Andrew White, the writer and presenter of TV series Walks Around Britain, shares some of his top tips for walking on the coast this winter
1. WEAR A GOOD PAIR OF BOOTS
Boots with decent tread are the order of the day for winter coastal walks – to keep you on the beaten track, and not falling off it. They don’t have to be expensive – good boots can be had for around £60.
2. A WATERPROOF NOT SHOWER-PROOF JACKET
There’s a big difference between waterproof and showerproof – and you’ll really notice that on a coastal cliff walk in winter. Showerproof jackets won’t help keep the wind out, regardless of whether it is raining or not – but a waterproof one will.
3. AVOID WINTER WALKING IN DENIM JEANS
Walking in jeans should be avoided, especially in winter. Wet jeans get very cold and take an age to dry – so you’ll get wet, cold and likely have some chaffing too… best donning a pair of proper walking trousers to keep dry, warm and comfortable.
4. CHECK PUBLIC TRANSPORT TIMETABLES
If you’re doing a linear walk along the coast, double check public transport times, as there can be a reduced service on buses and trains in winter in coastal areas.
5. THINK OF SUN PROTECTION
Many people forget that it is still possible to get fairly severe sunburn in winter – especially if you have pale skin. If you know you are prone to sunburn, don’t forget to liberally apply your choice of suncream to make sure you don’t regret the walk later…
Photo: DJ Taylor/Shutterstock
6. TRY A ROUTE YOU’VE DONE BEFORE
The landscape, the views, and the atmosphere are completely different at different times of the year, so you will get another perspective on an old favourite route in winter.
7. CARRY MORE FOOD AND DRINK THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED
Just like the buses and trains, coastal shops can often be seasonal too, so pack more snacks and drinks than you otherwise would. Bananas are a great source of energy which lasts for a long time… making them perfect for winter coastal walks.
8. PAY ATTENTION TO TIDE TIMES
This is something to think about throughout the year if you’re walking along beaches of course, but also certain cliff-top walks can become dangerous in winter with the possibility of higher than normal waves.
9. LAYER UP – NO THICK WOOLLY JUMPERS
A thick jumper isn’t the best thing to keep you warm, as once you start walking, you’ll get too hot! Several thin layers are best, so you can add and remove them as your temperature changes.
10. WEAR A PAIR OF WALKING SOCKS
Good walking socks will keep your feet toasty, allow them to sweat, and offer extra protection around the balls of the feet and heels. Remember, if your feet are happy, you are happy…