Ramblers enjoying the snow
Ramblers enjoying the snow

Ramblers will be enjoying the great outdoors this winter

Ramblers Scotland’s annual Festival of Winter Walks is back from 23 December to 7 January 2018.

There are 60 free walks in Scotland to inspire long rambling walks this winter period, from short, festive walks ending in a sociable tipple to more adventurous ambles through the frosty countryside, writes Olivia Dobson.

The cold crisp days of winter are a magical time to go walking, with transformed scenery and spectacular early sunsets.

Getting out into the great outdoors for a while is a wonderful way to escape the demands of the festive season for a few hours too.

Ramblers enjoying the snow

The Festival of Winter Walks, supported this year by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and is now in its 30th year.
All group walks during this Festival of Winter Walks are free to attend.

Jess Dolan, Ramblers Scotland director, said: ‘winter is a wonderful time to get outdoors and enjoy your surroundings in the fresh air, but it can drop to the bottom of the list among all the competing demands of the holidays.

‘Our Festival of Winter Walks offers an easy way to head out for a winter wander with friends and family.’

The 60 free festival walks in Scotland include:

· ‘Mince Pie Walk’ at Abbotsford on 23 December. Join Eildon Ramblers for a Christmas-themed circular walk.

· Walk, talk and eat at Camperdown Park, near Dundee on 28 December. Join Dundee & District Ramblers for a five-mile walk, followed by optional lunch at Camperdown Zoo Café.

· A lochside ramble at Loch an Eilein on 30 December. Join Badenoch & Strathspey Ramblers for a woodland walk next to the stunning loch. 

· A winter forest walk at Ae on 6 January. Join Dumfries & District Ramblers for a figure-of-eight walk in the beautiful Ae Forest.

· A five-mile stomp at Errol and Port Allen on 6 January. Join Perth & District Ramblers for a scenic circular walk through woods and beside the River Tay. 

Rambling in the wintertime

With the walks being categorised into groups such as ‘Winterwonderland routes’, ‘Rewarding pub walks’ and winter foraging routes’, there is something for everyone.

If you still feel like you need some inspiration for your winter wonders you can download the freeMedal Routes App. Here you will find over 1,000 short walking routes across Scotland. Additionally if you visit ramblers.org.uk/winter you will find hundreds of free group walks that are taking place, with 54 local groups run entirely by volunteers across the country, you’re bound to find one that is perfect for your rambling desires.