When to go walking in England


If ever there was a group of people who can use the very British expression, Keep Calm and Carry On, it‘s walkers enjoying English countryside. Keep going, rain or shine, because there is always a pub with a roaring fire, a warming cup of tea, or something stronger, nearby. Which is why walking holidays run here all year, with wonderful seasonal differences: autumn pumpkins on the South Downs, winter snow on the Dales, spring lambs in the Lake District, and warm summer seas on the south coast. The best time to go on a walking holiday in England is, quite simply, when your boots are screaming out to be donned.

The best time to go on a walking holiday in England

a month by month guide

The driest season for walking in the Lake District is between March and June, but it is changeable all year round. Snow can fall here anytime between November and March, but there are still wonderful areas to be discovered on foot if you wrap up well.

The South Downs get quite busy around Easter and in July and August, as well as Bank Holidays. It is the closest national park to London so there can be a mass exodus feel about it. But there are always quiet corners to be found.

The best time to walk the Pilgrims’ Trail is April to October for dry weather. Easter is also a special time of year for anyone who wants the truly sacred experience en route, particularly at Winchester and Canterbury cathedrals.

The Lake and Peak Districts are gorgeous around April when lambing season has the fields a-jumping.

The Cotswolds love their food festivals, such as Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling in May, the Cotswold Show and Food Festival in July and the Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival in June.

The Thames Path is gorgeous in spring and summer but in winter it can be prone to flooding, particularly upstream of Oxford. Bird watching is particularly good along the river in April and May, with butterflies, damsel and dragonflies at their most active June until September.

The South West Coast Path is gorgeous in summer, but can get busy in spots. However, the water stays warm here until late September and even early October. Late August and September are gorgeous when the heather and gorse come into bloom, and the coast takes on a heavenly hue of purples and yellows.

The Lewes Bonfire Night celebrations are iconic and like nowhere else in England. They take place on 5th November, and walking on the South Downs around this time promises crisp air, pumpkin filled fields and roaring fires, not just in Lewes but in every pub for miles.

December is a very popular time in the Lake District for family Christmas reunions. Head there just before the main public holidays, and you will have the hills to yourselves. The weather can vary from wet, windy and wild to clear and frosty, and temperatures can dip well below zero. Pack crampons, courage and a hipflask, and don’t stray too far off the beaten path.

If you are doing the Shakespeare’s Way and want to see theatre at the beginning and end of the journey, the main outdoor season at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London usually opens around late April.
If you'd like to chat about England or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700



June Zaft of our supplier Country Walks: “My personal favourite time of year is spring when nature is awakening, painting trees a fresh green again. Wildflowers carpet the ground and as there's the promise of long days ahead for walking in the countryside.”
Paul Day, Managing Director at Let’s Go Walking, shares his experiences of walking in England: “Winter in Dartmoor lets you explore more of the moors as the muddy, boggy areas tend to harden which allows walkers to wander a little further from the footpaths. Of course, the summer’s not bad either and if you’re a fan of wild swimming, seek out the Cullever Steps below Scary Tor for one of my favourite spots to cool off on a hot day on the moors.”
Photo credits: [Temp chart: Simon Forster] [Helpdesk: Alan Cleaver] [Paul Day quote - Dartmoor: Herry Lawford]
Written by Catherine Mack
Thames Path walking holiday, Cotswolds to London

Thames Path walking holiday, Cotswolds to London

Follow the Thames river from its source in the Cotswolds

From £763 8 Days ex flights
Cumbria Way walking holiday, Lake District

Cumbria Way walking holiday, Lake District

Walking Holiday in England's Lake District The Cumbria Way

From £675 10 Days ex flights
Yorkshire guided walking holiday, The Prior Richard Way

Yorkshire guided walking holiday, The Prior Richard Way

A guided 12th century walk, York to Fountains Abbey via Ripon

From £350 4 Days ex flights
Pilgrims Way self guided walking tour, England

Pilgrims Way self guided walking tour, England

Discover Kent's history, its landscape and its people

From £649 6 Days ex flights
Thames Path walking holiday, Oxford to Windsor

Thames Path walking holiday, Oxford to Windsor

Self guided walk along the River Thames Oxford to Windsor

From £624 7 Days ex flights
Dartmoor & Exmoor walking holiday, England

Dartmoor & Exmoor walking holiday, England

Self guided walking between the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks.

From £269 3 Days ex flights
Northumberland coast walking holiday

Northumberland coast walking holiday

Self Guided Walking Holiday in Northumberland Coast Path

From £560 8 Days ex flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: Luke Porter]
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