Co Antrim beauty spot makes UK top ten for Boxing Day walk

TV presenter Julia Bradbury. Photo: The Outdoor Guide/PA WireTV presenter Julia Bradbury. Photo: The Outdoor Guide/PA Wire
TV presenter Julia Bradbury. Photo: The Outdoor Guide/PA Wire
A hill walk in Co Antrim is one of 10 UK beauty spots to make the Woodland Trust's top spots to walk off the Christmas turkey and mince pies.

Carnmoney Hill has been recommended by TV presenter Julia Bradbury for its rich history, folklore of witches, highwaymen and Vikings, as well as its natural charm.

Ms Bradbury said: “Woods are real winter wonderlands – whether it’s a crisp, frosty morning or soggy afternoon, it’s great to fill your lungs with fresh air and embrace the chilly weather.

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“If your family has overindulged during the festive season, why not take them for an outdoor adventure? My top Woodland Trust walks are ideal places to burn off those extra mince pies!”

The top 10 woodland walks are:

• Hainault Forest, London - Ancient hornbeam pollards, majestic Wellingtonia avenues and herds of red deer can be found in three country parks all within 15 miles of central London. There are walks of 2.5, six or 10 miles.

• Great Knott Wood, Cumbria - An ancient woodland and a working wood for centuries on the banks of Lake Windermere. The walk may be started from car parks at High Dam, after arriving by steam train along the Lakeside and Haverthwaite railways. There’s a walk of 5.5 miles.

• Nidd Gorge, North Yorkshire - Ancient broadleaf woodland covers the steep cliffs and slopes of the gorge, which is home to wildlife including roe deer, tawny owls, herons and woodpeckers. There are walks of 4.5, 6.25 or seven miles.

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• Ledmore and Migdale Wood, Scottish Highlands - Woods in Spinningdale on the Dornoch Firth go back many thousands of years, and are home to otters, pine martens and black grouse. There are walks of 4.5, 6.5 or nine miles

• Hucking Estate, Kent - A large site in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a mix of ancient woodland, planted secondary woodland and open grassland, with breathtaking views. There are walks of 4.5, 6.5 or 7.5 miles.

• Brede High Woods, East Sussex - A mosaic of ancient and secondary woodland, open heathland and acid grassland on the north-east shore of Powdermill Reservoir in East Sussex, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are walks of five and 7.5 miles.

• Pepper Wood, Worcestershire - Just a mile from the M5 lies a fragment of medieval England which is still managed much as it was 500 years ago. There is a walk of eight miles.

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Tring Park, Hertfordshire - A large area of unimproved chalk grassland just a 10-minute walk from the Natural History Museum at Tring, with open vistas and great views. There are walks of 3.5 or eight miles.

• Carnmoney Hill, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland - Said to be stalked by ghosts of the Vikings, witches and highwaymen, a walk on Carnmoney Hill offers balcony views of Belfast. There is a walk of 8.5 miles.

• Coed y Gopa, Clwyd, Wales - This is an ancient woodland with Iron Age hillfort on the summit, views across the vale and limestone caves which are one of the country’s largest winter hibernation sites for lesser horseshoe bats. There is a 7.5-mile walk.