Our top spring nature walks

A walk can be a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Warmer spring days mean you can shed a few layers, and it's also the time of year when you can experience the world waking up around you – from tiny green shoots pushing up through the soil, to birds nesting in hedgerows and trees bursting into leaf.

Visitors in Cotehele's spring garden

Studies have shown that walking regularly can improve mood, reduce anxiety and help you sleep better, so why not try it for yourself? Heading out for a stroll is the perfect way to enjoy the season, and we’ve even got some top tips for exploring the great outdoors - so you can really make the most of your adventures.

Find spring trails near you

Wildlife and wildflowers to look out for

Wildlife spotting tips

Know what you're looking for
Before you head out, it’s worth doing a bit of research to find out which animals and wildflowers are in the area. Many of the places we care for will have information about local wildlife on their webpages, which will mean you can head to the right habitat if there’s something you particularly want to see.

Keep your distance
It can be a really exciting experience to see a new creature in the wild, but it’s important to give them plenty of space and stay calm to avoid disturbing them. You're more likely to see wildlife if you stay hidden, so avoid go for muted colours of clothing and avoid wearing perfume or scented sun cream. A pair of binoculars will help you to see details from a safe distance.

Capture the memories
You never know when you might make a special discovery, so why not take a camera or notebook and pencil to record your findings? You could even pack a pocket guide to help you identify the flowers and animals that you come across.

Look & listen
Many creatures large and small are excellent at camouflage. Droppings, flattened grass tracks or muddy paw prints can let you know if there’s anyone in the area, and if you listen hard you might be able to find a bird by following its song, or hear other creatures moving in the undergrowth.

Get comfy
Wildlife works on its own time, and you might have to wait for hours to see shy or rare animals like kingfishers. Take a rug to sit on, layers for warmth and a raincoat to keep you dry. Water and snacks are a good idea as well but remember to avoid strong-smelling foods, and always take any litter home with you.

Think like wildlife
Animals will often head for shade on a sunny day, and when the weather is dry they’ll need to find water to drink. Wet weather brings bugs and worms to the surface, making a feast for the birds. Many of the places we care for will run regular guided walks with rangers, which are the perfect opportunity to pick up some more tips.

Working together to put a spring in your step

As our official outdoor retail partner, Cotswold Outdoor is helping us care for coast and countryside. This means we can continue our work to protect the plants and wildlife that fill the walking trails we care for with vibrant colour during the spring.

Sian Cahill from Cotswold Outdoor in Bristol tells us why she loves walking at this time of year. 

'The longer days are the best part for me. Being able to go out for a walk at any time of day and knowing I have all the time I need to explore and fully appreciate nature is definitely a highlight of spring.'

Get everything you need to make the most of walking this season. National Trust supporters receive 15 per cent discount at Cotswold Outdoor, in store and online.*

*Full T&Cs apply. This is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Selected lines are exempt. This offer is redeemable on production of your National Trust membership card in-store, or both members and our other supporters can email partners@cotswoldoutdoor.com to receive a discount code to use online or in-store. Offer expires 31/12/19.