Ordnance Survey’s guide to winter walking

Breath in the crisp winter air, feel the crunch under foot and admire the frosty mornings. It’s a magical winter wonderland out there and there’s no better way to keep everyone happy and healthy this season than with regular time outdoors.

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Breath in the crisp winter air, feel the crunch under foot and admire the frosty mornings. It’s a magical winter wonderland out there and there’s no better way to keep everyone happy and healthy this season than with regular time outdoors.

Here at Ordnance Survey, we know a thing or two about the outdoors and we want to share our top tips for winter walking to help you get outside more often.

Wrap up warm

Before you head out, it’s important to make sure you’re going to stay warm and dry. Layer up and bring a good rain jacket, as the weather is full of surprises here in Britain! Read our ultimate guide to layering and our wet weather gear guide so you can learn to be prepared for all weathers.

Discover new routes

There’s nothing better than exploring somewhere new. Taking a left when you usually head right and discovering what’s around your local area. Choose from hundreds of thousands of trusted routes on OS Maps or have a go at creating your own.

There are walks to keep your feet dry, walks for coffee and cake and epic urban hill walks. You only need to look at a map to discover an extensive network of footpaths, bridleways and national and regional trails across Great Britain, some you may not have known were even there! Here are 50 of our favourite walks for you to try too.

Set yourself a challenge

Struggling to get yourself off the sofa? Then set yourself a challenge! Setting long-term and short-term goals will help you stay focused and motivated. So many of our New Year resolutions are based on quitting things but here's a chance to take on a challenge, change your routine so you never have to give it up. Did you know, it only takes just 21 days to form a habit?

Join our Beat Last Week Challenge this January and do more of your chosen activity than you did the previous week for the whole of January! It’s you vs you and any outdoor activity counts.

Give your walks a purpose

Having a reason to get outside will certainly help peel the kids away from their screens. Stroll to a cosy pub, have a hot chocolate by the beach or go on a winter’s scavenger hunt. There are plenty of ways to spruce up your winter walk.

Spend time together

Walking not only improves our physical health but our mental wellbeing too. Taking yourself out for a solo walk is great and we highly recommend it, but sharing the experience is also special too, with extra benefits.

There’s no better way to spend quality time with friends and family than in nature. Organise a picnic in winter, take part in an outdoor game or move your morning coffee date outside.

There are hundreds of community groups and clubs across Great Britain that you can meet, or why not join the OS GetOutside Community to find ideas and inspiration, so you can share your love of the great outdoors?