Getting outdoors can be a great activity for your whole family to enjoy together, especially during the school holidays when the sun is shining! Whether you have little ones or teenagers, exploring the world around you can be a great way to unwind — and what child doesn’t love a splash around in some muddy puddles?
Here in Great Britain, we have plenty of beautiful walks with stunning scenery. But, how do you know which ones are suitable for your family? Luckily, we’ve put together a list of some of the best Great British walks for the whole family. All you need to do is choose which one sounds like the most fun!
To create our list, we found 40 family-friendly walks, as suggested by family bloggers and online roundups. Then, we looked at the length and walking time for each, as well as the cost based on the price of a family ticket, before finding out if they had the following amenities[i]:
- Free parking
- Disabled parking
- Dog friendliness
- Disabled toilets
- Baby changing
- Extra children’s activities
- Visitor centre
- Designated picnic site
- Pram/wheelchair access
We’ve pulled together walks from all over Britain so, whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next family staycation, or you’d like to remain a little closer to home, you’re bound to find something that suits you.
What are the best walks for little ones?
No matter how eager your little ones might be, their legs will probably only take them so far. To avoid any tears (and having to carry them) we’ve analysed the data to find out the best family walks for smaller children, based on length, accessibility, baby changing facilities, plus extra fun activities for your little ones to enjoy.
The Room on the Broom Adventure Trail at Anglers Country Park came out as our top-ranking walk for little ones. It’s free to enter and has free parking for up to two hours (with a small charge if you’re planning on staying longer). This walk also has toilets, baby changing facilities, and is accessible by pram or wheelchair. Plus, it has plenty of activities to keep your little one entertained, including a playground.
Alternatively, head out to the Loch Lomond Faerie Trail or Sculpture Trail at Rushmere Country Park and see if you can spot any fairies in the trees. You might even be able to make a wish or two! Both will only take you an hour to complete, and they’re fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs.
The route from Padley Gorge to Longshaw in the Peak District is a popular one among families in the summer and has a refreshing stream that’s perfect for paddling in and cooling off in the sun. However, bear in mind that this walk is only partially accessible and has some uneven terrain in the woodland and on the moors.
For children that don’t mind a bit more walking, why not head over to Fishpool Dingle Walk at Croft Castle, Blickling Estate, or the Pond Walk at Brodie Castle? These routes offer plenty of opportunities to see some of our great British wildlife, plus they all have a playground for your little ones to blow off some steam.
If you can’t make it to any of these walks, you can still plan your own fun activities that will get your kids exploring nature and will keep them entertained on your walks. Why not make your own scavenger hunt? Or, take along some paper and crayons and do some tree rubbings to make beautiful nature-inspired art.
What are the best walks for older kids?
If your family is a little older, you’re no doubt up to the challenge of a longer walk to keep them occupied. We’ve picked out the best walks for older kids based on their length and the time it will take to complete them.
The Three-in-one Woodland Walk at Ashridge Estate came out as our top-ranking walk for older kids. With no entry fee, free parking, and plenty of amenities — including toilets, refreshments, baby changing, and a visitor centre — this walk is perfect for the whole family.
If you’re not travelling with any little ones in tow, then longer routes like the Five Pits Trail, Stackpole Wildlife Walk, The Balmoral Cairns, and the walk around Loch Muick are also great options for older children.
Fancy a little bit more of a challenge? The Llanberis Path up Snowdon is the easiest route up the mountain, making it perfect for beginners and families. The seven-hour round trip is definitely worth it for the view from the top!
What are the best walks for accessibility?
You don’t need to miss out on some of our country’s best walks if you’re travelling with a pram or wheelchair. We’ve pulled out the best walks for accessibility based on three factors: disabled parking, disabled toilets, and the accessibility of the terrain.
The Sculpture Trail at Rushmere Country Park came out as our top-ranking walk for accessibility. This route has disabled parking, disabled toilets, baby changing, and the path is fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs. Plus, there’s plenty for little ones to do, including a fairy trail and a playground, as well as refreshments and a visitor centre.
