Winter hiking in the UK can be a magical and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and dangers. From unpredictable weather conditions and slippery trails to snow-covered mountains and frozen rivers, the UK’s winter hiking trails can be unforgiving to the unprepared hiker. But with the right preparation, knowledge, and gear, you can safely explore the beauty of the UK’s winter landscapes and enjoy a truly memorable hiking experience. Here are our top 15 tips for hiking in the UK during the winter season:
1. Check the weather forecast and plan your route accordingly
Before setting out on a winter hike, it’s essential to check the weather forecast and plan your route accordingly. In the UK, winter weather can be unpredictable and change quickly, so it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities. Make sure to check the weather forecast for the area you’ll be hiking in and plan your route accordingly.
2. Dress in layers
Dressing in layers is one of the most important tips for hiking in the UK during the winter season. Layering your clothes will help to keep you warm and comfortable, and also allow you to easily adjust to changing weather conditions. Start with a base layer made of moisture-wicking material to keep you dry, followed by a mid-layer for insulation, and a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
3. Wear appropriate footwear
Choosing the right footwear is crucial for hiking in the UK during the winter season. Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots with good traction are essential to help you navigate slippery and snow-covered trails. Make sure to choose boots with a thick, insulated sole and a durable upper to protect your feet from the cold and wet.
4. Carry extra warm clothing and emergency gear
Winter hiking in the UK can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to carry extra warm clothing and emergency gear with you. This includes items such as extra gloves, hats, and socks, as well as a first-aid kit, a map, and a compass. It’s also a good idea to carry a whistle and a signalling device, such as a mirror or a flare, in case you need to attract attention.
6. Start your hike early
Starting your hike early in the morning is a good idea for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to avoid the busiest times on the trails and enjoy a more peaceful hiking experience. Secondly, it gives you plenty of time to reach your destination before the sun sets and the temperature starts to drop. And thirdly, it gives you a better chance of spotting wildlife and other natural phenomena, such as frost-covered landscapes and snow-capped mountains.
7. Be prepared for icy and slippery trails
Winter hiking in the UK often involves dealing with icy and slippery trails, so it’s important to be prepared and take extra caution. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear with good traction, and use hiking poles or ice axes to help you navigate steep and slippery sections of the trail. Be extra careful when crossing streams or rivers, as they may be frozen over or swollen with melting snow.
8. Take regular breaks to avoid hypothermia
Hypothermia is a real risk when hiking in the UK during the winter season, so it’s important to take regular breaks to avoid it. Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops too low, and it can be dangerous if not treated promptly. To avoid hypothermia, make sure to take regular breaks to warm up and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
9. Stay on the marked trails and avoid off-trail hiking
Winter hiking in the UK can be challenging, and it’s important to stay on the marked trails and avoid off-trail hiking. This is especially true in remote and mountainous areas, where the snow and ice can make navigation difficult and the risk of getting lost or injured is higher. Stick to the marked trails and follow the route map provided by the park or trail association to avoid getting lost or injured.
10. Consider joining a guided hike
If you’re new to winter hiking in the UK or if you’re planning to hike in a remote or challenging area, it’s a good idea to consider joining a guided hike. Guided hikes are led by experienced and knowledgeable hikers who know the area well and can provide valuable advice and tips for staying safe and enjoying your hike. Guided hikes are also a great way to meet other hikers and make new friends.
11. Celebrate the holiday season with a Christmas or New Year’s Eve hike
What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a festive hike in the UK’s beautiful winter landscapes? A Christmas or New Year’s Eve hike is a great way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, and it’s also a great way to stay active and healthy during the holiday season. You can even finish your hike with a warm and hearty meal at a cosy pub, and toast to the new year with a pint of your favourite ale.
11. Pack plenty of snacks
Hiking in the UK during the winter season can be energy-sapping, so it’s important to pack plenty of snacks to keep your energy levels up. High-energy snacks such as nuts, dark chocolate, and dried fruit are a great way to keep you going, and they can also be a great way to break up your hike and enjoy the views.
12. Check the wind chill
In addition to checking the weather forecast, it’s also important to check the wind chill when planning your winter hike. Wind chill is a measure of how cold the air feels on exposed skin, and it can be significantly colder than the actual air temperature. Make sure to check the wind chill and dress accordingly to avoid getting cold and uncomfortable.
13. Stay hydrated
It’s easy to forget to drink water when hiking in cold weather, but it’s important to stay hydrated to avoid dehydration and fatigue. Make sure to bring a water bottle with you and take regular sips throughout your hike. Hot drinks such as tea or coffee can also be a great way to warm up and keep your energy levels up.
