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Burn off those festive calories

Burn off excess festive calories this New Year by getting out in your local woodland for a walk, cycle or run. To help we've matched some of our most popular trails to the calorie counts of your favourite Christmas treats.

Families choosing a Christmas tree.

Find out what you need to do to burn of all those festive snacks and meals!

Calorie burning walks: (based on walking 3mph)

Two fondant chocolates: walk 1.5 miles

Suggested trail: Seasonal trail at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Gloucestershire.
Why? A beautiful route sculpted by the winter season. Burn Christmas calories whist taking in the winter highlights of this fabulous collection of 15,000 trees and shrubs. 

A prawn cocktail starter: walk 3 miles

Suggested trail: Bolderwood Radnor Trail in the New Forest, Hampshire.
Why? A fantastic trail that explores both modern and ancient woodland. Follow the trail right to the end to reach a viewing platform where you can often see fallow deer.

A slice of Christmas ham served with roasted parsnips: walk 3.5 miles

Suggested trail: Seat How Trail at Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria.
Why? As England’s only true mountain forest, Whinlatter takes calorie burning to a whole new level - with glorious views to reward you at the end of your walk. Seat How Trail takes you up to 500 metres above sea level with great views over the Lake District lakes and fells.

A slice of nut roast covered in gravy, with vegetables: walk 5 miles

Suggested trail: Dreadwater Walking Trail at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland.
Why? This uphill climb not only get those legs warmed up but is well worth the spectacular panoramic views. On a clear day you can see all the way from Kielder to the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh and even over to the North Sea Coast.


Calorie burning runs (based on running 5mph) and rides (moderate cycling, based on cycling 12-14mph)

Two pieces of Turkish delight: run 1 mile

Suggested trail: Oak Walk at Abbot’s Wood, East Sussex.
Why? The Oak route is a short and gentle jog through Abbot’s Wood oak trees; a great run for beginners. Nest boxes have been erected along the trail - look out for the birds on your visit.

A small gingerbread cookie: run 2 miles

Suggested trail: Red Route at Great Wood, Somerset.
Why? A great beginner’s route offering gradual gradients through Great Wood’s wonderful cathedral-like Douglas fir. From the red route there is plenty of scope to lengthen your run as you improve using the network of forest roads.

A slice of Christmas cake: cycle 8 miles

Suggested trail: Green Cycle Route at Dalby Forest, Yorkshire.
Why? A lovely trail on the high plateau around Adderstone, with mixed terrain of forest roads, tracks, with a few short climbs and descents.

A slice of roast turkey served with two potatoes and vegetables: run 4.3 miles

Suggested trail: Blue Cycle Route at Delamere Forest, Cheshire.
Why? A challenging route due to its undulating landscape. Why not stop off along the way and perform press ups or tricep dips using the natural terrain?

Cheese served with crackers and grapes: run 1 mile plus toning exercises

Suggested trail: Fitness Trail at Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire.
Why? This circular trail, set along unsurfaced/cross country style route, contains 10 pieces of fitness equipment designed to improve all over body fitness. Each piece of equipment has guidelines on what to do and the number of repetitions required to achieve set goals. 

Large handful of festive glazed mixed nuts: cycle 10 miles

Suggested trail: Poacher Trail at Thetford Forest, Suffolk.
Why? A moderate trail for more experienced cyclists, offering variable surfaces along the route. Great for increasing confidence in off-road cycling skills.

Gravy covered roast goose, pigs in blankets, and Brussels sprouts, & Christmas cake and brandy butter: run 10.9 miles

Suggested trail: Hawkshead Moor Trail, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria.
Why? Best for running or cycling - a great calorie burner with plenty of ups and downs to challenge you. In the heart of the Lake District, this waymarked trail on forest roads climbs up to give you fantastic views across to the Langdale Fells and Helvellyn.

Christmas pudding served with double cream: cycle 12 miles

Suggested trail: Two laps of the Adventure Cycle Trail at Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire.
Why? A fantastic trail that allows you to explore a variety of tree types and habitats: you may also spot some of the elusive deer that call Sherwood Forest their home.

Glazed ham and mustard sauce with red cabbage, roast potatoes and vegetables: cycle 20-26 miles

Suggested trail: Lakeside Way Trail, Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland.
Why? The 26 mile Lakeside Way multi-user path offers visitors to Kielder Water & Forest Park a unique experience, giving access to the most scenic parts of Kielder Water’s shore and the opportunity to get up close to some of area’s abundant wildlife.

Swap your gym pass for a Discovery Pass

For free parking in the forest all year round (for a fraction of the price of a gym membership) grab yourself a Discovery Pass.

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To those getting active outdoors, no matter the weather, we salute you! We want to celebrate your heroics, so don't forget to share your photos on our Facebook and Twitter pages with #ForestFit.

Last updated: 17th November 2017

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.