So you’ve been staring out of the office window all week, longing to be in the glorious weather that the UK is currently experiencing? Well, unfortunately, the unusually hot conditions are due for a break this weekend (typical!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out for a hike, ramble or walk!
For those of us in the South, Saturday afternoon is meant to be the driest period of the weekend. The North of the country is looking OK both Saturday and Sunday morning.
Friston Forest – Seven Sisters, Sussex
Often completely missed by nearby tourists this forest walk is tucked just minutes away from Seven Sisters. The route twists through a combination of forest trails, small B-roads and the scenic village of Friston before ending at Seven Sisters. The forest is also home to some great MTB and horse riding!
Route and Rewards
Before leaving be sure to take a look at the information board (located in the car park) to help get your bearings. Starting from the Friston Forest car park head east, there are several paths, so take your pick!
You should come to a trail that’s signposted ‘South Downs Way’. Take this path heading South, it will start to bend East but stick with it. The route goes behind a few stunning properties before taking a right turn towards the village of Friston, joining a quiet road.
If you continue directly straight on this road, you will go through the village, before switching back to a path. Then walk past a small pond and over a raised area of woodland. On the other side of the woods is the main Seven Sisters visitors centre. From here you can continue your walk along Cuckmere river or loop back to the car park.
You are looking for the Friston Forest car park, owned by the Forestry Commission. The car park can get busy, but it should be ok this time of the year.
Aira Force – Lake District, Cumbria
Aira Force is a famous waterfall located in the Lake District. Although it isn’t the tallest of waterfalls what it doesn’t have in height, it certainly makes up for in appearance.
With lush green plants surrounding the dropping water, a bridge across the top of the waterfall and a (somewhat) accessible walking trail, Aira Force is an awesome place to visit.
Route and Rewards
We recommend starting from the National Trust car park at Aira Force, from here head to the opposite end of the visitor’s car park and pass through the gate to the right-hand side of the information kiosk.
There are usually volunteers and maps available if you’d like some extra guidance, if not follow the path along past the picnic area continuing until you reach a gate. At the fork after the gate go right and continue along the trail, following the boundary fence.
From here stick with the path, you should go over a small wooden bridge before heading upward. The path will then appear at the bottom of Aira Force. Head up to the top, after taking an obligatory picture of the waterfall!
From the bridge you can either continue to Ullswater or head back to the car park. Being a National Trust visitors attraction there is, as always, a fantastic tea room
The National Trust car park is located here. Parking costs £5 for 2 hours, £7 for 4 hours, £9 all day. Members park for free!
Steamer Point – Christchurch, Dorset
Steamer point is a historical place of interest located on the coast of Dorset near Christchurch. The site is where Lord Stuart de Rothsay moored an old paddle steamer to use as a site office for the construction of Highcliffe Castle
Route and Rewards
Start in Highcliffe castle car park, from here head South out of the parking area before heading along the forest path that runs West. The path twists through a small nature reserve before emerging on the cliffs above the beach below.
This trail continues all the way to Mudeford Quay, along the route there are continuous beaches plus several cafes and restaurants to stop off at. The walk is extremely popular during the summer months, but it can be just as enjoyable watching the waves crash against the shore during the winter months.
You can park at Highcliffe castle or reverse the walk and start in Mudeford Quay, ending at Highcliffe.
Looking For More
Why not read our previous weekend walking guide!