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Winter Wanderlust UK!

The Best Adventures in the UK this Winter

Winter is a fantastic time to explore more! The days may be both shorter and colder, but there is no shortage of activities to get stuck into! Winter can be a truly beautiful time of year and offers us many unexpected wonders!

Put your winter wetsuit on and catch some waves!

Winter brings bigger and cleaner swells with more consistent waves to the UK coastlines (and in fact to most surf spots worldwide!). During colder months, the UK regularly sees waves of at least four feet. Some waves even getting up to a mammoth twelve foot! Surfers can catch their first significant waves in September and all the way through winter.

Beaches on the South coast have some good beginner friendly waves, and you will also find surfing clubs offering lessons here. For the more experienced surfers the Atlantic coastline (around Cornwall and Devon) often have some serious wave shows, for both great rides and tricks! For a more social surf scene Croyde Bay is one of the UKs most popular year-round surf destinations!

See the many different sides of Snowdon

Snowden is one of the most popular mountains in the UK. It offers six routes to the summit offering people diverse views of glacial lakes, cliffs and nearby villages. Routes vary between seven to nine miles, so be prepared for a full day of hiking!

Snow and ice transform Snowdon into a winter wonderland, making it a very different experience. Be wary that it is a challenging climb with constantly varying underfoot conditions and hostile weather which requires all the abilities of winter mountaineering. In order to make the most out of a winter ascent, make sure you are properly prepared! Start early and ensure you have all the necessary equipment and you are sure to have a truly memorable day!

If you are unsure of your winter mountaineering skills join Snowdonia Adventures for a course in the essentials of hiking safely on rocky, icy summits and snow slopes!

For those who want to see Snowdonia but don’t want to brave the elements, Snowdonia Railway runs from mid-March to October!

Hit the slopes in Scotland 

Scotland has the finest downhill action in the UK. Nevis Range Mountain in The Highlands offers 35 ski runs and traverses Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. Glencoe Mountain range offers 20 runs and CairnGorm mountain offers 23.

Not only is CairnGorm mountain the most popular ski resort in the country, it also boasts Britains highest funicular railway, a fun park, and some great backcountry terrain. The resort holds snow well throughout the season and offers lots of variety. The resorts terrain parks, kickers and rails have attracted some of the country’s top snowboarders and skiers.

Indoor skiing and snowboarding

For those of you who haven’t quite got comfortable on the slopes yet, head to the UK’s longest indoor slope at the Chill Factore in Manchester! Boasting an impressive 180m indoor real snow slope Chill Factor offers ski and snowboard lessons, along with mogul, ski cross and boardercross sessions!

There are a number of other fantastic indoor slopes in the UK, check this round up of Britain’s top indoor ski centres.

Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet!  

Winter can be a fantastic time to go for a walk. Discover breezy beaches to glittering waterfalls, experience the true beauties of a winter wonderland! Winter scenes can provide a fantastically dramatic backdrop to a walk. Picture ferocious crashing waves, wild geese flying in formation across the skies, the satisfying sound of snow crunching under foot and some truly beautiful sunsets!

Check this list of 50 best winter walks in the UK for some inspiration!

Mountain biking, Machynlleth

As they say bikes bring you places that cars never see! This certainly rings true in Machynlleth, on the southern edge of Snowdonia national park, a major mountain biking centre. In the midst of the Dyfi forest, there is a purpose built, extremely varied, 15km circuit. It includes a final descent made up of rock jumps, banked turns and berms. It also has a feature called the “eye of the needle” where you land in the restricted gap between trees. There are of course other routes, and you can establish your own!

For some mountain biking inspiration check out RedBull’s Mountain Biking Events in the UK this winter.

Winter survival, East Midlands

For the extreme winter lovers, check out a winter survival course! The course is run by Dave Watson who developed his survivalist skills living in the rough as a teenager. He has now started a company, Woodland Survival Craft, that run winter survival courses on the Derbyshire-Leicestershire border. He teaches you to build shelters, to forage in winter and how to light fires when everything is damp!

 

Stephanie Contomichalos

Stephanie Contomichalos is a sports enthusiast. She is an avid crossfitter, wakeboarder and has recently qualified as a Level 1 CrossFit coach. She is also an advocate for women’s sport and for using sport as a tool for development. She is currently living in Athens, Greece.

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