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No. 24 Go barefoot

Exploring the Barefoot Trail at Godolphin, Cornwall
Exploring the Barefoot Trail at Godolphin, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Going barefoot is one of the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. It's the perfect activity make a lasting connection with nature.

Take those shoes off

Peel off your stinky socks and let your bare toes wiggle free. Clamber up beach dunes and feel the warm sand on your soles, dance on soft wet grass in your garden, or listen to the squelchy loveliness of wet mud squishing under your feet.

Don't forget to take a towel for afterwards, and keep your eyes open for glass or other things that might poke your feet.

Walking barefoot at Llanbedrog beach in June, Llyn Peninsula, Wales
Walking barefoot at Llanbedrog beach | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Top 10 places to go barefoot

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight
There are lots of different textures to feel under your feet at Compton Bay. Rub your foot over stone foot casts made by dinosaurs, and sink your toes into sand. Feel the tickly grass on the nearby Butterfly Walk or have a paddle in the sea to cool down.Go barefoot at Compton
Dunwich Heath, Suffolk
Free your feet at Dunwich Heath, where little toes can explore the rough grass and sandy beach. There's also lots of wildlife to spot on the discovery trail and watery creatures to make friends with while you're there.Go barefoot at Dunwich Heath
Godolphin, Cornwall
Godolphin is our first ever dedicated barefoot trail. Here your feet can feel everything from smooth slate to tickly fir cones, the balancing log and soft sand. In fact, there are over 20 textures to explore. All you have to do is follow the footprint signs.Go barefoot at Godolphin
Hidcote, Gloucestershire
The Great Lawn at Hidcote provides children with a flat expanse of lawn for a spot of barefoot walking. Little explorers can feel the manicured grass against their feet, as parents take it easy.Go barefoot at Hidcote
Ickworth, Suffolk
The croquet lawn in the Italianate garden at Ickworth is perfect for barefoot picnics, where you can enjoy your lunch outdoors and explore the feeling of the grass on your bare feet. Take your shoes off, lay out your picnic rug and enjoy the great outdoors in this beautiful garden.Go barefoot at Ickworth
Killerton, Devon
The toddler and buggy walk is ideal for little legs and pushchair passengers. Enjoy a picnic, kick off your shoes and let the grass tickle tiny toes on the garden lawns. There’s flowers and wildlife to spot on route and even a Bear’s Hut to explore.Go barefoot at Killerton
Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland
Walking across Pilgrims’ Way is a real adventure. Kids love the fact that they are walking on sand that will be enveloped by the sea later that day. Make sure you check the tide times before you set off though: you don’t want to turn up when Pilgrims’ Way is underwater.Go barefoot at Lindisfarne
Lyme Park, Cheshire
Lyme Park has plenty of lovely grassy areas for freeing your feet. With over 1,300 acres of estate, you won't be short of places to explore.Go barefoot at Lyme Park
Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry
Portstewart Strand isn’t just about sand. You can paddle in the waves, wind your way through the long grass of the dunes and then dip your toes in the water at the Bann Estuary. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for butterflies, whales, otters, dolphins and seals. If you’re lucky you might even spot the Cinnabar moth. This day-flying insect can look scary because of its vibrant red spots and lines.Go barefoot at Portstewart Strand
Strumble Head to Cardigan, Pembrokeshire
At Strumble Head the whole family can experience a range of textures underfoot: soft peat, small stones, rocky outcrops, heather and gorse. The Pen Anglas headland walk takes you from Goodwick, across rugged coastal heath, reaching the volcanic rock formations at Pen Anglas headland and with views across Cardigan Bay.Go barefoot at Strumble Head
Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Have fun exploring nature and the great outdoors with our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

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