We know it’s cold, and we know it can be tempting to stay cocooned inside, but the UK winter isn’t all bad. No, really! Winter can be beautiful; the frost makes the countryside sparkle and the days are cold but bright. Winter also heralds a new dawn for Britain’s ramblers, who can enjoy almost total solitude at some of Britain’s most popular walking destinations. The rewards for grabbing your woolly hat and scarf and joining them are enormous.
1. The Brecon Beacons
Easily accessible from Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons National Park is a vast expanse of woodland, moorland and meadows in the heart of Wales. The park is home to stunning waterfalls that glisten beautifully in the winter and the mountains are blissfully empty; making for great pictures! With many walking routes suitable during the winter, the Brecon Beacons offers a fantastic alternative to Snowdonia, which can be slightly hazardous during the colder months.
2. Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall, the well-known remnants of the Roman’s defensive fortifications, cuts its path across 84 miles of terrain between north Cumbria and the far reaches of Northumberland. Heaving with history and a sense of quiet grandeur, a winter walk along the wall could be just the ticket to transport you back in time. This particular path can take days to walk in full, so just pick out your favourite starting point, and see how far you get.
Walking in Dartmoor during winter is truly like a step into the wilderness. With breathtaking scenery and a vast open expanse, a weekend of walking in Dartmoor will definitely help blast away those winter cobwebs. With particularly stunning views to be had, we’d recommend the walk around Haytor (a favourite area of crime writer Agatha Christie) and Rippon Tor in East Dartmoor.
4. The New Forest
One of our favourite destinations here at Snaptrip, the New Forest is host to over 19,000 acres of land which can look simply majestic during the winter months. Budding photographers will love the opportunity to capture the frosty leaves contrasting with the proud evergreen trees that populate the forest. For the very best family walks in the New Forest, check out this epic selection!
Holkham National Nature Reserve covers over 9,000 acres of Norfolk countryside, and is home to a varied landscape – most notably salt marsh, sand dunes, and pine woodland. Famously, Holkham beach in the winter months comes alive with birds migrating to the area, which makes a spectacular sight to behold. A beach walk here should take around two hours if you start at the raised walkway down on to the beach, then bearing right for two miles until you reach the lifeboat station at Wells-next-the-Sea!
6. Walking around Loch Ness
Nessie, the infamous monster, has made Loch Ness one of the better-known waterways in the UK. The stunning loch offers some simply breathtaking walks around its perimeter during the winter months and a more than a few surprises along the way. One such marvel is Urquhart Castle, a medieval fortress and relict of old Scottish battles on the loch’s shores. To see this, and more, why not try the South Loch Ness Trail.