Wild trails near urban areas

Imagine escaping the city, just for a day, and discovering a wild place with winding trails and windswept views. These are places under our care, just a short drive from the jostle of urban life, where your feet and thoughts can wander. Whether you want to run, hike or take a leisurely stroll, here are ten beautiful places to visit.

The Garden House in the Pleasure Grounds at Osterley, London
‘It is lovely to have such a serene, calm oasis in urban London,' says Barbara S, who enjoys her visits to Osterley National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Wild trails at Osterley, London 

Run or walk on the trails at Osterley Park, a brilliant green jewel in the heart of our biggest city.

Trees and bluebells in the garden at Dunham Massey, Cheshire
‘The walk along the lake with the beautiful old house reflected in the water is stunning in all seasons,' says visitor Jo S National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Wild trails at Dunham Massey, Cheshire 

The National Trust's Dunham Massey estate offers an escape from busy city life in its famous deer park and gardens.

The Cage, an Elizabethan hunting tower, in the medieval deer park at Lyme Park, Cheshire
'At Lyme Park the sun was shining, the fresh air was invigorating and the house and grounds were beautiful,' recalls Sophie R, a frequent visitor to Lyme Park National Trust Images / James Dobson

Wild trails at Lyme Park, near Manchester 

If you want to run in the country but not stray too far from Manchester, the National Trust's Lyme Park, with its gardens and deer park, may be just what you're looking for.

View of a wooded glade in the parkland at Killerton, Devon, in September
‘Killerton is an antidote to road running, with 6,400 acres of parkland, rolling hills and dense woodlands including over 60 miles of footpath,' says Laurence Eastment, who works for the Trust National Trust Images / Clive Nichols

Wild trails at Killerton, near Exeter 

Whether on the parkland paths or through the dense woodland, the National Trust's Killerton estate in Devon has plenty to offer runners of any experience level.

View over the Lily Pond towards the Column to Liberty at Gibside, Tyne and Wear
'At Gibside running really is geared to all abilities,' says Samantha Morgan, a Run England group leader National Trust Images / John Millar

Wild trails at Gibside, near Newcastle 

Whatever your running experience, join the friendly running group at the National Trust's Gibside estate or just follow the trail markers for a real taste of the countryside on the edge of the city.

People running in Leigh Woods
Blow away the cobwebs with our Feel Good Friday running group National Trust

Walking and running at Leigh Woods

For the chance to run under Isambard Kingdom Brunel's famous suspension bridge, head to Bristol's Leigh Woods and explore the trails through the Avon Gorge.

The Longshaw estate in the Peak District, Derbyshire
‘I visited magical woodlands on the edge of the moors. It's a very special place with gnarled ancient oak trees and moss-covered stone boulders,' says Elisabeth A, who visits Longshaw National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

Wild trails at Longshaw, near Sheffield 

With its ancient oak trees, moss-covered boulders and heather-covered moors, the National Trust's Longshaw estate is just right for escaping city life and running through beautiful countryside.

View between trees into the distance by a footpath on the Clent Hills
‘I just love the calming atmosphere and magnificent vistas from the top,' says Tracy W a visitor to Clent Hills National Trust Images / David Noton

Wild trails at Clent Hills, near Birmingham 

Runners come to the Clent Hills, near Birmingham, to enjoy the quiet and fresh air of the countryside while still being close to the city.

The south west front of Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales
Tredegar House, Monmouthshire National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Wild trails at Tredegar House, near Newport and Cardiff 

Explore the South Wales countryside only a short hop from the city at Tredagar house. It's perfect for runners of all abilities.

A child watching a runner at Minnowburn, Co Down, Northern Ireland
'A lot of people like to stroll through the woodland, with the canopy overhead, and alongside the river and meadows,' says Craig Somerville, the Trust's Belfast area warden National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Wild trails at Minnowburn, Belfast 

Just a walk down the tow path from Belfast, Minnowburn offers woodlands, gardens and trails for runners to enjoy as they escape the city.