There’s nothing like a good winter walk to refresh your mind, body and soul. The feeling of the wind in your face, fresh air in your lungs and the sight of beautiful landscapes is perfect for blowing the cobwebs away. Including rolling hills, tree-lined landscapes, snowy peaks and wild ponies, here’s our pick of winter walks we think you’ll love. Just remember to wrap up warm.
Manifold Valley: Peak District National Park
Image by steve p2008
The Peak District National Park is home to many wonderful walks but in our opinion, Manifold Valley is up there with the best. Blending man-made wonders with moments of natural tranquillity, the Valley includes a nine-mile circular track that is ideal for cyclists, young families with pushchairs, and people in wheelchairs. Hikers able to complete the full circuit will see the stone built village of Wetton, flowing rivers, and get to explore Tor’s Cave.
Situated on its doorstep, Hallmark Hotel Derby Midland is the ideal base from which to plan a day’s walking in the Peak District National Park.
Another walk suitable for the whole family is Charlecote Park, a grand 16th-century house surrounded by its own deer park, offering kids a fantastic opportunity to spot ‘Rudolph’ on a rare day off this winter. A winter stroll around the park features gorgeous views back to the house, sweeping scenes of frost-kissed fields, plus icy rivers and lakes. If you want to take your furry best friend for a well-deserved walk, you’ll be pleased to know the park has its own dedicated dog-walking route, complete with waste bins.
Dog-friendly and located less than five miles from Charlecote Park, Hallmark Hotel The Welcombe is a great place to relax and unwind after a day’s exploring.
The New Forest Wildlife Park spreads across 200 square miles and includes close to 150 miles of routes, carved out especially for walking and cycling. The Park’s official site has mapped out lots fun routes that combine tall trees, evergreens, and a diversity of native wildlife. Although all these walks are spectacular this time of year, if pressed, we’d have to narrow our top picks to Acres Down and Whitefield Moor. Both offer keen walkers spectacular sunrises and sunsets, fairytale woodland views, plus the distinct possibility of bumping into wild pigs and ponies along the way.
Less than 20 miles from the New Forest, Hallmark’s two Bournemouth hotels provide a comfortable starting and finishing point for a day’s adventure.
Loch Muick Nature Reserve
Image by Neil Williamson
Loch Muick Nature Reserve includes a level circuit that looks particularly stunning in cold weather, with snow-covered peaks and ice on the loch. Equally, winter is a great time of the year to see the wild deer, red squirrels and leaping salmon that call Loch Muick home. This waterside walk also includes the remarkable Glas-allt-Shie lodge built by Queen Victoria, optional waterfall detours, old birch woodland to explore, and lots of rare plants and flowers.
The Hallmark Hotel Aberdeen Airport enjoys a stellar location for discovering North East Scotland and the idyllic nature reserves nearby.
Chester Wall Walk
In a poll of 15,000 people, Chester was recently named one of the top five romantic walks in the UK. Immaculately preserved, the ancient wall that circles the city makes for a wonderful winter walk. As you tackle the two-mile circuit, you’ll experience amazing views of the world-famous Eastgate Clock, Chester Cathedral, the four main gates, and a castle founded by William the Conqueror in 1070. Chester is a picturesque city at any time of the year, but few would argue that its historic landscapes don’t look even better with a light frosting or sprinkle of snow.
Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen Combines excellent value for money and all the modern comforts you’ll need to relax after hiking the city walls.