Five Winter Walks in Britain and What to Wear

A woman wearing a turquoise jacket from The North Face in our guide to winter walks in Britain.

Pull on your walking boots, don your waterproof and make sure you have packed your Kendal mint cake; it’s time to embrace the elements and embark on an adventure! Hiking is one of the best ways to see the British countryside, scramble to the top of a fell to discover the Lake District from above or follow the route of our ancestors to take a step back in time.

We have collected together our top five winter walks and hikes in Britain to give you a bit of inspiration for days out with the family (or for a bit of peace and quiet away from them!). From walks suitable for beginners of all ages to the more difficult hikes for the climbing connoisseur, read on to discover the top five walks (in no particular order, we’re not biased) as well as tips on what to wear to keep you protected from the cold weather.

Our Top Five Winter Walks

  1. Hadrian’s Wall Walk, Northumberland

    Where is it?

    Immerse yourself in the countryside and the history that surrounds it by walking along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. Spanning from coast to coast from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway, the route will take you through small towns, cities, Roman forts and castles. Choose between the epic coast to coast trek along the full length of the wall or simply choose a section to explore.

    How easy is the walk to navigate?

    The Hadrian’s Wall Trail is clearly marked with the acorn symbol along the entire route so it’s very easy to follow. Easy peasy!

    How difficult is the Hadrian’s Wall Walk?

    The terrain along the Hadrian’s Wall walk is mostly grass (apart from a section of tarmac in Tyneside) which makes the trail accessible to the majority of people. It requires a reasonable level of fitness to complete the entire walk but is relatively easy to follow, but at 84 miles (or 135km) it will be a bit of a challenge! Shorter walks along the wall can be downloaded here if you’re walking with the whole family or fancy a breath of fresh air during winter.

    How long will it take to complete?

    To complete the full Hadrian’s Wall Walk will take around 6 to 7 days so make sure you have mapped out the route and have found places to stay along the way. There are also great museums and Roman sites along the route so you may want to take a little extra time to explore. There are over 15 shorter walks along Hadrian’s Wall, each varying in length and difficulty.

    What should you wear for walking along Hadrian’s Wall?

    Walking along Hadrian’s Wall in winter can be truly rewarding with amazing views and beautiful countryside, but you need to ensure that you’re prepared to be outside for long periods of time, especially if you’re walking the full length of the trail.

    To keep you warm and protected during your walk we recommend investing in a well-insulated jacket like this men’s Jack Wolfskin Zenon XT Jacket or this women’s Columbia Women’s Platinum 860 Turbodown Jacket, perfect for fending off the winter chill! Also, check out the full Columbia range at The Hut for great gloves complete with conductive finger tips so you can use your smartphone without having to brave the cold.

  2. Coledale Horsehoe, Lake District

    Where is it?

    Beginning in Braithwaite in the Lake District, this circular route takes you through seven of the famous Wainwright Fells before looping back to Braithwaite. This is one of the Lake District’s most challenging (and iconic) walks. It’s a beautiful walk that allows you to climb 8 of the Wainwright Fells.

    How easy is the walk to navigate?

    You will need to be able to read a map for this walk or follow instructions from a trusted walking resource, there are paths and routes along the way as well as the traditional stone markers but if there is snow or inclement weather conditions, it may be trickier to navigate. It’s well worth it to see the views along the ridges!

    How difficult is the Coledale Horseshoe Walk?

    This is one for the more experienced walkers if you tackle it in winter as the snowy conditions make it more difficult to traverse, you will require good hiking boots and, depending on the conditions, an ice axe. Make sure to check the weather forecast before you begin as it can be dangerous when there is snow and strong winds. As always, before you embark on a walk, make sure someone knows your route and when you’re likely to finish, just in case.

    How long will it take to complete?

    The walk is around 10 miles (or 16km) long and loops back on itself so you end where you started, very handy for leaving your car or having a celebratory pint in Braithwaite. In good conditions it should take around 6 to 7 hours but in worse weather condition, allow yourself an hour or two extra to complete the route.

    What should you wear for walking the Coledale Horseshoe?

    This walk will require performance wear to ensure you stay as warm and dry as possible, especially if there are snowy, rainy or windy conditions. The Hut has a great range of Jack Wolfskin performance sportswear including base layers, fleeces, shoes, gloves and waterproof jackets. Shop the full range here.

