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Get fit in the forest

Our favourite winter walks!

There’s nothing like a crisp winter mornings mist still clinging to the fields, to make us want to head out and explore. These are some of our favourite walks for you to enjoy, whether you’re after an energetic jaunt, or a leisurely stroll.

1) Haldon, Devon

Just 15 minutes from historic Exeter, Haldon Forest Park’s 3,500 acres of woodland has a fantastic variety of trails, ranging from challenging mountain bike routes, to walking routes for all abilities. On clear days you can spot atmospheric Dartmoor in the distance, too!

2) Sence Valley, Leicestershire

This very scenic site is relatively sheltered in winter due to its location, and is within easy reach of the surrounding towns and villages. There are wide surfaced paths of varying lengths – we especially love the circular route around Horseshoe Lake.

3) Great Wood, Somerset

Walk through a cathedral of green Douglas fir, explore the many woodland nooks and crannies and enjoy the many lovely routes in picturesque north Somerset. The red route makes for a great walk or an easy run, ideal for those who feel like upping their exercise quota!

4) Whinlatter, Cumbria

Whinlatter takes calorie burning to a whole new level, with glorious views to reward you at the end of your walk or run. For walking, any of the trails give you a good workout. The longest way marked trail is the Seat How Trail, at 3.5miles which takes you up to 500m above sea level with great views over the Lake District lakes and fells.

5) Thames Chase, Greater London

Within the Thames Chase Community Forest, there are ten Forestry Commission woodlands all within reach of London, so take your pick! Bonnetts Wood provides a quiet haven off the beaten track, and on a good day you can see as far as the Millennium Dome and the London Eye from Folkes Lane Woodland.

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.