As people begin to dust off their hiking equipment and start their healthy January habits, I decided to speak to those wonderful outdoor experts at Blacks’ who have put together a list of their favourite winter hikes across the UK; plus, get their top tips on heading outdoors this season.
Grisedale Pike & Hopegill Head: Recommended by Katy Tunney
Grisedale Pike rises over the small village of Braithwaite, close to Keswick. Reaching the summit of Grisedale Pike can be achieved along a selection of routes that vary in difficulty and distance, many of which are looped.
Katy says: “The beauty of Grisdale Pike is that there are several looped routes to choose from and they all vary in distance and difficulty.
“It’s important to plan and research the route in advance and let someone know where you’re going. It’s also important to check the forecast and consider sunrise/sunset times.”
Aonach Eagach, Glencoe: Recommended by Liam Campbell
Aonach Eagach is an exposed and challenging ridge lying to the north of Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. A high fitness level and scrambling skill is required.
Liam says: “Glencoe offers breathtaking scenery, especially in winter and it’s a favourite because it has a vast selection of walks and climbs up tremendous peaks.
“Planning and ensuring you have the correct equipment is fundamental during winter. And always check the Avalanche Forecasts on the Be Avalanche Aware app before you plan for a specific summit.”
The Trinnacle (Saddleworth Moor): Recommended by Joe Dambra
The Trinnacle is an isolated three-pronged rock formation which soars above the Greenfield Valley. Located on the north-western edge of the Peak District National Park.
Joe says: “The Trinnacle has got to be one of my favourite places to go for a winter hike. The walk itself is quite easy, bar the climb up the brook. There are great vistas to enjoy the whole way there.
“I would recommend getting snow spikes as they make a massive difference. You will also need lots of layers (definitely breathable) as when hiking uphill you will get warm very quickly.”
Sca fell & Mickledore: Recommended by Michael Lazenby
Mickledore is a narrow and challenging ridge which connects the mountains of Sca Fell and Scafell Pike.
Michael says: “One of my favourite mountains in this area is Sca Fell. The hike up to Mickledore Ridge, which bridges Sca Fell to Scafell Pike is an exhilarating hike in all seasons, but especially in winter.
“Having a proper coat that will keep you warm is essential, as well as tools such as crampons and an ice axe in case you need them. Always remember to stay within your own limits and buddying up with someone is best.”
Wensleydale, The Yorkshire Dales: Recommended by Wendy McDonnell
The circular walk from the National Park Centre at Aysgarth in Wensleydale takes in three flights of waterfalls. This relaxing hike is a favourite with photographers.
Wendy says: “Winter is my favourite season in The Yorkshire Dales. A favourite hike for me is a 6-mile route starting at Aysgarth Falls. This walk would normally only take 2-3 hours.
“Make sure you know when sunset is and the Dales can be quiet so let someone know where you are walking and when you will be back. In particular, make sure you have warm footwear, gloves and a hat. Take a warm drink and some food with you.”
The Glyderau, Snowdonia: Recommended by Phil & Sam
The Glyderau is a mountain range in Snowdonia, North Wales. This rocky range has multiple access points along the Ogwen Valley and also from the Llanberis pass.
Phil says: “My favourite winter route is a circular route of the Glyderau, an iconic mountain range in North Wales. This circular trail offers so much variation and unreal views across Snowdonia.
“Always have a plan B, if conditions have taken a turn, then a more manageable route should always be considered.”
You can view the full research here: https://www.blacks.co.uk/blog/stunning-winter-hikes