UK holidays: Best winter walk named – and it’s an absolute ‘mood booster’

Fern Britton gets ‘battered’ by strong during her walk

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The pandemic has turned most Britons into nature lovers, new research shows. Almost half of Britons planned on making the most of the great British outdoors this winter, proving the cold and wet was no match for their newfound appreciation.

Britons have never been more aware of the importance of taking care of their mental health, and 88 percent believed getting out in nature was beneficial.

The country was planning on holidaying on the coast, in rural destinations, small towns and villages and national parks, research shows.

Yonder wellbeing expert and chartered psychologist, Suzy Reading, said: “At such a bleak time, nature offered us all the perfect escape from everything going on. It gave us space, a change of scene, and an opportunity to reconnect, not only with our loved ones, but with the natural world around us. It also gave us a powerful antidote to the sensory overload we were all feeling after being glued to technology – whether for work, home-schooling or socialisation.”

New research by Ramblers agreed with Yonder’s findings.

Britain’s largest walking charity found “getting some fresh air” to be the most popular motivation for getting out in nature.

Health and wellbeing were also cited, and only seven percent of respondents said they were reluctant walkers.

Tom Platt, Director of Advocacy and Operations for the Ramblers said: “A winter walk has proven health and wellbeing benefits, like topping up your Vitamin D levels and boosting your mood.”

One of the main reasons for avoiding a walk was, unsurprisingly, the weather.

However, there were some great ways to end a winter walks including getting a hot drink and getting cosy in front of a warm fire.

Helen Thomas, Secretary for the Ramblers’ Tawe Trekkers group for younger walkers in Wales, said: “I love walking in winter! For example, when there’s a hard frost the ground crunches under your feet, and I like to stop and admire the icy formations created by the freezing cold winds on blades of grass, fences and rocky crags when walking high in the Brecon Beacons.”

Britons who decide to head out for a walk are spoiled for choice.

There are plenty of great walks to choose from all over the UK, but Holiday Cottages picked their top five, a good place as any to get inspiration for Britons’ next walk.

From 13 miles to under two miles, challenging to easy, there was a walk for everyone on the list.

Coming top was an easy two miles walk in Heddon Valley, taking in the wooded valley and the rocky beach, and ending in a local pub for some maximum motivation.

In second place was the 7.5 miles Tintern Abbey and Devil’s Pulpit walk.

The abbey is beautiful all year round, but it was noted how “truly superb” a sight it was in winter.

In third place was the challenging Beatrix Potter walk.

At 13 miles, this was the longest walk on the list, but promised a fantastic winter day to literary and outdoorsy fans.

In fourth place was the Blakeney Freshes walk.

Three miles of easy trail, the North Norfolk coastal path will give bird lovers plenty of opportunities to spot some feathery wildlife.

Rounding up the top five was Corfe Castle.

The moderate walk was variable, from 1.5 to five miles, depending on how far walkers wanted to go.

From a short walk around the village and up to the castle to a longer stroll to Kimmeridge bay, Britons were sure to find something to suit their taste.

Shannon Keary, Digital PR Manager at Holiday Cottages said: “These great routes across such picturesque places make the perfect activity for a crisp winter’s day. What better way to keep yourself warm by soaking up the sights of these amazing places which are right on our doorstep?”

The UK best winter walks

1. Heddon Valley, North Devon

2. Tintern Abbey and Devil’s Pulpit, Wye Valley

3. Beatrix Potter Walk, Sawrey, Lake District

4. Blakeney Freshes, Blakeney, Norfolk

5. Corfe Castle, Dorset

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