‘I strolled among lovely Lent lilies, wild garlic and beautiful bluebells’: readers’ favourite spring walks in the UK | Walking holidays

Winning tip: Laurie Lee’s Gloucestershire

Two of the great prologues of literature begin on the same seeping bank in the village of Slad. Start the circular Laurie Lee walk from where the infant was dropped from a cart in Cider with Rosie and from where the adolescent loped off to Spain in As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning. A well-managed schedule can see you enjoying the singular hospitality of the Woolpack Inn before and after your five-mile jaunt. Head clockwise or reverse to find primrose-bounded paths, skylark-serenaded pasture and slope-clinging beech trees. The ramble is punctuated by posts inscribed with poetry by the valley’s most celebrated son.
Mathew Page

South Devon’s hidden coastal treasures

Ayrmer Cove. Photograph: Ian Woolcock/Alamy

In south Devon I recommend a coast walk starting from the car park in the village of Ringmore. Begin by heading down to Ayrmer Cove. On the beach, which faces the channel, you might spot mermaids’ purses and other treasures. Next, walk to Westcombe beach along the cliff tops, then back through the woods, past the house with the dog bowl recalling a heroic doggy deed to help a hermit. Or, from Ayrmer Cove, walk the other direction towards Bigbury-on-Sea, with fabulous views of Burgh Island and its art deco hotel. Toilets and ice-cream are available at Bigbury – always a must on a family walk.


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Dancing with daffodils in Derwentwater

A view from Brigsteer, Cumbria. Photograph: John Eveson/Alamy

A sure sign that spring has arrived in the Lake District are the Dancing Daffodils of Derwentwater – it really is a walkers’ paradise. Last year a local birdwatcher made my day by giving me a tip about a secret walk, away from the crowds. He directed me to the woods above the pretty village of Brigsteer, tucked away from tourists amid the Lyth Valley and Morecambe Bay. It was a sensual stroll, wandering among lovely Lent lilies, wild garlic and beautiful bluebells, chasing a profusion of natural perfumes, which cast their spell into the spring breeze. I wandered to my pleasure, but never felt alone as I was surrounded by nature at its best.

Tower Hamlets in full bloom

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Photograph: Nathaniel Noir/Alamy

A spring walk in the inner-city Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, one of London’s “magnificent seven”, may not be an obvious choice, but if you download a map and follow the well-marked heritage trail, you’ll find an abundance of spring blooms. There are clumps of blue and white bluebells, cowslips, primroses, cow parsley, wild garlic and many more species. Towards the end of one visit, we came across a path lined with bright-red tulips, which stood out among the blues and yellows. Entrance is free and an audio trail introduces you to the plants and their connection to people.
Helen Jackson

Porpoises and yellowhammers in Northumberland

Cullernose Point is a good place from which to spot porpoises. Photograph: Martin Bache/Alamy

There’s no better place to end a walk than at the Jolly Fisherman in Craster, Northumberland. Local beer and seafood on tap, the enticing tang of the region’s last smokehouse, and not a beer garden anywhere that will beat the view. Start three miles south, at Longhoughton beach. Walk this stretch of the coast path in spring and watch the world wake up. Crews of eider gather, males draped in their finery, strutting and “woo”-ing. Gorse and blackthorn flower in sheltered spots, while yellowhammers lean from the upper branches like sailors from the crow’s nest, yelling for sighted treasure. Pause at Cullernose Point to spot passing porpoise before the drifting sail of salt smoke draws you into the village.
Em Witcutt

Under a big Suffolk sky

Dunes and marram grass near Southwold. Photograph: Gary Broughton/Getty Images

Our favourite spring hike is from Southwold down its clean sandy beach, then over the Suffolk marshes. This area of outstanding natural beauty is one of Britain’s finest landscapes. We enjoyed birdlife in a watery world, such as the white egrets patiently fishing. We loved the ancient flint churches and divert sometimes to “the cathedral of the marshes” at Blythburgh, to see its huge, carved flying angels. The circle is about eight miles and at one of several old pubs local beer and fresh fish await. Walking under the huge sky, it felt as if we were in a Constable painting.
David Innes-Wilkin

Kissing gates and pink petals in the Yorkshire Wolds

Mill pond at Welton. Photograph: Travelib Environment/Alamy

Queen Anne’s lace and bridal-white hawthorn blossom welcome me to the East Yorkshire village of Welton, where pink petals confetti the pavements and mallards usher visitors across the mill pond to the picturesque church of Saint Helen. I wheel myself up Cowgate and along Dale Road, where the Yorkshire Wolds access walk continues up a concrete track into a woodland valley. There are three kissing gates; a smooch would be lovely, but it’s not obligatory. The fragrances of spring, the melodies of birdsong, and a soft gallimaufry of colours serenade my senses. I pause to look across at the steel-watered Humber, then continue in a horseshoe back to the village. Primavera has arrived.
Carol Teece

Take the bus to a West Country paradise

Stanton Drew stone circle. Photograph: David Lyons/Alamy

A £4 return on the 376 Mendip Xplorer bus from Bristol – also great for a scenic ride to Wells and Glastonbury – is just the ticket for a great spring walk. Get off at Pensford and set off below the impressive viaduct, through fields of lambs. You’ll end up at Stanton Drew stone circle (free, with a donation box). On Saturdays the Cafe Box en route offers cake. You can continue journeying to Chew Magna or other villages, or loop back to Pensford for a swim in the weir or a meal in the Rising Sun’s riverside beer garden, with more viaduct views.

Marshes and migrations in the Cairngorms

Insh Marshes nature reserve. Photograph: Nature Picture Library/Alamy

The Insh Marshes are nestled at the back of Kingussie in the Cairngorms national park between Glen Tromie and the Ruthven Barracks. This RSPB nature reserve is a unique floodplain shaped by glaciers, floods and man, supporting an abundance of rare species and habitat. The Invertromie trail, a three-mile walk, takes you through aspen trees, heath and birch woodlands, blaeberry glades and orchid-rich meadows. If you’re keen on bird-watching, bring your binoculars. In springtime there’s a fantastic opportunity to see migratory birds, such as curlew and redshank, from one of the three hides on the route.
Peter Diender

An edgy family hike in Snowdonia

Walkers admiring the views from the Precipice Walk near Dolgellau, Mid Wales. Photograph: Perego Swaine/Alamy

The Precipice Walk on the outskirts of Dolgellau in Snowdonia is brilliant for many reasons: it’s circular, there’s a car park with a loo, and it offers incredible views over the Mawddach estuary, Cader Idris, Coed y Brenin forest and the picturesque Llyn Cynwch lake with minimal ascent. Suitable for most of the family who have no fear of heights, the walk takes about an hour and 40 minutes. Warm up with a slab of excellent cake and hot chocolate in TH Roberts cafe in Dolgellau afterwards.
Anna Kennett

Please use the comments to recommend your own spring walk favourites

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