Paths, parks and countryside areas

Westleton Heath

  • Type: National Nature Reserve
  • Location: Suffolk

In medieval times a large area of heath known as the Sandlings (on account of its dry sandy soils) stretched along the Suffolk coast. Today only about 20% of the heathland remains, the rest has been lost to modern farming and forestry.

More information:www.naturalengland.org.uk

New Forest

  • Distance or area: 570 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: South East England

After years of campaigning we were very pleased when the New Forest was finally designation National Park in 2004. It was to be a much-needed green lung for the South East. Ancient and ornamental woodland and open heathland as expected form the dominant landscape of the park but you can also roam over 26 miles of glorious coastline including salt marshes, lagoons and mudflats.

More information:www.newforestnpa.gov.uk

Northumberland

  • Distance or area: 1048 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: North East England

The Northumberland National Park lies at the very top of England and is home to some huge walking giants – The Cheviot Hills, Hadrian’s Wall, The Pennine Way and St Cuthbert’s Way. With 600 miles of footpaths and bridleways on offer there is an opportunity for leisure walking and more challenging hikes.

More information:www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk

South Downs

  • Distance or area: 1624 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: South East England

In 2011, the most populated corner of Britain finally got the recreational refuge it was desperate for. The South Downs is the most visited of all the national parks, with 39 million visitors per year. Walkers are well served by the 100-mile South Downs Way, woodlands, countryside, coast and an impressive 3,000 kilometres of rights of way.

More information:www.southdowns.gov.uk

Snowdonia

  • Distance or area: 2176 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Wales

Hikers have a network of challenging mountain walks to try, which include six footpaths up Snowdon to feast on the stunning views from the summit. The paths can be testing and so more suited to experienced walkers. Those looking for something less tricky than a mountain climb are well served by the various treks through the hills of Snowdonia.

More information:www.snowdonia-npa.gov.uk