Put Spring in Your Steps: Britain's Best Spring Walks

Britain's Best Spring Escapes

The countryside is stirring. As the days start to lengthen and the grip of winter loosens, the British countryside beckons. Early flowering plants such as primroses, celandine and daffodils start to peep through the surrounding foliage, adding a splash of colour and wildlife stirs. For those venturing out on foot, early spring has much to offer. With the sun still low in the sky but with the first hint of real warmth starting to shine through, it’s a great time for landscape photography or just admiring views in the clear air. What's more, since many people don’t venture out at this time of year, the walking routes are much quieter, even at the most popular spots.

At HF we’ve devised a programme of specially adapted UK spring walks designed to take in the highlights found during the springtime. Specially adapted to the season, these routes are carefully curated and led by an experienced guide. And if the weather turns wet, we're ideally set up at our country houses with boot and drying rooms, log fires and cosy corners to kick back in. Read on to discover the destinations and special seasonal highlights you can enjoy during our spring guided walking holidays

Spring Guided Walking Holidays in Exmoor

Wild Ponies Exmoor

Based near highlights such as Porlock, the Quantocks, Dunster and Lynmouth there are walking options aplenty both inland and to the coast. The moors of Exmoor are a huge draw with miles of open moorland populated by nothing more than sheep and Exmoor ponies.

Spring Highlights

  1. Waders and waterfowl are busy taking advantage of the rich food found in the sediments of Blue Anchor Bay. Knots, oyster-catchers and curlew can often be seen.
  2. Swelled by winter rains, the fast-flowing East Lyn River is even more impressive as it gushes down the gorge to Watersmeet where it joins Hoar Oak Water. With less vegetation around the chances of spotting an otter during a walk along the river are increased.
  3. Clear, far-sighted views from the top of Dunkery Beacon – the highest point in Exmoor. The clear spring air reveals views across Devon as far as Dartmoor, the Bristol Channel and Wales and the rolling hills of the Mendips and Quantocks.
Holnicote House, Exmoor

Holnicote House

Lying near the attractive village of Selworthy, in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, historic Holnicote House stands within a series of peaceful gardens with spreading lawns. Outside the house, explore wild Exmoor, walk in the Quantocks, climb Dunkery Beacon and stroll on the Somerset Coast Path.
Take me to Holnicote House

Spring Guided Walking Holidays in the Peak District

Durdle Door

Chatsworth House, Dovedale, Bakewell, the Tissington Trail – all these and more await discovery on a guided walking holiday in Derbyshire’s beautiful Peak District. Walk through hidden valleys and up to elevated peaks for sweeping views across the landscape.

Spring Highlights

  1. In late March, see the carpets of wild garlic start to bloom in the Manifold Valley and cowslips in Biggin Dale National Nature Reserve.
  2. Spot cute lambs gambolling in the stone-wall edged fields – a classic English scene.
  3. With the trees yet to sport their new leaves, attractions such as the limestone gorge at Dovedale have a different look and feel. The bright spring light bounces off the rock and reflects off the water.
Peveril of the Peak, Peak District

Peak District
Peveril of the Peak

The Peveril of the Peak stands close to the village of Thorpe. Backed by the cone of Thorpe Cloud, which guards the entrance to Dovedale Gorge and the famous stepping stones at the entrance to the gorge, it’s an ideal base for people hoping to explore the Derbyshire countrysidel.
Take me to Peveril of the Peak

Spring Guided Walking Holidays in Dorset

Durdle Door

A marvellous selection of guided walks take in the many highlights of the beautiful Jurassic Coast in Dorset. On sunny days the clear air allows for far-reaching views along the spectacular cliffs and across to the Isle of Wight. Many of the walks are linear – we organise transport at either the start or end of the walk to take you to/from our accommodation in West Lulworth.

Spring Highlights

  1. Stand above Durdle Door and watch the low level sun shining straight through the middle of the arch with the light reflecting off the sea.
  2. Areas that are popular with tourists such as Corfe Castle, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are much quieter than in the summer months; our group will often have the walking path to itself.
  3. See patches of of yellow gorse carpeting the landscape and the glorious white blooms of blackthorn in the hedges.
West Lulworth House, Dorset

Dorset Coast
West Lulworth House

Set just 200 yards from the sea, West Lulworth House has a highly coveted location just above the lake-still expanse of Lulworth Cove. Step out the front door and on to the coast path. To the west lies Middle Beach and the picture perfect Durdle Door. East lie the beaches of Mupe Bay and Arish Mell.
Take me to West Lulworth House

Spring Guided Walking Holidays in the Southern Lake District

Southern Lake District

A range of guided walking holidays to discover the best parts of the Southern Lake District from easier lakeside walks to more strenuous treks into the mountains. This area was once home to William Wordsworth; many walks will take us through the landscapes that inspired his poetry.

Spring Highlights

  1. Stand beneath the waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force. Swelled by winter rains, their cascades are particularly spectacular. Both falls are located in pretty, wooded dells. With the leaves on the trees missing, more of the cascading waters are revealed.
  2. Swathes of daffodils come into bloom producing a beautiful yellow carpet of flowers. In the early 1800s such a sight inspired Wordsworth to write his most famous poem.
  3. The Herdwick lambs gambolling in the fields around Troutbeck Park Farm – once home to Beatrix Potter. This sheep breed is indigenous to the Lake District. The lambs you see may well be descended from the flock that Beatrix herself used to farm.
Monk Coniston, Southern Lake District

Southern Lake District
Monk Coniston

Wrapped in manicured gardens with stunning views over Coniston Water, Monk Coniston combines country house grandeur and romantic, gothic-style charm with contemporary touches to great effect among the rugged landscapes of the Lake District. Trails from the doorstep set off to explore the fells and valleys.
Take me to Monk Coniston

Spring Guided Walking Holidays in the North York Moors

Roseberry Topping, North York Moors

Based near the historic coastal town of Whitby, and also close to the North York Moors National Park, there are guided walking opportunities in all directions across a range of landscapes. The nearby village of Great Ayton was the childhood home of Captain James Cook.

Spring Highlights

  1. See the natural drama of the North Yorkshire coast unfold as the unrelenting waters of the North Sea batter its beaches and cliffs. Bathed in the clear light of early spring, the views are both dramatic and spectacular.
  2. Climb to the top of the lop-sided Roseberry Topping for far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside to breath in the crisp air.
  3. Beachcombing at Runswick Bay or Sandsend can reveal beautiful shells which have been brought to the surface by winter storms. You might find other natural flotsam and jetsam such as shiny pieces of black jet, ammonite fossils, bits of sea sponge and shark egg cases.
Larpool Hall, North York Moors

North York Moors
Larpool Hall

Escape to Whitby, whose handsome harbour and medieval streets are famously the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Step out to explore the coast, Captain Cook country or walk on the Cleveland Way. Discover Robin Hood’s Bay and hunt for fossils or head deep into the North York Moors for a contrasting landscape.
Take me to Larpool Hall