During winter it can be difficult to motivate yourself to go outdoors in the cold and often wet weather. However, making the most of the shorter days can be very satisfying, especially when it involves a walk or cycle ride.
We recommend that you wrap up warm and brave the elements for these walks and rides, you won't regret it!
Where: Dolgellau, Gwynedd, north-west Wales
The moody and imposing Cadar Idris sets the scene for this fantastic trail. Explore the atmospheric Mawddach Estuary and try and spot ravens and peregrines as they circle overhead.
Route: Mawddach Trail - Dolgellau
One for the family
Kids climbing the walls over the Christmas holidays? Take them on this great ride around one of London’s best urban parks.
Where: Richmond, South London
An almost entirely car-free route, making it perfect for families and less confident cyclists. The park is open from 7.30-4pm. Take a picnic, wrap up warm and go and spot one of the 630 deer that roam there.
Route: Tamsin Trail, Richmond Park
Gently does it
We don’t want your body to go into shock after reclining on the sofa during the Christmas break, so this ride has gentle gradients and some sections are traffic-free.
Where: Kings Lynn, Norfolk
This 19-mile circular route takes you from Kings Lynn out to the Snettisham RSPB Reserve, which is open all year round. At sunrise or sunset in winter, there is the possibility of seeing thousands of pinkfooted geese flying from their overnight roosts inland to feed.
Route: Cycle to the Wash
Peace and quiet please
After the manic lead up to Christmas take some time out to enjoy the wonderful tranquillity and stillness this ride to the coast provides.
Where: Burgh-by-Sands, Carlisle, Cumbria
Enjoy 24 miles of beautiful saltmarsh and farmland that arrives at fantastic beaches which have been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loop starts out along the Hadrian’s Wall Path and takes you out to the Cardurnock peninsula. At Bowness-on-Solway there is Campfield Marsh, an RSPB nature reserve with 360 degree views of the Solway Plain.
Start as you mean to go on?
Feeling guilty about eating too many sweet treats throughout December? If you want a challenge then this is the ride for you.
Where: Aberfoyle, Central Scotland
In the heart of the Trossachs this route is ideal for a challenging day out cycling. A 35-mile loop with some steep accents through the Achray Forest.
Ready, set, shop!
If you want to shop till you drop this Boxing Day, this ride takes you directly into the heart of Reading and The Oracle shopping centre.
With its gentle gradients and the close-up view of canal side life, this 19-mile route is a wonderful way to explore Berkshire. Linking Newbury with the modern centre of Reading, the route mainly follows the canal towpath, with an occasional on-road detour.