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Britain's best winter walks

14 December 2016

Despite the fact it's something of a British institution to moan and groan about the weather, there's something altogether magical about taking a winter walk through the beautiful countryside the country is famed for.

Brent Tor, Dartmoor National Park
Brent Tor, Dartmoor National Park

From twinkling fields of frost to icy lakes shrouded in mist, Britain's best winter walks wind through an enchanting landscape littered with scenic set-pieces. Plus, it's one of the best ways to work off all those extra mince pies…

So, wrap up warm, whistle for the dog and take a peek at our favourite routes to follow over the festive season:

1. Seven Sisters and Birling Gap, Sussex - 5.5 miles

If you do like to be beside the seaside, then head to East Dean in Sussex where you can fuel up on hearty pub grub at the 15th century Tiger's Inn, before heading out along the South Downs Way to experience the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters.

This magnificent ribbon of coastline is one of the most photographed in Britain - look out for the picturesque Belle Tout Lighthouse before looping back towards the pub to warm the cockles of your heart before the roaring log fire.

2. St. Michel's Brent Tor, Dartmoor - 3 miles

If your thing is spell-binding, panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see, get thee to Dartmoor where a ramble up the rocky slopes of Brent Tor awaits. Standing sentinel at the top is the quaint 13th century church St Michael de Rupe, and it is here that you will be rewarded with the wilds of Dartmoor, spread at your feet.

Start and finish your tour of the Tor at The Elephant's Nest Inn in Mary Tavy, a quintessentially Devonshire pub.

3. Beatrix Potter Walk, Sawrey, Lake District - 8.5 miles

Whether you're a fan of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle et al or simply a fan of incredible natural scenery, this walk will suit you down to the ground. Seeing as 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the famous author, taking a stroll around some of her favourite haunts in the inspirational lake District feels particularly apt.

Explore the fells of Claife Heights, the glittering western shore of Lake Windermere and the National Trust property where the lady herself once lived.

Find out what the best cottages for winter breaks are...

4. Bronte Waterfalls and Top Withens - 6.7 miles

Keeping with the literary theme, the wild and unruly moors of Haworth, the landscape which inspired the Bronte sisters, are at their very best in the atmospheric heights of winter.

Pack your woollens to wend your way up to Top Withens, a ruined farmhouse which some say provided the inspiration for Emily Bronte's masterpiece 'Wuthering Heights'. You will also pass by the Bronte Waterfalls, an attractive stream of water, flowing over the rocks.

5. Chinley to Edale, The Peak District - 9.5 miles

Keep a weather eye on the, er, weather for this walk as this is not a walk suitable for the darkest clouds. However, a fine dusting of early or late winter snow transform the stunning moorland plateau of Kinder Low into a scene worthy of Narnia.

Edale is located at the southernmost end of the Pennine Way so combine your walk with a trip on the Hope Valley steam railway as you head back to Chinley for some much-needed refreshment.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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