5 Winter Breaks UK

With a diverse arts scene, charismatic coastal towns, and an abundance of historic architecture, Britain is brimming with exciting adventures. Grab your coat and wellies and take a winter break in the UK.

We often get stuck for ideas in the winter so why not try one of our suggestions and go for a break in the UK this year. You will be surprised how much the UK has to offer in the winter, from crisp coastal walks to cosy country pubs and a roaring log fire. Explore the UK this winter, you won’t be sorry.

Whitby

Whitby Winter
Explore Whitby this winter. Photo by Lison Zhao on Unsplash

With an abundance of history and peaceful coastal walks, Whitby is an idyllic town nestled in Yorkshire. This welcoming town is perfectly positioned along the North Sea and is particularly famous for its award-winning fish and chips.

You don’t always have to visit a typical seaside town in summer, in fact, Whitby is one of our favourite places to visit in the winter. It is hauntingly beautiful and takes on a really moody feel. Take your walking boots or wellies as Whitby promises plenty of long coastal walks then head back to your cosy accommodation or warm up at a local country pub.

There are lots of activities to do in Whitby even during the colder months. The town is also home to the popular North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a spectacular historical journey on board a heritage steam train.

Don’t miss out on a trip to the Whitby Abbey, recently awarded the title of Britain’s most romantic historic ruins. Then learn about the area’s local history at the Whitby Museum, or,  visit the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. Finally admire local artwork at the Whitby Pannett Art Gallery.

Top Winter Tip

Whitby Ghost Walk
Scare yourself silly on a Ghost Walk with Rose Ryland

Try a ghost tour!

Rose Rylands is a locally born storyteller who shares intimate knowledge of the coast and surroundings, along with local folklore, history, mysteries, and legends. She runs a variety of guided walks, including Guided Walking Tours of Whitby and Ghost walks in Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby.

She also provides storytelling evenings for visiting school groups, as well as public speaking for weddings and events. All walks and events can be found on her website at www.whitbystoryteller.co.uk

North York Moors National Park

North York Moors
Gorgeous views at North York Moors. Photo by Andy Carne on Unsplash

For the super walkers and lovers of nature or if you’re looking to totally get away from it all, the North York Moors National Park is the perfect place to reconnect with nature.

With fantastic biking and hiking trails, this is a wonderful destination for all the family. Expect to find an abundance of birds, plants, and other wildlife species. There are also plenty of historical landmarks to explore thanks to the region’s impressive Roman heritage.

The Rievaulx Abbey is a collection of Cistercian monasteries that date back to the 12th Century. Situated in the River Rye valley, visitors can explore the abbey ruins, or, view medieval carvings and artifacts at the onsite museum.

Kick back and enjoy a dramatic landscape that’s flanked by the iconic moors. There are many ways to get around the national park including hiking, running, cycling, and horseback riding.

Top Winter Tip

Stars
Get starry eyed in the North York Moors. Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

During winter, the North York Moors offers exceptional stargazing opportunities with a specially dedicated festival in February and March. Grab your chance to get a glimpse of the upcoming meteor showers, roughly 90% of British people have never seen the Milky Way due to living under light-polluted skies, but here on the coast, it shimmers overhead on autumn evenings and in the darkest spots you can see up to 2,000 stars.

Bath

Bath Street
Beautiful Bath. Photo by Liv Cashman on Unsplash

Famed for its stunning architecture and world class spas, Bath is the ultimate city break for those looking to combine sightseeing and relaxation after a long day.

Situated amongst the rolling hills of Somerset, the city’s name is linked to the bathhouses that were first constructed during the Roman settlement period.

Using the area’s mineral rich spring waters, these grand bathhouses promoted rest and wellbeing, something which the city still prides itself on today.

As you wander the streets of Bath, it will be difficult not to notice the grand Georgian terraces at every turn.

Explore the local boutique stores and art and crafts shops for unique gifts and souvenirs.

Of course, as with most city’s in the UK, Bath offers a wide selection of free museums and galleries. Bath Abbey is an exceptional example of England’s striking medieval architecture, with a fascinating Gothic interior.

Walk along the River Avon towards the city’s 18th Century Pulteney Bridge, lined with idyllic shops above the river.

Winter Top Tip

Spa Break
Melt away the winter blues! Image by Jürgen Rübig from Pixabay

When it’s time to relax, follow the footsteps of the Romans and head to the fantastic Thermae Bath Spa complex, perfect after a busy day exploring the city.

Devon

Devon Castle
Watch the sun go down in Devon. Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

Offering an attractive coastline, Devon is a great destination for surfing and hiking. Situated in the South of England, the area offers pristine beaches, breathtaking clifftops, and a warmer climate.

Take the kids on a hunt for fossils along the iconic Jurassic Coast, a 95-mile route where dinosaurs once walked the earth.

Be sure to sample a traditional Devonshire cream tea, complete with scones, pastries, jam, and a good old pot of tea.

Further inland, Dartmoor National Park is brimming with scenic hikes that pass significant Bronze Age monuments.

The city of Exeter offers museums, excellent restaurants, and laid-back bars, while Torquay is home to some of the best beaches in the country.

Foodies can also rejoice at Devon’s popular farmer’s markets with a selection of homemade produce and locally brewed cider.

And, at the end of the day, do as the locals do and head to a nearby pub!

Winter Top Tip

Wistman Wood
Wander through Wistman Wood. Image by Rhian Wyn Harrison from Pixabay

December through to February are the best times to visit, one of the UK’s oldest dwarf-oak forests. Its not hard to see why it was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings trilogy with the Ring’s illustrator, Alan Lee actually living nearby in Chagford. The trees have shaken off their leaves, you’ll get to see the boney, arthritic prehistoric trunks. As well as velvety moss you will get the most magical photos. Don’t worry about walking the easy one-hour walk starts from the Two Bridges Hotel. 

Lake District

Lake District Climbers
Get your walking boots ready! Photo by Danny Lau on Unsplash

Spanning across 885 square miles, the Lake District is an extraordinary destination with challenging hikes, rock climbing, and kayaking adventures.

Home to England’s highest peak, Scafell, the Lake District also offers spectacular mountain scenery.

The area is comprised of 16 lakes, each one surrounded by charismatic towns and villages.

Head to the idyllic village of Grasmere and visit the 17th Century gingerbread shop for its famous homemade biscuits and fudge.

Ambleside is a fantastic base, at the far end of Lake Windermere, with plenty of accommodation and food options.

Take a walk to the idyllic town of Troutbeck, or, venture further away from the lakes to the Great Langdale valley where you will uncover waterfalls, idyllic farmland, and even more challenging hikes.

Winter Top Tip

Beatrix Potter
Re-live your childhood. Photo Attribution M.L.Wits / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Looking for that little bit of childhood magic? the World of Beatrix Potter™ is a fun family attraction that brings to life Beatrix Potter’s enchanting stories in a magical recreation of the beautiful Lake District countryside. There’s even an outdoor Peter Rabbit Garden! Why not try the World of Beatrix Potter.

Hopefully, we have given you lots of reasons to have a winter break this year. Let us know in the comments below if there is anywhere we have missed that you love to visit.

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