IT’S that time of year for getting together.

Christmas, and the New Year give us the chance to recap and look forward to the future and share in the celebrations of a special time of year with family and friends.

There will be parties; family gatherings and no doubt feasts to consume at every get together which leaves us all typically turning our attentions to walking it all off in the lull between Christmas and the party season starting up again to celebrate a brand spanking New Year.

For some, trips out and days doing different things are all part of the Christmas and New Year entertainment, but the Bank Holiday break also brings the opportunity to stride out - and what better place to savour the scenery than God’s Own County?

Yorkshire is blessed with so many beautiful destinations which are familiar to, and well-trodden by, many. Others tend to take it for granted as they are probably more pressed for time when they pass by.

It is only when we get the opportunity to savour and explore the landscape that we can really appreciate our surroundings.

Walking brings many other benefits too - it’s great exercise; you can meet new friends and fresh air does you good. It’s also a great way to work off all that excess, the food from all the celebratory feasts and generally being merry.

But if you’re not familiar with where to go, and the different destinations enticing us to stride forth, then the Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks is the perfect place to start.

Running until Sunday January 6, there are walks to suit every age and ability from leisurely strolls to walks suitable for little ones to come along too.

And if striding out over the holiday season entices you to start walking regularly, then the Ramblers also have an online library of more than 2,750 walking routes from coastal walks to country lane strolls.

So what are you waiting for?........

Feeling festive? Then don your finest Christmas hats and jumpers and join the Jingle Bell Jaunt on Sunday December 23.

Setting off at 10am, this leisurely eight mile walk around Otley is an opportunity to join the Take A Hike Ramblers group.

The circular route sets off from Otley Chevin via Bramhope and East Carlton offering views across Wharfedale.

There is also the opportunity to join the late post walk at The Royalty Pub. Contact the leader in advance.

Also on Sunday December 23, Calderdale Ramblers are leading ‘A Woodland Wander.’ Participants can explore the wintry woods on a pre-Christmas wander during this five mile moderate walk around Hebden Bridge.

Setting off at 10.30am, the walk returns via the canal for a drink in the Fox and Goose.

Over-indulged during the festivities? Exercise and fresh air are just the tonic for getting back in shape so why not join the West Riding Ramblers for a moderate eight mile circular stroll around Stainburn and Lindley Moor on Sunday December 30.

The route crosses Stainburn Moor, via Braythorn towards Lindley Old Bridge and the short steep climb affords views over Lindley Reservoir to The Chevin before returning across Lindley Moor.

Once the festivities are over for another year we can look forward to the arrival of a New Year so why not start the New Year with a stroll.....

Ripon Ramblers are leading a leisurely four mile New Year walk around the beautiful scenic location of Studley Royal in the picturesque setting of Ripon at 1pm on January 1.

The walk ends with a sociable drink to welcome the New Year at South Lodge, Harrogate Road.

It’s not Halloween but for fans of all things fearsome ‘A Ghostly New Year to all’ is the perfect stroll for you.

Bradford Ramblers are hosting the spooky night stroll from 7pm on Thursday January 3.

A torch and an item of high visible clothing are required for this 4.5 mile ‘moderate’ walk around Low Moor.

On Sunday January 6 Keighley Ramblers will lead a circular walk, setting off at 10.30am around Newsholme Dean and Holme House Woods.

The 5.5 mile route around Oakworth takes in some scenic sights.

Calderdale Ramblers will be striding out at the same time, on the same day, but a different location.

Their circular stroll - ‘Ripponden to Meg Dike’ - is a 5.5 mile moderate walk taking in the sights of Ringstone Edge Reservoir and reaching the top of Ringstone Edge Moor. Expect some uneven paths.

For more information about this and all the other walks mentioned, or to get involved in the charity which enables people to enjoy the freedom and benefits of being in the great outdoors, visit