As winter blankets South Devon in a glistening layer of frost, there's no better time to lace up your boots and embark on a picturesque winter walk. The crisp air, frost-kissed landscapes, and serene ambiance make South Devon a haven for those seeking the perfect winter stroll.  

Some may think that walking or hiking is a pastime for the warmer seasons, but we say that’s simply not true! Yes, you’ll have to wrap up warm with a few extra layers, but walking in the winter feels somewhat more accomplished than the summer. And there’s no better feeling than arriving at a warm abode to enjoy a well-earned cuppa, or even a hearty breakfast after a strenuous (or not so strenuous!) trek.  

We’ve put together a list of our favourite winter walks to give you some inspiration to help get the blood pumping during this cold but magical season.  

Walks on Dartmoor National Park  

When we think of walking in Devon, the first place that comes to mind is Dartmoor with its rugged and striking landscape, stretching on for miles upon miles. Some mornings Dartmoor is even blessed with a blanket of white snow on especially cold days which is a beautiful sight to be seen. Being such a vast area, you might be overwhelmed with choosing a place to amble, but here’s just a couple of our top spots to help you out.  

Princetown to Burrator Reservoir Circular Walk 

Begin your winter adventure at Princetown, a quaint and unique town nestled in the heart of the National Park.  

This circular walk takes you through the rugged beauty of the moors, offering breath-taking views of towering tors and expansive landscapes. The highlight of the journey is the picturesque Burrator Reservoir, where the frost-covered trees reflect on the calm waters, creating a magical winter scene. 

The Princetown to Burrator Reservoir trail covers a variety of terrain, including open moorland, wooded areas, and riverside paths. While the trail is generally well-maintained, some sections may be uneven, so sturdy walking boots are advisable. 

Haytor and Hound Tor 

A winter walk that takes you to two iconic granite tors, Haytor and Hound Tor, promises stunning panoramic views of Dartmoor. Start your journey at the popular Haytor Visitor Centre and ascend Haytor, an imposing granite outcrop that provides commanding views of the moorland. In winter, the tor is often dusted with snow or frost, creating a striking contrast against the blue sky. 

From Haytor, follow the trail to Hound Tor, passing through the undulating moorland. Hound Tor, with its distinctive rocky peaks, offers a different perspective of Dartmoor's granite landscape. The winter ambiance adds a serene beauty to the vast expanses of heather and moss-covered rocks. As you reach the summit of Hound Tor, take in the panoramic views of the surrounding moors, a landscape that has been shaped by centuries of natural forces. 

Both Haytor and Hound Tor are steeped in Dartmoor's history, and as you walk between these ancient landmarks, you can't help but feel a connection to the past. This winter walk combines the thrill of exploring iconic tors with the tranquillity of the moorland, making it a perfect outing for those seeking a mix of adventure and contemplation in the winter months. 

Wistman’s Wood 

Dartmoor is known for its ancient woodlands, and Wistman's Wood is a true gem. This walk begins near Two Bridges and takes you through the hauntingly beautiful Wistman's Wood, a tangled mass of twisted oaks covered in moss and lichen.  

In winter, when the ground is dusted with frost, the atmosphere becomes almost magical. The low winter sun casts long shadows between the moss-covered boulders, creating an otherworldly experience. 

Whilst you’re in the area why not pop into Two Bridges Hotel Restaurant for a bite to eat after your walk? They pride themselves on serving up the very best seasonal produce from local farmers, fishermen and producers. We’d recommend the Jail Ale battered Brixham Fish! The hotel also makes a great base if you’re looking for accommodation in the heart of the National Park.  

Coastal Walks 

Devon's coastline, with its craggy cliffs, sandy shores, and breath-taking views, takes on a special charm during the winter months. As frost delicately blankets the landscapes, coastal walks become a captivating experience. Here’s our top three.  

Salcombe to Bolt Head 

The South Devon coastline comes alive in winter, and the Salcombe to Bolt Head Coastal Walk is a must for those seeking a brisk seaside adventure.  

The South West Coast Path winds along the cliffs, providing stunning views of the frost-covered cliffs, golden beaches, and the glittering sea below. This invigorating walk offers a perfect blend of coastal beauty and winter tranquillity. 

After your walk back to Salcombe why not head into one of their many cafes for a warming cup of coffee and a bite to eat to refuel.   

Dawlish to Dawlish Warren 

Experience the winter charm of the South Devon coast with a walk from Dawlish to Dawlish Warren.  

This coastal trail offers stunning views of the frosty beaches, rocky cliffs, and the expansive sea. The crisp sea breeze invigorates your senses as you traverse the South West Coast Path. Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve adds an extra layer of interest with its diverse birdlife, providing a scenic backdrop to your winter coastal adventure. 

The route is only about a mile and a half each way, along the sea wall so it’s an easy route, even for the littlest of feet! You can also catch the train back to Dawlish if you grow tired for a more relaxing return. 

Sidmouth to Branscombe Circular Walk 

Experience the beauty of East Devon's Jurassic Coast with a circular walk from Sidmouth to Branscombe.  

The winter sun casts a magical glow on the towering cliffs and the pebble beach. This moderately challenging walk takes you through charming coastal villages and along the South West Coast Path, offering panoramic views of the frost-kissed coastline.  

Treat yourself to a warm drink at one of Branscombe's quaint tea rooms to complete your winter coastal exploration before heading back to Sidmouth. 

Countryside walks 

Devon's countryside beckons with its timeless beauty, especially during the enchanting winter months when frost delicately transforms fields, woodlands, and rivers into a serene landscape. There’s plenty of great walks to choose from but these are our favourites.  

River Avon and Aveton Gifford Circular Walk 

Escape to the South Hams countryside with a circular walk along the River Avon near Aveton Gifford.  

The riverbanks, adorned with frost, lead you through rolling fields and quiet hamlets. This peaceful walk allows you to soak in the rural atmosphere, with the River Avon meandering alongside. Visit the charming village of Aveton Gifford and its ancient church, adding a historical touch to your winter countryside adventure. 

Tiverton Canal and Grand Western Heritage Trail 

Explore the heart of Mid Devon with a walk along the Tiverton Canal and the Grand Western Heritage Trail.  

This leisurely stroll takes you along the scenic canal, bordered by frost-covered hedgerows and farmlands. Enjoy the tranquillity of the countryside as you follow the trail, appreciating the historical significance of the Grand Western Canal

Cockington Village and Country Park Circular Walk 

Delve into the heart of the English Riviera with a visit to Cockington Village and Country Park.  

This circular walk takes you through the timeless village, surrounded by frost-covered gardens and meadows. The thatched cottages and historic manor house provide a picturesque backdrop to your winter stroll in this coastal haven. 

Devon's winter walks offer a unique opportunity to witness the county's natural beauty in a frosty, serene setting. Whether you prefer the wild landscapes of Dartmoor, the coastal charm of the seaside walk, or the countryside tranquillity, there's a winter walk in Devon to suit every taste. Embrace the crisp air, enjoy the frost-kissed scenery, and create lasting memories as you explore the best frosty morning walks that this picturesque county has to offer. 

We’d love to see what walks you embark on this winter. Share your photos and videos with us by tagging @VisitSouthDevon on your posts on Facebook, Instagram, TIkTok and X (Twitter). Stay connected with us by giving us a follow too! 


Dartmoor National Park
National Park
Family looking into the distance

Dartmoor National Park is one of the last great wildernesses in the UK with an inspirational landscape of heatherclad moors and rugged tors.



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