Image Credit: Michael Gaida
Despite the darker, chilly evenings, autumn is a great time to get outside and explore the best that the British countryside has to offer. If you need convincing, just picture gorgeous woodland carpets of orange and gold leaves and imagine the comforting smell of a far-off bonfire hanging in the crisp air.
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Add to this the fact that a recent study found that brisk walks can help to prevents breast and bowel cancer*, and you should be ready to dig out your walking boots!
This beautiful woodland walk begins at Alderley Edge railway station and is just 12 miles south of Manchester.
Set around a dramatic sandstone escarpment in rolling Cheshire farmland and mature Scots pines and beech woodlands, the Edge has spectacular views, intriguing legends and an ancient history of copper mining which dates back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age!
Distance: 4.5 miles
Discover a landscape of limestone pavement, glaciated valleys and flower-rich hay meadows in the glorious setting of the Yorkshire Dales. The farming of this area has moulded and created many interesting wildlife habitats: from hillside streams and craggy outcrops to blanket bog and dry-stone walls.
Look out for blooming wild flowers at the roadsides and the limestone caves which provide an important shelter for hibernating bats. You may see them flitting around the river catching insects at dusk!
Distance: 6 miles
This walk around the Lizard Peninsula, the southerly tip of mainland Britain, takes in dramatic cliff scenery, rare wild flowers and an interesting coastal history. Kynance Cove has a sandy beach and islands of serpentine stone.
The bay attracted visitors in Victorian times and still captivates people today.
Look out for Lizard Wireless Station where more than a century ago they were used for pioneering radio experiments. Kynance Cove is also a favourite spot for day-trippers where the café at the cove is full of eco-friendly features including solar panels, a turf roof, wool insulation and compost toilets.
Distance: 4.5 miles
Discover remnants of the lead mining industry set within the beautiful, diverse landscape of Upper Wharfedale; from upland hill farms and hay meadows along the River Wharfe to wild moorland, big skies and far-reaching views at Buckden Pike. Look out for the beautiful Hay Meadows
where traditional farming methods have been used to maintain the rich variety of wild flowers which are so much a part of the Dales’ landscape.
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Distance: 5 miles
Enjoy an exhilarating walk over this prominent landmark. Starting on May Hill Common the walk climbs to the clump of trees on the summit, before crossing an open expanse of grassland.
The walk returns via the woodlands of the Huntley Estate. Look out for the scattered ponds and watch the dragonflies flitting over the water. Morris dancers still celebrate May Day each year on top of the hill!
Distance: 3 miles
One of Wales’ most spectacular valleys, Nantgwynant is encircled by high mountains, with Snowdon rising up to the north.
Enjoy dramatic waterfalls, great views and the chance to spot a variety of wildlife as you climb up through the National Trust’s Hafod Y Llan farm, cross the hillside and descend to Craflwyn, a Victorian hall and estate, home to lots of exotic trees and a woodland garden with ponds, rockeries and waterfalls!
Distance: 3.75 miles
*Facts taken from The World Cancer Research Fund ‘s report: ‘ Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective‘
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!