Five of the best cobweb busting walks in Scotland and the North of England.
It may well be the last thing you feel like when you wake up following the Christmas and Boxing day feasts but trekking off the turkey will leave you feeling brand new and ready to do it all again come Hogmanay.
Our list shows a preference for coastal walks and for this we make no apologies. We believe that there is nothing quite like saline air blowing at gale force to scour away the effects of over-indulgence.
Craster to Low Newton Coastal Walk
If your heart is set on something that will brace you to within an inch of your life then this one is for you. A wild coastal trail that heads from the fishing village of Craster out past the ghostly ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, then sweeps along the Embleton Sands to Low Newton by the Sea.
About 2hrs. Full details on the Walk Highlands website.
The Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve
Rolling along the A708 it’s hard to miss the white froth of the Grey Mare’s Tail gushing with great power from a height of 200ft. It is only a ten-minute walk from the road to the waterfall but from there you can walk up the steep slopes to the hanging valley to Loch Skeene. It’s a magical walk and one that you might have passed a hundred times without ever imagining it was there.
About 1hr. Full details on the National Trust website.
The West Sands, St Andrews
The West Sands is a glorious expanse of beach that curls north from the University town of St Andrews. It’s also a profoundly salty blast of cinematic history and if you’ve never walked along the West Sands before then your biggest challenge will be to complete your journey without busting loose with a few bars of Vangelis’s Chariots of Fire theme tune.
A walk to the end and back will take about an hour, or so.
Unless you are of a truly hardcore nature (in which case you’re unlikely to be consulting our little selection of walks) you won’t be looking for anything extreme. But perhaps you are up for a bit of challenge and that’s just what Ben Venue is. The finest hill in the Trossachs, stunning views from the summit and you can be up and down within 5-6hours without too much trouble.
About 5-6hrs. Full details on the Walk Highlands website.
Nairn dunes to Kingsteps and Culbin Forest
The beaches in this part of the world are breathtaking, the skies are huge and the air seems so pure you can almost feel it undoing the excesses of the day before. This walk from Nairn east to the shady charms of Culbin Forest is guaranteed to restore both mind and body.
About 2-3hrs. Full details on the Walk Highlands website.
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