If you’re looking for reasons to treat yourself and your loved ones to a winter break in Dorset, then...
What is it that makes a good winter holiday for you? Is it bracing walks on the frosty mornings? What about curling up with your favourite book in front of a roaring fire? From the South Coast of Wales all the way up to the Scottish Highlands, we’ve picked out a handful of our favourite UK locations for winter breaks. So, take a look and see if we can tempt you…
If peaceful walks and stunning scenery are prerequisites for your ideal winter break, then Northumberland is just the spot for you. Its famous coastal path provides many a beautiful walk and, when you add in the idyllic surroundings of Northumberland National Park to boot, you can see why the county is the perfect place for those who love nothing more than to strap on their walking boots. No matter where you go, you’ll be blown away by wonderful views – from the imposing Dunstanburgh Castle to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
If the weather gets a bit too chilly en route, head for a warming bite (or well-earned drink!) in one of Northumberland’s many charming towns and villages. Book lovers will love a wander in the quaint town of Alnwick, for example. Home to Barter Books, one of the biggest second hand bookshops in Europe, its where the Keep Calm and Carry On phenomenon was born. So, keep calm, grab a good read, and carry on home to relax in cosy warmth. Bliss!
For dramatic wintery landscapes, the Scottish Highlands are an unrivalled destination. There are few places around the United Kingdom that offer so much peace and quiet amid such majestic, untouched natural surroundings. Crisp sunrises out and about on the glens reveal the mist covered mountains and the silvery lochs. Or maybe you fancy a change of pace? Well, the highlands can offer an adrenaline filled break too! The Cairngorms are the only place in the UK that boast natural ski slopes, and there are countless opportunities to get stuck into a wide variety of winter adventure sports!
You may only think of Pembrokeshire in South Wales as a summer destination – but, think again! Sand castles and sunbathing are probably out of the question (unless you’re a particularly hardy soul!), but there are plenty of other winter treats on offer here. Why not explore the beauty of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, home to almost 600 miles of footpaths and bridle ways, on a fine, winter’s day? Or why not take a step back in time to days of old? Pembrokeshire is home to over fifty fortresses and castles, ranging from the imposing Pembroke Castle right the way through to Castell Henllys, a replica of the recently excavated Iron Age fort from over 2000 years ago. Wintery magic at every turn!
The Peak District offers some of the most beautiful, rural landscapes in the UK. On a frosty winter’s afternoon, with the sun shining, it can provide a stunning backdrop to a leisurely stroll or challenging hike. Walk the magical Padley Gorge trail, try the Lantern Walk at Lyme Park or trek the Pennine Way towards Kinder Scout. Up the ante slightly and hire a bike to cycle your way around the magnificent Monsal Trail. You can even head out to the slopes of Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre to perfect your skiing skills.
The Peak District is known for its below-ground-level haunts, and you can explore Poole’s Cavern or go caving, abseiling or rock climbing at a number of underground locations. There are also some stunning National Trust-owned properties that only become more majestic alongside the clear blue skies of a chilly winter’s day. Walk around the grounds of Chatsworth, which plays host to its own farmyard, as well as magnificent gardens, or find yourself transported back to the Edwardian era with a visit to Lyme Park, House and Garden. The Peak District is an adventurer’s paradise!
The Cotswolds exudes picturesque scenery. Its quintessentially English villages, made up of traditional thatched cottages and honey-coloured stone, will be sure to charm you. Encompassing an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that spans an area of 90 miles by 25 miles, along with 3000 miles of public footpaths, this is truly an outdoor lover’s dream.
Walk the famous Cotswold Way, which begins in Chipping Campden and ends in the city of Bath, admire the flora and fauna on display along Winchcombe Way or for something more challenging, take on the 13.5-mile-long challenge of Windrush Way and be treated to some remarkable panoramic views. After a long day of walking, retreat to one of many quaint and magical pubs that can only be found in the Cotswolds and warm up against a delightful burning log fire. Sit back with a pint or a chilled glass of wine and relax.
Image credits: Lindisfarne Harbour by Dave White / CC BY-SA 2.0; Fire Peak by John Mcsporran / CC BY 2.0; Pinnacle Stack – Pembrokeshire by David Evans / CC BY 2.0; Cotswolds Sunrise by Kumweni / CC BY 2.0;
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