Best winter walks in the UK: 10 of our favourite hikes

Escape to the countryside and visit some of the UK’s best winter walks.

There’s something magical about the British countryside on a winter’s day – blankets of frost, crisp fresh air and maybe even some snow if you’re lucky. And of course, not forgetting the well-deserved walk’s end pub, slumped beside a roaring open fire with a local ale in hand. 

From the Lake District’s dramatic landscapes to the Cotswolds’ quaint villages, we’ve put together a list of some of the best winter walks in the UK. So get ready to wrap up warm, because nothing beats a winter walk in the magnificent British countryside. 

Dovedale via Hall Dale and Ilam, Peak District

Length: 6 miles
Start point: Dovedale car park
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Best pub en route: Watts Russell Arms, Stanshope

This Dovedale circular walk takes you through some of the most stunning parts of the Peak District. Walk across the famous Dovedale stepping stones, over the grassy Hall Dale, and through limestone crags. Make a pit stop halfway at Watts Russell Arms for a hearty lunch. 

 

Buttermere Circular, Lake District

Length: 4.5 miles
Start point: Buttermere National Trust car park
Difficulty: Easy
Best pub en route: The Bridge Inn, Buttermere

Winter in the Lake District National Park is nothing short of magical, and on this easy Buttermere Circular walk, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views without having to do any climbing. Meander around the lake at your own pace and take in the views of snowy fells, blankets of glistening frost and an enchanting lake. Fuel up at The Bridge Inn afterwards with a local Cumbrian ale. 

 

The Begwyns from Clyro, Brecon Beacons

Length: 7.5 miles
Start point: In the village of Clyro
Difficulty: Moderate
Best pub en route: The Baskerville Arms, Clyro

The National Trust describe The Begwyns from Clyro walk as “a mountain top walk with none of the climb”. It’s one of the lengthier winter hikes on our list, but it’s worth it for the spectacular views of the Black Mountains – a group of hills in Wales that line the Welsh-English border. Once back at Clyro, rest your feet at The Baskerville Arms

 

Whitehill to Mickleham, Surrey

Length: 3.9 miles
Start point: Cockshot National Trust car park
Difficulty: Moderate 
Best pub en route: The Running Horses, Mickleham

One of the most picturesque parts of the South East, the Whitehill to Mickleham walk will take you through a wintery woodland and reveal panoramic views of the Surrey Hills. There are a few steep paths on this trail but when you reach Mickleham, you can recharge at The Running Horses before heading back to the car park. 

 

Cuilcagh Boardwalk, County Fermanagh

Length: 7 miles
Start point: Cuilcagh Boardwalk car park
Difficulty: Difficult
Best pub en route: Blakes of the Hollow, County Fermanagh

Cuilcagh Boardwalk is easily one of the best winter walks in the UK. Also nicknamed the Stairway to Heaven, thanks to the final ascent up 450 wooden steps, the walk offers the most incredible views of Cuilcagh Mountain. You’ll definitely be tired out after this 7-mile hike, so retreat to the Blakes of the Hollow, one of Northern Ireland’s most famous Victorian pubs.

 

Petworth Woodland Walk, West Sussex

Length: 4 miles
Start point: Petworth Park car park
Difficulty: Moderate
Best pub en-route: The Horse Guards Inn, Petworth

Explore magnificent ancient woodland on the Petworth woodland walk. Take in views of some of the oldest trees in the country (including a 940-year old oak tree!). Marvel at the gnarled and twisted tree trunks you pass by, before pit-stopping at The Horse Guards Inn, nestled in the beautiful South Downs National Park. 

 

Sennon Cove & Land’s End, Cornwall

Length: 3.3 miles
Start point: Sennen Cove car park
Difficulty: Moderate
Best pub en route: Old Success Inn, Sennon Cove

The Sennon Cove & Land’s End walk is the perfect mix of wildlife, historical interests and coastal views. Visit this part of Cornwall in the winter months and you’ll beat the bustling summer crowds. Plus there’s something to be said for cosying up in front of the fire at the Old Success Inn afterwards on a cold winter’s day. 

 

Malhamdale Circular, Yorkshire

Length: 4.5 miles
Start point: Malham National Park Centre car park 
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult 
Best pub en route: The Buck Inn, Malham

Take in views of Malham Cove (where parts of Harry Potter was filmed!), the waterfalls at Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss on the Malhamdale Circular route. It’s one of the best walks for seeing the classic Yorkshire landscape of limestone cliffs and crags. If you’re looking for a pub en route, The Buck Inn is nestled right in the heart of the village of Malham. 

 

Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk

Length: 3.8 miles
Start point: Brancaster Staithe Quay car park
Difficulty: Moderate
Best pub en route: The White Horse, Brancaster

Walk starting at the car park and wander through Brancaster Staite, spotting the winter wildlife as you go and looking out to the sea for amazing views of the Norfolk coast. You’ll even have the chance to see the Branodunum Roman Fort. The White Horse is an award-winning restaurant and bar where you can stop en route for some refreshments. 

 

Stanton and Snowshill Circular, Cotswolds

Length: 6 miles
Start point: Stanton Parish Council car park
Difficulty: Moderate
Best pub en route: The Mount Inn, Stanton 

Some of the best winter walks in the UK can be found in the charming Cotswolds. We love the Stanton and Snowshill Circular walking route the most though, as it takes you in between two picturesque villages, with 360-degree views of this quintessentially British part of the country. Afterwards, enjoy locally sourced food and craft ales at The Mount Inn.

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