ViewRanger asks are these the best winter walks?

Posted on 12/12/2012

For many people a good winter walk can lift the spirits and provide an opportunity to escape the shops and share some quality time with friends and family.

Here are our selection of the best winter walks – if you have a favourite winter walk do let us know. 


Pooh's Favourite Places in Ashdown Forest

4.38 miles, medium, Walking World

WW3.jpgThe Ashdown Forest looks spectacular in a frost and one of the places popular with younger members of the family is the 'Pooh sticks' bridge.  

This walk by Ian Runcie visits many of the places associated with Winnie the Pooh. It is designed for children but it can be muddy and there are some hilly bits. 

For adults there are some excellent pubs in this beautiful area which is only a couple of hours from London.


Ham House from Kingston Mill0015

8.68 miles, easy 

For those who want to stay in the city, this walk offers lots to see from the River Thames, through to Richmond Park.  

It also offers glimpses of Ham House, where the film Anna Karenina, released  in September 2012,  was made. This, the latest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s great novel, starred Keira Knightley in the title role with Jude Law playing her husband Aleksei Karenin and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky. 

Ham House and its garden are closed over New Year but can be seen from this walk.  It is one of a series of grand houses and palaces alongside the River Thames. 


Chatsworth House - The Palace of the Peak

4.47 miles, easy, AA

Another grand house that looks good in winter is the National Trust's Chatsworth House and there are many walks in and near the grounds. The tearooms, restaurant and giftshop are open all winter.  

This walk takes you on a climb through the woods to see a lake, crags and a wonderful view of the Derwent Valley.


Snettisham Woods, Beach and RSPB Reserve

WW1.jpg10.63 mile, easy walk, Walking World.

At this time of year huge numbers of waterfowl collect on the Wash.  Snettisham, in Norfolk, is one of the best places to go to see them.

This area of outstanding natural beauty, hosts two of the UK’s great wildlife spectacles; huge flocks of pink footed geeze leaving their night-time roost at dawn and massive clouds of wading birds rising from the mudflats ahead of the tide. 

On this walk, by Joy & Charles Boldero, there is an opportunity to see hen harriers and peregrines hunting, as well as pink footed geese and golden eyes down on the mudflats. 

The RSPB recommends timing your visit to coincide with a tide that is high enough to cover all the mudflats. As this is when, 30 minutes before high tide, you will be able to see massive flocks of wading birds leaving the mudflats.

If you want to stay overnight to watch the 'pink footed goose spectacular' which is an hour or so after dawn then you might want to check for local accommodation in LateRooms selection.

In this amazing spectacle tens of thousands of geese fly overhead in V-shaped formations, all calling loudly before returning to the mudflats at dusk for the night.

Nagshead RSPB Reserve

2.3 miles, easy, Walking World.

WW2.jpgMore birds can be seen at the Nagshead Reserve, near Coleford in the heart of the Forest of Dean . The good paths make this an easy walk even in the winter according to Pat Roberts.  There are always plenty of birds to see and several bird hides to visit. 

Flocks of siskins and lesser redpolls feed on the alder trees along the Cannop Brook and occasionally woodpeckers can be seen at this time. Mandarin ducks can often be seen on the reserve and in nearby ponds and lakes. 


Tintern - the Old Station and Caswell Wood 

3.77 miles, easy. 

There is lots to see at the award winning Tintern Old Station which also has an award winning Victorian tearoom. 

A small dedicated team works at the tea room and all the cakes are made on the premises early each morning in the ticket office ‘kitchen’. The specialties include Welsh cakes and dragon scones (made with dragon cheese – chilli hot) and served with chilli jam. 

This walk will take longer than the time specified if you visit the many craft shops and the visitor centre. It is possible to shorten the walk to 2.5 miles with no height gain other than the steps up to the Old Station.

These are some of our best winter walks hope you enjoy them.

All of the routes are easy to download to any Apple, Android or Symbian mobile device and they can be stored on your device, including the marked path on the map along with the text descriptions and, in many cases, photo's of the trail.

The routes can be found by searching and downloading in-app via the 'routes' option. They can also be downloaded via My.ViewRanger.

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