Walk your way with ramblers this winter

By Nigel Booth
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 8:02 am
All generations can enjoy a winter ramble (photo: Ramblers)

Tips and inspiration for stepping out this season, Sophia Khan reports

Whether you’re a nature wanderer, adventurous hiker or weekend walker and talker, there’s no one way to ramble.

Blowing off the cobwebs on a winter woodland walk (photo: Ramblers)

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Winter days may be shorter and colder but getting out in the fresh air is always worth it.

Embrace the season

This winter The Ramblers is encouraging everyone to embrace the season, wrap up warm and get out exploring, with their Walk Your Way in Winter campaign.

From short coffee strolls with friends in your local park to hearty hikes through winter woodlands, hills or along bracing coastlines, there really is a lot to love about winter walking.

So, don’t spend the winter indoors – you’ll feel a lot better if you make the best of the short days by spending time outdoors as much as possible.

From warming treats to epic skies, winter walks can be just as much fun if you grab your coat and gloves and get out there.

Keen rambler Eve

Eve Maunder, who joined East Devon Ramblers five years ago, said: “I have a particular soft spot for walking in winter. I love getting all wrapped up in a cosy coat, scarf, gloves and hat and I’m ready to go."

Devon Rambler Eve Maunder (photo: Ramblers)

Eve added: “As soon as you get going and the blood starts circulating around your body, you forget about the chill. Plus, it’s a really sociable activity too.”

Maggi Rogers, who enjoys winter walks on Dartmoor with North Devon Ramblers, said: “Cake is an absolute must for a winter walk!

“I pack a small piece of fruit cake and a piece of chocolate cake, the intention is to have one piece at coffee time and one at lunch but confess I often eat both at coffee.

“The great thing about walking with The Ramblers is that there are walks throughout the year and it is so good to get out in winter really, whatever the weather – the colours of the bracken and moorland in the low winter light looks stunning.”

The benefits of walking in winter (photo: The Ramblers)

More of us than ever have enjoyed heading out for a walk and connecting with nature over the past 18 months, but it can be a little harder to find the motivation to get outside over the winter months.

Feel the benefit of winter walking

We all feel better for getting out in the daylight, and a winter wander is a great way to boost your mood and top up your essential dose of vitamin D.

Meeting friends from Ramblers on winter walk (photo: Ramblers)

If you need a little encourage-ment to get you walking when it’s more tempting to stay cosy indoors, The Ramblers has some top tips to help you make the most of walking your way in winter.

With the Ramblers, you can walk your way

The Ramblers, you can find your path with our library packed with tried and tested routes on our app.

Be inspired by stories of places, people and campaigns that matter to you with Walk magazine. Stride out in good company and discover new places with 500 Ramblers groups.

Enjoying a ramble in East Lothian, Scotland (photo: Ross Parker/SNS Group)

Together we’ll increase access to green spaces, open up more places to walk and boost Britain’s wellbeing, one step at a time.

The Ramblers has created a free, downloadable ‘bingo card’ packed with inspirations, tips and challenges to try out so visit www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/walk-in-winter website.

Get further inspiration to help you get the most out of your winter walking, and to #WalkYourWay. Share your winter walking photos with the #WalkYourWay hashtag.

Top tips:

  1. If you’re going for a winter walk be prepared for the dark with a head torch (and spare batteries).
  2. Reflective clothing is a great option in winter too.
  3. Check the weather forecast before you go. Layer up. Lots of light layers you can take off and put on are the best option, with a thermal base layer. And don’t forget those waterproofs!
  4. Winter walkers are rewarded with dramatic scenery; snow, frost, frozen lakes, bright winter berries and bare tree branches can be really magical and offer a completely different view on familiar landscapes.
  5. Winter offers great opportunities for budding photographers to capture nature and wildlife.Try a bracing coastal walk – the seaside isn’t just for summer. Winter gives a different aspect to the beach and the sea breeze is sure to blow away those winter cobwebs.

Ramblers winter walking YouGov Poll:

As Brits fall in love with walking, new statistics recently revealed by The Ramblers show the value we are placing on walking this winter to boost our health and wellbeing. So why would you want to walk?

1 Enjoying being in nature would encourage 48.6 per cent to walk.

2 A total of 37 per cent said getting off the sofa would encourage them to do so.

3 Nearly a third of respondents 30 per cent saw themselves as ‘health walkers’ who walked regularly to improve their health and wellbeing.

4 Around 36.3 said they walked to relax, perhaps at weekends.

5 Only seven per cent said they were reluctant walkers, demonstrating just how much the British have embraced walking.

6 Around 41.4 per cent were deterred from walking by higher chance of rain.

7 Around 31 per cent were deterred by colder temperatures.

8 Around 32.6 per cent discouraged by early darkness.

9 Around 30 per cent put off by higher risk of ice or snow.

Keen rambler Maggi Rogers (photo: Ramblers)

Ramblers urge you to find out more

These new statistics are released as part of The Ramblers’ Walk Your Way in Winter campaign to encourage everyone to embrace the season and get the maximum enjoyment from walking in winter.

The Ramblers director of Advocacy and Operations Tom Platt said: “Enjoying walking, connecting with nature, and getting fresh air are things that more of us than ever have valued since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and, as we head into winter, the Ramblers is here to inspire and encourage everyone to embrace the season and get the most out of being outdoors.”

For a free-to-download ‘bingo card’ packed with challenges to complete with friends and family, a chance to find out what type of walker you are, top tips for winter walking and more visit www.ramblers.org.uk/walkinwinter website.

You can find your nearest Ramblers group or group walk visiting the www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking.aspx website.

The Ramblers work to help everyone enjoy the benefits of walking and protect and expand the places we love to walk is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.