Five of the best late summer walks
by Natalie French (September 2013)
As British summers go – this one has been pretty epic! Without the torment of torrential rain, the whole country has been basking in blue skies and glorious sunshine. It’s only natural for us to want to eke out every last drop, so pull on your sunglasses and get yourself outside to soak up the last delights of summer on one of these delightful walks.
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Wander within the 530 acre estate at Crathes Castle, on land given as a gift to the Burnett of Leys family by Robert the Bruce himself! Overlooked by gargoyles and fairytale castle turrets, it’s the famous walled gardens that draw the crowds. Spanning nearly four acres, they are divided into eight themed gardens, separated by ancient topiary yew hedges planted around 1702. Enjoy the last of the summer sun as you stroll between misty blue, golden yellow and pastel blooms.
Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal
It’s easy to lose yourself in the Lake District, particularly as the National Park has 3,500km of rights of way. Pack the family and a picnic basket for a stroll through a gorgeous Lakeland glade to the Aira Force waterfall, near Ullswater. Park at the National Trust car park and thread your way through lush forest until you catch a glimpse of Aira Beck, cascading 65ft through the rocky ravine.
14 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey
Loch an Eilan (loch of the island) is the gem at the heart of the Rothiemurcus estate, part of the iconic Cairngorm National Park. A short route round the loch takes in the views of the 13th Century Castle, and the opportunity to spot some incredible wildlife, including the beautiful red squirrel. The path is flat, and suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Go in late summer/early autumn to see the surrounding hills come alive with purple heather and rust-coloured bracken. And don’t forget to take an alfresco lunch, as this was voted as Britain’s favourite picnic spot.
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