6 of England's best Boxing Day walks with pubs

What better way to work off your Christmas indulgences than a wonderful winter ramble, followed by a trip to a cosy country pub

4 mins

Mam Tor Walk, Derbyshire

 

Views on top of Mam Tor (Shutterstock)

Views on top of Mam Tor (Shutterstock)

Stretch your legs with a semi-challenging hike up Mam Tor and witness breathtaking views across the Peak District. Set off from Mam Nick National Trust car park and follow the stone steps through the woodland and out into the open air. The ground begins to level off and you will be close to the summit and trig point, where you can take in the 360 degree views of the gorgeous countryside. Although steep at times, it only takes approximately two hours to complete the three mile circular route, but make sure to check the weather before you go, as it's advised not to climb in frosty conditions.

Local pubs: Sitting right on the doorstep of the Mam Tor circular walk is The Old Naggs Head in Edale. Inside the stone building you can get a snug seat by the wood-burning stove and soak up the authentic country pub atmosphere.

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Old Harry Rocks Walk, Dorset

 

Views to Old Harry Rocks (Shutterstock)

Views to Old Harry Rocks (Shutterstock)

This blustery coastal walk provides one of Dorset's iconic natural sites en route. Park in South Beach car park and walk from Studland village along a path directing you to Old Harry Rocks. Stay well clear of the cliff edge as you walk on a gentle incline next to the sea, passing more chalk formations called the Pinnacles, and towards Ballard point. You'll then begin to loop back to Studland by passing through Glebeland Estate.

Local pub: Once you return from your two hour plod, reward yourself with food and a beverage at the Bankes Arms, a beautiful sixteenth century coastal pub built with local quarried stone and serving its own range of seasonal brews.

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Blakeney Point Walk, Norfolk

 

Seals can be spotted at Blakeney Point (Shutterstock)

Seals can be spotted at Blakeney Point (Shutterstock)

For wildlife lovers, this active three hour walk in Norfolk's Blakeney National Nature Reserve will delight. Park in Cley Beach car park, free during the winter, and stroll along the shingle beach to the sand dunes. There’s a variety of unusual plant life and protected birdlife to spot, but keep your eyes peeled for the grey and common seals who settle here to have their pups during the colder months. At the end of the walk, you’ll be treated to elevated views of the surrounding coastal landscape, including the seal pup colonies. Do note, seals should be given a wide berth if sighted and all signs should be obeyed.

Local pub: The Kings Arms is located in Blakeney village, an ideal spot for a post-walk refreshment. The Georgian building is like stepping into a time capsule, serving locally sourced classic pub grub and local real ales from Woolforde’s, straight from the barrel.

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Seven Sisters Walk, East Sussex

Gorgeous views of the Seven Sisters (Shutterstock)

Gorgeous views of the Seven Sisters (Shutterstock)

Blow away the cobwebs on a coastal ramble in South Downs National Park. Find a space in Seven Sisters car park and set off from Exceat for a gentle stroll alongside the meandering Cuckmere River. Follow the flowing water all the way to the river mouth, pebble beach and dazzling white cliff face (not to be stood directly under). Those who prefer a longer challenge can hike up and over the Seven Sisters, enjoying sweeping sea views from the cliff tops. It takes approximately an hour and a half to reach Birling Gap, where you can spot the iconic Beachy Head Lighthouse. Either retrace your footsteps back over the cliffs if your legs can hack it, or pop in a taxi back to the car park (there are usually buses, but none on Boxing Day). 

Local pub: From the car park, take a quick five-minute drive to the Tiger Inn in East Dean, a popular spot for ramblers to refuel after climbing the cliffs. This quintessential English pub has exposed beams, an open fire and serves hearty British food, but booking in advance is needed. Alternatively, the charming Eight Bells pub in remote Jevington is a just a 10-minute drive away.

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Beningbrough Hall Estate Walk, North Yorkshire

Beiningbrough Hall, Yorkshire (Shutterstock)

Beiningbrough Hall, Yorkshire (Shutterstock)

If you're still feeling full after your turkey roast and are looking for an easy winter ramble, this circular parkland route will do just the trick. Park in Beningbrough Hall car park and head to the gate in the far-right hand corner (with your back facing the admissions office) to begin the walk. With the tree branches now empty of leaves, the paths around the estate offer superb, clear views of Beningbrough Hall, a beautiful Georgian mansion. Venture through enchanting woodland, past historic sites such as the Victorian water tower, and relax as you listen to the trickling river on this two-hour trundle.

Local pub: Newton-on-Ouse is a village which was once part of the estate, and you can diverge here midway through your parkland walk. Here, there are two pubs. The Blacksmith Arms, a classic country pub serving home-cooked food and real Ales, or The Dawnay Arms, a gastropub which dates back to 1779. 

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Windsor Great Park and the Long Walk, Berkshire

On The Long Walk, looking out at Windsor Castle and beyond (Shutterstock)

On The Long Walk, looking out at Windsor Castle and beyond (Shutterstock)

If you’re feeling full and lethargic after all that Christmas excess, but don’t want to do anything too taxing, then this is the walk for you. Park on Bishopsgate Road near the Bishopsgate entrance to the park (TW20 0XU). Note that this is a popular spot and parking limited, so avoid the middle of the day. You could, for instance, check in advance if the Fox and Hounds pub is open for breakfast, and park and start your walk from there. Once through the gate there are a number of enticing walks you could take, but simplest is to go straight ahead towards Royal Lodge, and then turn right and into the Deer Park. Follow the road or walk parallel to it, looking out for the red deer that graze in this ancient forest and parkland. Reaching Snow Hill walk up to the “Copper Horse” statue of King George III for breathtaking views of Windsor Castle and far beyond - you can even see Wembley on a clear day. From here, it’s a pleasant tree-lined stroll of just under three miles, all downhill, to Windsor Town Centre.

Local pub: The Fox & Hounds at Bishopsgate is family friendly and has a large outside area at the front. The highly recommended Two Brewers is situated right by the Castle and Cambridge Gate. Dating back to the early 18th century it is small and cosy; with excellent food but only has 7 tables so do book in advance. Well behaved dogs are welcome, but no children.  

Due to COVID-19, establishments may open and close in an irregular pattern and may require booking. Please contact the pubs before travelling.

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