Time to reflect on a winter walk

A crisp and cold winter’s day provides the perfect opportunity to reflect as we look forward to a new year and a fresh start. Here in Shropshire the National Trust has a range of inspiring places to get out and enjoy the winter with family and friends.

Harry Bowell, Regional Director for the National Trust in the Midlands, says “Gardens, parks and the countryside all have a stark beauty at this time of year. With no leaves on the trees, you can appreciate the size and structure of ancient and veteran trees. Winter opens up our landscapes like no other season, with new and unexpected views.”

Winter is a great time to get the walking boots on and get out for a walk – whether that’s a leisurely stroll with lots of time for quiet reflection or something a bit more vigorous and challenging. And of course there are many National Trust tea-rooms to help visitors warm up afterwards by providing a hot chocolate or warming bowl of soup. The website has lots of inspiration, with details of self-guided and downloadable walks, such as the Winter Reflections route around Attingham Park where you can spot some of our best tranquil views and see reflections in the icy river.

Attingham Park is the perfect place to enjoy this tranquil time of year with a reflective walk through the parkland.  Winter transforms the woodland, river and ponds, with a sprinkling of frost on the ground.

At Carding Mill Valley offers far reaching views of the Shropshire countryside and is an ideal base for a stroll beside the stream or a more adventurous hike up the hills. You don’t have to venture far out of the valley to find your own piece of solitude on the Long Mynd, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary of being purchased by the National Trust.

Bob Thurston, Countryside Parks and Gardens Manager at Attingham Park, added, “A winter stroll through Attingham’s deer park is just perfect.  The leaves crunch with frost under your feet and in the mornings the cobwebs glisten with dew on the trees.”

Winter is also a great time to spot some seasonal wildlife. As well as more familiar birds like robin and blackbird, it’s possible to spot something more unusual at this time of year, like siskins, jays, fieldfares or redwings. Winter can be a difficult time for small birds to find food – we can all help by putting out food for them at home or even by making garden bird feeders. We love to see photos of the wildlife visitors have spotted – pictures can be sent in via Facebook (/NTmidlands), Twitter (@NTmidlands) or Instagram (NTMidlands).

Visitors can start planning their winter walks and wildlife adventures by visiting www.nationaltrust.org.uk/midlands

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Pete White Pete White

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