Get inspired

This month we’re excited to rediscover favourite outdoor spaces and explore new ones. As we open up for travelling a little further afield, here are my top picks of inspirational walking destinations:

KENT

Folkestone Artworks

Folkestone Artworks, the UK’s largest urban contemporary art exhibition, is free and accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Pick out your route from the website and you'll be able to explore loads of outside artworks round the town,  and harbour. Charge your phone for your own beautiful beach hut photos as well as 74 artworks by 46 artists – including Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Yoko Ono, Mark Wallinger, Cornelia Parker, Bill Woodrow, Michael Craig-Martin and Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Dungeness

There's a stark and oddly eerie atmosphere at the end of the narrow gauge railway track at Dungeness. Britain falls away into shingle and the sparse, ramshackle cabins are looked over by a lighthouse and not one, but two nuclear power stations. And yet I love it. The crunch of the pebbles, the strange seashore flowers and the big, big sky. Round your walk off with fish and chips and reflect on the mind-bending day at the edge of the world.

SUSSEX

Photo Credit: Marianne Majerus

Sussex Prairie Gardens

Altogether more 'lush', Sussex Prairies doesn't have a stately home, instead it's a new, naturalistic style of garden that opened in 2009. I go for the swaying grasses and grouped plantings that create an incredible dreamy landscape.

You'll be happier if you take the car, because they also have a nursery selling plants that you see in the borders... so you know, bring your wallet with you.

WILTSHIRE

Roche Court Sculpture Park

The sculpture park near Salisbury is set in a gorgeous landscape, giving you plenty of space to wander among the artworks in a socially distanced fashion! I like to play the game of imagining which pieces I'd buy for my home - as if my front door or budget is large enough to accommodate them.

 

YORKSHIRE

Hepworth Wakefield Gallery

The Hepworth Wakefield's garden has been open to the public throughout lockdown and is a terrific place for a walk and talk meet up with a friend or two. Over the past two years the Cultural Gardener has planted more than 40,000 bulbs to create an incredible burst of colourful spring flower in this magical contemporary city garden. If this garden were on my doorstep, I'd combine my visit with the circular walk route along the River Calder and end with coffee and cake from the Garden Cafe.

Saltaire

Inspired by Gina at RAD Studio in Saltaire, we would love to walk through the village and up onto the moors and back through Shipley Glen - if you get there before us, would you tag us on an Instagram photo?!

We found the route map at Superlative Walks - they have plenty more town to countryside routes for towns and cities across the North of England and into Wales. Well worth bookmarking for future reference.

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