Winter nature walks

Enjoy some of the best nature walks at our places during the winter months. We care for 247,000 hectares of land, and all the furry, feathered and four-legged residents that live there.

You can spot rare red squirrels, majestic deer and other creatures more easily when the trees have shed their leaves. There's also something extra-special about seeing the best of nature against a frosty winter backdrop.

A red squirrel peeps out on a tree in Borthwood Copse on the Isle of Wight
Walking trail

Borthwood Copse Walk, Isle of Wight 

This short atmospheric walk is just over one mile long. It starts in a secluded part of the island at Borthwood Copse. Follow the trail through woods that are home to an Isle of Wight special attraction, the red squirrel. Winter is a great time to spot them as they come down from the tree canopy to forage for food.

Close up of a kestrel perched on the ground

Box Hill Hike, Surrey 

This is strenuous eight-mile circular hike at Box Hill gives you the opportunity to see kestrels. It takes you along rough ground in places and steep slopes, slippery paths and many steps. The route takes approximately four hours, but allow plenty of time for rest stops and lunch. You'll need suitable footwear, clothing and provisions.

Sheep on Cheddar Gorge
Walking trail

Cheddar Gorge walk, Somerset 

At almost 400ft deep and three miles long, Cheddar Gorge is England's largest gorge. There's a rich variety of wildlife and plant life to spot on this exhilarating four-mile circular walk. Look out for peregrine falcons, Soay sheep, jackdaws, buzzards and ravens.

Dunwich Heath winter landscape
Walking trail

Dunwich Heath, Suffolk 

Dunwich Heath is the perfect place for a peaceful winter stroll – especially on a cold day when the heath is glistening with frost. This trail takes you around the perimeter of the heath, which provides a vital habitat for many bird species, Keep an eye out for Dartford Warblers - one of the few warblers that stays in the UK over winter. After your walk, why not cosy up by the log burner in the Old Coastguard Cottages tea room?

A small red squirrel sits amongst branches at Formby
Walking trail

Formby red squirrel walk, Liverpool 

Explore the beautiful woodlands at Formby, home to the rare native red squirrel. This gentle walk is just under two miles long and takes about an hour. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on a lead at all times.

Grey wagtail feeding
Walking trail

llam Park to Dovedale Walk, Derbyshire 

This walk begins at the tranquil Victorian landscape and woodland of Ilam Park in the southern Peak District. An easy two-and-a-half-mile walk takes you into Dovedale, a spectacular gorge carved out by the river Dove. Watch out for lots of birds including grey wagtails and dippers.

Mountain hare sitting on snow
Walking trail

Marsden Moor heritage walk, West Yorkshire 

This circular eight-mile walk takes you across open moorland, where the weather can change very quickly. Bursting with wildlife, see if you can spot mountain hares, curlews, golden plovers, and stoats. Wear sturdy walking boots, warm clothing and waterproofs for this rugged walk.

Ponies on Murlough National Nature Reserve, Co Down
Walking trail

Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down 

Even in winter there’s plenty to see here, from the Exmoor ponies which graze year round and help the rangers keep Murlough’s scrub in check, to an abundance of wildfowl and waders. You might also spot flocks of wintering thrushes such as redwings and fieldfares, and maybe even Brent Geese on the neighbouring farmland. It can get nippy on the coast, so remember to wrap up warm before heading out.

Plas Newydd house in the snow north Wales
Walking trail

Plas Newydd, Anglesey 

This walk explores the quieter corners of the Plas Newydd estate, offering the perfect opportunity to spot some of the estate’s famous residents, the red squirrels. Six reds were re-introduced here in 2008 and their families are now thriving. We’ve added feeding stations around the woods where they often congregate – so don’t forget to keep an eye out during your stroll.

River Teign in autumn
Walking trail

Teign Valley classic circuit, Newton Abbot 

This three-and-a-half-mile walk could be the most famous route on Dartmoor. It takes you past the imposing bulk of Castle Drogo - the last castle to be built in England. You'll also walk along the breathtaking Hunters Path high above the River Teign. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including buzzards, dippers, grey wagtails and deer.

Wicken Fen - Konik ponies and horses in frost
Walking trail

Wicken Fen wildlife walk, Cambridgeshire 

Visit Wicken Fen to enjoy a gentle stroll on the all-weather boardwalk around Sedge Fen. At just under three miles long this is an easy route, but there are still plenty of opportunities to see wildlife along the way. Keep a look out for hen and marsh harriers, short-eared owls and the resident herds of Highland cattle and Konik ponies.

Watlington Hill in Oxfordshire
Walking trail

Watlington Hill, Oxfordshire 

Watlington Hill is famous for both red kites and far-reaching views over the Oxfordshire countryside. The red kite was hunted to extinction in England, but was reintroduced in 1989. There are now more than 1000 breeding pairs in the area. Follow this two-mile walk around the hill to see the birds silhouetted against the sky, riding the thermals and diving for food.