Spring is officially here and though we’re not quite ready for shorts and t-shirts just yet, we have reached the point where the day has become longer than the night, and that alone is worth celebrating! Longer days mean more time outdoors and with the countryside now beginning to thaw, I’m sure we’re all craving a bit more time outside.
As temperatures return we should soon witness the landscape transform from its dull winter greys back to vibrant greens and it’s these little things that make spring a fantastic time to explore. Here’s five of our favourite springtime walk ideas from the West Midlands right up to Southern Scotland.
To get the most out of these seasonal walks we recommend plotting a route you’re comfortable with by using our Memory-Map OS Explorer 1:25,000 software. Choose either GB (which covers all of these walks) or choose from one of our 6 regional software packs for the region listed. Explorer offers the highest level of detail and don’t forget you can create routes on your PC/Mac and then CloudSync them straight onto your device. We’d recommend also printing routes onto Toughprint waterproof paper too as a printed map won’t run out of battery, so it’s good to have a backup!
- Wenlock Edge, Shropshire (2018 OS Explorer 1:25,000 Central England)
First up is Wenlock Edge, which is the longest unbroken stretch of woodland in England. It covers a 20-mile ridge from the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the Severn Gorge to the gateway of the Welsh Marches in the town of Craven Arms. The Edge woods have fleeting but dramatic views; from the Wrekin in the north, the Clee Hills to the east, Clun Forest in the south, and the Stretton Hills and beyond them the Berwyn mountains of mid-Wales to the west. A great place to explore during spring as the vivid colours in the woodland can be fantastic and there’s lots of wildlife to discover too.
- Buttermere Valley, Lake District, Cumbria (2018 OS Explorer 1:25,000 Northern England)
Snow-topped peaks in Buttermere Valley can sometimes last well into April, but springtime brings a change to the landscape, making it a great time for wildlife watching. Nesting birds are extremely active (and the walk around the lake is closed between April and June to allow sandpipers to nest undisturbed). The three-mile National Trust walk from the Buttermere Valley up to the summit of Rannerdale Knotts will reward you with glorious views of three lakes and many high peaks.
- Hadrian’s Wall, across various counties (2018 OS Explorer Northern England 1:25,000)
No trip through northern England is complete without a visit to the Roman defence-works masterpiece that is Hadrian’s Wall. Keen hikers can walk some or maybe even all of its 73-mile length from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria (in the west), to Wallsend, Tyneside in the east. On the way you’ll pass through Roman fort remains at Segedunum and Housesteads, and the River Tyne bridges.
- Glencoe, Scotland (2018 OS Explorer Southern Scotland 1:25,000)
A visit to Scotland is not complete without a trip to the Highlands, and for dramatic, mountainous landscapes, Glencoe is hard to beat. Because of the tragic events that occurred there in the 17th century, Glencoe is arguably the most well-known glen in Scotland. It’s also home to some of the best Scottish walks for spring – select from the tough 150km West Highland Way or the shorter and gentler Lochan and Brecklet Trails.
- Silurian Way, Grisedale Forest Park, Lake District (2018 OS Explorer Northern England 1:25,000)
The Silurian Way takes you across both sides of the Grisedale Valley through enchanting stretches of woodland which are ‘decorated’ with 80 stone and wood sculptures by artists like Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and Sally Matthews. Highlights along the way include Grisedale Tarn, the Eagle’s Head Pub in Satterthwaite village, and some stupendous views atop Carron Crag, the highest point in the forest.
We hope you liked our ideas and we’d also love to hear about your favourite walks or even how you use our software during your adventures! Next month we’ll select some of our top walks from Wales and Southern England, and in the meantime we wish you a happy spring and hope you find some time to get out there this Easter to enjoy it!