We love a good winter walk. Especially as in our neck of the woods, winter walks are spectacularly beautiful. So when we heard that The Times were talking about the South and West, we felt we should share it with you. Just in case you didn’t already know how amazing a good walk in the countryside can be, be sure to take a look at their article and have a go at the walks yourself.
Lace up your walking boots, find a warm coat to keep out the cold and get out in the crisp winter sunshine. Each route picked by The Times makes the most of the gorgeous scenery in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire along with a fantastic pub (or two) to keep you well watered on your route. When you fancy exploring the rest of the county or taking some time to relax, we certainly know somewhere for you to stay and here are a few ideas for different walks or days out to make the most of your trip.
Sandford Orcas, Dorset
The steep ridges enclosing the luscious green valley make for a glorious view of the distant sunset on the sea from high up on the hillside. It’s not hard to see why people like to walk this route all year round. In the winter when the sun is low, a clear crisp day will turn your walk into a beautiful golden view across the Dorset countryside. The long, warm days of late summer will give you plenty of time to wander slowly and even stop for a picnic. Along with the walk recommended by The Times, there are plenty of walks to keep your feet going whilst visiting Dorset.
Nearby you’ll find the Iron Age fort of Eggardon Hill. Set up on the top of the hill, you can clearly see the remains in the ground whilst soaking up the spectacular views across the valleys to the coast. From here, hop the border into Somerset and take a trip to Yeovil to explore the fine old English town. A 14th century church and a sprawling town centre are perfect for slowly walking off your hike from the day before.
Why not make the most of the walks around Dorset by spending a few nights in a holiday cottage nearby? We’ve got a fantastic selection of holiday cottages in the county to choose from, whether you’re looking for a bolthole just for two or a manor for the whole family. Our closest cottage to the Sandford Orcas walk is the pretty Owl’s Nest Cottage. The perfect base for a couple who love walking and want a neat little hideaway to lay their heads at the end of the day.
West Bagborough and Cothelstone Hill, Somerset
The Quantock hills are an incredibly picturesque part of Somerset. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, every walk here will take your breath away. At the highest point of the hills there are amazing views from Minehead to Bristol on a clear day, you can even attempt to spot Cardiff across the Bristol channel too. On your journey, you might bump into some wild Quantock ponies. These beauties have no fear when it comes to humans so will let you get up close to them. The walk around West Bagborough and Cothelstone hill is lovely in the Autumn as the trees turn beautiful yellows and oranges as Winter approaches. After your walk, the Rising Sun Inn is well worth a visit, it’s cosy and homely with plenty of good food to fill your belly.
A great location for getting outside, the Quantocks attract visitors who like walking, cycling and even horse riding. There are plenty of exciting ways to see the fantastic views. To the north of the hills you’ll find Kilve beach, ideal for fossil hunting and long walks along the coast for a change of scenery. Nearby is the quaint town of Nether Stowey filled with crooked old houses, including the home of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This is an idyllic spot for avid readers to walk in the shoes of a Romantic poet.
A little off the beaten track, our holiday cottages near the Quantocks are in wonderfully secluded locations. Ideal for a quiet getaway. For this walk, our property Bashford Lodge is on the route. Located in West Bagborough, the lodge is a stone’s throw from The Rising Sun, a great size for gathering friends together and in the perfect place for getting up on to the hills. You can also speak to the owners about some pony trekking in the hills as they have their own stables just next door to the lodge itself.
Avebury, Wansdyke and Silbury Hill, Wiltshire
Although not strictly within our usual areas, this walk isn’t too far from our Somerset holiday cottages. Wiltshire is the land of stone circles. This walk features a double circle for you to marvel at. If that wasn’t enough, the views across the rolling hills as you hike up the slopes and along the ridges will be more than enough to feast your eyes upon. A long weekend walk on a crisp winter day with pale blue skies is the perfect resolution to a long week at work.
You’re spoilt for choice in the great outdoors of Wiltshire. From Cranborne Chase AONB to the New Forest and a leap over the border into Hampshire, there’s plenty of green spaces to sink your teeth into. Stretch your legs and squeeze in as many walks as you can find. An hour from this walk you can visit the historic city of Bath. A calming place famous for the Georgian architecture and hot springs. You’ll love a walk around the unique shops in this pretty city.
For a tranquil winter walking holiday, step on to the road less travelled and slow down your pace of life. Within an hour’s driving distance from this walking route, Absolute offers the perfect pit stop for weary walkers. A pretty holiday hideaway set in the north Somerset countryside. This cottage has a modern interior and a rustic exterior, bringing together the best of two worlds for guests. With an area to sit outside, you might like to enjoy a mid-morning cup of tea in the fresh air before packing a picnic basket for lunch, ready to stroll across the Wiltshire hills.