I couldn’t help but laugh at the ‘United Kingdom travel guide‘ article on the Wanderlust website:
There’s not much to recommend the UK in winter. Daylight hours are too short to enjoy outdoor sights and the weather can be foul.
I guess the poor things at the Wanderlust site hibernate or somesuch as they are missing out on great hiking in the UK’s winter countryside.
So, to put the record straight here’s five reasons why UK winter hiking is FAB.
- Walking the first morning after a snowfall is wonderful. The day is fresh and the landscape utterly transformed. Start early and have fun identifying animal tracks, breaking iced-over puddles and throwing snowballs at scarecrows. Big fun!
- You don’t have to get up early to start a walk early, if you see what I mean. I love starting walks as the sun is rising. The dawn chorus is in full swing, the light on the countryside is focused and sharp, nature is bursting out all around. In summer you’ll need to get up at 4.30am for this, in winter 7am is just fine.
- The same applies for sunsets. A north Norfolk beach in December at 3.30pm is ablaze with reds, pinks and oranges as the sun starts its swift descent westwards. The wind picks up, birds are heading home to roost and that pub a few miles away starts to sound like a very good idea. Winter is also great for night-hikes, no more waiting around for 10.30pm, hurrah!
- Ah yes, pubs. A country pub is always a fine idea after a long hike but is doubly good when one stumbles in out of the cold cold to find a roaring fire and best bitter on the go.
- Less people around, including the Wonderbust hedgehogs.