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The National Trust's top 10 secret walks

Michael Manton / 30 August 2013

To celebrate the launch of the Great British Walk festival this weekend, the National Trust has revealed the top ten secret walks that can only be accessed on foot. Recent research has revealed that nearly a quarter of adults said they rarely go for walks, while 17% never venture more than 500 metres from their car.

walking routes UK

With 64% of Brits wishing they got out and walked more, there's never been a better time to stretch those legs and discover our beautiful country.

The top ten secret discovery walks are:

1. The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent

The National Trust has recently acquired this land, which is now open to the public for the first time. Walk to the South Foreland Lighthouse for a previously hidden view across this iconic British landscape.

2. Minnowburn, Northern Ireland

The largest henge and stone circle in Ireland, the Giant’s Ring was built around the same time as Stonehenge and Avebury in 2,700BC. This two-mile walk reveals a hidden side to Belfast, which lies less than three miles away.

3. Erddig, Wales

A love story between two of Erddig’s family servants has been brought wonderfully to life on this walk. As you pass through rarely visited parts of the estate, you will retrace the lovers footsteps and see treasured mementoes of their romance. 

4. Sizergh Castle, south Lake District

Hidden and hard to find – the secret here is a 1,600 year old yew tree, buried deep in the woods.

5. Sparrow Dale, Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Frequently overlooked by visitors to the park, Sparrow Dale is a hidden valley that’s perfect for wildlife lovers. It's wide variety of trees make it the perfect place to spot birds of prey.

6. Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland coast

Many may know the castle but few walk around the back to see the breathtaking views of the remains, its hidden cliffs and volcanic rocks.

7. Malham Waterfall, Yorkshire Dales

The path leads to a magical waterfall where can discover a secret cave. Local legend says the cave is home to the Queen of the Fairies, so making wishes is a must.

8. Trelissick, Cornwall

Overlooking the Fal estuary, this walk leads you deep into the estate to a secluded, iron-age fort where few venture.

9. Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Explore never before seen parts of the Stowe estate, including a secret garden surrounded by monuments and waterfalls, hidden for many years.

10. Attingham, Shropshire

A path, newly opened up for the Great British Walk, allows visitors to share a rare view of the front of Attingham Hall, previously only reserved for privileged guests of the owners, the Berwick family.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.