Windswept summits, frost-tipped peaks and full, gushing valleys; there’s something a bit special about a winter adventure. The feeling of putting your feet up in front of a warm fire when you’re fresh-air-tired isn’t bad either. Winter is a great time for walking, but don’t let the cold put you off something a bit more adventurous. England and Wales are full to bursting with wild ways to get your fix of the outdoors in winter, whatever the weather.
Surf the Cornish Waves
A veritable mecca of British surfing, Cornwall’s sun-kissed beaches and impressive swells see visitors flocking to the waves during summer. But, for the gnarliest of surfers, the winter months offer just as much fun and an even bigger adventure.
Harlyn Beach on the north side of the peninsula is great for those new to riding the winter waves as its crescent-shaped bay makes it one of the safer, novice-friendly beaches. A wet suit is a must and
There’s plenty of breezy
Get good and muddy biking in the Peaks
Britain’s National Parks
Hope Valley and the Vale of Edale are usually safe bets for this time of year because, even when the rain’s been heavy, their tracks don’t get too muddy. Mam Tor dominates the skyline, with ridgeline trails over Edale to the north of Hope to the south, you can choose a short loop or plan a full day excursion.
With 10 YHAs to choose from in the Peaks, you could even plan a weekend of biking from hostel to hostel across some of the most stunning countryside in the known universe. YHA Hathersage, YHA Ravenstor and YHA Eyam all have great bike storage facilities.
Run through the Welsh hills
And the hills don’t get much bigger than those in the Snowdonia National Park. Snowdonia’s soaring heights, deep valleys and impressive lakes sit in that sweet spot between dramatic wilderness and picturesque beauty and offers enough trail running potential to keep even the most committed enthusiast busy.
YHA Betws-y-Coed is perfectly placed to be your base for running excursions, nestled in the heart of an AONB with routes galore on its doorstep. There are a number of waymarked trails from Betws-y-Coed that are easy to follow, the Llyn Elsi Trail takes you around a beautiful hidden lake and, if you follow the Jubilee path, the experience is relatively mud free.
Take the (horse) reins in Northumberland
We’ve all had the daydream about galloping into the sunset atop a dramatic hilltop skyline, right? Well, now you can make that dream a reality by planning a weekend of horse-riding in Northumberland. Stabled in the village of