Summertime strolls: Our top ten walks this summer

If you’re in need of a gentle leg-stretch this summer, then the Lazy Susan team have compiled our top ten summer walks.

If you’re in need of a gentle leg-stretch this summer, then the Lazy Susan team have compiled our top ten summer walks.

We’ve picked these specific routes because they’re all not too difficult to complete, plus they’re great if you want to take the kids or grandchildren during the school summer holidays.

One thing they all definitely have in common is some stunning scenery that’ll appeal to both the seasoned rambler and those who just fancy a nice casual yomp through the countryside.

Most of the routes the team have selected are National Trust affiliated and within accessible commute from Lazy Susan HQ in Portsmouth. We’ve even picked a couple of regular stomped favourites right in our own backyard. 

1. Dinas Island, Strumble Head to Cardigan, Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Coast

This is simply a spectacular walk… 

It’s about a 4-hour drive from our head office, so is best done with an overnight stay, but we just love it and don’t mind the trip. 

This corner of Wales is a beautiful part of the world, and we don’t need an excuse to spend a few days or more in this neck of the woods. 

This specific route is a rather refreshing ramble around Dinas Island, which to put it mildly, has some of the best views in Pembrokeshire.

It’s classified by the National Trust as a Moderate hike, which they define as:

“Wanting to stretch your legs further than a gentle stroll, but not looking for a lengthy ramble? Enjoy walking through woodland, open countryside and along the coast with our list of moderate walks of up to 4 miles.”

So it’ll test you a little but we’re not talking cross country trek. 

It covers a distance of 3 miles (4.8 km), and at a steady pace that should take around 2 hours, however, that definitely doesn’t factor in stops to take in the breathtaking views.

The National Trust describe the Dinas Island route as follows:

A circular walk with steep ascent and descent for some of the finest views anywhere on the Pembrokeshire coast. This is not a long walk but one to test your fitness, with plenty of reasons to stop and admire the scenery.

You can find full details on their website and this is a great walk to do with the dogs.

2. The ‘Capability’ Brown Walk, Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire

The Capability Brown Walk

This beautiful photo is from the National Trust website.

I suppose it should be of no surprise that a garden furniture company would be fans of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and this walk take in some of his finest work in our humble opinion.

Again, this is about a 4-hour drive for most of the Lazy Susan team but lucky you if you’re a little closer. This walk is a must-visit for anyone who loves to explore ancient trees and spot wildlife.

As the National Trust say on their website:

There are nearly 300 ancient trees at Dinefwr, half of them in the deer park. The path you'll follow on this walk was designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown when he visited Dinefwr in 1775.

Again, this walk is classified as Moderate, and at 1.5 miles (2.4 km) it should take no more than a couple of hours.

You’ll find further details here, but this is a great one to take the kids or grandchildren on, there are loads to explore and it has a real magical feel.

3. The Huff-Duff Trail, New Forest 

The New Forest

Now this one is much closer to home. Many of the team can be in the national park within 45 mins.

This is a trail we all know and love, a one where we can truly get away from it all. Described by the National Trust as follows:

Huge swathes of ancient heath await you, littered with inviting chalky tracks. On a warm day the only things you’ll hear are the gentle buzz of bees on the scented heather, and birdsong in the yellow gorse. Fringed by trees, there’s plenty of opportunity to relax in the shade of an ancient oak or beech.

We might be biased but we don’t think you can beat a day in the New Forest. There are some quite breathtaking views from Ibsley Common, an area steeped in military history, and we would defiantly recommend a visit to the Huff Duff itself. This old WW2 directional radio station and its associated bunkers are just fascinating.

You’ll find full details here.

4. Greenway Garden Ramble, Devon

The Greenway Estate in Devon

This is another great walk that’s only a few hours drive for many of the Lazy Susan Team. We love a National Trust garden and this is one of the best.

In terms of the walk itself, it is a lovely gentle one-mile ramble. 

You get the opportunity to take in the stunning Top Garden and the breathtaking views over the River Dart.

The National Trust describe this walk as follows:

This one mile circular walk leads you through some of the more secluded areas of the garden, including the North Walled Garden and the Bird Pond. It brings you to the best place in the whole garden to see the views of the River Dart all the way down to Dartmouth.

Please note that you must book ahead before visiting and you can find full details of the Greenway Garden on their website.

5. Lookout Hill to Mad Jack Fuller, West Sussex

West Sussex

Heading in the opposite direction up the coast to Devon from Lazy Susan HQ we have the wonderfully named Lookout Hill to Mad Jack Fuller route.

We think this one is about a 1-hour drive away from us, maybe a little more. It’s been a few years since any of us have walked it so is high on our to-do list this summer. 

However, one thing we do remember is this walk gives you the opportunity to enjoy some truly breathtaking sea views.

It is also a great one to do with young children and the National Trust describe it as follows:

Take a wander up Lookout Hill to Mad Jack Fuller's folly and enjoy some breathtaking sea and downland views.

