10 of the best winter walks
Here are 10 walks around Somerset and Dorset to enjoy when you're wrapped up warm.
Pull on your wellies, grab the gloves and let’s go outside – ideally for a long, bracing winter walk around one of Dorset or Somerset’s prettiest locales.
Black Nore Lighthouse, north Somerset
A circular 2-miler taking you along the Portishead to Clevedon coast path to Black Nore Lighthouse – an unusual metal lighthouse built in 1894 to guide vessels on their way out of Bristol Harbour – and back.
Wedmore and Aller Moor, on the Somerset Levels
A winter walk for bird watchers and dreamers. Starting and finishing in the historic village of Wedmore, this moderate 4.5 mile walk takes you onto the other worldly Aller Moor wetlands with its old rhynes (water courses) and wintering birds and waterfowl.
Hinton Blewett & Litton, in the Mendips
Take your pick: a choice of two shorter walks (3.5 and 2 miles) or, if you’re feeling up to it, a combo of the two around Hinton Blewitt, Littton, the rolling countryside and reservoirs in north east Mendips Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Exford Circular, on Exmoor
This walk of 4.8 miles follows the river Exe downstream from Exford, climbs up past cultivated fields and rewards you at the top with panoramic views over Exmoor before heading back down through a hidden valley.
Chard to Wambrook, in the Blackdown Hills
Five miles through the stunning, ever undulating scenery of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This circular winter walk around Christchurch Harbour ticks lots of boxes, taking in the historic Christchurch Priory, relics of prehistoric times and great views at Hengistbury Head, beaches at Mudeford and the Stanpit nature reserve – and all in 6 miles.
Tollard Royal and Win Green Loop, in the Cranborne Chase
On the borders of Dorset and Wiltshire, this 5-mile circular route across the Downland offers panoramic views from the Win Green Nature Reserve – the highest point in the Cranborne Chase – towards the Isle of Wight, Purbeck Hills, Blackmore Vale and Salisbury Plain. You’ll also pass Ashcombe House, home of high society snapper Cecil Beaton.
Colmer’s Hill to Seatown loop, near Bridport
Start in Symondsbury and follow signs to the iconic, steep Colmer’s Hill, the almost conical mound topped by pine trees that can be seen for miles around. At the top catch your breath and soak up the fab views across the countryside and Jurassic Coast beyond before heading down through little hamlets and the sunken pathways of Hell Lane (eek) to Seatown. Watch the waves crashing onto the beach before setting off on the second half of the 6-mile circular walk. back to Symondsbury.
St Aldhelm’s Head, Isle of Purbeck
This is an easy winter walk of just under 3 miles mostly across the high plateau of land above St Aldhelm’s Head on the Isle of Purbeck, with a 13th century chapel chapel, coastguard lookout and fab views of the cliffs on the coast.
The White Horse & Sutton Poyntz from Osmington
Views of the famous white horse cut into the limestone hillside (George III on horseback, since you’re asking), as well as the sea on this 4-mile walk which begins and ends in Osmington.