A man and a woman backpacking through a rocky trail

5 Great Walks for Winter

Winter may bring shorter days and colder temperatures, but it's also a time of year that transforms the countryside into a winter wonderland, waiting to be explored.

Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a fun family activity, there's nothing quite like a crisp winter walk to clear your mind, boost your mood, and enjoy the beauty of the season.

We've put together a list of five winter walks that are perfect for those chilly days, and range in difficulty so that you can choose the perfect one for you and your family. From picturesque countryside views to wildlife hotspots, these walks offer something for everyone.

In winter, many people suffer with the winter blues or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but just 20 minutes of natural daylight each day can be enough to help most people to chase away the blues. What better way to spend time with loved ones and get some fresh air, rather than being cooped up indoors.

Five Walks to Try This Winter

Whether you're looking to maintain your fitness, chase away the winter blues or simply enjoy the beauty of a winter's day, discover five of our favourite winter walks below.

1. Pepperpot Walk, Cumbria

The Pepperpot Walk is a great family-friendly hiking trail in the picturesque Lake District, nearby to Arnside and Silverdale.

Perfect for a weekend outing or a leisurely stroll, this trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys including Arnside Knott, and passes by the Pepperpot, a distinctive rock formation which was built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

This route is also dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the adventure.

The trail is roughly 2 miles long, making it a great option for those who want to enjoy the outdoors without committing to a full-day hike. It's also great for those who want to spend some quality time with their families, or for those who want to take a break from the daily routine and enjoy nature. It's a very biodiverse area, so even in winter you should see lots of flora, fauna and wildlife.

You'll find plenty of well-defined tracks as you make your way through Eaves Wood, with a few steeper sections with loose stones as you near the Pepperpot, but it’s not too challenging and you can enjoy the scenery as you go. However, if you’re walking this route in the winter, a pair of hiking boots may be more suitable than your usual footwear.

View Eaves Wood Circular Walk

2. Old Harry Rocks Walk, Dorset

A brisk seaside walk is fantastic at any time of the year, but in winter the drama of the crashing sea adds a new dimension.

Old Harry Rocks is a stunning coastal landmark located in Dorset, UK. It's a great destination for a winter walk as it offers breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding coast. The rocks are formed of white chalk and rise out of the sea, creating a unique and striking natural feature.

One of the best ways to experience Old Harry Rocks is by walking the South West Coast Path, which runs along the top of the cliffs and offers stunning views of the rocks and the sea below. The walk is relatively easy, but it can be muddy in some parts so be prepared with good walking shoes.

The winter is a great time to visit as the weather is often clear and crisp, making for perfect conditions for a coastal walk. The crowds of tourists are also thinner during this time, so you'll have more space to take in the views.

Old Harry Rocks is also an important site for birdwatching, with many different species of seabirds such as guillemots, kittiwakes and Razorbills can be seen nesting on the cliffs.

As you walk along the South West Coast Path, you will also pass by other natural landmarks such as the Studland Bay and the Godlingston Heath.

Overall, Old Harry Rocks is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a winter walk with spectacular coastal views. Being a coastal walk, you'll be exposed to the elements, so layer up and wear a waterproof jacket / raincoat for protection. It's also worth bringing some binoculars if you're interested in birdwatching, and take care near the edge of the cliffs as they can be dangerous.

View Old Harry Rocks Walk

3. Malham Cove, Yorkshire

Malham Cove, located in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, is a popular destination for a winter walk.

The cove is a natural limestone formation that towers 80 meters above the surrounding landscape, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

The walk is moderately strenuous, with a steep ascent to the top of the cove, but the effort is well worth it for the spectacular views from the top. Once at the top, you can take in the panoramic views of the surrounding dales and the famous limestone pavement.

The walk can take around 2-3 hours, depending on your pace and how long you spend taking in the views. The village of Malham is also a great place to stop for a bite to eat or a hot drink before or after your walk.

View Regatta's Walking Guide to Malham Cove.

4. Wicken Fen Wildlife Walk, East Anglia

Wicken Fen is a beautiful nature reserve located in East Anglia, UK. It's a perfect destination for a winter walk, as it offers a chance to see a wide variety of wildlife in their natural habitats. The reserve is home to many species of birds, including the rare and elusive bittern, as well as otters, water voles, and many different types of dragonflies and butterflies.

One of the best ways to explore Wicken Fen is by taking one of the many designated walking trails that wind through the reserve. These trails vary in length and difficulty, so there's something for everyone, whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll.

The winter is a great time to visit, as the reserve is less crowded and the crisp, cold air makes for a refreshing walk. The landscape is also quite different in the winter, with the fenland grasses turning golden and the wetlands frozen over.

In addition to the natural beauty of the reserve, there are also several historical sites to visit, including the National Trust-run Wicken Windpump and the Wicken Lode, an ancient canal that dates back to the 17th century.

Overall, Wicken Fen is a fantastic destination for a winter walk, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and history.

View Wicken Fen Wildlife Walk

5. Lochore Circular, near Lochgelly

Lochore circular is a scenic walking route located near Lochgelly. It offers a great winter walk through the beautiful countryside and is a great way to enjoy the winter scenery in Scotland. A Scottish loch is difficult to beat at any time of year for fabulous scenery, but in winter a loch can take on an ethereal atmosphere with icy waters, mist and frost-covered trees.

The route starts at the Lochore Meadows Country Park, which is a great spot to explore with a variety of paths and trails available, as well as plenty of wildlife to discover.

The circular route takes you through the park, and then it goes through the woodland and countryside, passing by the Loch Ore and the Benarty Hill. The walk is not strenuous and it is suitable for most fitness levels.

Winter is a great time to visit as the crisp, cold air and the snow-covered landscape make for a refreshing walk. The park is also a great spot for birdwatching, with many different species of birds such as the siskin and the goldfinch can be seen flitting through the trees.

As you walk along the route, you will also have the opportunity to see other natural landmarks such as the Benarty Hill, which offers a great viewpoint for the surrounding area, and the Loch Ore, a large loch which is a popular spot for fishing.

Overall, Lochore circular is a wonderful destination for a winter walk, offering a great combination of natural beauty, wildlife, and a bit of history. Be sure to dress warmly and take extra care on slippery surfaces.

View Lochore Circular Walk

More great places to walk

For other ideas for top winter walks check out the Ramblers’ website, or if you're based in the Manchester area, check out some of our favourite winter walks to do in south Manchester. From December 22 to January 6, the Walkers’ Association runs their Festival of Winter Walks. There are a host of guided walks being organised, as well as suggestions of great places to walk in winter in your local area.

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