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Fashion

Top 4 Family Friendly Autumn Walks

Just because the weather is getting chillier doesn’t mean you have to hibernate, and with new season fashion at The Hut you can start exploring in style when you head out on one of our family friendly autumn walks.

With school and work now taking up your week, it’s easy to leave the adventuring for summertime. But we say no!  All it takes is a bit of clever planning and some thicker layers, and the world is still your oyster even in autumn.

To help you get started, we’ve picked out our top four walks that are perfect for a family day out. With our one-stop guide for where to go, what to wear, how to find it, and what to look out for; there’s nothing left for you to do except explore.

Autumn Walks

Sutton Bank and the White Horse

This unique landmark is perfect for a weekend autumn walk. With lots of things to see along the way and a great backstory, kids and adults alike will be kept entertained and enjoying the breathtaking views which writer James Herriot dubbed ‘England’s finest’. Chances are you’ve probably spied the white horse from a motorway somewhere, but not until you’re up close and personal with the pony can you truly appreciate its scale. Sizing in at 318 X 220 feet and covering around 1.6 acres, this man-made landmark is like nothing else.

First made by primary school children in 1857, the figure is now cut into the hill to reveal the white sandstone underneath. The horse is so huge and iconic, that it had to be covered during WW2 to stop it becoming a navigation landmark for enemy bombers, so it’s definitely one to see.

Along the route, you’ll also go past a gliding club. Always busy with gliders coming in and out, you’ll definitely want to pass and watch for a little while as the small planes float through the air. With viewing points throughout the walk, letting you take in the view of the horse, the countryside and the gliders, this small stretch offers a lot. 

Where is it?

Six miles east of Thirsk, the start of this walk is at Sutton Bank National Park Centre which you’ll find at the top of Sutton Bank on the A170. There are plenty of paid car parks or otherwise, the nearest train station is Thirsk. For your SatNav, put in YO7 2EH.

How long will it take? 

For the circular route taking in the view, gliding club and the famous horse, the walk is approx 2 hours, covering 3 miles.

Where to eat?

Sutton Bank National Park Centre has a cafe offering simple drinks, cakes, toasties and jacket potatoes. For easy-breezy lunch to avoid crying a picnic, this is a great option. While you’re there, you can take in all the information and facts about the area as you refresh ready to adventure on. 

What to wear?

This is an easy walk, with no deep woodland or steep climbs, but do wrap up warm. When you’re high up on that hill, you’re definitely going to want a thick jumper and ideally, a waterproof coat just in case. We’d be keeping it classic on this autumn walk, with a good pair of jeans and a Barbour. With extra warmth but still the country chic of the classic jacket, the Sternway is perfect for the windy hilltop.

Autumn

Sherwood Forest

Home of Robin Hood, Sherwood forest has more to explore than you could ever hope to do within a day. With a rich history and a year-round calendar of events and activities for the whole family, we think this is one you’ll want to come back to every season. But enclosed in rich woodland, this is a perfect option for an autumn walk that will keep you sheltered from the wind. Not only does the forest house the story of Robin Hood, the heroic outlaw that stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but it’s  home to hundreds of species of bird, animals, inspect, fungi and trees, making it a perfect place for any young budding Attenborough and Darwins. For £3 you can hire a children’s backpack that comes complete with activities and guides to get kids spotting species and really exploring their surroundings, or sign up online and take part in the RSPB’s wild challenge.

We promise the minds of adults and kids will be blown when you see the Major Oak. Predicted to be between 800 and 1000 years old, this tree has stood through the battle of Hastings, both world wars, the lives and deaths of Britain’s most notable figures, artists and writers, and was the hiding place of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. With a trunk circumference of 11 meters and an estimated weight of 23 tonnes, you can’t even imagine it’s scale and beauty until you’re staring up at it. 

Where is it?

20 miles north of Nottingham, the entrance to the forest is just north of the village of Edwinstowe. There’s a big car park at the visitor centre priced at £4 for the full day, so put NG21 9RN into your satnav and get going to the home of Robin Hood, don’t worry there are plenty of arrows to guide you.

How long will it take?

There are four major trails in the forest, all of varied length. To simply take in the magic of the Major Oak and the forest’s other ancient oaks, the Giants trail takes onto 30 minutes for tired legs. Or, the Wildwood trail takes in all the different habitats of the forest and its varied landscapes. Taking approximately 2 and a half hours, we’d recommend this one if you’re feeling energised and ready. 

Where to eat?

The visitor’s centre has a great reputation, not only for being packed full of information and activities but for its great cafe. Using local produce and certified by the Soil Association Food for Life programme, it aims to be as sustainable as possible to help keep this forest, as well as all the others healthy and safe. Otherwise, head into Edwinstowe for a selection of cafes, restaurants and pubs in the historic village. While you’re there you can see the church where Robin Hood is said to have married Maid Marian.

What to wear?