14. Be aware of the terrain
The UK’s winter landscapes can be tricky to navigate and can be full of unexpected obstacles. Make sure to check the terrain of your chosen area before setting out, and be aware of any potential hazards such as steep slopes, slippery surfaces, and fallen trees. Hiking poles or trekking poles can be a great tool for navigating the terrain, and can also be useful for crossing streams or rivers.
15. Be aware of the dark
The days are shorter in the UK during the winter season, so it’s important to be aware of the dark and plan accordingly. Make sure to start your hike early to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination before nightfall, and bring a head torch or other lighting source in case you’re out after dark.
16. Be mindful of local wildlife
The UK’s winter landscapes are home to a variety of wildlife, from birds and mammals to amphibians and reptiles. Be mindful of the local wildlife and take extra caution when traversing their habitats. Make sure to respect the animals’ habitat and don’t approach or feed them, as this can be dangerous for both you and the wildlife.
17. Be prepared for unexpected wildlife sightings
The UK’s winter landscapes can be home to a variety of wildlife, including some rare and endangered species. Make sure to be prepared for unexpected wildlife sightings and take extra caution. In some cases, it may be best to observe from a distance and not disturb the wildlife, particularly if you’re hiking in a remote or sensitive area.
18. Bring a camera
Hiking in the UK during the winter season can be a great opportunity to capture some stunning photos of the UK’s winter landscapes. Make sure to bring a camera with you to take photos of the stunning views, as well as any wildlife or other phenomena you may encounter.
19. Wear appropriate clothing
In addition to dressing in layers, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing when hiking in the UK during the winter season. Make sure to wear clothes that are made of breathable, waterproof, and windproof materials, such as Gore-Tex. Wool and synthetic materials are also good choices, as they are lightweight, durable, and provide good insulation.
20. Bring a survival blanket
A survival blanket is an essential item for any winter hike in the UK. These lightweight blankets are made of Mylar, a reflective material that helps to retain body heat and keep you warm in cold and wet conditions. Survival blankets can be folded up small and easily stored in your backpack, making them an essential item for winter hiking in the UK.
21. Be aware of avalanches
It might sound far-fetched, but in areas of high elevation, such as the UK’s mountain ranges, especially around the Highlands, avalanches can be a surprisingly real danger. Make sure to check the avalanche forecast before setting out, and take extra caution when traversing steep slopes or snow-covered areas. If you find yourself in an avalanche-prone area, make sure to stay on the marked trails and avoid travelling alone.
22. Carry an emergency shelter
Carrying an emergency shelter is a good idea for any serious winter hike in the UK, as it can provide you with a safe and warm refuge in the event of an emergency. Emergency shelters come in a variety of styles, from simple tarp shelters to more sophisticated pop-up tents. Make sure to choose a shelter that is lightweight and easy to set up, and that is designed for cold and wet conditions.
23. Bring a map and a compass
Navigation is key for any winter hike in the UK, so make sure to bring a map and a compass with you. Maps can help you to find your way and stay on the marked trails, and a compass can be a useful tool for navigating in areas with low visibility or when the weather conditions change suddenly.
24. Stay visible
Staying visible is essential when hiking in the UK during the winter season. Make sure to wear bright, reflective clothing so that you can be easily seen by other hikers and by search and rescue teams in the event of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to carry a whistle and a signalling device, such as a mirror or a flare, in case you need to attract attention.
25. Be prepared for night hiking
Night hiking can be a great way to experience the UK’s winter landscapes, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and dangers. Make sure to plan your route carefully and take extra caution when navigating in low light or darkness. Bring a head torch or other lighting source to help you navigate, and stay alert for any hazards such as slippery surfaces or fallen trees.
26. Consider carrying a GPS device
A GPS device can be a great tool for navigation, especially in remote or unfamiliar areas. GPS devices can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information about your location, which can be invaluable in the event of an emergency. Make sure to bring a spare set of batteries, as cold temperatures can drain them quickly.
27. Know your limits
Hiking in the UK during the winter season can be physically and mentally demanding, so it’s important to know your limits. Make sure to take regular breaks to rest and warm up, and don’t push yourself too hard. If you start to feel cold or tired, it’s best to turn around and head back to the trailhead.
28. Be prepared for changing weather
In the UK, winter weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly. Make sure to check the weather forecast and be prepared for any eventualities. Bring extra warm clothing and emergency gear, and pay attention to the wind chill to avoid getting cold and uncomfortable.
