Top 10 UK Winter Breaks
The UK may not have as much sunshine as other countries during winter but where it lacks in temperature it excels in natural beauty. A winter break in the UK conjures up images of cosy log cabins, long walks in the snow and a heavy breeze that will blow away the cobwebs. With lots to see and do for adults and children, we look at the top 10 UK winter break destinations.
A trip to Edinburgh will impress all year round but is especially pretty in winter. Temperatures plummet during winter months but the atmosphere is one of the warmest you could wish for. Visit in December for a Hogmanay break that will see you welcome in the new year with a wee bang! With Christmas Concerts, annual Festive Pantomime, Christmas markets on Princes Street and St Andrew’s Square, the Ice Rink, Big Wheel and other attractions on offer as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas, Edinburgh is the perfect place to enjoy the build up to Christmas and New Year.
The Scottish Isle of Skye is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. With lots of snow falling in the winter, you will feel like you are in a scene from a Christmas card. Hire a cottage for a short break, where you can take long walks, climb the ‘ old man of storr’ then retire to the ‘ Three Chimneys’ restaurant for a Michelin style meal and a wee dram of whiskey to warm you back up.
3. Country Antrim
County Antrim is one of the most beautiful areas of Northern Ireland with The Black Mountains its stand out attraction. The views from the top are amazing, with the Scottish coastline in the distance. During the winter months, the views can be especially clear and you will want to stay at the top despite the cold. With plenty of countryside to help you switch off from the stresses of the city, you can enjoy long pub lunches and buy fresh farm produce if you hire a self-catering cottage.
4. Bluestone National Park, Wales
Situated in beautiful Pembrokeshire, Bluestone offers luxurious winter breaks for the whole family. Stay in one of the cosy countryside cottages and take part in many activities they have on offer, including a giant indoor countryside themed play area for when it is just too cold. There are special festive themed breaks at Christmas, including ‘ Kingdom of the Elves ‘ and New Year bonanzas.
Home to the stunning Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd is a wonderful area to explore during winter. You may not be able to climb the mountains but you can certainly take a long walk around the park and enjoy the winter wonderland views. There are lots of small villages to wander around, where you can enjoy a warm stew and a hot chocolate or take in one of the many castles in the area, including the famous Caernarfon Castle.
6. North Yorkshire
With snow of the moors, crystal clear skies and brisk fresh air to fill your lungs, Yorkshire will warm you up during winter months. The scenery is so pretty and there are lots of activities to keep you busy throughout all conditions. Visit York for the day for a trip to their annual Christmas Markets or to simply browse the boutique style shops that line cobbled streets and surround the wonderful cathedral. There are many countryside walks that you can take, particularly around the coastline where you can indulge in a spot of birdwatching. The best way to enjoy the area is to book a holiday cottage and take your car so that you see as much as possible.
Devon is a popular tourist destination throughout spring and summer so a trip during the winter months will mean you get to explore the area without the crowds. As well as laid back walks and long nights at an open fire in your log cabin, you can get active by sledging in Exmoor or, if you are very brave, go surfing in Woolacombe. Surfing in winter may seem a little crazy but it is a popular boxing day tradition in many parts of Devon! If slow is your pace then take a romantic train ride through the snowy landscapes of the Barnstaple and Lynton railway.
8. Ribby Hall, Lancashire
Another great spot for children and families, Ribby Hall attracts thousands of visitors year upon year. Situated in The Ribble Valley and near to The Lake District you can book a stay at the hall and explore the surrounding areas to make the most of your break. Kids will love the annual Winter Wonderland extravaganza at Christmas and adults can indulge in the luxury spa and fine dining restaurant. You can stay in the on-site hotel or rent out a self-catering cottage that is great value for money for families.
9. Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Head to the home of Robin Hood for a winter wonderland walk through the magnificent cottage. Centre Parcs have a resort on site, where you can hire a luxury cottage and take part in themed activities for adults and children. If a resort is not your thing you can book into a hotel in Nottingham itself and take a drive to explore the area. You can always book a cabin in the woods, where you can put your feet up with a hot chocolate after a long walk.
Yurting is not just for summer as you can enjoy a little camping luxury throughout the winter. The Cotswolds is an area rich in yurt parks due to its vast expanse of beautiful countryside that offers true R&R. With a crisp winter breeze you can enjoy long winter walks or explore the winter markets in Cheltenham. If you want to head further afield a short drive to Malvern is the perfect day out for a spot of culture.