No hills and plenty of shelter means your outfit options are endless. We’re head over heels for the Levi’s cord ribcage jeans. In caramel, they’re the perfect trousers for an autumn walk; warm, durable and unrestrictive. On mild days, we’re definitely reaching for the Levi’s fringed jacket, providing the perfect uniform for exploring that doesn’t compromise on style. Same applies for the men, with the Levis panel trucker jacket keeping you warm and on-trend.

 

Sherwood Forest

Ashdown Forest

Any day spent with you is my favourite day.

One of the dearest characters in history, Winnie the Pooh was born here. A. A Milne lived at Cotchford Farm in the centre of the forest, with his family including his son Christopher Robin. It was here that he wrote the Winnie the Pooh stories, imagining the bear and his friends in the forest, known to them as the Hundred Aker Woods. 

Only just over an hours drive from London, Ashdown is half forest, half vast heath land making the landscape a playground for the imagination. Hosting beautiful views and housing deer, the Forest avoids being too touristy, keeping the landscape just as it was when Christopher Robin would play in it. An ideal day way from the city, go and see Pooh Bear’s north pole, Eeyore’s sad and gloomy place, the Heffalump trap and more of the gang’s homes and hangouts. This autumn walk is perfect for an enchanting day out, mixing the beauty of nature with childhood nostalgia, you can even play Pooh sticks on the bridge.

Where is it?

40 miles from London, the forest spans the borders of East Sussex, West Sussex and Kent. The A22 passes right through the forest, and there is plenty of parking. To get to the Ashdown Forest Centre, put RH18 5JP in your SatNav, or to get closest to the route, park at Wren’s Warren.

How long will it take?

The entire forest cover 14,000 acres, so there’s definitely more exploring to be done than you could ever get through in a day. So we recommend the Pooh Walk in the Winnie the Pooh Country part of the forest. Taking approximately 2 hours, this walk takes in all the spots from the books including the Pooh Sticks bridge, as well as showing the beauty of the heath land and bluebell fields.

Where to eat?

The forest is expansive so there are plenty of places to rest, from cafes to hotels if you want to stay a little longer. If you want to stick with childhood nostalgia, Pooh Corner in Hartfield is the place to go. Built in 1703, the listed building used to be a sweet shop frequented by Christopher Robin, and is now a themed cafe serving hot food, drink and ice creams. Perfect for the end of a long walk. Or for something a little more sophisticated, The Hatch Inn in the centre of the forest serves up high-quality gastropub favourites.

What to wear?

A Winnie the Pooh trail demands an outfit that’s playful and comfortable. Stay warm in a North Face gillet layered over a hoody, and dress the little one in a classic Barbour and welly boots ready to wander the Hundred Aker Woods just like Christopher Robin.

Autumn Walks

Ashdown Forest

Peak District

Sandwiched in the middle of Manchester and Sheffield, the peak district is a treasure trove of walks, packed full of greenery and quaint villages. It can be hard to know where to go or how to even start exploring such a vast area, but we recommend starting with Hathersage.

The epitome of a country village, Hathersage comes complete with little independent shops, cafes, and even an outdoor pool. While you could spend a leisurely day here, adventure onwards into the peaks towards Stanage Edge. Forming the border between Derbyshire and Sheffield, Stanage Edge is the perfect viewing platform to look over the entire landscape. On the way, you’ll walk past a classic literary setting, adding a little culture to the stroll. North Lees Hall is said to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall, the home of Mr Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. The Hall was once the home of the Eyre family and it is said that there was even a madwoman upstairs who died in a fire, just like Bertha Mason in the novel. Gothic and romantic, the hall and it’s crumbling chapel arch is definitely a must-see on this walk, leaving you feeling like a character in a great British classic.

Where is it?

Sat at the eastern edge of the Hope Valley, Hathersage is a busy village but easily accessible. There’s plenty of parking, but with its own train station connected by a slow train travelling through lots of villages in the valley, getting there by rail is a good option.

How long will it take?

A slightly longer option, this circular walk from Hathersage to Stanage Edge via North Lees Hall takes around 3 hours, covering 6.5 miles.

Where to eat?

Definitely take some snacks for the journey, but after the long stroll head to Hathersage Social Club. A real hub for the village, the kitchen, bar and mini-cinema has a great reputation for serving up seasonally inspired dishes with local ingredients. Pop in for some waffles to warm you up after wandering the heaths, or start off the day with brunch before heading out.

What to wear?

On a wet day, the peaks are mudslides so pull on your Hunters. But on a mild day, the walk is pretty easy, allowing you to dress for the romance of the setting like a Bronte protagonist. A wool coat and knitted jumper are an ideal option, looking good in the social club and still being practical for the trek.

Autumn Walks

Hathersage

Wherever you decide to wander, take the time to stop scrolling and start exploring this autumn.

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Written by Lucy Harbron



Lucy Harbron

Lucy Harbron

Writer and expert

Inspired by the most iconic women in history, my style is informed by the Monroes, Sedgwicks and Birkins. Forever torn between maximalism and minimalism, you’ll find me stomping around in heeled boots and trying to refrain from buying another pair of earrings.


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