Finding Green Places to Walk
It’s fine to walk along streets so long as there is not too much traffic. But many walkers prefer to get away from traffic completely and enjoy a peaceful walk in an attractive green space. Here are some suggestions of how to find out more about green places to walk.
- Parks – For most of us a nearby park is the most convenient option for a refreshing break in green space. Some parks now have signed walking routes and trails, often suitable for people with disabilities too. Local councils are usually responsible for parks and can give more information about your local park as well as details of others nearby: try devising your own walking route that links parks using quiet streets and paths.
- Country Parks – These are large parks in countryside often near to urban areas: they’re great for easy walks and often offer disabled access. Find out more from your local council or a tourist/visitor information centre.
- Waterways – Canal towpaths are almost always level, with sections accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs, and provide quiet green links in towns and cities. Children will enjoy passing boats, canal features like locks and wildlife. Many walking routes also follow rivers. Find out about canals and some rivers at www.waterscape.com.
- Woodlands – Attractive surroundings rich in wildlife. In urban areas trees shelter you from the sights and sounds of traffic and industry. The Forestry Commission manages many large forests and welcomes walkers – many sites have easy trails, visitor centres and other facilities. The Woodland Trust owns hundreds of smaller sites open to the public. Local councils also manage some woodlands.
- Nature Reserves – These vary from small green refuges in the middle of cities to large areas with international protection. Many are open to the public free of charge, managed by the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB or local councils.
- National Parks and other special areas – You may be lucky enough to live near a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty , a Community Forest or, in Scotland, a National Scenic Area. These usually have excellent websites and information centres with lots of ideas for walks, including easy access and easy walks and those suitable for children.
- National Trust properties – The National Trust and National Trust for Scotland own large areas of parkland and countryside open to the public, usually with signed walking routes and other facilities. The countryside – There are lots of ways to explore the wider countryside on foot, even where land is privately owned, thanks to Britain’s network of footpaths and arrangements for public access. Read more about walking in the countryside.
- Walking trails – Hundreds of walking trails are signed on the ground and/or described on websites or in printed guides. Some, known as National Trails, and, in Scotland, as Long Distance Routes, are directly supported by governments, while local councils and other organisations, including the Ramblers, have developed many others. There are many easy sections of these trails including in urban areas. The local council will know about trails in your area and some are shown on Ordnance Survey maps. See also the Long Distance Walkers Association website – you could walk short sections of a trail using public transport.
- Walking guidebooks – Libraries, visitor/tourist information centres, online booksellers and the local interest sections of most bookshops should have a range of walking guidebooks, often describing circular walks. These include books describing shorter and family friendly walks.
Filed under: Places to Walk
Tagged: areas of outstanding natural beauty, forest, maps, national parks, national trust, ordnance survey, parks, Ramblers, routes, rspb, walk, Walking
Comments: You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.