Walking is a such a simple and free way to keep fit as a family but sometimes you need some inspiration when going on a walk with kids.
As this year is the Year of Walking where we live in Yorkshire and we are passionate about getting active as a family, we wanted to share with you our favourite walks so that hopefully you can be inspired to get active.
Here are our top 10 family walks where we live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
There are so many walks to enjoy here where I live in Wakefield. I like to do most walks as a family (so it’s my two daughters and I, and sometimes the grandparents!) or sometimes I do longer walks with friends.
- Angler’s Country Park is brilliant and has Room on the Broom story trail as well as stunning scenery and a nice cafe. There’s also a playground too next to the cafe and plenty of places to eat a picnic.
Anglers has been awarded Green Flag status – recognising it as one of the best parks in the country.
- Sandal Castle and Pugney’s Country Park: Sandal Castle ruins has stunning views of Pugney’s and the rest of Wakefield as well as a cafe. There’s also plenty of picnic spots down at Pugney’s with a lake and water sports, a children’s play area and an outdoor gym. Don’t forget to do the Blown Away story trail at Pugney’s or to take advantage of the water sports on offer! After a stroll along the lakeside path, take a ride on the Pugneys Light Railway (available on selected weekends – www.pugneyslightrailway.co.uk).
You can park for free at Sandal Castle and walk down to Pugney’s Country Park (or vice versa, although you have to pay for parking at Pugney’s).
- Canal Walks: I have also started enjoying canal walks and I find them a great way to quickly escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. I tend to just walk by the canal next to Doncaster road and follow that along. There are parts that are well kept and other parts that are not, so just be vigilant of any rubbish along the path but most of it is wild flowers and barges.
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park: You can drive or catch a bus from Wakefield Bus Station to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton. It’s a lovely day out especially when the weather is good. There’s lots of places to buy food and drink as well as a plethora of places to have a picnic. They have indoor areas too when you can do crafts and they often run family-friendly workshops as well.
- Newmillerdam Country Park and Boathouse: There are lots of walks to do around Newmillerdam. But a great child-friendly one is the Gnome Roam.
Enjoy a scenic walk exploring the country park, find the sculptures and complete the activities and challenges as you go.
Pick up your free leaflet from the dispensers in the car park or download one here.
- Hemsworth Water Park and Play World: We love coming here in the summer. It’s great to walk around the lake and it also has a brilliant outdoor play area called Play World for the kids. There’s a cafe and small indoor play area too if the weather isn’t great.
- Nostell Priory, National Trust: Nostell Priory is home to a mansion and stunning grounds. National Trust members park and enter for free but others must pay a fee. They do a Park Run as well however which is always free and you can walk it too.
- Thornes Park and Clarence Park: I’ve been bringing my daughter here since she was a baby as we used to go to the gym at Thornes Park Stadium (where you cans also hire buggies to run with). The park itself as an enclosed Secret Garden, an outdoor gym trail, a playground, a duck pond, a small railway and a nice little Stork Cafe. There’s also an Aviary next to the Duck Pond and a Rose Garden with a green house inside.
- Pontefract Castle: It’s just a short walk up the cobbled hill to discover the ruins of Pontefract Castle. It’s well worth a walk around the site and a trip down to the dungeons is a must. There’s also a nice visitor centre where you can buy refreshments too as well as lots of child-friendly workshops on (but check when these are in advance).
- Urban walks: by this I mean walking to and from anywhere and everywhere. Whether it be Wakefield City Centre and walking from Trinity Walk to Wakefield Cathedral and onto The Ridings and the Sun Lane Leisure Centre… just walking instead of driving to places will make you feel so much better.
- National Coal Mining Museum of England (NCMME): I’d not realised until recently how much there was to the museum especially outside and down the coal mine. There’s an outdoor and indoor play area too.
So however and wherever you want to get out and start walking… just try to walk at least 10 minutes a week in one consecutive journey and download the Aspire Health app to track your walking as well as to win prizes.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE YEAR OF WALKING
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become fit. It’s simple, free and ideal for people of all ages.
Below is a list of the many organised walking activities you can find across our district. You can filter the list based on location, difficulty and distance, whether they are suitable for all the family, whether the route is suitable for people with disabilities, and whether there is a cost for hiring equipment such as a running buggy.
You don’t need to join one of our organised walks to get going – there are plenty of places you can begin your Year of Walking!
Family walks and story trails – Take on an adventure together with our ‘Room on the Broom’ Adventure Trail, ‘Gnome Roam’ or ‘Blown Away’ trail.
Walk The Wakefield Way – a route around the whole district which is divided in to 11 sections. Why not walk a section that’s local to you and then try some of the other parts too?
Short walks – originally designed to help you get out and about on your lunch break, our short walks are anything from half an hour long to a little longer.
Disability friendly walks – there are loads of walking routes around the district which are wheelchair and disability friendly.
Parks and countryside – You don’t need a walking route to go for wander, especially when we’ve got so many great parks and such beautiful greenspace.
Take part in our Mama Walks Challenge
In Partnership with Wakefield Council, Mama Mei and Yorkshire Families, we are challenging all Wakefield Mamas to move more this October. Join Mama Mei as she gives her top tips on how to get moving this October across the Wakefield District. Just download the Aspire Health app from Google Play and on the App Store and join the Mama Walks Challenge.
For more information visit https://mamamei.co.uk
WIN A SPA DAY FOR TWO
So why not join us by downloading the Aspire Health app, CLICK ‘JOIN THE CHALLENGE’ to win a spa day for two…
You can also find Mama’s Health Club group on facebook and follow the hashtag #MamaWalks