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From Birling Gap to the Peak District — great walks your kids will love

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WALKING – as a family, extended family or a group of friends – is a fantastic way to spend time together.

As lockdown lifts and we’re able to finally travel further afield, this is a perfect way to explore the countryside.

As lockdown lifts and we’re able to finally travel further afield, walking is a perfect way to explore the countryside

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As lockdown lifts and we’re able to finally travel further afield, walking is a perfect way to explore the countrysideCredit: Alamy

100 Great Walks With Kids, by Jen and Sim Benson, includes some of the best strolls across England, Scotland and Wales for families with children of all ages.

Jen says: “Forcing kids to go on walks does little besides creating tension and conflict, and you’ll end up never wanting to do it again.

“Kids will always view an ‘adventure’ with far more enthusiasm than a ‘walk’.”

In an exclusive extract, Natasha Harding chooses six from the book.

Birling Gap, East Sussex

Part of the stunning Seven Sisters coastal chalk cliffs, Birling Gap is a small hamlet owned by the National Trust that is perfectly placed for exploring this fascinating area.

Birling Gap is perfectly placed for exploring this fascinating area

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Birling Gap is perfectly placed for exploring this fascinating areaCredit: Alamy

START/FINISH: Birling Gap National Trust car park, Beachy Head Road, Eastbourne, BN20 0AB

DISTANCE: 1.9 miles

DIFFICULTY: 2/5

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The 13X bus runs hourly from Eastbourne Terminus to Brighton via Birling Gap.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY: The prominent ridge at Bailey’s Hill features several Bronze Age burial mounds along with evidence of settlement and farming.

The beach at Birling Gap is a fantastic location for finding fossils.

Sutton Park, Birmingham

Covering 2,400 acres of wild land just a few miles north of Birmingham city centre, Sutton Park is one of Europe’s largest urban parks.

Just a few miles north of Birmingham city centre, Sutton Park is one of Europe’s largest urban parks

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Just a few miles north of Birmingham city centre, Sutton Park is one of Europe’s largest urban parksCredit: Alamy

START/FINISH: Park Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 6BT. This walk can also be accessed from Boldmere Gate or Streetly Gate.

DISTANCE: 3.1 miles

DIFFICULTY: 2/5

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Regular buses and trains from central Birmingham. Sutton Coldfield station is a short walk from the start.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY: Learn to sail at Powell’s Pool with Sutton Sailing Club, or kayak at Blackroot Pool with the Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club. There are also two orienteering courses.

Peak District, Derbyshire

The River Dove winds through limestone hills dotted with pockets of ravine woodland.

The sparkling water and inviting trails are calling out to be explored.

The sparkling water of the River Dove and inviting trails are calling out to be explored

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The sparkling water of the River Dove and inviting trails are calling out to be explored

START/FINISH: Dovedale National Trust Car Park, Ilam, Ashbourne, DE6 2AY.

DISTANCE: 1.2 miles.

DIFFICULTY: 4/5 via Thorpe Cloud or 2/5 out-and-back by the river.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Regular buses between Ashbourne and Buxton stop nearby.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY: National Trust-owned Ilam Park is a great add to the walk and you can explore much of it for free.

Further along the River Manifold is Thor’s Cave – a gaping hole rising over the wooded hillside.

St Agnes, Cornwall

It may be tiny and relatively undiscovered compared with many of Cornwall’s beaches, but Chapel Porth and its surrounding area is a treasure trove of fascinating sights to discover and is wonderful for walking.

Chapel Porth and its surrounding area is a treasure trove of fascinating sights to discover and is wonderful for walking

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Chapel Porth and its surrounding area is a treasure trove of fascinating sights to discover and is wonderful for walkingCredit: Alamy

START/FINISH: Chapel Porth National Trust Car Park, Chapel Porth, TR5 0NS.

DISTANCE: 2.5 miles

DIFFICULTY: 3/5

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Bus service from Redruth train station stops at the Victory Inn in Town Cross.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY: Chapel Porth hosted the World Belly Board Championships from 2003 to 2015.

They have now moved along the St Agnes coast to Perranporth, but the sport is a great introduction to surfing.

Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire

The Malham Tarn Estate, deep in the Yorkshire Dales, covers a dramatic, open limestone landscape of high fells, dry valleys, grassland and rocky outcrops.

The Malham Tarn Estate, deep in the Yorkshire Dales, covers a dramatic, open limestone landscape

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The Malham Tarn Estate, deep in the Yorkshire Dales, covers a dramatic, open limestone landscapeCredit: Alamy

START/FINISH: Watersinks Car Park, Malham Tarn, BD23 4DJ.

DISTANCE: 2.5 miles

DIFFICULTY: 2/5

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Buses to Malham village. Shuttle buses from Settle to Malham Tarn, summer weekends only.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY: Malham village is a great base for a number of excellent walks, including the beautiful waterfall at Janet’s Foss, dramatic Gordale Scar and the limestone pavement that tops Malham Cove.

Eskdale, Cumbria

On the western edge of the Lake District, at the foot of the winding Hardknott Pass and the southwestern flanks of Scafell, Eskdale is relatively undiscovered but its waterfall walk makes a fine family adventure.

Eskdale is relatively undiscovered but its waterfall walk makes a fine family adventure

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Eskdale is relatively undiscovered but its waterfall walk makes a fine family adventureCredit: Alamy

START/FINISH: Dalegarth for Boot rail station, Eskdale, CA19 1TF

DISTANCE: 3.5 miles

DIFFICULTY: 4/5

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Get the train to Ravenglass then catch the La’al Ratty steam train to Boot.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY: The campsite at Eskdale is great for families.

Jump on a steam train to Ravenglass or follow the winding lanes to lovely Wasdale.

There is a cafe at Dalegarth station and a decent pub, The Woolpack, halfway along.

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