29. Leave no trace
The UK’s winter landscapes are fragile and vulnerable to human impact, so it’s important to leave no trace when hiking. Make sure to stay on the marked trails, respect the wildlife and their habitats, and pack out any litter you may find. Leave the area as you found it and help to preserve the UK’s winter landscapes for future generations.
30. Enjoy the peace and quiet
Winter hiking in the UK can be an incredibly peaceful and tranquil experience, so make sure to take the time to enjoy the peace and quiet. Take a few moments to take in the scenery, listen to the sounds of nature, and appreciate the beauty of the UK’s winter landscapes.
Winter hiking in the UK can be a magical and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and dangers. With the right preparation, knowledge, and gear, you can safely explore the beauty of the UK’s winter landscapes and enjoy a truly memorable hiking experience. By following these 30 essential tips, you can stay safe and enjoy an unforgettable winter hike in the UK. Happy hiking!
As the proud new father of a tiny 4 month old baby daughter, I thought it was time to start thinking about how travel can be integrated in the life of a parent, and how to make travelling fun for your little ones too!
Travel can be a big issue for children. Whether you are venturing in a campervan or doing long-haul flights, it’s important to ensure that travelling can be an exciting and fun part of the experience. What does it take to ensure that your children are more excited about the travel experience?
Plan the Activities Around Them
You don’t have to plan everything around your children’s needs, but it’s important to make sure that everybody’s bases are covered. This is why many multi activity holidays are a perfect option. It’s important to make sure that, whenever you go, there’s a kids club that caters for their ages, or if you are going on excursions ensure there are activities that will keep your children busy. You have to remember your children have a lot of energy, but also they can get incredibly bored or fed up if you are travelling over long distances. You need your children to burn off their energy, but you also need to make sure that they are happy because if they’re not happy, you’re not happy!
Think About Their Health
It sounds obvious, but before you venture off, you need to make sure that your children stay happy by being healthy. Having some of the following can make a big difference:
Plasters. Having a fully stocked first aid kit should be a priority. Anything can happen (and it’s very likely that it will).
Water. Of course, ensuring that your children are hydrated is vital, and if you are venturing further afield where you have concerns about tap water, you can purchase water filters that remove the impurities.
Snacks. Your children are going to get hungry, and if they get hungry they get angry. Good quality snacks will always keep them occupied.
Do Not Pack Too Many Toys
As much as your kids love their toys, it is unrealistic to think that your children will be occupied with every single toy that they usually play with. Instead, you’ve got to offer them one of their favourites and one other. Anything more means you have a mutiny on your hands. And when you are too busy running around looking for places, two toys are easier to keep track of if your child is the type that ends up losing them.
Ensure They Experience the Local Culture
Sometimes we can shield our children from the experiences or feel more protective. Children are purpose-built to learn and will embrace new things if you give them enough exposure. While they may not take kindly to the food, we have to remember that when a child has their eyes open to the world, a lot of people will always gravitate towards kids and those people will always be courteous, kind, and may even give them a treat. You are there with them, so you can gauge the situation. You need to give your children the opportunity to experience new things and this is going to make a big difference to the enjoyment of the holiday, but also how they view the world as they get older.
Summer activities often revolve around fun for kids. But there are tons of outdoor adventures for adults that don’t include water parks and rollercoasters. So here are some of the most compelling to get you out and active.
Walking is good for the mind, body, and soul. Popular hiking trails see millions of visitors per year. And with good reason. By simply walking to a far-flung destination, you can witness some of the most stunning sights on Earth. Sights you would otherwise miss by driving, flying, or getting a train. For example, you can only see Urularu by booking a tour like the Emu Run Experience, which gets you up close to one of nature’s most stunning and revered spectacles. And if you have the time, you can make the most of a trek by setting up camp and taking it all in.
Freefall Bungee Jumping
I’m terrified of heights so you won’t find me doing this, but here’s one that’s not for the faint of heart: bungee jumping is one of the most stimulating activities you can do. Launching yourself off a cliff, bridge or platform takes a fair bit of bravery, knowing you will hurtle to the ground at terminal velocity. However, bungee experts are at the top of the game. And despite the impending danger, bungee expeditions are pretty safe. The cord’s tensile strength means it won’t break. And the elasticity means you will never hit the ground. Still, this is probably the most extreme activity you can do next to jumping out of a plane at 30,000 feet.
Outdoor Adventures for Adults Includes Diving
It might be underwater, but it still counts as the outdoors! Despite their vast beauty and immense displays of nature, only 20% of our oceans have been explored and mapped by experts. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take the plunge and do some diving of your own. You can stay in the shallows or go for a deep dive experience. Either way, you are in for a treat. Shallow diving lets you experience the stunning beauty of eco-friendly coral reefs and local sea life. While you can explore sunken ruins and darker caverns with deep-sea diving. However, each one requires some training before setting out.
