From Instagram-worthy Edinburgh to Jane Austen’s stomping ground, here are seven brilliant wintry UK walks chosen by lifestyle journalist Carole Beck
Research has shown that exercise in winter can make you feel more energetic, strengthen the immune system and boost the body’s store of vitamin D (which tends to decrease during winter months).
Here are seven of Carole Beck’s favourite walks to help you get those steps up this season.
1. Best for snow-lovers
Where: Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Distance: 6 miles
Start/finish: Beddgelert village
Highlights: Don’t worry – this isn’t a trek up Mount Snowdon. Instead, this trail is on the other side of the valley, with breathtaking views of the snow-dusted Snowdon Horseshoe. Take a peek at the old copper mine halfway up.
2. Best for dog walkers
What: South West Coastal Path
Where: Cape Cornwall
Distance: 5 miles
Start/finish: The market town of St Just
Highlights: If your dog loves splashing about in the sea, this one’s for you. The trail passes two dog-friendly beaches – think bracing winter air, seal spotting opportunities and crashing waves. There’s also a prehistoric stone circle, Iron Age castle ruins, and old mining works en route.
3. Best for a spot of lunch
What: Craster to Low Newton
Where: Near Alnwick, Northumberland
Distance: 6 miles
Start/finish: The fishing village of Craster
Highlights: This walk hugs the coast, passing rock pools and the stunning ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, which dates back to the 14th century. Look out for seals basking on the rocks along the way, then stop for lunch at The Ship Inn in the pretty village of Low Newton, which looks out over the rugged sands of Embleton beach. Or wait till your return to Craster and check out sea views at The Jolly Fisherman pub.
4. Best for Instagram
What: Arthur’s Seat
Where: Edinburgh, Scotland
Distance: 3 miles
Start/finish: The car park near Holyrood Palace
Highlights: For a walk up an extinct volcano in a city, you can’t beat Arthur’s Seat. The summit offers panoramic views, including the iconic Edinburgh Castle – one of the UK’s most frequently Instagrammed sights. Nip back down to the city afterwards for a warming lunch of haggis, neeps and tatties.
5. Best for adventurers
What: Stanage Edge
Where: Peak District
Distance: 7.5 miles
Start/finish: Hathersage village
Highlights: Stanage Edge is one of the most popular destinations for climbers in the UK and the longest gritstone ridge in England, stretching for 3.5 miles. This makes it a spectacular, steep trail overlooking the valleys below. Craving more adventure? Try scaling the tors and rocks along the route.
6. Best for bookworms
What: Chawton to Farringdon
Where: Alton, Hampshire
Distance: 4.5 miles
Start/finish: The village of Chawton
Highlights: Literary lovers will enjoy following in the footsteps of Pride And Prejudice author Jane Austen in Chawton, which becomes even prettier in winter. The trail takes you past the house where she lived for the last eight years of her life, and the church where her mother and sister are buried. Stop for a visit at Chawton House – a grade II-listed Elizabethan manor, now a library – and have a wander round the grounds.
7. Best for families
Where: Alrewas, Staffordshire
Distance: Around 2 miles
Start/finish: The on-site remembrance centre
Highlights: This is the UK’s permanent centre of remembrance to acknowledge those who have served and continue to serve the nation. With beautifully landscaped gardens, 150 acres of woodland and modern sculptures, it’s a peaceful place to stroll. There’s a buggy-friendly path, taking you past some of the 300 memorials. Look out for the famous Armed Forces Memorial, while kids will love the activity trail (which is even more fun in the snow!).
Looking to increase the pace? Read our surprising reasons to take up running.