The temperatures might have plummeted but as long as you pile on the layers, you can’t beat a beautiful walk on a crisp winter’s day.
It’s a chance to leave the mayhem and noise behind, and experience a little reflection and rejuvenation, which we all need at this mad time of year.
Fortunately, we don’t have to travel too far from Manchester to enjoy stunning countryside.
Here are just a few suggestions where you can enjoy incredible views while you blow the cobwebs away, and the best bit is they’re all close to a cosy pub so you can settle in for a cosy meal and a hot toddy as a reward for your efforts.
Just a few miles to the east of Manchester city centre is Hartshead Pike, a striking hillside that’s closely linked to the 19th century the tower on its summit.
From up there, you can enjoy incredible views across the Pennines, take in the city’s ever-evolving skyline, and on a clear day, even spot Snowdonia in the far distance.
There are plenty of options for walks, including the Oldham Way and Tame Valley Way, and then there’s the inviting Hartshead Inn (Tameside, OL6 9AQ ), a picturesque country pub with cosy armchairs to nestle into, comfort food on the menu and a huge beer garden with unrivalled views.
Although this is National Trust, non-members can enjoy the vast acres of land that surround the grand Lyme House (SK12 2NR) for the cost of the car park.
Situated on the edge of the Peak District, Lyme was once home to the Legh family, although it’s perhaps best-known as Mr Darcy’s lavish pad in the Nineties adaptation of Pride and Prejudice when Colin Firth famously launched himself into the lake.
A stunning place to walk throughout the year, it’s especially magical in the winter months when you can see the herd of red deer moving across the frosted ground. You can either grab a cup of something warming in the onsite café, or head to The Red Lion pub nearby for a pint and a plate of something hot.
Edale might be 30 miles from Manchester, but it’s worth the extra effort because whether you travel by car or train, there are incredible views to be enjoyed before you even get to the small village that marks the start (or finish) of the well-known Pennine Way.
What’s lovely about this area is that you can make your walk as arduous or easy as you fancy, but wherever you go, you’ll be met with vast, life-affirming views across Hope Valley. On a calm day, you might see the sky filled with paragliders, and you’re bound to pass your fair share of sheep en route.
Whether you’ve kept things relatively flat or tackled miles of tough terrain, the local pubs The Ramblers Inn and The Old Nags Head (S33 7ZD) prove a welcome sight.
This easy, low-level trail in Longdendale Valley near Glossop provides spectacular scenery and is steeped in history as it takes you along the former railway line that ran from Manchester to Sheffield.
In total, the trail is about six-and-a-half miles long and stretches from Hadfield (SK13) to Woodhead Tunnel, but you can choose to go so far and then come back via one of the paths that wrap around the five reservoirs (Bottoms, Valehouse, Rhodeswood, Torside and Woodhead).
For something to quench your thirst, try an ale made onsite at The Globe pub in Glossop.
Not far from the bustle of Manchester airport is the chocolate box hamlet of Styal. The local pub The Ship is a great place to start as they provide a handy booklet with suggested walks such as the one-mile Southern Woods Walk, which takes in the impressive Quarry Bank Mill.
A stunning nod to the region’s industrial past, Channel 4 filmed The Mill here a few years back. For a lengthier walk, you might want to pack a thermos and set out on the nine-mile Styal Circuit where you’ll cover bridges, stiles and streams.
On your return, order some gorgeous grub at The Ship ( SK9 4JE) and thaw out next to a warming fire.
Dove Stone Reservoir
Sometimes you don’t want to embark on an adventure of epic proportions, you just want to stretch your legs and give yourself a break from the indoor heating. In that case, go for a gentle amble around Dove Stone Reservoir, which is close to the village of Greenfield in Oldham (0L3 7NE).
There are plenty of accessible footpaths so you can choose to keep to the beaten track or make for the hills and moorland for an extra challenge.
There are plenty of pubs close-by, too, including The Waggon Inn in Uppermill, which is as cosy as it is busy, and the waterfront Kingfisher in Greenfield.