Our top spring walks

Now is the perfect time to get outdoors and spot signs of our gardens and countryside bursting into life. There's plenty to enjoy from snowdrops to daffodils, as well as nesting birds and gamboling lambs. Here are our top walks all around the country to try this spring.

Conifer plantations cover the lower slopes down to the reservoir

Derwent Valley, Peak District 

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. In 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.

Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne

Downhill Demesne, Northern Ireland 

Come and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the stunning Downhill Demesne with its beautiful gardens and cliff walks. In spring, look out for snowdrops in the garden and see how many fish you can spot in the pond at the Black Glen.

Covington woods footpath, Devon

Fowey Estuary, Cornwall 

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. In spring you can enjoy sights of gorse in bloom, early wheatears, sand martins and black-headed gulls.

Two dog walkers in the parkland at Ickworth

Ickworth, Suffolk 

A circular walk taking you round the Ickworth walled garden and canal lake, which is a haven for wildlife. Spot snowdrops and aconites in early spring, then see the flowers bloom in the walled garden where the meadow is full of 60,000 bulbs.

The Stepping Stones on the River Dove in Dovedale

Ilam Park, Peak District 

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. In spring there are wood anenome, bluebell, wild garlic, cowslip, early purple orchid, lesser celandine, red campion, and wild daffodils to look out for.

Bluebells at Hatchlands Park

Hatchlands Park, Surrey 

This circular walk follows the edge of the park and then cuts across the centre of the estate through woodland and open parkland. The show-stopper on this walk is the brand new carpet of bluebells which burst into bloom each spring.

View over Pwll Du Bay

Pwll Du, Gower 

This four-mile walk along South Gower's coast lets you visit the cliff known as Graves End, which holds a gruesome tale of shipwrecks. Look out for yellow whitlow grass; this is the only place it grows in the UK. You can also try to spot a chough - a rare member of the crow family.

Skylark sometimes seen at Sheringham

Sheringham Park, Norfolk 

This wonderfully varied woodland and coastal walk takes you through parkland, fields, woods, and along cliff edge by the sea. The highlight is found on the middle part of this walk where you can hear skylarks singing by the coast, and later in the season you can hear the first of the summer warblers.

Newton Pool near Embleton Bay, Northumberland

Newton Pool, Northumberland 

Enjoy a gentle walk alongside the Northumberland coast with plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities along the way. 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.

Slindon folly, built in 1814 for the Countess of Newburgh's picnic parties

Slindon Estate, West Sussex 

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

A couple walking the coast path at St David's Head

St David's Head, Pembrokeshire 

Explore Pembrokeshire’s coastal headland several miles away from Wales’ smallest city, St David’s. In spring the coastline 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.

The 12th-century church in the hamlet of Isel, Cumbria

Wordsworth House, Cumbria 

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. In spring it's worth keeping a look out for the heritage plants in the walled garden that Wordsworth played in as a child.