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Beat the January Blues – Free days out near our parks!

When the festive season has come to a close and the days are still as dark and chilly as ever, it can often feel like a real struggle to keep things fresh and lively at the beginning of the new year. However, you can still wrap up warm and enjoy the outdoors. We have some amazing days out near our parks that will help you beat the January blues and won’t cost you a penny!

Northumberland Amble Links -

You don’t have to have a large budget to experience what Northumberland has to offer. Much of it, especially the country and coastal landscape, is there for you to enjoy free of charge. Even the numerous castles, which have an entry fee, can be viewed and enjoyed without even stepping inside.

Lying just a few miles off the Northumberland coast, Holy Island is cut off twice daily from the rest of the world by fast-moving tides. Both an island and a picturesque village, Holy Island carries a wealth of history to explore within its tidal walls. Take in the beauty of Lindisfarne Castle and Lindisfarne Priory and finish the day with a drink or bite to eat on the park at The Old Storehouse.

Yorkshire & Lancashire Yorkshire Dales -

The Yorkshire Dales can be just as stunning a place to visit during winter as it can be at other times of the year. Wrapped in a winter blanket of frost and snow you will see the area in a new light. Within a stone’s throw of Wensleydale, you will find the Georgian market town of Bedale where you can explore the unique 12th Century church, take in Yorkshire’s finest scenery or shop for delicious local cheeses in the cobbled square.

Chantry -

Another Yorkshire natural wonder, Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale is not one but three sets of waterfalls along the River Ure. Walk through the beautiful wooded valley, with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. The waterfalls are at their most spectacular after heavy rain, so make quite a good place to visit if the weather has been poor in the winter months - just don’t forget your raincoat!

Littondale -

Just a short drive from Littondale you will find yourself in the picturesque town of Malham. Stroll around Malham Tarn for a beautiful walk, a chance for some fresh air, and gradually wander over to Malham Cove, one of the most stunning natural attractions in the whole of Yorkshire. The Cove has been an inspiring place to visit for hundreds of years and is also popular with cave divers and provides several different ascent options to rock climbers of widely varying abilities. Also, for any film lovers, this visually striking site has served as a filming location for a 1992 version of Wuthering Heights, Steve Coogan’s The Trip and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part I.

Ribble Valley -

Most famous for its links to the now notorious witch trials of 1612, Pendle Hill and its surrounding towns and villages are a truly bewitching area of Lancashire. There are many walks to enjoy that combine history with stunning scenery. Popping into the local village of Skipton is also a must. Skipton is a fascinating place with its historic buildings and interesting past, and the bustling market is said to date back to medieval times. Among the cobbled streets there are many pubs, cafes and independent shops for you to enjoy throughout the day.

Herefordshire Malvern -

The Wyre Forest and its surrounding woodlands are fantastic places to enjoy the fresh air and have fun outdoors. Whether you’re looking for adventure or want to absorb some history and culture there is something for everyone all year round. Enjoy walking, cycling, mountain biking, horse riding, learning and adventure play and relish in refreshments in the Forest Café. Also, on the edge of the Wyre Forest is the picturesque Georgian town of Bewdley. The beautiful riverside town retains its unique charm and has a wealth of historic buildings. At its heart is the much acclaimed Bewdley Museum where you can see local crafts people at work alongside the Jubilee Gardens and Community Orchard.

Cornwall Par Sands -

If you ever have the fortune to find yourself in Cornwall in the winter, do not despair, as to many this is the best time of year of all. Winter in Cornwall can be both more dramatic and more serene than any other season.

Cornish beaches really come into their own when the temperatures dip. The golden sands and rolling waves provide a perfect setting for a day out, no matter what time of the year. A recommended walk would be from Par Sands to Polkerris beach. Polkerris Beach is one of Cornwall’s hidden gems. A beautiful little fishing village boasting an idyllic sandy cove for you to explore on a lovely little beach. It is a great place for water sports, body boarding, rock pooling etc and a wonderful place for hikers with many walks.

Oyster Bay -

Whether on land or water, the Camel Estuary offers an endless stream of activities for all ages to enjoy. Or if you prefer to take things easier, it also offers places to stop, enjoy the scenery and simply watch the world go by.

If you’re looking for something that’s indoors, like many museums in the UK, admission is free for under 16s and the Royal Cornwall Museum is no exception. With a fabulous collection of artefacts and archaeological treasures, you can experience the history and culture of Cornwall dating back to prehistoric times. The museum is a brilliant place to visit for people of all ages, for younger visitors the museum offers a fabulous timetable of activities to enjoy. Perfect for a rainy day!

Pentire -

While surfers and beach lovers will be in heaven in Bude, the coastline is a dream for walkers. The South West Coast Path, a National Trail, winds behind the beaches and along Bude’s grassy clifftops. The heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery along the way are truly inspirational and every day walking it brings stunning new experiences.

Wales Brynteg -

As a country with a reputation for being rainy, Wales is awash with wonderful things to do regardless of the weather, and that’s as true in winter as at any other time of year.

You don’t have to climb Snowdon to enjoy a cracking winter walk at Llanberis. There are other routes to choose from that give equally stunning views of the Snowdonian mountains. A walk around Llanberis Lake is the perfect seasonal pick me up.

Plas Coch -

A visit to the beautiful Beaumaris Town on the Isle of Anglesey is a must if you are in North Wales. Beaumaris is a charming seaside town known for its Castle and mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Stroll along the seafront and be captivated by the pier and the views over the Menai Strait and Snowdonia. With its many good restaurants, cafes and arts and crafts shops – Beaumaris is perfect for a relaxing day out.

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