6 Reasons To Love Winter Walking
As the weather turns cooler, it can be tempting to stay indoors, but we believe that with the right kit there's no better season to get outdoors. To motivate you to brave the cooler winter temperatures, we're sharing with you the six reasons we love winter walking.
Beating The Winter Blues
A scenic walk in crisp winter air is the perfect, budget-friendly way to blow away the hibernation fog and come back to life post-Christmas. Make the most of having your loved ones together, or enjoy some peace and quiet after the Christmas Day madness, by getting wrapped up and going exploring on Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.
One of our favourite walks for the whole family is the charming Cotswold Way – although admittedly, we may be biased towards our beautiful birthplace! There are plenty of shorter circular walks through picturesque villages if taking on the full 100-mile trek is a bit of a stretch. And, for more inspiration from around the whole of the UK< check out our favourite UK winter walks blog.
Whichever route you choose, make sure you layer up to keep the chill out. Learn more about layering effectively here.
Beautiful Winter Scenery
Your favourite landscapes can take on a completely different personality as each season passes through, and winter often offers the most dramatic change of the year. Vast open plains covered in frost, light dustings of snow on hill tops, clear skies and low sun offering views for miles around… a winter walk is certainly the perfect outing for your camera.
So if you're looking for a walk with a view this winter, then we'd recommend Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District. Vast moorland, strange rock formations and even a waterfall are among the views to be taken in along this challenging 8-mile walk. Don’t try to take on the terrain without proper footwear, though, especially in unpredictable winter conditions.
Getting Wrapped Up
One things that puts many people off winter adventures is the cold. But, with the right kit, taking on the lower temperatures shouldn't be a problem. In fact, finding your optimum temperature can often be easier in winter, as with layers you can add and remove as necessary to keep yourself warm and dry. It's definietly easier than trying to cool off when you’re overheating in summer and already down to your t-shirt and shorts!
An insulated jacket is a must-have layer to fend off the chill, and we’ve got just the thing..
That cosy winter feeling AND the thrill of an adventure - what could be better?
The Cairngorms National Park, home of 55 Munros (mountains over 3000m) including five of the UK’s six highest mountains, is certainly an awe-inspiring place to experience the bracing winter air. With temperatures averaging from 0°C to -3°C over the winter months, it’s the perfect place to get your gear working hard, and to get plenty of that all-important exercise. Discover the must visit places in our experts' guide to the Cairngorms.
Peace And Quiet
Winter walking offers the perfect recipe for a calm and revitalised mind: nature’s beauty, combined with being the only person (or people) for miles around. In the winter, the trails are almost deserted as plenty reject adventuring in favour of their sofa and TV, so this is your chance to truly experience the tranquillity of the outdoors.
Whether you venture out on a romantic stroll to a birdsong backing track, let the kids run riot and clamber up trees, or just take a bit of ‘me’ time, winter is the best time to go exploring – in what other season could you get a beach all to yourself?!
For stunning, uninterrupted scenic splendour, the Skiddaw Walk could be the wintertime adventure for you. Set apart from its neighbouring peaks in the Lake District, it offers fantastic panoramic views and is the perfect spot to get some breathing space and clarity. For more inspirational walks in the Lake District, check out our blog in partnership with The National Trust.
Getting your boots on and going walking is great for your body and mind at any time of year. In winter, though, your body is working extra hard to keep you warm which means more calories are burned - useful for walking off the excesses of the festive season!
Winter walking is also great for your heart because the cold weather requires more blood flow, and light exercise like brisk walking gets the heart working without damaging it. Don’t forget to make the most of the daylight hours and get that all-important Vitamin D, too.
If you fancy a challenge to get yourself moving, try taking on Pen y Fan this winter. South Wales’ highest peak offers a variety of paths to the top, and rewards you with incredible 360-degree views from its 886m summit. Remember to take provisions with you, though, as you would for any other exercise – a few snacks and enough water.
Learn more about choosing a rucksack to carry all of your essentials here.
Warming Up At The Pub
We can’t possibly talk about winter walking without mentioning the staple that is the quintessential British pub. Reward your determination to take on the cold with a halfway rest stop in a cosy pub, with a beer or perhaps a mulled wine if the time of year is right. You could even fill up on some hot comfort food before heading back out to enjoy the rest of your winter adventure.
Whilst there is no shortage of excellent pub walks in the UK, one of our favourites is the Box Hill Hike. Experience the beautiful Surrey Hills’ landscapes and views before refuelling at the King William IV pub in Mickleham during, or after, the 8-mile walk.
You may also want to take a look some of the pub walks faboured by our partners at the Ramblers.
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