Britain’s secret and most romantic walks

Britain’s secret and most romantic walks

It’s National Walking Month, so why not take an amorous stroll through the countryside, or embark on some romance-fuelled perambulations in the park?

To celebrate National Walking Month - a campaign by Living Streets - we remind readers of the National Trust's top secret trails, compiled for the 2013 Great British Walk. How thoroughly romantic.

Read on to get the inside track on those hidden viewpoints, fresh coastal paths or legendary regions, only accessible by foot…

1. The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent

This National Trust-owned land makes for a breathtaking walk with your loved one. You can stroll hand-in-hand to the pioneering South Foreland Lighthouse, a Victorian outpost that offers a previously unseen view across this iconic landscape. While you're there, wave to passing ships in the channel and discover the ancient clockwork mechanism that powered the world's first electric lighthouse.

2. Minnowburn, Northern Ireland

Trade bustling Stonehenge for little-known Giant's Ring. The largest henge in Ireland, it was built in 2,700BC, and its car park is the starting point for a two-mile amble that reveals the hidden side of Belfast…

3. Erddig, Wales

Erddig is one of Britain's finest country houses. It offers 1,200 acres of park and garden, as well as a stables, smithy, joiners' shop and sawmill. And now you can retrace the footsteps of two of the Erddig family's servants - a pair who were hopelessly in love. The walk takes you through untouched parts of the estate to discover where the lovers met and how their romance blossomed.

4. Sparrow Dale, Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Calling all bird lovers! The oft-forgotten Sparrow Dale is a haven for wildlife, in particular Britain's smallest bird: the firecrest. Its valleys are filled with conifer trees making it the ideal place to spot, and interact with, soaring birds of prey.

5. Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland

This 13th-century fortress stands on a remote headland in Northumberland. Although its besieged ruins and arresting cliff-top location are well known, few couples take the time to walk behind the castle. A pity really, as those who do are rewarded with heart-stopping views of the remains, as well as its hidden cliffs and blackened, volcanic rocks.

6. Malham Waterfall, Yorkshire Dales

With its limestone gorges and dramatic coves, Malham sits at the southern base of the Yorkshire Dales. The landscapes are beautiful but, most importantly, a three-hour walk around the park will lead you through fields and kissing gates to Janet's Foss waterfall. Nestled in a patch of majestic woodland, the tumbling water is in the same spot as a secret cave… Local legend says it is home to the Queen of the Fairies, so throwing a coin in the pool and making a wish is a must.

7. Trelissick, Cornwall

Overlooking the estuary of the River Fal, Trelissick, in Cornwall, offers more than 30 acres of elevated garden to discover. Labyrinthine paths lead you past intoxicating collections of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, camellias, ginger lilies and year-round woodland plants. The main walk around the site takes you much further into the estate than many visitors usually venture… At the end of the line you'll come across a secluded, iron-age fort.

8. Attingham, Shropshire

A path, first opened in 2013, now gives visitors the chance to share a rare view of the front of Attingham House, previously only reserved for privileged guests of the last owners, the Berwick family. You and your partner can also walk through the estate's woodlands and deer park to see what wildlife you can spot.

For step-by-step guides on each of the walks, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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