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6 Best winter walks

Malvern Hills

Use the ‘Visit the Malverns’ walk finder app to map your route – we love the walk around the seasonally named ‘Hollybush’ – take a leisurely figure of eight loop around Midsummer Hill to the north and Ragged Stone Hill to the South for unparalleled views of the undulating Herefordshire and Gloucestershire countryside.

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Cotswold Way

The Cotswold Way, beginning in Chipping Campden, runs right through to the city of Bath covering over 100 miles of beautiful countryside. The War Memorial at the centre of the pretty Cotswold town is the official start/finish point of The Cotswold Way but pick up the route wherever suits you and take in some of The Cotswolds most historic and important landmarks - the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap, Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe, Hailes Abbey and many beautiful churches and period houses along the way.

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Crickley Hill

From the beech woods to the prominent escarpment itself – Crickley Hill is a walk not to miss for its far-reaching views across the Severn Vale towards the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountain and beyond. Warm up with a hot chocolate after a bracing circular walk in the café.

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Woodchester Park

Nearby the Cotswold market town of Stroud lies Woodchester Park, a peaceful wooded valley containing the remains of an 18thand 19thcentury landscaped park with a chain of five lakes. Secreted away in the surrounding woodland you'll find a 19thcentury Boat House – now home to the resident bat colony. Follow the trails that lead through the picturesque ‘forgotten’ scenery and pass the fascinating unfinished Victorian stately, Woodchester.

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Broadway Tower

From the honey-coloured village of Broadway, wind your way through fields and up the (muddy) wooded lane to Broadway Tower – if you need sustenance after your ascent (or bribery for younger walkers) stop off for refreshmentsatthe Morris & Brown café before scaling the tower itself. The brainchild of Capability Brown, this 18thcentury folly is the second highest point in The Cotswolds (after Cleeve Hill) – climb 65ft to the top and have fun picking out up to 16 counties on a clear day. The tower is open 10.30am-5pm.

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Otmoor Nature Reserve

This Oxfordshire nature reserve is a perfect sanctuary for walkers and birds alike. At this time of year you may be lucky enough to catch the incredible aerial acrobatics of thousands of starlings, returning to roost for the winter. There are plenty of viewing points and hides for twitchers, or simply drink in the peace and tranquillity on this scenic unspoilt 6-mile circular walk.

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