Time to enjoy a winter walk

Winter Walk SUS-151221-135914001
Winter Walk SUS-151221-135914001

Many National Trust properties locally are opening for New Year’s Day and encouraging people to get out in the countryside for a winter walk.

At Batemans, in Burwash, you can follow in Rudyard Kipling’s footsteps with a New Year’s Day walk.

It promises an invigorating ramble around the beautiful Wealden landscape, with the head gardener highlighting some of the best views.

The guided walk takes place from 11am - 1pm and tickets are £15, which includes a hearty breakfast. They can be booked on 01435 882302.

Bodiam Castle and grounds will also be open and the national Trust is inviting people to wander the grounds, in the Rother Valley, and see the castle in all its winter beauty.

They can also meet a medieval character inside the castle walls or try the new audio adventure, A Knight’s Peril before warning up with a hot drink, or mince pie, in the tea room.

The castle grounds, tea room and shop are open from 10am-5pm or dusk if earlier (castle open from 10.30am).

Along the coast at Birling Gap, people can look out for winter visiting birds, peregrines and fulmars during a bracing walk over the stunning Seven Sisters downland or along the beach.

There are excellent photo opportunities of sea birds, wildlife and winter seascapes all along the Seven Sisters and in particular from the viewing platform next to the cafe.

Visitors can enjoy sea views in the café or try out the interactive items in the visitor centre.

Sheffield Park is open daily dawn until dusk, garden and the shop opens 10.30am-4pm and restaurant 10am-4pm daily. There is a New Year’s Day holly hike at the park from 10.30am-12.30pm. Adults £5, children £2.50 with booking on 01825 790302.

Philippa Ellis, from the National Trust, said: “Wrap up warm and entertain visiting friends or family with a bracing walk around a choice of landscaped gardens, naturally rugged outdoor sites and parkland.

“There is nothing like a winter walk to build up a bit of an appetite, so after a stroll, retreat to the cosy interior of a National Trust tea room for a delicious warming treat.

“Every penny from your visit will contribute towards maintaining the special places in the National Trust’s care – including stately homes, countryside, coast and much more.”

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