With Christmas almost on us, our thoughts turn to the New Year and where to walk in 2013, The Lakes, Scotland, The Pennine Way, Cornwall and Devon are always some of the most popular destinations and are much-loved, but where can you go if you want to try something a little bit different. Here are a couple of ideas to tempt you – so get on your walking shoes!


1. The Channel Islands. The Channel Island Way came into existence in 2011 after five years of work and is a 115 and a half miles journey around the coastlines of Jersey (48 miles), Guernsey (38 miles), Alderney (13.5 miles), Sark (9.5 miles) and Herm (6.5 miles). A little extra planning may be involved to allow for ferries and planes but that’s all part of the experience.


2. Sweden. This Nordic country has nearly 400 hiking trails, one of which is The King’s Trail (Kungsleden), stretches from Abisko National Park, one of twenty-nine in total, to Hemavan and totals over 400km. With a landscape of bubbling brooks, foaming rivers and high mountain plateaus and a UNESCO World Heritage site at Laponia this is something special.


3. New Zealand. With the Hobbit one of the must-see films eyes once again turn to the magnificent areas where it and The Lord of The Rings was filmed. Tongariro is the world’s fourth oldest national park is World Heritage-listed for cultural and geological reasons; for both its Maori heritage and its remarkable volcanic features.


4. Austria. Maybe better known as a winter skiing location, the area around Kitzbuhel offer’s over 1000km of marked paths, lying between the ‘Wild Emperor’ mountains and the Kitzbuheler Alps it offers walking for all levels of participants.