The route is around the 2-mile mark in total but it is classified as easy and should only take an hour or so if you don’t stop. Plus its dog friendly!

You can find out more about the route here.

6. Accessible Walking Trail, Killerton, Devon 

Killerton Woods in Devon 

Next up we jump back over to Devon with the wonderful Killerton walk. The reason this one had to be on our list is it is (as the title says) super accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Again, this one is classified as easy, and at 1.5 miles it can be walked in around the 30/40 min mark.

The walk itself takes you through the park at Killerton before heading into the hillside garden. The National Trust describe it on their website as follows:

This 1.5 mile accessible walk takes you through the park at Killerton and then into the hillside garden along the paved route suitable for little legs and pushchair wheels.

We would recommend that you keep your eyes peeled for the giant redwood, which is the tallest tree in the garden. 

The walk follows fairly easy terrain along gravel paths. It is fully wheelchair and pushchair accessible, although there are a few ascents and descents along the way, so be mindful.

You’ll find full details here to plan your trip.

7. Dutton Estate Walk at Hinton Ampner

Dutton Estate in Hinton Amper

It doesn’t really matter what time of year you decide to hike the 4-mile route through Ralph Dutton’s stunning estate but for Lazy Susan a summer walk is always best!

This is another on our doorstep, and whilst one of the longest on our list, it’s the one the Lazy Susan team walk the most. And we never fail to be bowled over by both the house, gardens and the stunning countryside around it.

The walking trail is described by the National Trust as follows:

Towering beech avenues and beautiful countryside views, this 4-mile route takes in the best of all seasons, from carpets of bluebells in spring to the most spectacular colours in autumn. Starting on open downland with endless views over the South Downs, the walk then weaves through ancient woodland, with avenues lined with beech trees.

The full route is 4 miles so you’ll need a good couple of hours, but the terrain is classified as moderate, and trust us when we say those 4 hours will fly by as you take in the stunning woodland and views of the South Downs!

Full details of the route can be found on the National Trust website.

8. Newtown National Nature Reserve

Isle of Wight

Just a simple(ish) trip across the Solent on the Fishbourne - Portsmouth ferry for us here at Lazy Susan, the Isle of Wight is a popular day trip or weekend getaway for many of the team.

Newtown is the Isle of Wight’s only National Nature Reserve and, if you get the opportunity to go over, this gentle walk delivers some of the islands best views. It also takes you past a rather interesting Town Hall that’s closely intertwined with the history of the area.

The National Trust have the following to say about the reserve:

A quiet backwater with a busy Medieval past, now bursting with wildlife and a town hall with no town.

The gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are now open after the lockdown.

From 19 July, you also no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the National Trust website for full details before you travel. 

9. Chillerton Down

Isle of Wight

Chillerton Down is another route found on the Isle of Wight. This one is a little more challenging than Newtown but is still easy enough for even the most inexperienced hiker. 

Located at the heart of the island and its AONB, this 4.5-mile circular walk takes you through some simply breathtaking countryside and is often a little quieter than the popular nature reserve at number 8.

Described by the National Trust as “an impressive flank of open downland” it is a great spot for a picnic.

The walk itself is listed as challenging, so you need to make sure you’re up for this one. 

It is easily the toughest on our list, however, if you’re up for it, it takes you off the beaten track, through some stunning woods and valleys, and rewards you with some great views of the sea off in the distance.

Again, you’ll find full details on the National Trust website.

10. Woodland walk at The Vyne

The VYne

Last on our list but by no means least is the wonderful woodland walk at The Vyne just up the road from Lazy Susan HQ. 

This is another popular spot for many of the Lazy Susan team, especially with the dog walkers among us.

There are a few options in terms of the route you can take but the area itself  is described by the National Trust as follows:

Escape to a plethora of woodland colours as you take an easy 1.43 mile stroll around the woodlands. Begin at Visitor Reception and travel along a medieval parkland boundary. Make out the remains of a medieval fish pond tread concrete paths and stumble across remnants of a storage site built for use during the Second World War.

If you take the shorter trail it covers just under one and a half miles and can be easily done in under an hour, so it is the perfect summer leg stretcher.

The National Trust suggest that this walk is best done in Autumn, however, we think it is a great year-rounder. 

The Tudor grounds, woodland, medieval fish pond and the remnants of a WWII storage site are just as worth visiting in the summer as they are at any other time of the year.

At just under one and a half miles in length, this route is relatively easy to complete but there’s a lot to see on the route so factor in plenty of time for stops.

Full details can again be found on the National Trust website here.

Please remember The Countryside Code!

Please note that many of the National Trust walking trails can be very popular. 

Please park considerately, and maintain social distancing on your walks. 

You’ll find directions and booking info on the web pages we’ve linked to throughout this article.

When you visit the coast and countryside, we would also please ask that you follow the Countryside Code:

  1. Respect other people
  2. Protect the natural environment
  3. Enjoy the outdoors

You can find full details on the Countryside Code at too.

Happy trails!

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