland wildlife walk - 3 miles
    The valleys of Hardcastle Crags, west of Halifax, offer stunning riverside views while the oak, beech and pine woods are full of tumbling streams on this woodland wildlife walk.

    Drew Marsh, our ranger at Hardcastle Crags says: 'I love the magic of spring, when you can stop and appreciate the beauty of nature all around you. Find a spot to yourself and breathe in the space, sights and sounds of the world waking up.'

    South West

    Countisbury to Watersmeet, Lynton - 3.5miles
    This circular walk from Lynmouth via Countisbury and Watersmeet takes in the harbour town of Lynmouth, before climbing up out of the valley through sessile oak woodlands where you might spot deer. The last part of the walk takes the South West Coast Path back into Lynmouth and gives spectacular views along the coast and across to Wales.

    Signs of spring: Spot dippers, grey wagtails, and hazel catkins. In early spring, notice the powerful aroma of wild garlic from the bright green plants with white flowers.

    The Hall Walk, near Lanhydrock, south Cornwall - 4 miles
    The Hall Walk from Fowey Estuary to Pencarrow Head combines the best of Britain from town through countryside via river and sea, forest and farmland with diversions to beach and cliff. 

    Signs of spring:enjoy gorse in bloom, early wheatears, sand martins and black-headed gulls (whose black heads will have returned for spring).


    St Davids Peninsula, Pembrokeshire - 2 miles
    Explore Pembrokeshire’s coastal headland several miles away from Wales’ smallest city, St David’s. Look out at island-dotted seascapes against the steep backdrop of Carn Llidi, prehistoric monuments and a fantastic array of coastal wildlife on this rugged circular walk.

    Signs of spring: The Pembrokeshire coast is a blaze of pink, yellow and white flowers in spring. Look out for thrift, also known as sea pink, which you'll find growing along the coast path and in stone walls and hedgebanks.

    Southgate, Hunts Bay and Pwll Du circular walk, Gower - 4 miles
    This four-mile walk along South Gower's coast lets you discover limestone loving plants and visit the cliff known as Graves End that holds a gruesome tale of shipwrecks.

    Sings of spring: Look out for yellow whitlow grass; this is the only place it grows in the UK. See if you can spot the chough - a rare member of the crow family.