Baby, it’s cold outside! Which is why we decided it would be the P E R F E C T time to pop on and talk all things winter walking. Anyone else love getting all bundled up in the hat/gloves/scarf/giant coat combo and just heading outdoors? There’s so many fab places in Boro to choose from if you want to get your stroll on, and I’m going to take inspiration from Love Mbro Lass Rach and do my Top 5. Grab your winter woollies and come and join me on a winter walk!
The Centre Square shuffle
I call this one my “I’m at Love Middlesbrough HQ and need some fresh air” lunchtime stroll. Even on a coldy-cold-cold day, a 15 minute stroll outside is exactly what you need to blow those stuffy office cobwebs away. The beauty of this one is you can pick any direction you like and you’ll still end up back where you started. Along the way you’ll take a stroll past mima, Central Library, the Bottle of Notes, the gorgeous Town Hall and the view right across Centre Square – if you’re lucky and it’s a blue sky day you’ll even see the hills in the distance!
Top tip – if you’ve got more time to spare, extend the walk and head off towards Corporation Road where you’ll get to see the Empire and the front of the Town Hall too!
The Stewart Park stroll
Weekends are made for walking and there’s really nothing nicer on a walk than being surrounded by trees and green for as far as the eye can see, even in deepest darkest winter. For me, Stewart Park is one of those places where no matter how many times you’ve been before, if you just change direction you’ll end up seeing something you’ve never seen before! From meeting up with friends to walking the dog, it’s definitely one of my top picks for a stroll. In winter when the trees are bare there’s still so many cute things to find. Also, ducks. I love ducks.
Top tip – pencil this one in for the last Sunday of every month, set your alarm and get there early. As well as strolling round the park, you’ll also come across the Northern Dales Farmers’ Market – full of tasty, local food and absolutely lovely stall holders who’ll pass the time of day in the most charming of ways!
The Fairy Dell adventure
Anyone else with a dog will know all about winter walking – it doesn’t matter how cold/wet/miserable it is out there, the dog quite simply needs to go out! Love Middlesbrough dog is called Bob, and the thing about Bob is that he’s both a muck magnet and loves water so if you’re really lucky he’ll get filthy first and then clean off in the water. If you’re lucky…this is not always the case. Not again, Bob!
Fairy Dell is still a “new to me” discovery. Easy to find, good parking and with loads of different options for walks, it’s a brilliant place to go for your winter walk. The dog part is optional obviously – cos not everyone has a dog apparently. Weirdos… *chuckles*
For those less attracted to mud, the paths are pretty good even during the winter sogginess, and there’s LOADS to see! Even more if you throw your wellies on and take a walk around the whole thing. The wooden sculptures and giant houses that you walk past are a definite favourite for me. Bob’s favourite is to run around like a total loon and jump in the stream. He really would prefer to go in the lovely big pond but for some reason the humans always start shouting NOOOOOoooooo at him as he puts one paw in to test the temperature…
Top tip – Don’t get too tied down making a plan for your Fairy Dell adventure. The first time we ever went we just wandered around and changed direction as we felt like it. It’s definitely the best way to get to see everything!
The Albert Park march
If you’ve never been to Albert Park before my first question to you is going to be “whaaaattttt?” As of this moment, right now is the BEST time to go. Peeking up out of the mulchy leaves are the very first signs of Spring as the bulbs and flowers pop out to say hello.
The beauty of Albert Park is that it truly is a park for all seasons. The paths are all paved which is of course perfect for some winter strolling. My personal favourite is to phone a friend, meet at the park gates and then walk the entire perimeter taking in all the sights along the way, from our much loved Dorman Museum to the lake with yep, you guessed it, more ducks! It’s just long enough to get all your steps in, catch up on all the latest gossip and fit a lunchtime walk in too!
Top tip – if you don’t have time for the full circuit you can take the path right through the middle of the park, past the fountain and still take in all of the lovely park views.
The Transporter Park power trio
Transporter Park is a bit of a best-kept secret I reckon, so shhhh, don’t tell everyone. Not only do you get the most brilliant view of our glorious Transporter Bridge, there’s also loads of funky benches, cute colourful houses and wildflowers and grasses to be enjoyed. Hear me out cos I know it’s flipping cold down by the water in the winter, but trust me – it’s worth it!
Start your winter stroll in Transporter Park – look at the cute houses, ooh and ahh and take the first of probably about one million photos of the Transporter Bridge. From there head out towards the viewing point for the bridge – if you’re really lucky and it’s a still day with those bluest of blue winter skies you’ll get that perfect bridge-reflection shot (Instagrammin’ for the win). If you think that’s the money shot wait until you reach the infamous wall photo…
From here it’s really up to you. If it was me, I would bravely battle the winds to the old Dock Clock and Temenos, but that could equally be a winter walk for a whole other day.
Top tip – wrap up warm! We’re talking the big coat, scarf, gloves and a hat you know won’t blow off. It’s suuuuper windy down there and when it’s cold as well…oof! You’ll soon know about it!
The best thing about winter walking? When you’re done, it’s almost a legal requirement that you warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. Lucky for you we know just the place for one – check out our hot chocolate round up and start planning your next walk!
Hit us up in the comments with your favourite winter stroll. We always love trying out new places.