Boxing Day walks are a favourite festive ritual for many families.
And whether you live in Perth and Kinross, Fife, Angus or Dundee you will only be a stone’s throw from a nice spot for a festive stroll.
The Christmas weekend weather is forecast to be cold but relatively kind.
So here’s a few suggestions for a classic Boxing Day walk this holiday season.
Boxing Day walks: Kinnoull Hill, Perth
For some of the most stunning views of Perthshire, the iconic Kinnoull Hill is a must.
The spot is popular with dog walkers, and the tower is picturesque with the rolling landscape acting as a backdrop.
If you’re looking to show off on Instagram that you’re active on Boxing Day, this is a good shout.
There are options for an easier walk – if your stomach is still heavy from the day before.
Follow the red path if that’s the case. But this only takes about half an hour and misses out on the most iconic sections of the woodland, however.
If you want to walk off the extra calories, take the circular path marked by the blue signposts.
This can take more than three hours if you walk the whole 5.5-mile route.
Whatever route you take, look out for carved wooden birds along the paths. And, of course, look out for real birds as well.
If you make it to the top you get the unusual experience of looking down at flying birds as well.
Just be careful at the cliff edges. They are steep and unforgiving.
The blue path also takes in nearby Deuchny Hill.
There are plenty of benches to stop for a breather if you’re taking your time. It’s also a good excuse to take a snack or lunch with you. Sandwiches with leftover Christmas dinner, anyone?
Storm Arwen has resulted in some trees falling down, but paths are clear so shouldn’t cause any issues.
Kinnoull Hill: Where to park
Your two main options are the car parks at Corsiehill Road and the Jubilee Car Park on Muirhall Road.
The Corsiehill Road car park leads you to a steep walk, so head to Muirhall Road if you want a gentler stroll.
There is no charge for using either car park.
You can also access the woodland via the Geddes Way, a walk from Perth city centre.
Kinnoull Hill: What to wear
As with any walk, sturdy footwear is a must. The paths are well maintained, so unless you’re planning on heading off the beaten track a decent pair of boots should do the trick.
If you’re looking to go more off piste, you’ll probably need a proper pair of hiking boots.
As we’re in the midst of winter, hats, scarves and gloves are recommended.
If you reach the Kinnoull Hill summit you will be open to the elements, so even if it doesn’t seem like a wet day, we’d recommend taking a waterproof jacket.
Boxing Day walks:Lochore Meadows, Fife
Lochore Meadows is one of Fife’s most popular outdoor attractions and is an ideal location for a Boxing Day walk.
Year round, the country park draws everyone from open water swimmers to parents pushing prams.
It’s not hard to see why.
The 1,200 acre park offers a diversity of landscapes to explore.
Once home to collieries and coal trains, Lochore Meadows is a regenerated mining site. The huge winding tower of the former Mary Pit is a reminder of the area’s past industry.
The popular route around the loch is a 3.4 mile loop. Expect to take at least an hour and a half to complete the circuit.
Setting off from the Willie Clarke Centre, you pass a children’s play area and fairy wood – perfect if you’ve got small children in tow.
The tarmacked path takes you past the shore where there are usually plenty of ducks and swans – although watch out for the latter as they can be a bit feisty.
After walking through The Moss Wood, cross a bridge and then proceed past some agricultural fields.
Just as the visitor centre comes into view again, you come to Clune Craig, also known as The Clune. Look closely and you will see remnants of Bronze Age life including hut circles and animal enclosures.
Lochore Meadows: Where to park
There are a number of options for getting to ‘The Meedies’ as it is known locally.
But the easiest option is from the main entrance on the B920 at the village of Crosshill near Lochgelly.
There is ample parking around the Willie Clarke Centre, named after the former local councillor who was Britain’s last elected communist politician.
Lochore Meadows: What to wear
It’s not a particularly exposed spot and conditions are easy going under foot, so you don’t have to dress like you’re attempting Everest.
It is Scotland though, so warm clothing is essential for a Boxing Day dander.
The Willie Clarke Centre is closed over the Christmas period, so if you’re partial to a hot cuppy you should bring a flask.
Boxing Day walks: Forfar Loch
At only two and half miles this is a very accessible and straightforward walk that should be as good for granny as it is for the kids.
Favoured by the town’s many dog walkers, the path meanders round the loch. The surface is either hard-pack or tarmac so it’s a great place to try out that new bike if Santa has been especially kind.
Start next to the now defunct Lochside Leisure Centre and pick your way through the firs and other trees on the edge of town. A short stretch of the legs and you’ll find yourself passing Strathmore Rugby Club’s pitches on your left-hand side.
The loch itself is a great spot for bird watchers with many waterfowl in evidence. Strategically placed viewing platforms around the route make it the perfect place to stand and watch a moment.
Like most places, Storm Arwen has left its mark so be prepared to weave around fallen trees that block parts of the path.
The path on the north shore of the loch turns to tarmac. But what it loses in charm is more than made up by the bird feeders and garden birds dotting through the hedgerows.
Look out for the memorial to the Forfar Witches underneath the trees. These unfortunate souls were executed in the 17th century and are remembered today with the simple epitaph ‘just people’.
And the trail will be quieter this Boxing Day as the annual fundraising Plum Pud Plod charity run and walk has been cancelled on the advice of local rangers..
Forfar Loch: What to wear
It’s a flat walk on a good surface so most forms of footwear will do.
That said, there’s a lot of water on the trail and some muddy detours around fallen trees to be negotiated. So wellies could be a good shout.
Other than that, wrap up warm, keep an eye on the forecast, and keep those waterproofs handy.
Forfar Loch: Where to park
Leave the A90 and take Glamis Rd towards the town centre. But turn left at the traffic lights before hitting the town centre itself.
There’s limited car parking around the defunct leisure centre and the caravan club next to the road.
In the unlikely event that’s all taken then the council run Myre Car Park is available on the other side of the A926.