When walking in winter or early spring it can be tempting to pull up the drawbridge and wait until spring has fully sprung before you start your walking adventures for the year but the winter can be a particularly rewarding time to get out and to enjoy the countryside. This is particularly the case if you get one of those sunny crystal-clear days where you can see for miles, particularly if you are on the coast. But if the weather is slightly more challenging you can still enjoy yourselves providing you take heed of some of these top tips.

Staying warm, not hot On a cold day the temptation is to wrap up with many layers to protect you from the elements but sweating is one of the most common ways to get cold so make sure you wear breathable layers to help you deal with this.

Wear the right footwear Make sure you have a good pair of waterproof walking boots that are warm and which support your ankles. Make sure they have good grip for those moments when you come across those slippery slopes.

Water Whether its summer or winter always carry a bottle of water- you always need to remain hydrated.

Wear the right clothing 20%-60% of heat is lost through an uncovered head so always wear a hat when the temperature drops. Keep your hands warm with a good pair of gloves or even better a pair of mittens which keep your fingers together and are much better for heat retention.

Share the cold Its always nicer when walking in winter or early spring to walk with a friend but when it’s cold or slippery underfoot its always good to know there is someone there to provide mental stimulation and to walk beside you.

Stay warm when you stop If you have been walking for a while its easy not to notice how cold it actually is so, always remember to cover up before you get cold.

General health & safety Tell someone where you are going– and when you expect to arrive Take some brightly coloured clothing/items with you– these can be used to attract attention from above Remember your mobile phone. Check that it has plenty of battery before you set out. One of the features of walking off the beaten track is that a strong mobile signal cannot be relied upon.  Should you wish to use your phone and find yourself without a signal text yourself- when you receive the message you know that you are good to go. Other useful websites The Ramblers- walking advice South West Coast Path – safety advice Mountain walking in the UK- safety tips

 Our favourite winter walks If you would like to go walking in winter or early spring I could thoroughly recommend two of our walks. Our Undiscovered Dorset walk takes you through some beautiful villages as you walk from Shaftesbury to Dorchester. The walk will take past iron age forts and some great pubs serving excellent food such as The Brace of Pheasants which is Dorset’s dining pub of the year for 2017. The other excellent winter walk is along the Jurassic coast, our Jurassic coastal walks takes you along the beautiful Coast passing some wonderful seascapes and cliff walks which still carry evidence of nearly 3, years of history from Iron Age stone circles to WWII coastal defences.

If you would like more details on walks such as this or many others, please contact us at Footscape enquiry or phone on +44 1935 817618