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7 Breathtaking winter hikes in the UK

7 Breathtaking winter hikes in the UK

Winter hikes bring their own challenges and rewards for the adventurous walker. From Roman ruins to the Welsh 3000s, we explore the best winter hikes in the UK

Great Gable, Lake District 

This is one of the most popular and well-loved Lakeland fells with 360-degree panoramic views. This mountain stands tall at 899m, and there are many different routes up to the summit, depending on how much of a challenge you want.

If you are Wainwright bagging—attempting to summit the 214 fells in the Lake District named after British fell walker and author Alfred Wainwright—then there are several other fells nearby that you can tie in with your hike.

This is an amazing hike in wintery conditions, but never underestimate how quickly the weather can change. Make sure you have the right equipment and plenty of layers, and a flask of your favourite warm drink to enjoy at the summit whilst you take in the views.

Estimated walk time: 4 hours

Length: 6.1km

Difficulty: Challenging

Y Garn via East Ridge, Snowdonia

View of Tryfan and Glyder Fach from the ascent of Y Garn in the Snowdonia National ParkY Garn is one of the 15 mountains that are over 3000ft tall in Wales

Part of the Welsh 3000s, this is a fab hike for beginners or solo hikers with a straightforward path. The route is flat for the first half a mile up to Llyn Idwal tarn, and once you reach the summit, you have incredible views over Ogwen Valley.

The views are incredible looking over to Tryfan and the Ogwen Valley, making it well worth the climb. 

Estimated walk time: 7.6km 

Length: 3 hours 50 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Mam Tor via Great Ridge, Peak District

Mam Tor (Mother Hill) stands at 517m, situated in the Peak District within the village of Castleton. This popular walk is great for solo hikers with an obvious path, and the route is usually busy, so there are always people about.

It boasts amazing views of Winnats Pass—a famous Limestone Gorge with an entrance to Speedwell Cavern.

Estimated walk time: 4 hours

Length: 12.9km

Difficulty: Moderate

Pen Y Ghent, Yorkshire Dales 

This is the smallest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks found in Horton in Ribblesdale in the Dales. This popular hike is another great one for solo hikers with a well-led path.

There is a great windbreak at the top to sit and take in the views.

There is an option to take the easier path with a gradual incline to the summit or the red route, which is more challenging. 

Estimated walk time: 10.5km

Length: 3 hours 40 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging, depending on the route

Buttermere Circular, Lake District 

Swimmers in still Buttermere Lake in Yorkshire on clear dayButtermere is a post-glacial lake that is great for wild swimming

This is a fun, family and dog-friendly trail with great views of the Lakeland Fells, including the famous Haystacks—Alfred Wainwright's favourite fell.

This route circulates around Buttermere, a once post-glacial lake. The lake is owned by The National Trust and is one and a half miles long, three quarters of a mile wide and 75 feet deep.

This is an easy route with a well marked track, perfect for hiking or fell running and also a great opportunity for any wild swimmers to take a dip in the lake.

There is the choice of two pubs at the end of the route—a great way to cosy up and enjoy a drink by the fire at the end of the walk. 

Expected walk time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Length: 6.9km

Difficulty: Easy

Pendle Hill, Lancashire

This hill is situated in the east of Lancashire, standing at 557m. It's famous for its links to the notorious witch trials of 1612.

This 9.3k route has a challenging incline of steps, but it's definitely worth it. Be sure to check the weather as it can be slippery underfoot for part of the route.

Expected walk time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Length: 9.3km

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Housesteads to Steel Rigg Circular, Hadrians Wall

Remains of Housestead's Roman Fort in NorthumberlandThis Northumberland hike takes walkers past ancient Roman landmarks like the Housesteads Roman Fort

This is a great hike for those who love a bit of history. On this hike, you can explore Hadrian's Wall, which was built in AD 122.

This route takes you to the famous lone tree at Sycamore Gap and the fascinating Housesteads Roman Fort.

This loop makes a good hike and also a scenic run with breathtaking views of the landscape. 

Expected walk time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Length: 10km

Difficulty: Moderate

Catherine Lauris is part of Merrell Hiking Club, a women-centric digital platform and community which aims to bring representation, inclusivity, accessibility, and community spirit to the hiking world

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