The Christmas period can be an incredibly fun time of the year, but it can be hard to find things to do, especially if you have children.
After all the food and busyness of Christmas Day, many head out on Boxing Day for a family walk to burn off some energy (and some of the huge amounts of food consumed the day before).
But deciding where to go can be tricky. Luckily for us though Bedfordshire is full of wonderful parks and beauty spots that are ideal for a trip.
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Here at BedsLive, we’ve come up with our ten favourite walks from around the county to help you choose, with the help of Bedfordshire Walks.
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Ampthill Great Park
Home to Ampthill Football Club and Cricket Club, as well as a fantastic walk, is Ampthill Great Park.
Landscaped in the 18th century, the park was once favoured by Henry VIII as a hunting ground, but is now home to rolling hills and woodland for everyone to enjoy.
There is also a children’s playground and walking trails, and parking is free at both car parks on-site.
Parking address: Woburn Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2HX
Part of the Chilterns is Barton Hills, home to chalk hills and a spring that is shallow and beautifully clear.
This walk may be better for those who are not afraid of a hill climb, as the circular path does require some, but it’s worth it for the stunning views.
It can get rather muddy in the winter so wellies are definitely recommended and parking can be found on the streets nearby.
Parking address: Church Road, Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire, MK45 4LA
This beautiful Victorian park is a favourite with Bedford and other locals, with paths winding around the park.
It’s home to a bandstand as well as a small lake with birds to feed, so ideal trip for children.
For those who are interested in local history, Foster Hill Road cemetery is just on the edge of the park.
Parking address: Park Avenue, Bedford, MK40 2LP (some parts are pay and display)
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Felmersham Gravel Pits
This gorgeous nature reserve is where you can catch a lot of wildlife, while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
The area has a man-made lake as well as scrubland, grassland and woods so there are plenty of different areas to see and enjoy.
Bedfordshire Walks described it as a “hidden gem” in the county that many probably didn’t even know was there.
Parking address: Causeway, Felmersham, Bedfordshire
Houghton Hall Park
Once a private estate with a stately home, Houghton Hall is now open to everyone to enjoy the once majestic grounds.
Home to woodland and parkland, the area underwent a major rehaul in 2017 with money from the Lottery.
It’s often home to smaller wildlife such as butterflies and bugs so it’s ideal for any fanatics.
Parking address: Houghton Hall Park, Park Road North, Houghton Regis, Dunstable LU5 5FU
Rushmere Country Park
This huge park is home to woodland that has various different trails depending on how far you want to go.
There is also a visitor centre and a cafe with a balcony over the park so you can enjoy a hot drink while soaking up the views.
Parts of the park can have some difficult terrain so it’s worth taking it slow at some points if you have children or are with anyone who struggles with walking.
Parking address: Rushmere Country Park, Herons’ View Visitor Centre, Linslade Road, Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire LU7 0EB
Priory Country Park
This award-winning Bedford park is another favourite with locals, but is worth the trip if you’re from the south of the county.
There are plenty of lakes and areas of woodland, as well a play area so it’s ideal for all the family.
It’s also home to plenty of different birds, so take your bird food if you want to give them a feed.
Parking address: Barkers Lane, Bedford MK41 9DJ
These beautiful chalk hills are not only pleasing to the eye but offer some amazing views from the top of them as well.
There’s no set path so you’re free to wander around and find your own way.
The top is quite wooded and parts are quite steep so sensible footwear is definitely a must for this walk.
Parking address: Near 349 Sharpenhoe Rd, Sharpenhoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4SH
Tiddenfoot Waterside Park
This former sand quarry is now a lake with paths around to enjoy everything the lake and the surrounding grounds have to offer.
An added bonus is you can take a detour and walk along the Grand Union Canal, which can be a really peaceful experience.
It can be quite busy but there is a lot of parking available so you shouldn’t struggle with finding a space.
Parking address: Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, Mentmore Road, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2AE
The Forest of Marston Vale
This recently planted forest is not at its full potential yet, but one day it will be a beautiful woodland for future Beds families to enjoy.
Parts of the forest were once part of the Stewartby Brickworks, while other parts were landfills that have now been returned to a more natural state.
There are plenty of animals already living in the woods, so if you arrive early enough you may spot them.
Parking address: The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedford MK43 0PR (You have to pay for parking)
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