Perfect places for a winter walk
Pull on your boots and gloves: here are some of our favourite museums, historic houses and gardens where you can go dashing through the snow.
Woolly hats, winter sun, fairylit festivals and anything mulled – there’s so much to love about winter.
While it's easy to huddle yourself away at home during the colder months, winter is a gorgeous time to wander outside, as frosty mornings and unusual winter plants create opportunities for lovely natural views.
We’ve selected just a few of the beautiful houses and museums that are perfect for a winter stroll. From the frosted cherry garden at Ham House to Wimpole’s atmospheric gothic folly, there’s a feast for the eyes round every corner. Lose yourself in acres of park and woodland and get back to nature this winter.
This former writer’s home is surrounded by the outstanding natural beauty of the Lake District. Perched right on the water, the house is surrounded by 250 acres of wood perfect for wanders overlooking Coniston Water. Ambitious walkers can ramble all the way to Crag Head, while those looking for an easy stroll can take one of the garden trails and marvel at the contemporary Zig Zaggy garden, and the Fern Garden, a maze of over 250 native British ferns.
Here you can explore 120 acres of parkland perfection, from allotments packed with flowers, herbs and edible goodies, to the colourful pigment garden full of flowers and pretty planting. The gardens were originally designed by landscape architect extraordinaire Capability Brown, to provide unique views of the gorgeous house from different points, giving you something to ponder as you stroll around. Plus, the park is often home to temporary artworks.
There are a whopping 6,000 acres to get lost in around this splendid Rothschild mansion in Buckinghamshire. Long walks and forest picnics are top of the list to do here, plus magical decorations and light installations illuminate the gardens over the winter season. Take a walk to the idyllic Eythrope Gardens, defined by its perfectly pruned bushes and beds of snowdrops, or wander the Aviary, home to dozens of exotic birds.
The gorgeous gardens surrounding the majestic Wimpole Estate are guided by the changing seasons. Winter is a magical time to visit here, as frost dusts the pathways and the flower beds are packed with fragrant winter plants such as daphne and sarcococca. There are acres of land to explore and for those wanting a longer walk you can make your way to the atmospheric Gothic Folly, looking like it’s been plucked straight from the pages of a Daphne du Maurier novel.
Winter at Ham House is the only time you’ll be able to see unspoilt views of the house from the wilderness of woodland, and as you walk around, you’ll be able to explore a frosted cherry garden, beds of snowdrops and hundreds of Hellebore blooms. 30 acres surround this stunning Stuart mansion which sits just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of London, in the gorgeous borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.
An oasis of nature in South East London, the Horniman Museum and Gardens is the perfect spot to stroll around and meet a friend for a coffee surrounded by charming gardens. Take refuge in the beautiful walled garden, explore local wildlife and hunt for those coveted views across London. Warm up with a hot drink from the museum café in the colder months and unwind away from the busy city.
The more you see, the more we do.
The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.