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Get Out And About In The Countryside

  • Written by Editor

get out and about in the countrysideStep out and enjoy Hampshire's beautiful and diverse countryside over Christmas and New Year and you will find there is something for everyone.

Hampshire County Council manages 3,000 miles of footpaths, bridleways, rights of way and cycle ways as well as having five beautiful country parks to choose from.

They are:

Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley

Staunton in Havant

Manor Farm and Country Park, at Bursledon near Southampton

Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Petersfield

Lepe Country Park in the New Forest

Plus Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve.

These are perfect places to stretch the legs over the Christmas period or at any time of year.

Regular brisk walking will help to improve performance of the heart, lungs and circulation, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and strokes. It can also help to reduce stress levels and promote a sense of wellbeing.

Did you know that it is recommended that adults do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity and the recommendation for children is at least 60 minutes every day and preferably more?

There are also routes like the Shipwrights Way. Starting from Alice Holt Forest, the route passes through Bordon, Liphook, Liss, Petersfield, Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Staunton Country Park, Havant, Hayling Island and continues to Portsmouth via the ferry, finishing at the Historic Dockyard - around 50 miles in all, and including seven rail stations.

In November a new cycle route from Petersfield to Queen Elizabeth Country Park was completed. The route links seamlessly to existing routes to Petersfield train station. Although primarily built for cyclists, the route can also be used by walkers and horse riders.

There is also the Meon Valley Trail, which stretches for 10 miles from Knowle to West Meon, along a disused railway line. It is open to walkers, cyclists and equestrians.

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