By Parkdean Resorts on 03/04/2018
One of the most rewarding aspects of any UK caravan holiday is the opportunity to enjoy some time, uninterrupted, exploring the natural world. Whatever time of year you’re embarking on a rural British break, whether spring is in full bloom or autumn is painting the landscape in sepia, there’s nothing quite like filling your lungs with crisp, fresh air and saying goodbye to 21st-century civilisation - if only for a short while.
If your family isn’t one for long, demanding walks, a few hours’ rambling across the countryside before returning to the comfort and convenience of your holiday park for a hot chocolate (or ice-cold refreshments, in the warmer weather) is still a wonderful way to enjoy each other's company, while embracing the awesome beauty of nature.
Walks in the countryside offer an unmatched opportunity to teach the kids about the weird and wonderful natural features and living things they see around them - from native plant life to local creatures of all shapes and sizes, and even man-made monuments (such as hill forts, or the pillboxes that speckle the country's coastline as an immortal reminder of World War Two).
If you can’t wait to introduce your children to the delights of the Great British outdoors, behold a selection of picturesque natural walks you can do in a morning or afternoon during your stay in one of our holiday parks, which won't be too hard on little legs. Offering a memorable experience all year round, but especially magical during the vibrant autumn season, these walks are positively perfect for anyone keen to see more of the incredible rural beauty the UK has to offer.
Capital View, Pentland Hills, Scotland
Just south of Edinburgh, you’ll find the Pentland Hills Regional Park - not only a convenient place to venture into the countryside (without having to travel too far from the city), but also a prime example of Scotland’s magnificently rugged landscape. Providing a dreamy and dramatic backdrop for the country’s capital city, the Pentland Hills have inspired poets and novelists alike over the years, due to their iconic, unrefined beauty. Whether you and your family are in it for the peace and quiet, the picnic opportunities or the blood-pumping exercise itself, you’ll find a real rural paradise in this picture-perfect corner of Scotland.
There are a number of diverse trails in the vicinity to choose from, with the circular route up Capital View being among the most fulfilling and manageable. At just 2.5 miles long, the route requires relatively little exertion to gain big rewards. As the name suggests, walkers will find breathtaking views of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth on their travels, as well as experiencing hiking on farm tracks and feasting their eyes on the idyllic Swanston Village. This walk starts and ends at Hillend Country Park lower car park.
Video courtesy of Callum McKain
St Mary's Lighthouse, Whitley Bay
Taking a walk from our ideally situated Whitley Bay Holiday Park to the famous St Mary's Island couldn’t be easier, as long as the tide is out! The route is less than a mile long in total and offers jaw-dropping views of the beach and island, complete with its iconic lighthouse. Better yet, there are also rock pools galore surrounding the causeway, where you can spot crabs and identify the various limpets and other creatures living in them. Be warned that the island’s concrete causeway is completely submerged during high tide - meaning any family walks are best left until your path is clear.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also extend this walk a little further and take in more of the rugged clifftops in the area - with well-defined paths along this route making it easy to find the way. Along here, you may even stumble across one or two of the aforementioned pillboxes - remnants of the defences set up during the Second World War to protect the UK against invasion from the sea. You’ll also find grassy expanses and wetland habitats in the surrounding nature reserve - guaranteeing an unforgettable day out for you and the kids.
Video courtesy of Gary Lyttle
Baggy Point, North Devon
This charmingly named headland in Devon provides the ideal destination for a walk with the family, with features and activities aplenty to keep both adults and kids entertained. Panoramic views of the coastline out towards Bideford Bay and Hartland are second to none, while the colossal whale bones that have been washed ashore can’t fail to capture the imagination. On top of all that, you’ll find dramatic waves crashing against the beach and stunning, jagged cliff faces - making for a powerful example of raw, natural beauty that the family won’t forget anytime soon.
From the car park, the distance to Baggy Point itself and back is just 2.7 miles on very easily manageable terrain. The surrounding cliffs attract various birds at different times of the year and, in autumn, many migratory birds congregate in the area before setting off on their annual migrations. If you’re lucky, you may also catch a glimpse of the local grey seals, who love nothing more than basking on the shoreline in the summer sun.
Due to its host of impressive and unique geological features, Baggy Point is a deserving and officially designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - and the whole family will love exploring its many natural delights.
Video courtesy of Cassim Ladha
Blakeney Point, Norfolk
Families with slightly older children may wish to explore the stunning stretch of unspoilt coastline that is Blakeney National Nature Reserve in Norfolk, starting out from the peaceful coastal village of Salthouse. From here, it’s approximately six miles to Blakeney Point - and both you and the kids will love making the journey to this stunning rural destination.
On your way, you’ll encounter a shingle beach at Morston, where you can watch the waves ravage the shore and see Blakeney seals lounging on the rocks. On the opposite side to the sea are salt marshes, which provide the ideal habitat for many species of birds, so be sure to pack your binoculars before setting out! This walk offers a little bit of everything, including a number of quaint, tranquil villages where you can stop and rest along the way.
Video courtesy of Tony Robinson
Whether you’re looking for wildlife encounters, sweeping sea views or rich, local history, these unique rural walks have all the ingredients of a countryside break to remember - and the kids are sure to love spending a morning or afternoon in the great outdoors, exploring these formidable landscapes.
Find nearby holiday parks to start planning your stay, and get in touch with the Parkdean Resorts team to learn more about these magnificent locations.