Taking a walk in the countryside is a wonderful way to blow away the cobwebs - and Worcestershire has more than its fair share of scenic routes.

The county boasts more than 3,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways just waiting to be explored, and the winter weather is nothing a warm coat and a sturdy pair of boots won’t overcome.

Even if you’re starting in the middle of Worcester city centre, there are river walks and woodland trails within easy reach, with the opportunity to spot some of Worcestershire’s incredible wildlife always an added bonus.

There's never been a better time to make the most of the natural beauty Worcestershire has to offer.

Worcester Woods Country Park

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Worcester Woods Country Park has hundreds of acres to explore including the Woodland Trail, which runs through Nunnery Wood Local Nature Reserve and features veteran trees and an abundance of wildlife. Most of the paths are hard, flat gravel surfaces making the trail suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

There is also the Meadow Trail, which takes in the Hornhill Meadows Local Nature Reserve and orchard. The Meadow Trail features uneven ground and a number of large kissing gates but both trails are waymarked. The country park also has a cafe and play areas. Check opening times on its website or Facebook page.

Clent Hills

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The Clent Hills are the perfect destination for a short winter’s stroll. The whole family can join in on a mile or so of accessible footpaths that lead to the top of the hill, where you can enjoy panoramic views. On clear days you can see as far as the Welsh Black Mountains.

The hills are looked after by the National Trust, so you’ll have to pay to park at the Nimmings Wood car park unless you’re a member. There’s no charge to access the hills themselves.

Worcestershire Beacon, Malvern Hills

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Another walk boasting stunning views on a clear winter’s day. A hike up the Worcestershire Beacon from Upper Wyche, and back, is about four-and-a-half miles all-told. There are clearly-marked paths up the Beacon. Continue north from the summit to reach North Hill then descend north-east to rejoin the tarmacked path back to the village.


Worcestershire Way

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One for more serious hikers, the Worcestershire Way is a 31-mile waymarked long-distance trail. It starts in Bewdley alongside the River Severn and finishes in Great Malvern, taking in the Abberley, Suckley and Malvern Hills, the Ravenshill Woodland Reserve and the River Teme along the way. Walking app Hiiker suggests the Worcestershire Way takes about three days to complete.

If all that isn’t enough, you can extend the walk through to the southern end of the Malverns, visiting the British Camp iron age hill fort on Herefordshire Beacon.

Wyre Forest

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There are three trails in the Wyre Forest with the longest, the Buzzard walking trail, coming in at about three miles or 5km. The shortest is the Wren trail, which at 0.8 miles is perfect for all members of the family to walk together. There are plenty of benches and little ones will love looking for the sleeping Gruffalo and Gruffalo’s Child.

The third Wyre walking trail is the Woodpecker trail, which features seasonal learning panels to help you discover more about life in the forest. This trail is suitable for buggies but there are sections with steep hills, exposed roots and mud.