When to go walking in England

We walked the Pilgrims' Trail right after Christmas and New Year. Celebrating new beginnings out and in the elements and discovering landscapes I never knew were on my doorstep made this a very happy new year
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.

Brighton and Sussex coast Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
2
7
100
FEB
1
7
64
MAR
3
9
73
APR
4
12
60
MAY
5
16
59
JUN
10
19
64
JUL
12
21
54
AUG
12
21
66
SEP
10
18
81
OCT
8
15
100
NOV
4
10
106
DEC
2
8
101

Walking holidays in England
month by month

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.

Our top England walking Holiday

Cumbria Way walking holiday, Lake District

Cumbria Way walking holiday, Lake District

Walking Holiday in England's Lake District The Cumbria Way

From £675 to £981 10 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about England walking or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDS

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.”
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Luke Porter] [Intro: Herry Lawford] [Recommendations: Jake Keup]
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