Winter Walks and Wellbeing

Winter walking

Embracing the cosiness of bundled layers and venturing into the great outdoors during autumn and winter can have remarkable effects on both our physical and mental well-being.

Breathing in the crisp air, walking through the fallen leaves, and admiring the changing colours can help us feel calm and peace.

Even just spending 20 minutes a day in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve our mood and boost feeling of happiness and well-being.

Be overcome with beauty this season and enjoy a nature walk near you…

What are the benefits of walking?

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue
  • Improves self-perception and self-esteem
  • Improves mood and sleep quality
  • Improves physical fitness, cholesterol levels and builds healthy muscle and bones
  • Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed and staying active helps those who are depressed recover.
  • Reduces blood pressure and risk of cognitive decline including dementia
  • Reduces the likelihood of major health conditions between 20% and 60% including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

How much exercise is recommended?

It’s recommended we do at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week – this is 30 minutes a day spread across 5 days. It can be difficult to get out and about, especially in Winter when the days get shorter. But the colder seasons can surprise you with some refreshing local walks.

Top Winter Walks in the U.K.

Wherever you might be, there’s sure to be a fantastic walk nearby. National Trust have kindly outlined the best walks in the UK:

East of England:

  • Whether it’s Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire or Hertforshire, there are some stunning woodland walks to seek winter wildlife and scenery.


  • There are some breath-taking views waiting to be discovered at the Peak District.

North of England:

  • Why not take to the Lake District for a refreshing hike with far-reaching views?

Northern Ireland:

  • Exceptional trails filled with wildlife waiting to be discovered. You could Enjoy the salty sea air at Portstewart Strand or clamber to the top of Divis.

South East:

  • From the tree-filled valleys of Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey to the watery winter wonderland of Mottisfont in Hampshire, there is a winter walk we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

South West:

  • Explore the diverse landscape of the South West. Discover the cliffs and moors of Devon & Cornwall and the rolling fields of Somerset.


  • Discover secluded waterfalls or hike around the incredible National Park of Snowdonia.

We would love to hear about your winter walks and see pictures of the stunning scenery. Let us know what you get up to on social media!

Find out where your nearest GreenThumb branch is here.

Source: How much exercise should I do each day? | BBC Good Food (links provided in this article are not endorsements). 

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