The Best Winter Holidays UK
While visiting Christmas markets or Winter Wonderlands might not be possible this year, that doesn't mean that you can't plan a cosy winter break. There are plenty of UK winter holiday destinations that are perfect for the colder months and will give you something to look forward to.
Here are some cosy UK destinations for a winter staycation.
Best Countryside Winter Breaks
Cosy traditional pubs with roaring open fires, frosty fields for miles and fresh countryside air. What could be better? Here in the UK, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect destination.
Lake District, Cumbria
Famous for mountainous landscapes and picture-perfect scenery, the Lake District is an idyllic escape from reality. Explore footpaths and bridleways in the National Park, and admire the calmness of one of the many beautiful lakes as you amble along the shore. There are plenty of other activities to enjoy when you visit; sample home-cooked delights at a local cafe, sip real ale at a country pub, explore a garden centre or book a boat trip.
Towns and villages that are popular places to stay include Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside, Grasmere and Hawkshead. There are lots of different options to choose from when it comes to accommodation. If you're on a tight budget, check out the youth hostels, cosy Bed & Breakfasts and Airbnb properties. Or, if you want to spend a bit more, there are some stunning hotels and rental cottages too. Of course, if you're willing to embrace the great outdoors in all types of weather, camping and glamping are also great options.
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds spans across Gloucestershire, west Oxfordshire and south western Warwickshire.
Perfect for families or a romantic getaway, there's plenty to keep you entertained. The area has literary and royal connections, giving it a quintessentially British charm. There are lots of stunning gardens to visit, with Hidcote being a particular favourite. You can also take a trip to see some historic buildings in the area, such as Sudeley Castle which is nestled in the Cotswolds hills or Tewkesbury Abbey, which is said to be the largest and finest Romanesque tower in England. You'll find plenty of pretty villages to see, all with a distinctive personality. Burford, Bourton-on-Water and Chedworth are thought to be some of the most appealing villages in the area. Hiking and mountain biking are also favourite pastimes in the Cotswolds, although you'll have to wrap up warm!
Brecon Beacons, South Wales
Fresh air and wide-open space, what could be better? The Brecon Beacons National Park has some of the finest walking trails in Europe, not to mention an array of characterful towns and villages, historic castles and other places of interest.
It's a perfect escape for those who seek outdoor adventure all year round- no matter what the weather is doing. The landscape is a playground for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders, not to mention nature lovers and photographers. Roam over 600 miles of extensive footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways. Explore the shores of lakes, canals and reservoirs and roam through woodland and moors. Dedicated to nocturnal preservation, The Brecon Beacons is also great for stargazing, with Usk Reservoir, Hay Bluff and the National Park Visitor Centre proving popular spots.
Visit Brecon Castle which overlooks the confluence of the river Afon Honddu as it flows into the River Usk. Or, learn about Abergavenny Castle at the adjoining museum. Once an old fortress, it is set in beautiful lush hills. Other historic landmarks include St Edmund's Church and Brecon Cathedral.
Another great day out on a cold and rainy day is a trip on the Brecon Mountain Railway Steam Train. Departing from Pant station, the steam locomotive will take you through beautiful scenery into the Brecon Beacons National Park, travelling the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir to Dol-y-Gaer.
Best Winter Coastal Breaks UK
Who said a sea view was only for summer? While it might not be warm enough for ice cream, there's still plenty to enjoy if you decide to take a coastal break this winter.
Get up early, take a stroll along the Norfolk coastline and watch the sun come up. It's truly breathtaking, but don't forget to wrap up warm! Norwich is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches but also has the advantage of city shopping and attractions; so there are lots of things to see and do.
Inside the city walls, there are over 1500 historic buildings to admire. You should pay particular attention to the city's cathedral. Boasting the second-highest spire in England, it is a fine example of Romanesque architecture. You will also find 33 medieval churches along with beautiful Tudor buildings dotted along the main high street.
If you're a nature lover, why not take a Wildlife Sea Safari and see the seals up close at Blakeney Point, the largest seal colony in England. There's also plenty of beautiful walks that will take you along the coastline. Check out Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path and start planning your route if you fancy a bracing walk!
Bamburgh is a beautiful coastal town in the heart of Northumberland. Known for its stunning castle, idyllic beaches and coastal paths, it's the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs. A visit to Bamburgh Castle is a must, but there are plenty of other things to see and do in Northumberland.
Explore the picturesque villages of Rothbury, Craster and Low Newton By-the-Sea. Or, wander around some of the bigger market towns, such as Morpeth or Berwick. If historic castles are your thing, then why not visit Alnwick Castle? It's known for featuring in some of the Harry Potter films and also has some stunning gardens to admire. Other attractions in the area include the Heatherslaw Mill and Light Railway, the Grace Darling Museum and boat trips to the Farne Islands.
There are plenty of places to stay if you visit Bamburgh or other areas of Northumberland. If you're looking for some pet-friendly options so that you can take your dog, some of the B&B's do welcome four-legged guests.
Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire
On the Heritage Coast of the North Yorkshire Moors is the picture-perfect Robin Hood's Bay. This old fishing village is the perfect spot to unwind. There are plenty of coastal and country walks to enjoy and cycle-paths to explore, which will give you plenty of opportunities to appreciate the spectacular sea views. Perhaps one of the most famous walking trails is the Coast to Coast, which begins at St Bees Head in Cumbria and finishes at Robin Hood's Bay. Why not wrap up warm and experience part of the trail yourself?
The North Yorkshire Coastline is rich with nature and wildlife, even during the winter months. At Ravenscar, you should keep an eye out for the resident seal colonies. You will be able to spot the Common Seal and the Grey Seal and you can watch them from a distance at any time of year.
The village has lots of quaint little shops, including a lovely little book shop. You can also treat yourself to tasty food and drink at the selection of cafes, pubs and restaurants the village has to offer. Other attractions include Falling Foss Tea Garden and Fylingdales Moor as well as visits to other seaside towns such as Whitby and Scarborough.
With plenty of walking routes, bike rides and beautiful scenery across the UK, it's still possible to find some enjoyment this winter. If you do decide to plan a few days away, don't forget to check to see if there are any local restrictions in place before packing up your roof box.