7 Reasons to LOVE Winter Hiking in the UK

solo female hiker in winter
Winter hiking can be brutal. And for those of us (erm, me) who particularly love hiking on warm days with loads of long daylight hours, winter might not be our favourite season. But here are 7 reasons to love hiking in the UK in winter.


I’m not going to lie. I love Spring and Summer hiking the most of all. There’s just something about those incredibly long days that I just adore. I appreciate being able to come off a mountain at 9pm and it still be light. I like being able to hike in a t shirt.

But let’s be realistic here. I live in the UK. So if I want to hike all year round I’ve got to learn to love winter walking. I’ve only done 2 seasons of winter hiking really and in that time I’ve learned to love it. So here are 7 reasons you too should get on board with loving winter hiking.

1. No wasps or midgies!

Wasps? Where. Nowhere in winter. Midgies? Nope, none of those either. If there’s one thing I love the most about winter hiking, it’s not being harassed by horseflies, assaulted by wasps and bitten half to death by midgies.

2. Winter hiking kit shopping

I LOVE a cosy hat. Every winter is a solid excuse for me to go through my winter hiking equipment and top up an item or two. I justify this to myself with the excuse that “it’s so so important to be well equipped, particularly in cold weather.” 

And I like buying hiking gear. It’s kind of like a hobby in itself!

3. Quieter trails

Even the busiest mountains (looking at you, Ben Nevis and Snowdon) are quieter in the winter time.

For those of us who like the solitude of a solo hike on a quiet trail, that’s excellent news.

4. Sunrise is later

It’s perfectly feasible to catch both a sunrise and a sunset on the same hike without getting up or going to bed at unsociable hours.

I am not a fan of long dark nights. But the fact I can catch a sunrise at 7:30 and the sunset 8 hours later means that in winter, a hiking day involves both. That’s pretty magical.

5. Snow is so pretty

Ok, so it’s a pain in the backside to hike in, but the snowy views when you’re hiking are just so pretty.

One of my favourites is Helvellyn in the Lake District in the snow.

winter hiking helvellyn

Personally, I tend to like take Striding Edge up in the Spring or Summer. But as much as I love scrambling, I don’t do it in snowy conditions. I’m just not confident enough personally. So winter is when I take the route up from the other side. And just LOOK at those skies. The views in the lake district on a snowy but clear day are incredible. Winter hiking views are the most spectacular.

6. Snowy underfoot conditions are a real workout

For those of us who love the calorie burning benefits of hiking, a day on the hills with lying snow is one to love! Harder work, by far, hiking in the snow is a tougher workout than hiking on clear ground days.

7. When light is scarce, hiking is even more important

I don’t do well with the short days and the long hours of darkness. Like many others, I find it affects my mood. But even if light is scarce, I always feel better if I’ve spent those daylight hours outside hiking. Outdoors time is even more important to me in winter.

Welcome the winter hiking season…

Right now, it’s mid November. There’s no snow in England but snow already lies on the ground of the Cairngorms and other mountains in Scotland. So winter hiking is fast approaching.

Better get the crampons out…


Read On

Recent Posts

Hiking in Canada – What You Need to Know

Canada is a huge place with some of the best hiking in the world. While we couldn’t possibly claim to be able to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know in once single sentence, we can certainly offer up some key information for those of you planning a hiking led adventure break in arguably the most beautiful part of North America.

portable power banks for charging while hiking

Best Portable Charging Banks for Hiking

Traditionalists may not like it! But personally, I don’t like to risk being stuck on a hill or mountain with a dead phone or head torch battery. So I like to carry a portable charging device (or 2, or 3) with me. Here are the best portable charging banks for hiking that I’ve used. (And I’ve used a lot, by the way).

hiker looking at dovestone from above

The Hiker’s Guide to Dovestone

Dovestone is a beautiful place in the Peak District’s Dark peak, nestled amongst the Saddleworth Hills. But there’s far more for hikers here than reservoir walks. Here’s a hiker’s guide to Dovestone Reservoir and the surrounding hills.