The Easter holidays are nearly upon us, giving friends and families more time to spend together to enjoy the sunshine (hopefully) and fresh air. These seasonal changes make fitness training far more pleasant and we can take great delight in some of the amazing Spring walks that the South East has to offer.
We’ve put together this handy guide to 5 of our favourite routes around South-East England covering West Sussex, East Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and London.
We’ve deliberately picked walking routes that come in at less than 10km, making them more suitable for younger families, varied fitness levels and ages alike, take a look and see…
1. Explore ancient woodland whilst walking in West Sussex
Slindon Estate, West Sussex
Starting point: Eartham
Distance: 6km (3.8 miles)
Time to complete: 1 hour 30 minutes (average)
It was pretty obvious that the South-Downs would feature on this list, it is after all the home of Just Walk, and this one is certainly one of our favourites for this time of year.
As the largest traditional estate occupying the South Downs, Slindon is a well traversed area. Starting at The George Inn at Eartham, this splendid walk around Nore Hill Folly really encapsulates the beauty of the South Downs, truly coming alive around mid-April time, when the bluebells bloom under the expansive canopies of old beach trees. Perfect training terrain.
2. Walk amongst the Bluebells in East Sussex
Crowhurst Walk, East Sussex
Starting point: Crowhurst Railway Station
Distance: 5.5km (3.5 miles)
Time to complete: 1 hour 30 minutes (average)
Crowhurst Walk offers a mix of scenery along its route, guiding you around the village of Crowhurst itself and through the ancient woodland reserve at Fore Wood. In spring, the Wood is a mass of bluebells, you might also see early purple orchids
Along the way, you’ll pass The Ancient Yew in Crowhurst Churchyard, thought to possibly predate the Roman’s – that’s nearly 3,000 years old! This area is also teaming with wildlife, particularly when you reach Fore Wood, owned by the RSPB; naturally, birds are the main attraction, and you can expect to encounter numerous species of woodpecker, moorhen, mallard and, if you’re lucky, kingfisher and grey heron.
3. A walk for butterfly and dragonfly spotting in Hampshire
New Forest, Hampshire
Starting point: Hale Purlieu car, National Trust car park
Distance: 4.8km (3 miles)
Time to complete: 1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes (average)
Perfect if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, this route takes you in a figure of eight through Hale Purlieu, guiding you across streams.
With fantastic views overlooking the New Forest Northern Common’s valleys and mires, the area is home to various types of wildlife, so keep an eye out for flying insects like dragonflies, butterflies and birds like stonechats and Dartford warblers. From March to July its nesting bird season, so if you’re bringing your dog, be sure to keep it on a leash at all times. Also, be prepared to cross the shallow streams - waterproof boots will be needed.
4. Walk across stunning woodland and heathland in Surrey
Frensham Walk, Surrey
Starting point: Bacon Lane, Churt
Distance: 9.6km (6 miles)
Time to complete: 1 hour – 3 hours (average)
Enjoy rambling through the heathland and woodland around the village of Frensham, taking in the beautiful views. This walk encompasses the two ponds of Frensham known as Great Pond and Little pond as well as interesting and unusual wildlife; sand lizards, Dartford warblers, nightjars, and plants such as the insectivorous sundew.
Stop for refreshments at Frensham Little pond, where you can fill up on tasty snacks and homemade cakes. Alternatively, there’s the popular The Holly Bush pub further into the walk.
Discover more about this walk here.
5. Walk a disused railway at London’s longest linear nature reserve
Parkland Walk – North West London
Starting point: Finsbury Park, London
Distance: 5.5km to (3.5 miles)
Time to complete: 1.5 – 2 hours (average)
This walk offers an excellent opportunity to experience wildlife right in the heart of the city. Take in some alternative views of London whilst trekking the course of a railway that runs from Finsbury Park, through Alexandra Palace at the turn of the century.
Take a dawn walk here in Spring, when it is less busy and you’ll be greeted with the railway’s dawn chorus, a remarkable sound, and not one often heard in the city.
Learn more about this unique London walk here.
We’d love to hear from you and find out what your favourite walk is and where it is. Please feel free to comment on our blog… we may also share these on our social media platforms too (thank you in advance).