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10 Amazing Walks for Winter

With stunning scenery, great pubs and warm welcomes, there are few more enjoyable times to get out and about in the UK than in the winter. Here are 10 of our favourite winter walks – from high times in the Highlands to cosy walks along the Cornish coast.

Rhossili Bay headland walk, South Wales

A Welsh winter warmer
distance: 3.5 miles.

This circular walk starts at the National Trust shop in Rhossili, goes past The Worm’s Head Hotel and around Rhossili Bay.

The three and a half mile route provides some fantastic vantage points to admire the ancient terrain and the monuments dotted around it, including amazing Iron Age and Norman ruins.

The rugged countryside is bordered by a large beach at Rhossili Bay allowing you to follow the tide line as part of your journey across some of the most delightful scenery in South Wales.

Find the route on the National Trust’s website.

Edinburgh New Town Walk

The easy elegance of the ‘Athens of the North’.
distance: 3 miles

A city walk in Edinburgh is one of the best ways to take in the elegant beauty of one of world’s finest cities.

The classic route begins in the centre of town in Princes Street, winding northwards through George Street, Queen Street and on towards the Stockbridge and the Botanical gardens.

This meandering route takes you past some of the city’s finest shopping spots and loveliest architecture. Turn back and head towards the playhouse and the city’s stunning castle will overlook you; a perfect end to a perfect day!

Find the route on the AA website.

St Just to Cape Cornwall

A new look at the Cornish coast
distance: 5 miles.

Cornwall in winter is a revelation; the coastline looks spectacular and this stretch of the South West Coast Path offers some of its finest views!

Starting at St Just you will pass a number of ancient forts and barrows, along with plenty of old mines and mills, as you walk towards the coast at Cape Cornwall (one of only two geographic capes in the UK).

The walk continues to Porth Nanven, given the nickname ‘Dinosaur Egg Beach’ for the large rocks that cover its surface. From there you can head back to St Just for some much-needed refreshment.

Find the route on the South West Coast Path website.

Winchcombe walks in the Cotswolds

Winter in a walking wonderland.
distance: various

Gentle hills, footpaths, bridleways and more pubs than you can shake a walking pole at, the Cotswolds is a great winter walking destination.

Winchcombe is a hub for wonderful walks with several major routes running close to the town. Choose from leisurely two mile routes around Sudeley Castle to more challenging hikes from Winchombe to Hailes, taking in great views of the Malverns and the Vale of Evesham.

Make sure you choose a route that allows you to complete your walk and get back to your cosy Cotswolds cottage while there’s still daylight. You can always warm up by the wood burner later!

Find routes on the Winchcombe Walkers website .

Hawes circular via Sedbusk, Yorkshire

A day out in the Dales
distance: 5 miles.

The market town of Hawes is one of best walking centres in the Dales, and this walk will show you some of its most celebrated sights. Head west from and turn north towards ‘Bluebell Hill’, crossing fields and frozen becks as you pass through Appersett.

Rolling countryside and moorland lead you to Hardraw Force, England’s largest single drop waterfall (or in extreme winters its largest icicle!). Here you can take the opportunity to warm up in front of a roaring fire in the nearby historic Green Dragon Inn.

Head east to the village of Sedbusk and you will be greeted with a sweeping view of the Wensleydale valley. A brisk 1.5 mile walk south will then lead you back to Hawes.

Find the route on the AA website.

Loch Morar to Tarbet, Bracorina, Scotland

High times in the Highlands
distance: 6 miles

A walker’s paradise, this route in the Highlands offers elevated views of some of the most stunning Scottish mountains, including Ben Nevis and across the water towards the Hebrides.

One of the best routes is the 5 mile route along the loch to Tarbet. With a snow-capped backdrop against the mirror-like waters the views on a clear day are simply breath-taking.

The wild landscape provides a variety of habits to a fascinating array of wildlife. Look out for otters, roe deer and even sea eagles, which can sometimes be seen fishing for salmon!

Find the route on the Walk Highlands website.

Winterton-on-Sea to Horsey, Norfolk

Winter with Wordsworth
distance: 3.5 miles.

It may get blustery in the winter time, but the walk along the beach from Winterton-on-Sea in Norfolk is perfect for dusting the cobwebs away.

It’s not just the wild, sandy wilderness that appeals; winter is the breeding season for hundreds of seals, beached at Horsey.

The walk from Winterton-on-Sea means you avoid other visitors from the carpark at Horsey Gap. It’s just you, the sand, the sea and 100s of seals! Just make sure you give them plenty of space; the colony can be admired (not to mention smelled!) from some distance.

Return to Winterton for a lovely pub meal at The Fishermans Return.

Download a PDF of the route from the Norfolk County Council website .

Grasmere via Alcock Tarn, Lake District

Winter with Wordsworth
distance: 4 miles

William Wordsworth took much of his inspiration from the spectacular scenery surrounding his beloved Grasmere, including the ice skating episode of his masterpiece The Prelude.

Starting to the north of the village you will head into the rocky fells towards the mountain lake. Care is required as it can get quite steep, but the path is well maintained and lies just a mile and a half from the village.

The route back to Grasmere is lovely. Heading south from Alcock Tarn and then onto Wordsworth’s home at Rydal Mount, it takes you past the timeless Rydal Water and continues on to your starting point.

Find the route on the National Trust website.

Allen Banks woodland walk, Hexham, Northumberland

A woodland ramble
distance: 3 miles.

This walk, in the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland, is great for scenery and wildlife.

The Allen Banks walk, which snakes along the River Allen’s valley, is a three mile, moderate trek. The walk starts from the carpark, crosses a couple of fields and follows the River Allen, one of the south Tyne’s tributaries.

There’s diverse scenery, terrain and wildlife to explore. Just watch out as it can get a little muddy in the winter months!

Find the route on the National Trust website.

Curbar Gap circular, the Peak District

distance: 6 miles

The central location of the Peak District National Park makes it easily accessible; perfect for a short break and brisk winter wander.

Winter is perfect for sampling the raw beauty of the Peaks; the Eastern Moor offers plenty of amazing views, and if you’re lucky you might see some local wildlife.

The circular route from Curbar Gap one of the region’s best. Not only do the scenic 6 miles offer a decent challenge, but you will also find some of the best views of the Peaks. If you’re lucky you might even spot some red deer too!

The circular walk starts and ends at the Curbar Gap carpark. The Grouse Inn waits at halfway round the route – perfect for a quick pit-stop.

Find the route on the National Trust website.

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