At this time of year, there’s woodlands of golden leaves, beautiful blue lakes and if you’re lucky plenty of wildlife to see. The best way to see these breath-taking landscapes is to go on lots of autumn walks and although walking can sometimes be overlooked as a form of exercise, it is free to do and is one of the easiest ways to get more active, become healthier and make you happier.
Here at Champneys you may think that we’re all about our indulgent spa packages. Of course, we’re famous for these, but we have lots of great walks around our different resorts too.
Here we take you through the health benefits of walking and some of the most colourful country strolls you can enjoy during your stay with us.
You don’t have to walk for hours as just a brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and will help towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.
This gentle, low-impact exercise has lots of benefits:
- Strengthens your heart – as described in our healthy heart guide, walking is a cardio exercise and helps reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lose weight – By working a walk into your daily routine it will help you lose weight. The faster you walk will also have an effect on how many calories you lose with an article on the Very Well website stating that someone weighing 180 pound (just over 12 stone) will burn 144 calories if they walk at 3mph for 30-minutes.
- Makes you happier – Exercise has been proven to boost your mood as it helps to release feel-good endorphins, reduce stress and anxiety. The Whole Life Challenge says, “Walks can be one of the most meditative experiences you can have. It’s low skill. You don’t have to think through complicated movements. It’s just one foot in front of the other.”
- Boosts vitamin D – Vitamin D helps with our immune system and the strength of our bones. By walking regularly you will get your vitamin D fix.
- Tones your legs – Walking also gives definition to your calves and quads. Going on regular hill walks will be even more effective.
The Champneys Forest Mere spa resort stretches along the edge of a lake and is set within 160 acres of woodlands.
The Lakeside walk is set in a tranquil location as you loop around the lake and can enjoy the peace and quiet. It is perfect for spotting wildlife and as the lake is close-by to the enchanting woodlands you can catch a glimpse of a variety of animals along the way.
Some of the animals you may see on your walk around the lake are listed below and the time of year you are most likely to see them.
- Roe Deer – The breeding season or “rut” runs from mid-July to the end of August, but you can see these incredible animals all-year round.
- Buzzards – These magnificent birds can be seen gliding in the sky throughout the year and with a wing span of 137 centimetres you won’t miss them!
- Red Fox – As described on the Animal Corner website, the Red Fox is part of the canids’ family, which includes wolves, dogs and coyotes. It is the most populous of it relatives and the iconic animal can be seen in the area throughout the year, although from December to February it is mating season.
- Green woodpecker – The largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain, its short tail, long bill and its green, yellow and red feathers make it easily recognisable. They also boast a loud, laughing call.
- You can access the path around the lake from the spa as many of the rooms and outdoor seating areas overlook the water.
- Once on the track you just need to follow the loop around the lake.
This great walk gives you a bit of everything as you will pass over a quaint river, get some beautiful countryside views and can take in the rich reds of autumn as you walk along a track in some open fields.
You will also experience Henlow and Langford and will walk past the picturesque fishing lakes along this route.
- The walk starts at the main car park and after turning right you go along a track by the local school playing fields. Take another right and you will turn right down a stony track and pass over a quaint river.
- You are then faced by a slight incline before being led into open fields where you get some lovely views of the stunning countryside.
- After taking in the views, you need to follow the track through the field until you get to a concrete path and after following this you will come to Cambridge Road in Langford.
- You need to turn left along Common Road and follow the path alongside the fishing lakes before passing back over the river and back up the stony path.
Finally, turn left and you will be back at Champneys Henlow sooner than you know it!
This is a pleasant walk that is a nice mix of fields, woods and roads. There is plenty of opportunity to see different types of wildlife during the walk.
In the fields you can see rabbits dashing around and could get a glimpse of deer grazing, especially if you are walking in the early morning or at dusk. You could also see bluebirds and robins in the forest.
In the summer and autumn, Wigginton is home to sunflower fields and the unmistakable yellow and green colours really do make for some fantastic photo opportunities!
- From the Fitness Reception, follow the drive to the front entrance and then turn right onto Chesham Road.
- Follow the road towards Wigginton and go through the kissing gate to the left of the chicane bollards. Then walk straight across the field and go through the second gate behind the bush.
- You then need to follow the diagonal path across the field to a third gate. After you’ve gone through this gate you can follow a diagonal path to the right.
- From here you can head through the woods and this is where you should keep your eyes peeled for any deer.
- You then need to turn left and follow the path leading back to Chesham Road and back to the Champneys Tring resort.
Location: Champneys Henlow
Best for: A picnic break
Distance: 2.2 miles
Duration: Around 45 minutes
Everyone loves a picnic and this trail into the countryside and along the fishing lakes at Henlow will give you ample opportunity to sit down and enjoy one.
The route also gives you nice views of the river. If you stop and have a picnic you might even get a glimpse of some of the wildlife in the area such as deer, rabbits, bluebirds and kites.
- Turn left outside of Champneys Henlow car park and pass through two gates. After the second gate take a left and pass through the kissing gate.
- Follow the grass footpath along the river, which leads around the fishing lake.
- You will see Arlesey train station on the left hand side, but turn right before the next kissing gate that you come to, passing a big stone with the ‘Kingfisher Way’ route outlined on it.
- You will then walk beside the A507 and after heading through the next two kissing gates you will get to a campsite shop. Head straight on and pass through one final kissing gate and turn right to get back to our resort.
Location: Champneys Tring
Best for: Picturesque views
Distance: 3 to 3.5 miles
Duration: Around 1 hour, 15 minutes
This walk is a more challenging scenic walk as there are some slight inclines along the way as the paths cross fields and into woods.
The reason this is one of our best country walks is because you will go on lots of different tracks and footpaths and will get a great insight into the local area as you pass by a farmhouse and through woods and fields.
- At the rear entrance of the Tring resort turn right onto the road and follow it until you see a public footpath for Cholesbury.
- Follow the footpath across the field until you meet a private driveway. Turn right onto the driveway and walk towards the house.
- There will be a footpath sign and you need to follow this between the buildings until you get to another footpath with a field on the left.
- Follow the footpath down the big dip and up the other side towards the woods. Enter the wood and follow the path so that the fence is on your left until you get to Chesham Road.
- Cross the road and follow the footpath directly ahead of you by going over a stile. You need to follow the path down the hill and go through the gate onto a farm track.
- Bear right on the track so that the farmhouse is on your left. Continue up the track until you climb a small hill and meet a road.
- Turn right onto the road and climb the hill before following the road until you come to a T-junction.
- At the T-junction turn left and you will see the main gate for Champneys Tring.