6 Reasons To Love Winter Walking

1. 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. Our favourite walk 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.

 

Whichever route you choose, make sure you layer up to keep the chill out. Learn more about layering effectively here.


2. Beautiful winter scenery

Your favourite landscapes take on a completely different personality as each season passes through, and winter offers the most dramatic views 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. We think Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District, is the perfect place to enjoy the best of winter. 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. Shop walking boots


3. Getting wrapped up

Taking on the lower temperatures doesn’t mean you need to feel cold. In fact, finding your optimum temperature is far easier in winter with layers to add and remove, than when you’re overheating in summer and already down to your t-shirt and shorts! That cosy winter feeling AND the thrill of an adventure - what could be better?

 

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.

 

You’ll need a performance jacket to fend off the chill, and we’ve got just the thing. Find out to choose your perfect insulated jacket here


4. Being at one with nature

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. 


5. Feeling great

 

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


6. And, of course, the classic country 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. 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.