Walking is always a joy whatever the season, however Winter walking, in particular, has its own peculiar magic.
To me Winter means misty mornings, frosty cars, grey clouds, mellow light, fresh winds, and crisp afternoons. Sun junkies will no doubt stay indoors, but anyone with a bias for weather than inspires an atmosphere will revel in the sight of the fog drifting slowly over the moors and lakes, or a moody mountain vista. Grey days may seem dismal at any other time of the year, but when combined with winter hues they make the perfect backdrop.
Winter brings with it an abundance of delicious flavours with seasonal highlights including squash, wild mushrooms, chestnuts, apples, blackberries and quince. Roast dinners, blackberry and pear crumble with custard, all rounded off with a pint of ale spring to mind.
Scotland’s leaves change colour from September, making the dramatic display that appears at Loch Lomond the perfect destination. The wooded glens of the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve burst into fiery hues that reflect on the loch below, creating photogenic landscapes.
The Lake District is incredibly impressive during Autumn and Winter, whether you’re looking down from on top of a mountain or admiring the views from across a lake. Grizedale forest is particularly scenic, however in my humble opinion it’s Borrowdale that you should head to first to witness Winter in its full glory.
Further South the quaint towns and villages of the Cotswolds are the epitome of the British countryside with their traditional stone houses, winding country lanes and picturesque rivers. During October and November, when the leaves turn colourful and begin to fall from the trees, the area becomes particularly scenic with plenty of postcard worthy photo opportunities.
But the primary reason I love this time of year is simple: Nobody else is around.
That’s not strictly true, however there are definitely fewer visitors to contend with in the cold months, which means quieter footpaths, no screaming hordes to avoid, and more chance of bagging a fire-side seats at a country pub. What’s not to love?
If this sounds up your street then you should really start planning your Winter walking holiday today.