If you can’t get to Rushmere Country Park, then The Dunham Massey Ancient Trees Walk, Dunwich Heath and Beach, Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door, and the Pond Walk at Brodie Castle all have disabled parking, disabled toilets, and are accessible by pram too.
What are the best walks on a budget?
When you’re paying for the whole family, the cost of a day out can quickly add up. Luckily, there are plenty of walks on our list that won’t cost you anything at all. All of these walks are free to do, and they all have free parking.
The Room on the Broom Adventure Trail at Anglers Country Park came out as our best walk for families a budget, with lots of amenities such as toilets, refreshments, and a visitor centre, plus plenty of accessibility measures. Activity packs are available for £2, but are an optional add-on, and you can easily enjoy the walk without one.
The Long Pooh Walk from Gills Lap at Ashdown Forest is another great option for little readers. Take an exciting walk through the forest that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh and see if you can spot the homes of some of your favourite characters.
All this walking is bound to work up an appetite. Luckily, some of these walks, including The Room on the Broom Adventure Trail and Long Pooh Walk, have cafés and restaurants on-site, but you can always take along your own picnic if you prefer. Many of these walks have picnic tables for you to enjoy a spot of lunch at, and you could also pack yourself a picnic blanket and find a scenic spot to stop at.
Commenting on the rankings, Rachel Clinkard, Ecommerce Director from Charles Clinkard said:
“We’re really lucky to have such amazing walks right on our doorstep. From fantastic coastal walks to exciting nature trails, we really do have it all!
“Getting outside and exploring nature is a great way to boost your child’s development. Not only can they learn more about the world around them but investigating wherever they can helps improve their fine motor skills. Plus, getting outside and enjoying a bit of exercise can help give everyone’s mood a little boost too.
“Some of the country’s favourite walks aren’t necessarily family-friendly. Many are quite challenging, and others don’t have all the relevant facilities such as toilets, baby changing, and accessible paths. For families with children, it can be difficult to know exactly which walks are best. That’s why we put together our list of 40 family-friendly Great British walks.
“Nothing ruins a day out more than sore feet, so it’s important that your family is kitted out with the right shoes. Walking or hiking boots are your best option for long walks. As these styles are a little taller than conventional trainers, they offer more support around the ankle which helps prevent any injuries.
“The best way to prevent soreness and blisters is by making sure your shoes are the right fit. Your little ones are always growing, so it’s really important to get their feet measured before buying new shoes. Our handy printable measuring gauge will help you measure your child’s feet from home, so you can work out exactly what size to get.
“To avoid any complaints about blisters, make sure you wear thick socks to prevent your feet rubbing against the shoe. You might also want to carry some blister plasters with you just in case!”
Try our FREE printable Scavenger hunt!
To help keep your little ones entertained on your walk this winter, simply print off this Christmas Scavenger Hunt activity sheet. It features sixteen items that are commonly seen on a winter walk, and all your kids have to do is tick them off as they see them. Not only is it a fun activity, but it’s educational too! How many of the items are you able to find? Let us know by tagging us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!
If you’re looking for a way to entertain the kids this summer, then a family walk could be just the thing. We have plenty of beautiful locations right here in Britain. From adventure trails to wildlife walks, there really is something for every family!
To get the most out of your walk, you’ll want to keep your whole family comfortable, which means wearing the right shoes. Here at Charles Clinkard, we have plenty of men’s, women’s and kids’ footwear that will keep everyone’s feet warm and dry, whatever the weather.
[i] The walks were chosen from suggestions made by family bloggers and online roundups, before checking the facilities available for each walk. The categories we looked at were distance (miles), walking time (hours), cost (based on the price of a family ticket), free parking, dog friendliness, toilets, baby changing, refreshments, children’s activities, visitor centre, and designated picnic site. We then contacted each location by phone or contact form to gather information about disabled parking, disabled toilet facilities, and pram and wheelchair access. All data is correct as of June 2021. Note: Some data was unavailable for some walks.