Top fitness walks for the New Year

If your New Year’s resolution is to get fit in 2018, then we’ve got plenty of trails to help you achieve your goals. These routes are all five miles or less, with varied terrain that will help build your stamina. There are plenty of beautiful views too, which provide the perfect motivation to head outside and get active.

Bath Skyline in the snow
Walking trail

Bath Skyline, Somerset 

This six-mile route boasts magnificent views over the city of Bath. You'll wander through history, past an Iron Age hill fort and 18th-century follies. The route takes you through hidden valleys, woodlands and meadows, all rich in wildlife. The Skyline walk burns as much energy as playing 90 minutes of football. So step out and burn off some of those Christmas calories.

Family walking at Clumber
Walking trail

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire 

Clumber’s 3,800 acres are criss-crossed with maintained trails and woodland paths, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore on foot. The estate is largely flat with a few small inclines, so it’s great for novice walkers and runners who aren’t yet ready to tackle steep hills. For a good two-mile stretch try the ‘all seasons’ trail, which provides gentle introduction to Clumber’s woodland, heathland and lakeside views.

Walkers on Divis and the Black Mountain
Walking trail

Divis and the Black Mountain, County Antrim 

The three-mile Summit Trail begins with a stretch along the Tipperary Road - named for the time when the mountain was a training ground and squaddies used to march along here in full kit. From here the trail cuts over open heath towards the highest peak in the Belfast Hills, Divis Mountain. Although the trail can be rough underfoot, the majestic views over the city of Belfast, Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains definitely make it worth the climb.

East Head, West Sussex
Walking trail

East Head, West Sussex 

This four-mile route is perfect for anyone new to walking or running, as it’s fairly flat but still has plenty to keep you interested. The circular trail follows pretty coastal paths and quiet leafy lanes, taking in Chichester harbour, West Wittering Village and the sand dunes of East Head. Keep your mind active by looking out for wildlife such as skylarks and sand lizards, or motivate yourself with the reward of stopping at one of the coffee shops or pubs along the way.

Early morning winter sun and mist in the park
Walking trail

Ickworth, Suffolk 

Wander through Ickworth’s woodlands on this two-and-a-half mile circular walk. On the way you’ll pass some of the estate’s highlights, such as the Italianate garden and the old deer park. Those keen to build up their fitness levels can take a detour to the Trim Trail, where adults and children alike can try their hand at pole-climbing, ladder walks and leap frog.

killerton wooden signpost fingerpost waymarker
Walking trail

Killerton, Devon 

Whether you’re after a good walk through beautiful landscape or an antidote to road running, Killerton is the place for you. With over 60 miles of footpaths there’s no shortage of places to explore, from parkland and rolling hill to dense woodland. If you don't mind the possibility of getting muddy, this trail takes in both chapels, historic parkland the River Culm and open farmland on this two-hour walk. After all that work, why not pop into the café for a cup of tea?

Winter trees covered in snow
Walking trail

Longshaw 

The Peak District is renowned by walkers and runners alike, and the trails on the Longshaw Estate are no exception. There’s a whole variety of terrain to explore, from wild moorlands to ancient woods and tumbling streams. This three-mile route follows and old packhorse route through gorse and heather, before heading down among the oak trees of Padley Gorge. There are a few steep sections to get you working a bit harder, but with so much beautiful scenery you might not even notice the extra effort.

The bay at Porthdinllaen, Llŷn Peninsula
Walking trail

Porthdinllaen, Gwynedd 

There’s nothing better than a coastal trail to blow away the cobwebs. This route will reward you with stunning views in all directions as you follow it out along the Porthdinllaen headland - an outstanding wildlife haven. Grey seals are a particular highlight, and can often be seen hunting for fish along this stretch of coastline. The route is only 2.5 miles but is steep in places with a few steps to get your heart rate up. If you wear yourself out you can always refuel in the the Ty Coch Inn, which has been around for almost two centuries.

Walking towards Old Harry Rocks
Walking trail

Studland, Dorset 

It’s much easier to find the motivation to exercise when you’ve got a good view. This three-and-a-half mile route includes the most famous landmarks on the Jurassic Coast - the Old Harry Rocks chalk stacks on Studland. With miles of golden sandy beaches, the dramatic history of Studland Bay and internationally important heathlands, this is the British coastline at its most beautiful.

Sunrise at Toys Hill
Walking trail

Toys Hill, Kent 

Octavia Hill was a social reformer, philanthropist and co-founder of the National Trust. This is one of two trails that celebrate her life, passing through the countryside where she was born and lived, and which inspired her mission to provide open spaces for everyone to enjoy. The four-mile route covers varied terrain that is great for stretching your legs and building stamina.

Winter walk at Trelissick
Walking trail

Trelissick, Cornwall 

Trelissick sits on its own peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides. This four-mile route follows the River Fal for part of its length before heading inland, so you can get fit while still enjoying spectacular views over water, woods and grazed farmland. The terrain is fairly easy-going so it’s great for beginners with one short, steep climb at the end for a bit more of a challenge.

Snow covers the ground of the Lady Chapel
Walking trail

Whipsnade and Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire 

This four-and-a-half mile walk covers moderate terrain, but there are a few steep gradients to help push your stamina levels a bit. Admire beautiful views along the Icknield Way as you head towards Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. This memorial to those lost in the First World War provides a tranquil spot to pause and rest, before you head off on the trail back to the centre.

A group of walkers on the shore of Lake Windermere
Walking trail

Windermere West Shore, Cumbria 

Take the ferry over from Bowness and ease yourself into walking, running or cycling with this wonderful low-level route. The well-surfaced lakeside track means you can get out and stretch your legs whatever the weather and it offers great views of the islands, interesting woodland archaeology and the Victorian Gothic Wray Castle. The linear route is four miles, but you can always re-trace your footsteps back to the start for a longer challenge.