  3. Anglesey Coastal Path, North Wales

    Where is it?

    The Anglesey Coastal path does what it says on the tin, it follows the route around the Isle of Anglesey and 95% of it falls within a designated area of outstanding beauty passing through a mixture of coastal heath, grass, dunes, farmland, cliffs and woodland. The official starting point St Cybi’s Church, Holyhead.

    How easy is the walk to navigate?

    The route is split up into 12 walks but if you are aiming to complete the entire 125 miles (or 200km) mile route it will take around 13 to 14 days aiming for around 10 miles a day, which should be an achievable pace for most walkers. You can find further information and maps here.

    How difficult is the Anglesey Coastal Path?

    The route is relatively easy terrain but the length of it makes it a very challenging walk overall! But, if you fancy trying out one of the 12 shorter walks around the island, these can be done in a day and aren’t too strenuous.

    How long will it take to complete?

    If you complete the full route, it will take around 13 to 14 days to cover the 125 miles (or 200km) around the island. If you complete the whole route you are able to claim a badge and a certificate to mark your achievement!

    What should you wear for walking along the Anglesey Coastal Path?

    For the route you need to make sure you’re comfortable, dry and warm throughout. The North Face range available on The Hut is perfect as it is a mixture of light base layers, warm hoodies, jackets, trousers and hiking boots. Try theRegatta range at The Hut for a selection of waterproof clothing and warm layers.

  4. Malvern Hills, Worcestershire

    Where is it?

    The Malvern hills are a 15km range of beautiful hills that divide the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, close to the city of Worcester and the town of Great Malvern.

    How easy is the walk to navigate?

    There is direct walking access from the town of Great Malvern via the path and steps up to St Anns. From here there are 6 Trail Guides (which can be picked up from the Tourist Information Centre) which detail circular walks of around 4km each. They’re easy to follow and perfect for a winter walk. Or you can walk from end to end of the hills which is around 10 miles or the circular walk around the full length of the hills and back which is 18 miles.

    How difficult is the Malvern Hills to Worcester walk?

    The highest point of the hills is the Worcestershire Beacon which stands at 425m, there are 20 hills in total and the terrain is relatively easy to navigate through whatever the weather. Visit the Malvern Hills site here for further information or download maps from here.

    How long will it take to complete?

    Depending on which walk you opt for an easy walk or the full circular walk, the times will of course differ. The easy walks should be around an hour whereas the longer walks should be around 9-10 hours.

    What should you wear for walking along Malvern Hills to Worcester walk?

    These walks shouldn’t be too strenuous and unless the weather conditions are adverse, you won’t require technical sportswear. We’d recommend a sturdy waterproof jacket and layers to protect you from the elements. Try out Jack Wolfskin and Dare2B for a great range of waterproof jackets.

  5. White Cliffs of Dover, Kent

    Where is it?

    Beginning at Langdon Cliffs in Dover, Kent, the walk takes you along the famous White Cliffs of Dover to South Foreland Lighthouse.

    How easy is the walk to navigate?

    The coast path is clearly marked and signposted so it should be easy to follow the whole route, keep the sea to your right and venture along the path. The views are amazing so this is best for a clear, winter’s day. Make sure to take in the views of the French coast along the way.

    How difficult is it to walk along the White Cliffs of Dover?

    The terrain on this walk is often uneven and there are a few steep slopes along the way, but overall it’s quite a steady walk. Be careful if taking children or dogs along with you as the surface can be slippery when wet and the cliff edge is dangerous.

    How long will it take to complete?

    The coastal path along the white cliffs of Dover will take you around an hour and a half to cover the distance of 4 miles (or 6.4km), perfect for working off that Sunday dinner!

    What should you wear for walking along the White Cliffs of Dover?

    Aim to complete this walk on a clear day so (fingers crossed) you shouldn’t need a waterproof, The North Face have some great fleeces for men and women at great prices to keep you warm throughout your walk.

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Clare Potts

Clare Potts

Lifestyle Editor

If I’m not at my desk poring over my favourite blogs and online magazines for inspiration, you’ll find me exploring the fells of the Lake District, trying out a new restaurant or styling my future home on Pinterest.

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