If trekking a hiking trail doesn’t cut it for you, there’s always the call of the mountain. Mountaineering is a more profound experience that will challenge even the most experienced hikers. However, you will get to see the most remarkable vistas if you can cut it. Many mountain top views are unsullied by human interference and are therefore crawling with wildlife. For example, bears, eagles, and wild wolves are among the most common in North America. Therefore, this is a dangerous hobby, and you should consult with a guide beforehand.
Mountain Biking Through Popular Trails
Sometimes your feet just aren’t fast enough, and you need to feel the adrenaline of hurtling towards a drop at 30mph. If that’s your idea of fun, then perhaps consider taking your bike up a mountain trail rather than walking. Mountain biking requires far more physicality than walking, and it’s a lot quicker. But it’s no less fun or satisfying. Additionally, you will get to vista points faster on two wheels than on two feet. While it’s immense fun shifting gears over varying terrain, the fun really starts when you begin your descent and let gravity do most of the work.
Summer is here, and you might be looking for outdoor adventures for adults. Some of the most intense include bungee jumping, mountaineering, and mountain biking through trails.
If you want to travel the world but you are on a budget, then you will know how frustrating this can be. You may feel as though you are constantly having to change your plans because you simply can’t afford to go for the full package deal you intended, or that you are having to compromise too much and now feel down about the holiday in general. Either way, if this sounds like you, then you have to know that there are other options available.
If you prefer to pay with plastic, then you need to make sure that the card you are choosing is suitable for spending overseas. If you take a debit card with you, then you may find that you have to pay a small fee based on every transaction you make. Credit card providers tend to have a 3% exchange rate on every withdrawal too. If you want to work around this, then make sure that you opt for a pre-paid travel card where possible. The great thing about this is that you can only pay with what is on there and this makes it a very good option if you want to pull in your spending a little.
Set a Daily Budget
Setting a daily budget is a great way for you to always keep a figure in mind whenever you spend your money. You can tell if you can afford to buy that second bottle of wine with your lunch and you can also find out if you can go on an unplanned activity that day. If you plan a daily budget, then this makes it much easier for you to keep track of everything properly. If you want to try and budget well, then you may want to consider a trip in your home country as opposed to going abroad. You can even look into used caravans for sale if you want, as this gives you the chance to cook inside your caravan, without having to eat out every night.
Turn Off Data Roaming
This is not breaking news at all. Using the internet abroad will eat into your data more than you realise. That being said, you do not need to be surfing the web all day. If you want to make sure that you are not accidentally using the internet, then be sure to turn off data roaming. If you can do this, then you will soon find that it is way easier for you to get the result you want.
Eat like a Local
It is more than possible for you to indulge without breaking the bank. If you can make the effort to choose local eateries that are away from the top tourist hotspots, then this will help you greatly. You may also find that it gives you the chance to be satisfied for a fraction of the cost. You would be surprised at how much this could help you to free up your vacation budget, so be mindful if you can.
Holidays are essential for your well-being. It doesn’t matter where you travel to, whether it is in your local area or halfway across the world, everyone needs to take a break. Life is extremely busy, and it is important to take time away from your usual environment to support your mental health, and your overall happiness.
Going on holiday is exciting, but more often than not, the thought of trying to plan a trip can become overwhelming. To help you move forward with your planning, and feel excited about taking a holiday, here are some top tips to help you get started.
#1 Create a checklist
A checklist is an excellent visual aid that provides you with a simple list of things you need to do. The act of dumping down everything that is spinning around in your head ensures that you don’t forget anything, and you can work through it one step at a time. You can create and work through the checklist at your own pace, and you can even save it for your next trip too.
You should start by making a list of everything relevant to your trip, and anything that pops up in your head. You may want to do a little research to see what is essential to your trip, for example, special clothing, travel documents, etc. You can do this online, or you can visit your local travel agent for more information on your travels.
#2 Create a budget
It is important to decide on how much money you are comfortable spending on your next holiday. Take a look at the different accommodation options, such as Hamilton Island Apartments to get a good idea of prices. You should have a look at the different activities that you would want to do while you are on holiday, and how much they will cost. You will also need to incorporate costs for petrol or public transportation, food, and an emergency fund.
You can then set your budget accordingly. As you work through your checklist and start making bookings, you can review your decisions against your budget to ensure you stick with it. This is a great way to ensure that you eliminate any stress and worries about money, and once your holiday is booked, you can fully enjoy it.
