Activities, Winter Guide

Winter activities in the UK

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. There are plenty of winter activities in the UK 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 be sure to have something warm and dry to change into, as the swell is big on the west facing beach when the wind blows from the south-west.

There’s plenty of breezy clifftop walks for those not wanting to brave the water and you’re only 10 minutes from YHA Treyarnon Bay where their roaring log burner is the warmest welcome you could ask for.

Get good and muddy biking in the Peaks

Britain’s National Parks are a mountain biker’s answer to the Holy Grail, none more so than the Peak District. There are great trails at every turn, and as long as you don’t mind a bit of mud then these are just as much fun and a damn sight more wild in winter.

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 Milfield near the rolling Cheviot Hills is the Kimmerston Riding Centre, an all ages and all abilities riding school offering a whole new way to experience the North East coastline. Enjoy a winter ride taking in the panoramic views of the coast and the hills as you ride across bracken moors and through quiet woodland. Looking ahead, from May to September the school run exclusive beach rides for experienced riders; taking you for a gallop on the clean, white sands of Holy Island. The centre is less than half an hour from YHA Berwick which is open for weekend stays during winter, or YHA Wooler (which opens its doors again in April) is a mere 14-minute drive away. Whenever you choose to go, you and your four-legged-friend are guaranteed a memorable adventure.

Previous ArticleNext Article