10 of the Most Fantastic Winter Walks in the UK

It is such a pity that there are people who choose to stay indoors during the winter season oblivious of the fact that they can extremely enjoy the chilly outdoors with lots of exhilarating activities. Winter walks are one of the most fascinating and refreshing activities that you can really enjoy during the winter months.

Here, we explore some of the magical places in the UK that can present a memorable experience when it comes to winter walking. These places are simply amazing and worth braving the cold for. In addition, we will advise on essential things you may need for a winter walk.

10 of the Best Winter Walks in The UK

1. The Mardale Horseshoe, Lake District

This spectacular 7-mile stretch is a great choice for winter walking since it can be done in about 5 hours. As such, the shorter daylight hours shouldn’t be a significant consideration.

The starting point at the extreme end of Haweswater leads you up onto Rough Crag. Here, you might have a glimpse of golden eagle gliding above expansive shoulders of Kidsty Pike off to the north. You can even see the eagles soaring over the deep blue waters of Blea Water as you climb on to the 2718-feet High Street.

The sights in clear conditions are simply breathe-taking, encompassing wide-ranging swathes of the lakes and extending as far as the Howgill Fells and the Scottish Lowlands. The rippling second phase of the walk runs through the peaks of Mardale III Bell and Harter Fell, which stand at 2496 feet and 2552 feet, respectively, before finally going down the old packhorse route along Gatescarth Beck and then back to the car park.

2. Holkham Bay, Norfolk

While some claim that summer is the best time to visit Holkham Bay, which encompasses the expansive stretch of golden sand and jade green sea, winter boasts its own unique and fascinating attractions.

Put on some warm clothing and take a leisure stroll from Wells-next-the-sea, heading towards the west, between the Holkham National Nature Reserve and the North Sea. You will be amazed by the sight of a tantalizing blend of landscapes, which include the following:

  • Salt Marsh
  • Grazing Marsh
  • Woodland
  • Sand dunes
  • Foreshore

It is worth noting that Holkham National Nature Reserve is England’s largest nature reserve and a major home to wintering wildfowl, including Brent Geese, Eurasian Wigeon, and Pink-footed Geese. Besides having the chance to see a variety of wildlife, this is also the place to relish the winter light across the beach.

While the area is relatively flat, you will still have enjoyed a great winter walk by the time you return to Wells-next-the-Sea, thanks to the chilly winter winds whipping against your face.

3. Porlock Weir, Exmoor

This 10-mile walk presents a very challenging but exciting experience. From the enchanting old fisherman’s homely tavern in Porlock, it is an adrenaline-charged 1740-feet clamber from the foot of the hill to Dunkery Beacon, which is the summit of Exmoor.

From Dunkery Beacon, when the day is not misty, it is possible to have a beautiful view of the Bristol Channel, English Channel, as well as the Brecon Beacons in Wales, Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, and Cleeve Hill. Fancy how refreshed you will feel when you get back to the pub and relax beside a bursting log fire, enjoying your favourite drink.

4. Seven Sisters, Sussex

This is a classic 5.5 miles winter walk. It runs straight from central casting to the Seven Sisters’ chalk cliff, which is one of the United Kingdom’s most photographed coastal strips. It is much easier to stroll around this area counter-clockwise in light of the fact that the prevailing winds are behind you.

If you want to enjoy the Seven Sisters to the fullest, then you should follow the South Downs Way alongside the coastal strip from Birling Gap through Belle Tout and then circle back inland to the hostelry.

5. The Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks, Peak District

This Peak District Winter Walk encompasses the popular Staffordshire region of the Roaches, Hen Cloud, Lud’s Church, and Ramshaw Rocks. It may be an extremely long walk, but it is very satisfying with a wide range of landscapes covered and some fascinating views. Here’s a brief overview of the various routes you can take for this challenging and picturesque winter walk:

  • Walk one – Covering a distance of about 3 miles, this walk runs from Roaches end to Lud’s Church and High Forest Ridge. It can be done in about 1¾ hours.
  • Walk two – This covers Roaches gate through Rock hall and the southern end of Roaches. The 2-mile walk can be done in about 1¼ hours.
  • Walk Three – This is a 2.5 mile walk that runs from Roaches gate, Dains Mill, and then to Hen Cloud. You can cover it in about 1½ hours.
  • Walk Four – Starting from Roaches gate, this 4 mile-walk covers Five Clouds Quarries, Docksey Pool, as well as the Roaches peak and Shawside and then returns between Hen Cloud and the Roaches. It can be done in roughly 2½ hours.
  • Walk Five – Covering a distance of about 12.5 miles, this walk starts from Three Shire Heads and ends at Roaches. It can take at least 6 hours to cover.
  • Walk Six – Starting from Tittesworth Reservoir, this 8.5 mile-walk covers the Roaches and Hen Cloud. It can be done in roughly 4½ hours.
  • Walk Seven – This is a 7.5 mile-walk that covers the area around the Roaches and Lud’s Church. It can take roughly 4 hours to cover.

6. Grimspond, Dartmoor

You can visit Dartmoor at any time of the year and it will still be exciting. However, during winter it goes several notches higher. Namely, during the winter season, the tors and their olden traditional stone causeways look magnificent, contrasting sharply with their surroundings.

