Top 5 Winter Walks
The forest can be a wonderful place for a walk at any time of the year, but the crisp quiet of a wintry day is both calming and inspiring.
Here’s our top 5 forest walks for when the temperature plummets and snow starts to fall…
Lochan Uaine and Ryvoan, Cairngorms
The turquoise waters of the Green Lochan never fail to inspire, and all the more so when surrounded by a crisp coat of fresh white snow. Rumour says it gets the vivid colour from the fairies who come to the water to wash their clothes! Wandering further up the track between beautiful, gnarled pines you might make it up to Ryvoan bothy. This isolated shelter stands at the summit of Ryvoan Pass and offers great views all around. On a snowy winter day with a blue sky, it’s the perfect place to break out a flask of tea and appreciate being out in nature.
The North Face Trail, Lochaber
For some, winter is a time for cosying up in the warmth. For others, it’s a time for adventure. If you slot somewhere between the two, the North Face Trail could be ideal for you.
Climbing up the long slopes beside the Allt a Mhuillin (the Mill Stream) takes you into the heart of big mountain country and provides spectacular views of the imposing north face of Ben Nevis. With the hard work of ascending over, you may be able to spot some hardy souls climbing on the gloomy grey rock.
In winter conditions this is a challenging walk and you should be suitably prepared with appropriate clothing and equipment. If you are, it’s a truly wonderful walk on the wild side.
Loch Trool Loop, Galloway
The rugged beauty of Glen Trool and Loch Trool is gently amplified with a dusting of snow. There are a variety of walks in this location, all providing wonderful views and interesting features along the way. The native oak woodlands are plentiful here, and part on an ongoing project to extend tree cover in the area.
You’ll also find history in abundance at Bruce’s Stone which commemorates the Battle of Trool in 1307. With a layer of perfect snow, glorious views and magnificent trees, the only issue you’ll have is where to point the camera next.
The Three Brethren, Borders
The Three Brethren are a group of three impressively large cairns on top of a hill that marked the meeting point of three local estates. From the summit, the views around are magnificent: the Southern Upland Way is laid out in front of you rolling over distant hilltops while to the south the Cheviot hills dominate the skyline. Closer to home, the nearby trifecta of the Eildons rise gracefully from the countryside.
The trek to the summit here isn’t easy. It’ll take a while and ensure you earn your dinner! However, it’s well worth it, and as long as you have warm clothing and suitable footwear, it’s a classic winter walk allowing you to enjoy the quiet forest, open hillside and views to remember.
Loch Ard Sculpture Trail, Perthshire
The many trails around Loch Ard make this a great escape for the whole family. However, we’re big fans of the sculpture trail. With foxes, eagles and squirrels all lurking in unusual sculptures around the route, this is a great walk for kids. Plus, shelters built along the way allow you to take your time, have a breather, and keep an eye out for the local wildlife. With resident red squirrels and an array of woodland birds, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might just catch a glimpse of Scotland’s wildlife going about its business!
Elsewhere in the forest, you’ll find great viewpoints looking out to lofty Ben Lomond and Ben Venue, which are often capped in snow during winter. If you like a dramatic backdrop to your selfies, look no further!