Winter wildlife walks in the North of England

Winter is a great time to see wildlife, as animals and birds are out hunting for food and can be seen much more clearly without the usual cover of leaves and foliage. See our top pick of walks to spot winter wildlife in the North of England.

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.

Three stags on frosty morning by the Cage at Lyme, Cheshire
Walking trail

A walk to the Lantern, Lyme, Cheshire  

Take a walk to the Lantern, the historic 'hunting lodge' in the deer park at Lyme, and you may be able to see the herd of red deer, who often spend their time in the east of the park, as well as enjoying frosty far-reaching views over Kinder Scout in the Peak District and the Cheshire Plain.

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.

The sun setting along the Yorkshire Coastline
Walking trail

A walk along the Yorkshire Coast  

Wander along the coast on this 4.5 mile circular walk starting from the Victorian seaside town Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Leave the busy seafront behind and head up to the cliff tops. A walk in winter can be a bit windy but rewarded with views of winter seabirds and maybe even a seal or two bobbing about.

Red bricked building with winter sun and trees and snow on the ground
Walking trail

Beningbrough's parkland walk, North Yorkshire 

This circular route takes in the furthest reaches of the Beningbrough estate with impressive views back to the hall. Keep your eyes peeled for brown hares and roe deer in the woodland. Along the River Ouse you might be lucky and catch a glimpse of a kingfisher or heron as you pass. Dogs are welcome on leads with boots recommended as the path can be muddy in places.

Bridge over a river in the snow
Walking trail

Wallington's River Walk, Northumberland  

Look out for rare red squirrels as you crunch through the woods and keep your eyes peeled for signs of otters and native white-clawed crayfish along the banks of the River Wansbeck on this tranquil two mile walk.

The 12th-century church in the hamlet of Isel, Cumbria
Walking trail

Explore from Wordsworth House, Cumbria  

Try this lengthy circular walk from Wordsworth House in Cockermouth – the birthplace and childhood home of poet William Wordsworth. Take in fantastic wintry views looking out for wildlife on the route through woods and by the river Derwent. Remember to wear your muddy boots for this one. (The house itself is now closed in winter.)