The Christmas period is often a time of excess. And when you’ve eaten (or drunk) a little too much, it can be tempting to just vegetate on the couch for days on end while flicking channels and reaching for the biscuit tin. But getting fresh air is important, even in winter, with time outside proving a great way to boost your mood and aid your hangover. If you don’t fancy a mammoth hike, but more of a short walk, then here’s some of the best across Scotland.

Callander Crags, Stirling

Situated behind the postcard Stirlingshire village of Callander, the Callander Crags is part of the rocky ledge that makes up the Highland Boundary Fault, where two continents collided almost 400 million years ago. Once you park up in the car park for the Bracklinn Falls it’s a short – but admittedly steep – climb to the summit of the Crags. The good news is that there are plenty of benches to stop at if you need a rest and once you make it to the top the views are more than worth it. You can see the snow-capped peak of Ben Ledi, arguably looking better in winter than summer, as well as a whole host of other hills, not to mention a great view back down over Callander itself. Once you’ve taken the obligatory selfie at the summit you’ll want to escape the chilly wind and make your way back through the forest path. It can be slippery and steep in places so be sure to wear appropriate footwear and take your time. You can carry on back to the car park or take a detour into the village, with the cosy Deli Ecosse in Ancaster Square serving

up much-needed takeaway coffeeand cake.

Maxwell Park, Pollokshields

Most of those in the south side of Glasgow will flock to Pollok Park for their Boxing Day walk, descending on the paths near the Highland cattle and Pollok House. But if you want an altogether more relaxed stroll, it would be well worth your while to try nearby Maxwell Park instead. Its location in the heart of leafy Pollokshields means that this park always feels like a quiet pocket of calm, even during busy periods. There’s a charming little duck pond to explore as well as some sections of woodland and garden, but it is small enough in size that it won’t take long to get around. If, therefore, you are feeling a little more energetic, why not combine your loop of Maxwell Park with a walk to Queen’s Park in Shawlands? There’s no shortage of coffee shops in the streets in-between the two parks where you can pick up a drink to warm you up.

River Ness and Ness Islands, Inverness

It might run through the heart of the city, but the River Ness is always a good option for a peaceful walk. Its accessible riverside path makes it popular with cyclists and joggers but it rarely gets too busy, particularly if you head further along the river towards the Ness Islands. These form a three-mile route if you loop around them (a suitably hangover-friendly distance) with picturesque Victorian suspension bridges that you cross to get there. Popular with picnickers in the summer, the islands are just as worthy of a visit in winter, where you can spot wildlife among the trees, take a rest on one of the many benches and snap a picture with Inverness Castle in the background. If you are feeling particularly fit you can keep going beyond the river path towards the Great Glen Way, or along the Caledonian Canal.

Muasdale Beach, Kintyre, Argyll and Bute

Heading to the beach isn’t an obvious choice when the weather is cold and the wind is biting. But this picture-perfect Kintyre beach offers panoramic views of Islay and Jura, with driftwood, pebbles and rockpools lining the shore. It is long and narrow, perfect for a short stroll, but you can continue on further along the route of the Kintyre Way if you feel up to it.

Falls of Foyers, Foyers, near Fort Augustus

To get to the viewpoint of the magical Falls of Foyers, the walk is entirely leisurely. You can stroll down the steps to get there (going slowly to relieve pressure on your knees) to then enjoy wonderful views of the water tumbling down from above, before venturing down to the lower viewpoint for a different perspective. But while it is a short distance, the return journey back up all those stairs is tough on even the fittest of walkers, so stop as many times as you need to in order to catch your breath. It can be slippery too, especially at this time of year, so wear sensible footwear and tread carefully.

Whitelee Windfarm, Eaglesham

Whitelee Windfarm, the largest onshore windfarm in the UK, has become steadily more popular with visitors since it first opened a decade ago. Cyclists frequent its flat paths and mountain biking trails while dog owners and horse riders appreciate the swathes of open moorland that’s on offer. And for those looking for an easy post-Christmas walk, it is an ideal place to go. You can park up near the visitor centre (which is currently closed for the winter) and then head out towards the foot of the first turbine – which is quite awe-inducing to stand underneath. From there, there’s a variety of paths and routes that you can take, walking as far as you feel like, with the loop up to the Blackwood Hill Viewpoint a particularly good option. There’s a brief uphill climb, but you will be rewarded with views out to Arran and Ailsa Craig on a clear day.

Portencross, North Ayrshire

There’s nothing quite like a sea breeze to shake you out of a hangover. But while Troon and Prestwick might be the more popular options for a seaside walk, those in the know would tell you that it is the small hamlet of Portencross that offers some of the best views in Ayrshire. Its proximity to Arran means it has an unrivalled outlook over the sea to the island, which looks particularly majestic as the sun is going down. There’s a car park in Portencross which makes a good starting point for a stroll: from there, head along towards the tiny Portencross castle – which had close links with King Robert II – before stopping off at the pier which offers wonderful views out to sea and back towards the village. Then simply follow the coastal path as far as you wish, with various picnic benches dotted along the seafront if you want to brave the wind while having a sit down.

Chatelherault Country Park, Hamilton

The very French name of this Lanarkshire park is owed to Mary Queen of Scots. Duc de Châtellerault (derived from the French town of the same name) was the title given to James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran, for his part in arranging the marriage of Mary to the young French prince Francis. The park was the main residence of the Dukes of Hamilton for decades, and although the grand Hamilton Palace has since been demolished their extravagant hunting lodge remains. Modern visitors can admire this wonderful building, located right beside the car park, before wandering further into the park for as long a walk as you feel able for. There’s 500 acres of countryside and woodland and over 10 miles of routed pathways to explore – but if you are nursing a sore head you can always just wander around the outside of the lodge and then head back to the car.

Alva Glen, Alloa

It only takes an hour to complete, but the walk round Alva Glen packs in woodland, waterfalls, gorges, caves and a spectacular view out across the Clackmannanshire countryside. Simply start at the signposted Alva Glen car park and head up through the woodland to reach the first of several waterfalls. Soon the path begins to climb steeply (take care and watch your footing), with bridges leading up over the gorge and eventually offering a sublime view out over the glen below. Once you reach the Smuggler’s Cave, retrace your steps back to the start.

Duchess Wood, Helensburgh

Just a short walk from the centre of Helensburgh lies the Duchess Wood. It is large enough to feel like you have escaped civilisation, but short enough that you can loop around it in less than an hour. Dogs will love running around and exploring the forest, while kids can enjoy spotting squirrels and birds between the trees.