7 Winter Mountain Walks for Beginners
Getting outdoors is one of life's simple pleasures. A little fresh air and adventure can make a huge difference to both your body and mind. For some of us winter can put a stop to these outdoor ambitions, largely because it's too cold, too wet or you feel ill equipped.
While you do need a few more specific pieces of kit for winter walks, as well as the knowledge on how to use them, it's important to remember that the winter months and their weather conditions don't have to stop you. In fact, winter conditions for mountain walking can open up a whole world of possibilities and chances are you'll never look back. We've taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of seven of the best beginner mountain walks across areas from around the UK to help get you started.
Parking: Spittal of Glen Muick Car Park, AB35 5SU
Why it's great: A relatively remote area with a longer walk in, options for complete winter beginners or slightly more advanced beginners.
Things to consider: Spectacular views from the top of Lochnagar (providing the weather allows) as well as Glas-allt-Shiel, also known as ‘The Widow's House' by the side of Loch Muick. This is where Queen Victoria mourned the death of her husband Albert and an outbuilding has been donated as a bothy for those keen on overnight adventures.
Parking: Pont ar Daf Car Park, LD3 8NL
Why it's great: Terrain allows you to find your feet first before becoming slightly more challenging and steep at the top just before summiting, also routes can easily be made that little bit longer if you find you are particularly enjoying yourself.
Things to consider: This is a popular area for mountain races/challenges all year round. Arrive early to avoid disappointment with regards to parking but be sure to give any competitors you see a word of encouragement along the way.
Parking: Ambleside Town Centre, LA22 9AN
Why it's great: A less remote area that makes for shorter routes and more gentle terrain for more tentative explorers.
Things to consider: Perfect for building confidence and perhaps a little more convenient for heading straight for a post-walk feast, only to support the local economy of course!
MOURNE MOUNTAINS, NI
Photo Credit: Rossographer
Parking: Donard Car Park, BT33 0HL or Blood Bridge Car Park, BT33 0LA
Why it's great: Mostly not difficult terrain to tackle on main routes and feels remote without actually being particularly remote.
Things to consider: You'll see the Mourne Wall, built in the early 20th century to protect the Silent Valley Reservoir from contamination by cattle and sheep. Taking 22 years to build it stands over 2ft wide and over 4ft tall and passes over 15 different mountains.
Photo credit: Brian Ward
Parking: Edale, S33 7ZL
Why it's great: A great area for circular routes, not too remote and generally non-technical terrain.
Things to consider: Kinder Scout was the location for the Mass Trespass of ramblers in 1932, this was done as a protest to highlight lack of access to areas of open country and eventually resulted in legislation being passed allowing the ‘right to roam'.
Photo credit: Bob Smith
Parking: Horton in Ribblesdale, BD24 0HF
Why it's great: Gentle terrain to begin before becoming slightly more difficult and exposed towards the summit allowing you to get used to wintry conditions before the real challenge begins.
Things to consider: For the geological afficianados out there, you will likely pass close to Hull Pot - rumoured to be the largest natural hole in England at 300ft long, 60ft wide and 60ft deep.
Parking: Holyrood Park, EH8 8JD
Why it's great: Situated in the centre of Edinburgh it's a stone's throw from civilisation and offers predominantly gentle terrain while still offering some quality time gaining experience in the outdoors.
Things to consider: The landscape was formed by an extinct volcano system from the Carboniferous age which was then eroded by a glacier exposing the crags to the west (Salisbury Crags). Holyrood Palace, within Holyrood Park, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.
About the Author:
Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert
Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.