Don’t be without these clever apps to make the most of your wintry rambles.

Whether you’ve over-indulged on turkey or you just need to get little ones outdoors to burn off some festive excitement – a bracing winter walk is the perfect activity over the Christmas holidays to stave off cabin fever.

From tranquil frosty morning strolls amidst the mayhem to family jaunts en masse with a pub lunch as a destination, here are five indispensible apps to take along with you and make the most of it all. There’s something for everyone, from nature lovers, to adventure junkies and mindfulness apps to help you find a little moment of calm. Happy hiking!

Woodland Trust Tree ID App


A great one for young and old, this interactive tree ID app from the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, The Woodland Trust, helps budding nature lovers identify native and common non-native trees in the UK. Don’t worry if there are no leaves to help you during winter; buds, twigs and bark can all help you spot the species, with the app’s full colour A-Z guide. There are detailed illustrations and photos, as well as fun tree facts to learn, including folklore, history and uses – from medicine to musical instruments. You can also log the trees you’ve found on a public map to help The Woodland Trust document the UK’s tree coverage and also find ancient and important trees across the British Isles.

Bird Song ID App


The ‘Shazam’ of bird song, this: simply record the call of a wild bird while out on your walk and the app’s clever auto recognition will identify the species for you, making it perfect for budding young ornithologists. Once you’ve put a name to the song, you can find out more about the bird’s characteristics and habitat. Compare different birds’ calls and even take a quiz to see how many ditties you can name.

Geocaching App – Cachly


A great one for keeping older kids occupied on a family walk, Geocaching is a sort of ‘worldwide treasure hunt for the digital generation’. There are lots of ‘caches’ (small containers) hidden all over the UK and apps like Cachly provide you with the clues you need to track them down, using GPS. Most caches have a logbook for you to leave a message in and often you will also find trinkets that people have left to swap. Addictive and fun, it’s a great way of giving walks a ‘purpose’ and a sense of adventure.

Walking Meditations App


If you’re heading out for a solo walk to escape the Christmas furore, plugging in to the Walking Meditation app might help you to switch off. If you’re too impatient for seated meditation (or can’t find the space and peace to meditate in a full house), get outdoors and let the app connect you to your mind and surroundings fully. There are three guided meditative walks to choose from, depending on your mood and needs, all designed to reconnect your mind-body and help you remain present, enliven your senses and feel grounded. A great app to have in your wellness toolkit over the festive period.

AllTrails App


If you’re looking for a new walk, but want a tried and tested route, AllTrails has 100,000+ curated trail maps, reviews and photos from real users, worldwide. Filter by kid-friendly, dog-friendly and wheel-chair compatible too. The app turns your phone into a GPS tracker so you can follow your trail and ensure you don’t get lost with the ‘off track alert’ notifications. You can save your favourite walks, share them with friends on social media and track your activity stats so you know when you’ve earned another mince pie.

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By Lydia Mansi
December 2019