While there are many places in Dartmoor for winter walking, the most outstanding one is the trail from Warren House Inn to Grimspond. Starting from Warren House Inn, which is about two miles northeast of Posbridge, stroll eastwards for roughly one mile to Headland Warren Farm. Afterwards, walk straight across the lane and start climbing up a narrow pathway to Grimspond, which is a spectacular and enchanting stone enclosure that houses the remnants of about 20 Bronze homes and perhaps even a few ghosts.

7. Stonehenge and Durrington Walls, Wiltshire

When it comes to winter walks, there’s nothing as inspiring as being aware that you are strolling on ancient tracks. This is the kind of experience you get when taking a 5-mile winter walk on the Plain of Salisbury, right below the giant dome that is the sky. The discovery of about 100 sarsen stones, in 2009, buried for centuries at Durington Walls, which is a 2-mile distance from Stonehenge, presented a leeway to a Neolithic superhenge that could have paved the way for the world’s famous monument.

The only way you can manage to unravel these secrecies, which have been buried for ages, is through the perspective of the larger landscape. The best way to appreciate this is on foot. This encompasses a plethora of burial mounts, a ceremonial avenue, as well as the Cursus, which is a massive bulwark arena whose function remains a mystery.

8. The South Loch Ness Trail, Scotland,28 miles

If you’ve been dreaming of catching a glimpse of Nessie through the morning mist in winter, then the 28-mile South Loch Ness Trail should be ideal for you. The trail begins right outside Fort Augustus and takes you through centuries of legends and myths, as well as past fascinating woodland wildlife. As the tranquil unexplored side of Loch Ness, this trail makes for a fantastic winter walk.

9. The Preseli Hills, Pembrokshire

If you are looking for a winter walk that features quiet footpaths and awe-inspiring coastal views, and ends up in a fine pub to relax your tired bones, then you should try the Preselis. While snow is not so prevalent in Pembrokeshire, if you get to the Preselis when they are winter white, you are in for a fantastic experience.

The walk begins and ends at Tafarn Sinc, which is a traditional Welsh pub that features wood-burning stove, sawdust sprinkled on the floor, as well as its own brew. From the Tafarn Sinc parking, a short trek along tarmac leads you to a horse trail that climbs rather steeply towards the north, up the slopes of Cwmcerwyn. In about one hour, you will be at the highest point of Southwest Wales.

Then, you will gently descend to the reminiscently named Golden Road, which is a 5000 years old horse trail running on the top of the Preselis’ spine, and continues downwards via Pantmaenog Forest, and then back to Tafarn Sinc.

10. Brook, Hampshire

The spectacular scenery, rich wildlife, and ancient forest feel have made New Forest a sanctuary for winter walk lovers. In the winter months, you won’t have the opportunity to marvel at the stunning green canopies, but you will certainly appreciate the somewhat spooky atmosphere created by the bare trees as well as the chance to see ponies and deer.

This walk begins at the Rufus Stone. This particular spot bears some historic significance as it is believed to mark the point where the infamous King William Rufus was killed by Sir William Tyrrell. This trail heads westwards opposite the Sir William Tyrrell pub to the ancient untouched forest.

The course will take you over a couple of rivers and then around a holiday camp’s edge and golf course before emerging into the village of Brook. A narrow track to the south of the Canterton Manor will lead you back to the pub via the woods.

Winter Walk Essentials

There are essential things that you not forget when going out for winter walking trip. They include:

  • Warm clothes, socks, and gloves
  • Waterproof trousers and jacket
  • Insulated hiking boots
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Ice axe
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen
  • Ski goggles – double lens versions are recommended
  • Fire Starting Materials
  • Small knife
  • Mobile phone for use in the case of an emergency
  • Head torch with spare bulb and battery
  • Flask of hot drink
  • Packed Food

When it comes to food, MRE meals are recommended. MREs (Meal Ready to Eat), as the name suggests, are ready to eat with absolutely no preparation needed. Namely, they are fully precooked self-contained meals that do not require refrigeration. You can eat them cold, but it is said that they taste best when heated. While they are mainly used by the military, MREs are also ideal for outdoor activities such as roads trips and winter walking.

We at XMRE are one of the most reputable manufacturer and supplier of MRE foods. We use Military Grade Technology with the aim of producing nourishing meals that have long shelf-life. Therefore, if you want to buy ready to eat meals without worrying about quality and safety, simple go for our XMRE products.

The true definition of good packing for winter walking is when you have all these essentials in place. With these, you can rest assured that your winter walk in the UK will be a successful and a memorable one.

Final Thoughts

It is only during the winter that we get to experience crisp air and snow-covered grounds. There is no better way to relish the magnificence of this season than by taking a walk. Moreover, walking is among the most effective ways to keep fit.

When it comes to winter walking, the United Kingdom boasts some of the most remarkable national trails, coastal tracks, and rural walking routes. Likewise, the winter mornings feature awe-inspiring sights of mist rising from the valleys and forests. As such, you cannot talk of having experienced the best winter holiday in the UK if you have not tried any of these 10 fascinating winter walks.

Moreover, in light of the fact that winter can be a challenging period to venture outdoors, thanks to the chilly rain, mounds of hard-packed snow, and icy surface, we have also provided some essential things to ensure that your winter walk expedition turns out successful.

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