OK, so hibernation season is officially here. But come on, the last time you looked, you weren’t a hedgehog, dormouse or bat, so time to crawl out from the winter duvet, wrap up warm and defrost your calves for a supercharged walk to kick-start your metabolism ready for that rich festive food we’ve been waiting all year for.
The winter sun may not be quite as warm on our skin, we can’t dry our clothes outside and picnics in mittens just isn’t quite the same as cake on a golden lawn. But all’s not lost! The UK is home to a splendid showcase of frosted beauty when the cold weather creeps in. So grab your wellies and get set for a walk that’ll ignite all your senses.
Twinkling icicles on tree limbs, soft shadows skimming the forests, robins stark in the enveloping mist… you get the picture. And talking of pictures, who doesn’t love a bobble hat selfie to warm up your Insta feed?
All that walking certainly builds an appetite. So make sure you’re not tempted to nibble any unknown berries from the bushes by fuelling up here before you get out there. Eating fresh, wholesome food is a sure-fire way to prep our immune systems to fight off any unwanted bugs and viruses. A tasty treat before you go won’t take long either, Full of Goodness is ready in just one minute, they’re every foodie’s dream.
Snap wildlife and Konik ponies wandering around Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire
There’s something dreamy about the frost-covered reed beds, frozen water and wet grassland of Wicken Fen as the sun sets on a calm winter afternoon. Idyllic and full of wildlife (plus Highland cattle and Konik ponies), the grassy trail features a number of interesting artefacts including an old war office, windpump and Norman’s Bridge – perfect for panoramic views of the cloudscape.
Discover nature’s advent calendar at Stowe Gardens, Buckinghamshire
For one year only, the striking gardens at Stowe have been transformed into a giant natural advent calendar. Walk the pretty trail to discover 24 advent ‘doors’ dotted across the landscape, with enchantment around every corner. Featuring picturesque lakes, temples and statues, all wonderfully adorned for Christmas, it’s bound to get you in the festive spirit.
Rewind to the Regency era and explore the magnificent Lyme Park, Cheshire
Folllow in the footsteps of the iconic Pride and Prejudice as you take a wintry stroll around Pemberley house and grounds on the Lyme Park walking trail. Trek the 10k path and snap the deer on the high slopes, take in the quaint Paddock Cottage and enjoy miles of unspoilt views of the Cheshire Plain.
Take a bracing walk on the 6-mile path alongside the clear waters of the River Test in Hampshire
If ancient woods and historic farmland is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. See the valley glistening with frost and follow bear stone markers as you pass across the dew-kissed meadows of the Dunbridge springs and catch a glimpse of the west boundary of Mottisfont’s grounds, where the famous rose gardens lie beyond the red brick walls. The trail ends with an enchanting visit to Sparywell Woods, where you can spot winter wildlife and soak up the atmosphere of nature winding down.