#3 Get organised ahead of time
You must organise your holiday as far in advance as possible. This will give you ample time to do your research, get your funds in order, and slowly make your way through your checklist. If you plan a holiday too late, it can lead to a lot of stress, missed items, and a rushed holiday. If you can take your time to plan, you can be ready to go, and feel able to enjoy your holiday more.
#4 Have fun
Remember that a holiday should be fun. Try to indulge in a little bit of enjoyment while you plan your holiday, as you look at where you are going and what you will get up to. This is a great way to take the stress away and extend the holiday feeling.
Don’t let the overwhelm of planning a holiday get in the way. Follow these top tips to plan your next holiday with no stress.
Now that the summer is over many of us feel as if the holiday season is over and done with. But actually, there are some amazing places to go and things to do during the autumn season that will make the most of your time and give you some great experiences.
If you are looking to plan the perfect autumn break for yourself and your family this year, we are going to take a look at some of the best ideas and tips for your autumn holiday this year.
Make a plan
First of all it is important for you to make a plan of what you want to do during your trip. There are some amazing things to do during the autumn season such as going for a woodland walk, heading to your local pumpkin patch, or even heading for a hayride. You can write a bucket list of activities you want to do and places you want to visit, and this will help to shape your trip and dictate how you will make the most of the week.
Set your destination
It is so important before you do too much else to decide what type of holiday you want and where you want to go. If you are looking to go somewhere such as the USA and need a visa there are resources to help you get it fast and prepare for the trip with no issues. Once you have chosen your perfect destination you can do some research on the location and see what kind of activities you can book during your stay.
Pack the essentials
Now it is time for you to pack up the essentials for your holiday. No matter how long your trip is there are some things you always need to bring with you to make sure you have them. Always pack some shampoo and conditioner, and consider using some travel bottles for this to make life a little easier for you. You will also want to pack your underwear, layers, and phone charger to make sure you have it in an emergency. If you always forget things when you pack for trips away make sure to write a list beforehand and tick off the items as you go along and this will make life a lot easier for you going forward.
Pack for the weather
One of the things you need to consider in the autumn is that the weather can easily go one way or the other. A lot of the time in autumn you might face pretty chilly mornings but by the time the sun comes out it can get pretty hot. Make sure that you consider this before you start planning your clothing because autumn is often the most unpredictable time of the year. It is very easy to get caught out either too hot or cold so always bring layers you can put on or take off during the day!
Enjoy a fun brunch
Autumn is a great time for you to take a stroll through a village and find a small cafe perfect for brunch. Sitting out with the sun beating down and the orange leaves around you is the ideal way to spend the day and you’ll be able to make the most of the cool breeze with a coffee in hand. Head out for brunch with your family or meet up with a couple of friends and this can be a great way to enjoy your time off.
Go for a coffee tasting
Are you a coffee lover like me? One great activity as the weather gets cooler during autumn is coffee tasting. You can head over to your local specialty shop and try some different beans and enjoy a few nibbles while you are there, you’ll be surprised by just how much variety there is, and different flavours you’ll taste. After this why not head to a restaurant and enjoy a meal with your partner? Celebrate the cooler seasons in style and enjoy some beautiful beans that will tickle your tastebuds perfectly.
Enjoy a woodland adventure
One of the best ways to make the most of autumn on holiday is to head out into the woods for a stunning walk with your family. Packing for a day out in the woodlands will involve some waterproof boots and coats just in case it rains. One great idea would be to make some sandwiches and pack up a few snacks with you and sit down in a scenic location for a little picnic. This will be a great way to relax and enjoy the fresh air, and will be a good way to get everyone out together in a beautiful location.
If you want to enjoy the autumn weather in the best possible way, one thing you can do is head out for a camping trip in the woods. Many national parks allow you to set up a camp and you will be able to make the most of the natural landscape as well as set up a fun holiday for you and your family on a small budget. When you pack for your camping trip make sure to pack up some digestives, chocolate, and marshmallows and you’ll be able to sit around your campfire and make some s’mores! If you’re taking a pup, make sure you pack all the essentials that will keep them warm over night, with plenty of water and treats!
If you don’t fancy heading off to a hotel or abroad for your autumn holiday, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a great trip away as a family. A road trip can be a great option if you want to stay fairly local and you are on a budget. You will be able to drive to many locations in your local area and discover some hidden gems you might have never seen before. You can set off for a couple of days or even a couple of weeks – staying in hotels or b and b’s along the way.
If you are looking to make the most of your autumn and you fancy a break away from home – consider trying out some of these fun holiday ideas this season.