When it comes to the festive period, a lot of us tend to overindulge.

Whether it’s mince pies, an extra helping of turkey, or too much mulled wine, there are plenty of opportunities to put on the pounds.

As a result, it’s no wonder that family walks make up a key part of the holidays for many of us to help burn off a few extra calories while spending time with your loved ones, something we have come to appreciate much more this year.

While the Christmas Day walk generally stays close to where the presents are, Boxing Day offers the opportunity to stretch those legs and go a bit further afield. If you’re looking for a bit of walking inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of the best walks in and around the local area.

Each walk is a loop, so you don’t have to worry about reaching your destination to find you’re only halfway! They’re also in order of distance, so you can choose the one which best suits you and yours.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Great Binfield – 1.09 miles

If you’re looking for a classic walk suitable for those of a wide variety of ages, look no further than Great Binfield.

Easily accessible from the surrounding estates, or with a car park near the District Centre if you live a bit further out, this gentle walk will take you for a short lap of the area.

Flat and easy to navigate the whole way around, this walk will take you through the remnants of the ancient forest of Eversley.

The woodland is host to a wide range of wildlife to admire on your Boxing Day walk, with woodpeckers, goldcrests and even roe deer known to frequent the area.

Full directions can be found here

Basingstoke Gazette:

Basingstoke Canal – 1.29 miles

This section of the Basingstoke canal, running between Greywell and Odiham Castle, offers a mix of history and spectacular views that are perfect for a relaxing walk.

Starting at the Fox and Goose pub, head up and along the towpath beside the canal until you reach the castle.

The castle was built between 1207 and 1214 by King John, and is where he rode out from when he went to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215.

Hampshire County Council also has a story, Henry the Forgetful, to entertain any little ones making the journey with you.

For full directions and the story, click here

Odiham Southern Boundaries – 3 miles

Just down the road from Greywell, Odiham offers a mid-range walk for those who want to push themselves, but not go the whole way.

It’s starting to get a little bit longer now, but those wishing to go the distance should start at All Saints Church.

The walk, heading past the Cottage Hospital and out towards Westfield Farm, before returning towards Odiham, takes in a variety of Sites of Special Scientific Interest with orchids, dragonflies and herbs aplenty.

For full directions, click here

Basingstoke Gazette:

Hannington Cottingtons Hill – 3.75/4.5 miles

This route offers a range of distances, depending on how you feel once you get halfway.

This walk begins at the Village Green in Hannington, in the heart of a village that is some 1100 years old.

The route through the North Wessex Downs takes you through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a path to the right of the Church leading you towards Wayfarers Walk.

You can then head towards Cottington’s Hill, where a choice of route presents itself. Either go straight ahead, and take the shorter route, or turn left down the hill if you want more of a challenge.

Both routes eventually end up back on Meadham Lane, and follow the same path back to the village.

For full directions, click here

Basingstoke Gazette:

Hartley Wintney – 5 miles

For those wanting a real Christmas calorie burner, the loop at Hartley Wintney offers a real challenge.

Beginning on the High Street in the centre of the village, turn right onto Hardings Lane, and then double back on yourself as you head down the side of Causeway and Cricket Green.

As the loop continues, you’ll take in St Mary’s Church, West Green Common and Hazeley Heath before heading back down the road into the High Street once again.

For full directions, click here