The traditional Boxing Day Family Walk is nearly upon us, and it has got harder and harder in recent years to get everyone enthused; tearing the children and teenagers away from their screens being the biggest challenge facing family time. We have put together some ideas we think will not only make your walk happen, but will also make it enjoyable for all concerned.

For Children:

They would no doubt rather be indoors, texting their friends and updating their social media with Christmas present haul pictures and videos, so turn their screen obsession into a positive and encourage them to take a photo of items on an ‘I Spy’ list for winter walks. If there are a few children involved, why not hold a competition for the most complete list and best picture of a robin? They’ll soon get caught up in the competition and forget they’re outdoors without an internet connection in no time.

Have something planned for your return home, such as a favourite film or family game that everyone enjoys. This gives the kids something to look forward to, which can help take their minds off the cold. Having a special present for the walk, such as a new scarf or gloves, can also help enthuse kids about going out and doing this every year as a new tradition can help make them look forward to next year’s walk as well.

For adults:

There’s not much to forage at this time of year, but the keen hedgerow pickers will enjoy identifying their favourite species and finding new patches to return to when the fruit is abundant. Setting a destination, such as a pub or a particularly scenic view helps give the walk some structure, and a purpose. Village and rural pubs are a lovely place to be after Christmas, everyone is relaxed and enjoying their time off so the atmosphere can be lively and jovial. There’s often plenty of chatter and new people to speak to, which is often just what is needed after being cooped up with the same people for two or three days.

Adults can also enjoy a version of the ‘I Spy’ game; pub bingo is a good way of livening up a walk and a pub visit. List things such as “identify someone who is drinking off a hangover”, “find two black labradors” or “count as many lost mittens/scarves/hats as you can” to keep people entertained and engaged with the walk.

On a long walk you will want to take some refreshments, it may be the day after the biggest food indulgence day of the year, but you wouldn’t want anyone to go without access to turkey sandwiches and leftover cheeseboards for too long. Making nice sandwiches and taking snacks along means you can have a picnic while you are out, and it is one less meal to prepare at home and clean up after.

If it is very cold (and even if it’s not, we don’t need an excuse!) take a thermos flask or two of mulled wine or cider out with you. It will keep everyone warm and happy all day. Mulled warm apple juice is a child-friendly alternative, and you can always add a nip of whisky to it for an adult twist.

With our Boxing Day Family Walk tips you’re set to have a fun, memorable walk that the whole family will enjoy.