Fitness walks for the new year

If your new year’s resolution is to get fit then we’ve got plenty of trails to help you achieve your goals. These routes are all six miles or less, with varied terrain that will help build your stamina. There are plenty of beautiful views too, which provide the perfect motivation to head outside and get active.

A brisk walk to uplift the senses

Walking is one of the easiest ways to get fit. By taking a 30-minute walk every weekday, you'll accomplish the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week. A brisk walk can make you feel happier. Awareness of your surroundings, fresh air, and the sight of the sky aren't just things that one of our founders, Octavia Hill, wanted everyone to have access to, they'll also help you reconnect with our natural and striking world. 

Ever felt refreshed after just a quick stroll around the block? When this happens, your body releases good endorphins to lift your mood and prepare you to tackle the rest of the day. Even a 10-minute walk is proven to give you that feel-good effect.

Walking at Bathwick fields, Bath skyline, Somerset
Walking trail

Bath Skyline, Somerset 

This six-mile route boasts magnificent views over the city of Bath. You'll wander through history, past an Iron Age hill fort and 18th-century follies. The route takes you through hidden valleys, woodlands and meadows, all rich in wildlife. The Skyline walk burns as much energy as playing 90 minutes of football, so step out and work off some of those Christmas calories.

The Cedar Avenue at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Walking trail

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire 

Clumber’s 3,800 acres are criss-crossed with maintained trails and woodland paths, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore on foot. The estate is largely flat with a few small inclines, so it’s great for novice walkers and runners who aren’t quite ready to tackle steep hills. For a good two-mile stretch try the ‘all seasons’ trail, which provides gentle introduction to Clumber’s woodland, heathland and lakeside views.

Visitors walking in the parkland on a wintry day at Croome, Worcestershire
Walking trail

Croome, Worcestershire 

Grab your wellies and head outdoors on this winter welly walk at Croome. This trail will take you around the outer parkland with fantastic views across the Worcestershire countryside. You'll also get a good view of Pirton Castle as you head past.

Walker opening a gate
Walking trail

Divis and the Black Mountain, County Antrim 

The three-mile Summit Trail begins with a stretch along the Tipperary Road – named for the time when the mountain was a training ground and squaddies used to march along it in full kit. From here the trail cuts over open heath towards the highest peak in the Belfast Hills, Divis Mountain. Although the trail can be rough underfoot, the majestic views over the city of Belfast, Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains definitely make it worth the climb.

Early morning winter sun and mist in the park
Walking trail

Ickworth, Suffolk 

Wander through Ickworth’s woodlands on this two-and-a-half mile circular walk. On the way you’ll pass some of the estate’s highlights, such as the Italianate garden and the old deer park.

Visitors braving the weather on a wet and windy day at Killerton, Devon
Walking trail

Killerton, Devon 

Whether you’re after a good walk through beautiful landscape or an antidote to road running, Killerton is the place for you. With over 60 miles of footpaths there’s no shortage of places to explore, from parkland and rolling hills to dense woodland. If you don't mind the possibility of getting muddy, you can take in both chapels, historic parkland alongside the River Culm and open farmland on this two-hour walk.

Visitors walking towards the house at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Polesden Lacey, Surrey 

Soak up the peace and beauty of the Polesden Lacey landscape and the Surrey Hills beyond. At each viewpoint, stop and read the inspirational quote or extract of poetry beneath the door on the natural wooden plaque. Each has been specially chosen to help further awaken your senses and complement the surrounding landscape. Don’t forget to wear appropriate footwear for a good old muddy walk through the woods. This is a mildly challenging but hugely rewarding three-and-a-half mile walk that will take approximately two hours.

Wrap up warm and go on a winter walk at Stackpole
Walking trail

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire 

This dog-friendly walk is sure to get your heart pumping. Take in the views of some of the finest wildlife habitats in Pembrokeshire along the way, let the sea breezes rejuvenate your senses and you might even catch a glimpse of some wildlife.

Old Harry Rocks, Studland Bay, Cornwall
Walking trail

Studland, Dorset 

It’s much easier to find the motivation to exercise when you’ve got a good view. This three-and-a-half mile route includes the most famous landmarks on the Jurassic Coast - the Old Harry Rocks chalk stacks on Studland. With miles of golden sandy beaches, the dramatic history of Studland Bay and internationally important heathlands, this is the British coastline at its most beautiful.

Visitors walking in the garden at Trelissick, Cornwall
Walking trail

Trelissick, Cornwall 

Trelissick sits on its own peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides. This four-mile route follows the River Fal for part of its length before heading inland, so you can get fit while still enjoying spectacular views over water, woods and grazed farmland. The terrain is fairly easy-going so it’s great for beginners with one short, steep climb at the end for a bit more of a challenge.

Winter walking on Dunstable Downs Bedfordshire
Walking trail

Whipsnade and Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire 

This four-and-a-half mile walk covers moderate terrain, but there are a few steep gradients to help push your stamina levels a bit. Admire beautiful views along the Icknield Way as you head towards Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. This memorial to those lost in the First World War provides a tranquil spot to pause and rest, before you head off on the trail back to the centre.

The view across Lake Windermere, Cumbria
Walking trail

Windermere West Shore, Cumbria 

Take the ferry over from Bowness and ease yourself into walking, running or cycling with this wonderful low-level route. The well-surfaced lakeside track means you can get out and stretch your legs whatever the weather and it offers great views of the islands, interesting woodland archaeology and the Victorian Gothic Wray Castle. Please note, the ferry will not be running on Christmas Day.

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​