The simplest pleasures are the most rewarding, and a winter walk exercises the body and rests the mind. We've scoured the country for 5 of the best routes this year, so you can feel happy and healthy this Christmas time (and not so guilty about that extra portion of roasties!)

1 St Michael's Way

Following ancient pilgrim tracks, this twelve-mile walk is as festive as it gets. Follow the route the pilgrims would have taken from St Ives to Penzance on their way to the Cathedral of St James in Santiago de Compostela.

2 Little Lapland

Wild deer and misty waterways make Cannock Chase in Shugborough, Stafford positively magical. Follow this 6 mile walk through to Shugborough Estate.

3 Reynard's Cave

In winter, this natural cathedral in Dove Dale, Peak District is spectacular. When the leaves have disappeared, explore the exposed rocky setting in its full beauty.

4 Sherwood Forest

Robin Hood's forest is famous for its ancient oak trees, including the 800-year-old Major Oak, situated just 15 minutes' walk from the visitor centre.

5 New Year walk

Start 2013 with a five-mile hike across Oakham and get your New Year off to a great start by supporting Walk 4 Life – see the link below for more details.

So get your walking boots on, wrap up warm and prepare for your healthiest, happiest Christmas and New Year yet!

Take a look at the website for more winter walks this festive season at