Top 10 Great British secret walks 2013


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To celebrate the launch of The Great British Walk annual walking festival this weekend, we have revealed the top 10 secret trails that can only be accessed by foot.

The list has been carefully selected by our experts who wanted to showcase walks that offered a unique experience whether a hidden viewpoint, newly accessible coastal paths or the story of an old legend.

The Great British Walk, which is sponsored by PruHealth, hopes to encourage the nation to explore and share the many special places the Trust looks after for the nation.

The top ten secret discovery walks are all available as individual downloadable PDFs.  We also have videos giving you a glimpse of these special secret walks.

1. The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
The land successfully acquired by us last year is included in this breathtaking walk, which allows you to walk to the South Foreland Lighthouse and see a previously hidden view across this iconic landscape.

2. Minnowburn, Northern Ireland
The Giant's Ring is the largest henge in Ireland. It was built around the same time as Stonehenge and Avebury in 2,700BC, but its story is little known. This two mile walk starting from the car-park reveals a hidden side to the well known city of Belfast, which lies less than three miles away.

3. Erddig, Wales
A love story between two of Erddig’s family servants has been brought to life in a walk taking in rarely visited parts of the estate. Retrace the footsteps of where the lovers met and see for yourself, through treasured mementoes how romance blossomed.

4. Sizergh Castle, south Lake District
Hidden and hard to find – the secret here is a 1,600 year old yew tree, buried deep in the woods.

5. Sparrow Dale, Sheringham Park, Norfolk
Often overlooked by visitors to the park, Sparrow Dale is a hidden valley that’s perfect for wildlife lovers. It has a wide variety of trees making it a great place to spot birds of prey.

6. Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland coast
Many may know the castle but few people walk around the back to see the breathtaking views of the remains, its hidden cliffs and volcanic rocks.

7. Malham Waterfall, Yorkshire Dales
The path leads to a magical waterfall where walkers will discover a secret cave. Local legend says the cave is home to the Queen of the Fairies, so making wishes is a must.

8. Trelissick, Cornwall
Overlooking the Fal estuary, this walk leads you much further into the estate than many usually venture to a secluded, iron-age fort.

9. Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Explore never before seen parts of the Stowe estate – including a secret garden hidden for many years surrounded by monuments and waterfalls.

10. Attingham, Shropshire
A path, newly opened up for the Great British Walk, allows visitors to share a rare view of the front of Attingham House, previously only reserved for privileged guests of the owners, the Berwick family, when they lived there.

Share your walking photos with us
We are encouraging everyone to join in with the Great British Walk, get out for a walk and share your walking photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at #GBwalk.