Explore UK Countryside Trails with Follies - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

There is something particularly engaging about walking in a landscape which shows the visible influences of generations past. Some of the most striking and noticeable influences are the follies that were created by wealthy landowners. These frivolous and extravagant structures were often built solely for decoration and as accents on the great estates of the 1700s and 1800s. Whilst most of these follies sit within parklands and gardens where entrance fees apply, there are many that are freely accessible as part of a countryside walk. Check out this list of our favourite countryside walks with follies. Follies were often constructed purely for decoration, with no particular practical purpose or a purpose (such as a dining space) that was disguised to fool the eye. They tended to be extravagant or eccentric in their design, reflecting the character or interests of the landowners that commissioned them. Often, they included an element of fakery, for example pretending to be a ruin of an older building when in fact they were purposely built in this exact state. Today, they provide a fascinating punctuation or accents in our landscape, a treat for walkers to discover.

UK Countryside Trails with Follies Map
off trail
over grown
4 days ago

Walked this trail in July. It started off well, beautiful views and the route was clear, then as the walk went on we found it very overgrown in parts, full of tall nettles in areas and we had to tread very carefully over rocky streams (even the dog had to be carried in parts!) However, this was a very picturesque hike!

over grown
4 days ago

Great walk until you have to cut back along the stream/river edge. We did it in July and it’s very overgrown, full of nettles and boggy under foot. Stunning views on the rest of the walk though!

Great walk with a few attractions, old ruins, waterfalls and fountain. It has a few steep places to climb so not just a flat promenade. The dog loved it as well.

amazing trail, lots of.horses to meet and greet along the way

22 days ago

Other than crossing the motorway twice this is a beautiful and peaceful route. Lots of opportunities to let a dog off the lead too.

Nice walk,around 2 hours, the druids temple is worth seeing

Our first trail using the app, myself and my two kids did it (4 and 6 years old). Maybe a bit more challenging for their first one, but I really enjoyed it. Well described, and a good work out. Managed to get back into Masham to sample a beer at Theakstons Brewery, so a great afternoon!

Great walk. pity about rain.

1 month ago

Really enjoyed this walk. Lovely cafe at the start, parking is a reasonable cost and there is plenty to see. The walk to the tower and monument also give you a nice workout - but you can do a there and back and keep to the paved track if you wish. All dogs must be kept on leads because of the deer and other wildlife. The whole area is very well managed and free from litter, etc. It would be a great place to take a picnic and we shall visit again in the future.

Great views and not much road noise. Nice cut through a small village with interesting buildings and a great pub for lunch.

nice little couple of hours walk around the lake. parking a bit steep at £10 ok for once a year I suppose

Great walk, did in about 2hours. Ideal having a cafe at the end after an incline! Really good views and a variety of terrain making it an interesting & varied route. Will do again!

Did this walk on a very sunny Easter Sunday morning. As we were staying in Birmingham city centre, we started the walk at the Mailbox part of the walk. This meant we stopped at The Physician at the half way point for a cool drink. Enjoyed the walk which showed parts of Brum we hadn't seen before. Pete & Alicia

A lovely walk, clear directions and very little mud when walked mid-March. The Natural History Museum is brilliant, though it only opens at 2 on Sunday.

We’re unable to cross the fields at the farm due to an electric fence so went the road way round. Got chased by a heard of cows in the last field before the A52!

Excellent walk, was a beautiful day. Agree the suburban cut through wasn't great but this 5minute walk is nothing compared to the beauty of the other hour and half.

If you want to climb the folly and experience the amazing views, check their website. It is run entirely by volunteers and has limited opening.

Pleasant walk on a very sunny day. Nice pint at the pub at the finish Pete and Alicia

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Excellent woodland walk, modest hill challenges and interest from ancient drovers routes.

The canal tow path is closed shortly after mailbox so you cannot reach tunnel or bridge 84a. Instead leave by steps at barrier which is next to Five ways rail station and trim right and next right into wheeleys road, then right onto carpenters road to turn right and rejoin the route at junction with church road. You just miss out a short section. ADMIN RESPONSE 3 April 2018: Thank you for letting us know. We have checked the Canal and River Trust website and this shows that the towpath is now open once again. Thank you as well for the suggested diversion - we will keep these details in case the towpath is closed again the in future.

Very muddy as per previous comment. Path could be improved at stage 2. A choice of 4 pubs along the wayside serving a good variety of food only improves this route.

Lovely walk with great views. Good instructions. We did miss the path down Chinthurst Hill to Southfold Stables but knew the area well so could hook back into the instructions a little later. Grantley Arms highly recommended!

Just completed this walk 10/11/16 the walk instructions are spot on and we even added another 2 mile loop at bridge 82 just to make the walk a bit longer, all in all it was a very good walk.

Friday, June 26, 2015

I liked every part of this walk from the riverside path and the climb to Raven Scar to the magnificent views near the end of the walk. We were lucky enough to see the fountain too. It's easy to imagine how wonderful this must have been to visitors when it was originally built.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

This is a lovely walk. I enjoyed every part of the route from the town centre through the park, along the ridgeway and the descent back into Tring. We also had a great lunch in The Akeman (Fish and Chips for me).

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