Wintery walks on Christmas and Boxing Day are a popular activity for many households around Britain, with an Ordnance survey conducted last year finding that Christmas Day and Boxing Day were the most popular days over the festive period to go for a stroll.
The same survey found that crisp fresh air and making frosty footsteps were among the features of festive walks that adults most loved during winter, and the scenery of the South Hams makes winter walks so much more enjoyable during the festive season.
With that in mind, here are a collection of local winter walk ideas for your festive family stroll this Christmas time:
1. Dartmouth to Blackpool sands (approx. 5 miles)
This popular walk takes ramblers through Bayards Cove Fort, starting with spectacular views of Dartmouth harbour and brightly coloured houses there, and on to views of beach coves and green forested areas, with an optional detour to Dartmouth castle on the way. Walkers can then catch a bus back to Dartmouth.
2. Thurlestone to Bantham (approx. 4 miles round trip)
This coastal walk takes walkers along the beautiful south west coastal path, past beaches and Thurlestone golf course, with stunning views of Thurlestone rock and Burgh Island. There are lots of benches to pause and take in the wonderful scenery. This walk leads people up to The Sloop Inn, and ramblers are then able to loop backwards past fields which take them back towards Thurlestone in a circle.
3. South Milton to Hope cove (approx. 4 miles round trip)
Alternatively, walkers can head in the opposite direction from South Milton, for a slightly shorter walk that takes them to Hope cove where they can grab a hot or cold beverage and if they’re lucky, spot some seals!
The rugged coastline is equally as beautiful in this direction, with Hope Cove’s two sandy beaches, and the waves crashing on the harbour wall making for lovely views during this Christmas season.
4. Kingsbridge to Bowcombe (approx. 2.5 miles round trip)
This walk takes walkers down to Bowcombe bridge, and then circles back to Kingsbridge. It has spectacular views of the estuary and is perfect for keen bird watchers. The route allows visitors to explore the market town of Kingsbridge, observe the views of Bowcombe, and get a burst of greenery as it circles back through a small wood and past the rugby club.
5. East Portlemouth to Gara rock (approx. 4 miles round trip)
This walk along the coastal path from the Salcombe Estuary boasts stunning beach views and dramatic coastlines. The route surrounds its visitors by greenery and displays the wide open ocean. As the path veers back towards the coastline, walkers will be able to see the beaches of North Sands and South Sands, the opposite side of the estuary, and on the return trip, they can walk back along East Portlemouth beach at low tide, before catching the ferry over to Salcombe if desired.