Winter is coming… But these spectacular winter walks across the UK are worth bracing the cold for
The leaves have fallen, the clocks have gone back and a chill fills the air. But instead of despairing, now is the time to think about experiencing some unique and spectacular winter adventures.
Winter transforms the landscapes of Britain, creating new opportunities for beauty and exploration. Whether you enjoy gentle strolls or full-scale mountain walking, there is the perfect British winter walk out there for you.
Best Family-Friendly walk in the UK: Jurassic Coast
Wrap up warm, because this sensational winter walk comes with a side of crisp ocean breeze.
Stretching along the coast of Dorset is the stunning Jurassic Coast trail: a 95-mile long journey through some of the best coastal landscapes in all of Britain. From white cliffs and spectacular stone archways to soft sandy beaches and stoney, isolated coves, the Jurassic Coast has everything you need for a breathtaking walking experience.
In the winter, though, there is just that extra touch of magic about it. Mists roll off the biting waters, the hillsides glisten as frost hugs the grass and the plummeting cliffs beyond, and the air is so fresh you’ll feel like you’d never need coffee again.
Known as the Jurassic Coast thanks to the abundance of fossils found across its stone beaches, kids can have a great time exploring and discovering a bit of ancient history on this gentle family walk.
Best Peaceful walk in the UK: The Peak District
In a country drained of colour by the bitter touch of winter, the Peak District stands vibrant, alive with flora.
Known for its stunning mountain walking opportunities and incredible landscapes, the Peak District is not exempt from winter. Morning walks through the District are often accompanied by the dense fog and frost. In the woodland areas, though, the fog creates an exciting, almost eerie scene. It can be hauntingly beautiful.
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Winter in the Peak District is very peaceful. One of the most popular holiday spots in the UK, most visitors stick to arriving in the summer months, leaving the landscapes bare of all but a few walking enthusiasts.
Here, away from the modern world, the quiet is almost hypnotic. Whether you are mountain walking or wandering through woodlands, it’s impossible not to become entranced by the serenity of the gorgeous Peak District.
Best Historic walk in the UK: Hadrian’s Wall Path
A touch of frost can transform any landscape — and that includes man-made ones, too.
The Hadrian’s Wall path is one with a unique heritage and legacy to rival even the most well-known historic sites in Britain. Thousands of years old, this Roman structure spreads across the width of the country, built to protect against the ‘wild’ barbarians to the north.
A path runs right alongside the wall, allowing the adventurous to experience every inch of its now-crumbled majesty, following it over hills and rivers, around lakes and through villages. In the winter, the wall is almost perpetually frost-covered.
The soft, shimmering white coating somehow gives it a more ancient feel. Add in the regular mists that roll across the landscape and it really feels like you’ve leapt out of the modern day and into the past, such is the surrealism of the experience.
Best nature walk in the UK: Dartmoor National Park
In the winter, the lush greenery of Dartmoor is stripped away, leaving something bare. Something raw. Gripped by frost and encrusted by craggy rock, winter morning walks across the Dartmoor National Park feel like an adventure across wild arctic tundra.
Covering nearly 1000km2, Dartmoor National Park offers countless opportunities for winter exploration across hundreds of wild British walking trails. Immerse yourself in nature.
Watch salmon leap up streams as they head inland to breed, marvel at the beautiful winter flowers that bloom across the moors and grab a snapshot of the sunrise as it appears over the rolling, misty landscape.
Best Challenging walk in the UK: The Scottish Munros
Winter mountain walking in the Scottish Munros is an immensely exciting and rewarding experience, but it isn’t for your typical Sunday walker.
Heading out in the winter, when snow lies thick on mountain paths and fog can coat the peaks of this mighty Scottish beasts, you need to be sure you’ve got the right equipment for the job. If you are prepared, however, there is nothing quite like walking the Munros in the winter. Even on the easier walks, snow surrounds you, settled upon every inch of ground.
Here, you’ll feel like you’re walking in a winter wonderland — as if you’re mountain walking in Norway or the Alps, not Britain.