WHAT more could you ask during the festive period than a walk in beautiful countryside, starting off from a cosy village pub.

Aldbrough St John, near Richmond, has The Stanwick, overlooking the village green, and that's the starting point for Mark Reid's latest country walk.

This is a traditional village, with cricket and quoits pitches, and it has a fascinating history. The name is derived from "old" and "burgh" which means "old defensive site".

Indeed, between Aldbrough and nearby Forcett, lies the remains of Stanwick Camp, the largest Iron Age fort in the country. This used to be the stronghold of the Brigantes tribes which ruled Northern Britain before the Romans arrived.

The three-mile walk takes you from The Stanwick, across the expansive village green, to what's known locally as The Tofts, exploring pastures and fields along the way.

Mark Reid has produced 17 successful walking guidebooks, including the acclaimed ‘Inn Way’ and ‘Walking Weekends’ series covering all of the national parks of Northern England.

He is also a Mountain Leader and Outdoor Instructor and offers map reading courses, navigation skills weekends, guided walks and outdoor adventures in the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and beyond.

As always when venturing out for a country walk, make sure you are wrapped up with warm clothing.

And to find out more about Mark Reid's walks, click here.