How to stay warm on a winter walk
Winter has a beauty of its own, with the landscape transformed by dustings of frost, blankets of snow and the golden glow of low sunlight. Don’t let the cold weather put you off – read our tips for the best clothes and strategies to keep you warm on your next winter walk.
The benefits of winter walking
Brave the cold and you’ll be rewarded with a walk to remember. Through leafless trees, you’ll see new views and distant horizons. Wildlife is easier to spot in the stillness of a winter woodland and, after a long walk on a chilly day, there’s the promise of a cosy pub with a crackling fire.
Warm your base layers
What better way to stay warm than to start off toasty? Heat your base layers, gloves and hat on the radiator before you wear them and you’ll be cosy all day.
It can seem strange to think about overheating in winter, but sweating is one of the easiest ways to get cold when out walking. So breathable layers are crucial in helping you cope with this. Merino wool or synthetic wicking fabric layers are the best as they naturally take sweat away from your skin.
Beat the wind at its own game
A strong wind can often make it feel colder than it actually is. The best way to beat windchill is with a wind-stopper. A lightweight windshell or softshell jacket can be the perfect solution.
Stay warm when you stop
The moment you stop for a rest or to soak up a spectacular view, you start cooling down. Take a tip from the pros and cover up before you get cold. Carry a lightweight down or synthetic insulated jacket with you in your bag, great for whipping out when you stop. They pack up small and weigh next to nothing – perfect additional winter warmth.
The big switch – from gloves to mitts
Unlike with gloves, when you wear mitts the heat from all your fingers will work together, like a little pack of penguins sharing the warmth between them. When you stop for that hot drink, simply stash your mittens inside your jacket to keep them warm. That way, when you’re heading back out on the trail, you’ll be warm and toasty.
Inspiring the nation to explore
As our official outdoor retail partner, Cotswold Outdoor supports our care of the country’s coast and countryside.
Discount for National Trust supporters
National Trust supporters receive a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor, in store and online when you sign up to Cotswold Outdoor’s free Explore More benefits scheme. This offer expires on 30 September 2026 but may be extended. Details on how to claim the offer are below.
Discover your very own cosy hideaway this winter, tucked away in ancient woodlands, perched on mountain tops or nestled at the heart of rolling countryside.
Whether it’s a cosy getaway with friends or a Christmas holiday for all the family, our Christmas and New Year cottage breaks get you closer to the places we care for.
Enjoy a family-friendly walk with these trails suitable for buggies and little legs. Go wild in natural play areas and compete in woodland den building.
Find out more about the places in our care with accessible trails to explore with pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility aids. Experience nature without having to go off the beaten track.
Discover tales of treasure guarded by dragons and mischievous imps that lead travellers astray at these places you can go for a walk selected for their links to local myths and legends.
When it's cold or snowing, there's still plenty to discover outdoors as lots of outside activities are just as fun in the winter. Wrap up in your warmest clothes, and maybe take a hot drink with you, before setting off.
Winter is the perfect time for many of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities. Wrap up warm and go welly wandering, fossil hunting or stargazing.