The United Kingdom is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year, but it is especially beautiful in the winter months. If you’re lucky enough, you will also catch some snow showers! So, here is a list of some of the best winter destinations in UK.
London is one of the most charming and stylish cities in the world. Being a very popular tourist destination, this capital city is the first on our list. With sky scrapers and historical buildings lining the streets, London has something for everyone. It is especially special during the winter months for its many Christmas markets spreading the Christmas cheers right from November. The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, the Southbank Centre Winter Market, Covent Garden Christmas market and the Trafalgar Square Christmas market are some them you shouldn’t miss.
There are some great free things you can experience in London. This includes visiting some great museums like the British Museum and the Natural History Museum and the Sky Garden. Columbia Road Flower Market, Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel and the free walking tours are some things you must try when in London. Don’t forget to stop at a pub for some drinks and a nice hot Sunday roast or fish and chips while you’re here!
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2. Edinburgh, Scotland
Another beautiful capital city, Edinburgh is a gem of a place. With cheerful Christmas markets, fairy lights and holiday events – Edinburgh is next on the list of the best winter destinations in UK. From observing some exotic plants at the Royal Botanical Garden, skiing and mountain biking at the Pentland Hills Regional Park and shopping at the Victoria Street and enjoying the concerts and fireworks at the Edinburgh Hogmanay, Edinburgh offers fun activities for everyone.
Connect with the historical part of Edinburgh at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Calton hills and the Edinburgh Castle. Treat yourself to some traditional Scottish Breakfast while at you’re here as it is just perfect for the cool weather.
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Your first step into Cotswolds will surely transport you into a childhood fairytale book. The picturesque English countryside and the snow globe like villages are bound to take your breath away! The buildings made of the golden Cotswolds Stone is a sight in itself. The Malmesbury Abby, Cotswolds Distillery, Upton House and Gardens, Corinium Museum and Stanton Village are great places to visit here. Try some delicious food and drinks at The Wheatsheaf Inn or Seagrave Arms for the complete Cotswolds experience.
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Your vacation at the UK is not complete without visiting Bath. It is a great getaway spot close to London, just around 1 hour and 20 minutes from the Paddington Station! This historical Roman spa town is great for reasons other than the ‘bath’ itself. It has some great restaurants, Christmas markets and some amazing sightseeing spots like the Kennet & Avon Canal, Sydney Gardens and Royal Crescent. You can learn more of the Bath’s history at the Holburne Museum. For all you literature lovers, House of Frankenstein and the Jane Austen Centre is the best spot. Dine at the Pump Room Restaurant for a unique experience at the Bath.
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York is a beautiful historical city located in Northern England. It’s another perfect weekend getaway spot from London as it takes just a 2.5 hour train journey. With its Viking history and spooky side – York makes it into the list of the best winter destinations in UK. There is plenty to do here, starting from the most popular York Minister Cathedral. Built in the 7th century, this cathedral is also the 2nd largest Gothic style cathedral in Northern Europe!
Visit the St Nicholas Fair that arrives in the winter months, including Christmas markerts, meeting Santa and an ice rink. Another great activity to indulge in at York would be taking a walking ghost tour or one the Routemaster bus. Known to be one of the most haunted cities in Europe, York has its fair share of folklores and legends. Try visiting the Jorvik Centre that offers a great insight on the Viking history of York. Taking a walk through the medieval streets of the Shambles and the city walls for amazing views are other great things to do here.
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6. Rye, East Sussex
This cosy medieval citadel is just perfect in every sense, thus its entry into our list of the best winter destinations in UK. If you’re drawn to thrift shopping or antiques, then you’ll find many shops around Rye selling unique treasures. Walking through the Mermaid street and exploring the Ypres Tower are a must when in Rye. Try the traditional food and beverages at the 600-year-old Mermaid Inn and the Ypres Castle Inn for a complete Rye experience.
The Rye Castle Museum, The St. Mary’s Church and The Rye Heritage Center are great spots to visit with family. If wine is your drink of choice, take a wine tour through boutique vineyards, with wine tasting and delicious lunches. Try a guided ghost walk through the cobblestone streets of Rye to discover the spookier side of this charming town. Book your tickets in advance for this experience.
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7. Peak District National Park
If it’s not history or architecture that you’re looking for, then let’s take a different route. One of UK’s most famed national parks, Peak District, gives you raw and rugged terrains and breathtaking views. With a lot of activities available, this is one the best winter destinations in UK. Some of the best things to do in and around the Peak District are visiting the Hope Valley, trying out some obstacle courses and zip lining at Go Ape, visiting the stone towered Heage Windmill and taking a barge trip through the Standedge tunnel. You can explore the caves at Poole’s Cavern for a touch of adventure! There are many country houses and gradens, too, that are absolutely lovely to look at. If outdoor activities are your thing, do hike the Black Harry Trails and South West Peak.
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8. Dartmoor, Devon
Dartmoor National Park on a frosty winter morning is something out of the world. This makes Dartmoor one of the best winter destinations in UK. With stunning views, you can find nature at its best at this atmospheric moorland. Walking, cycling, horse riding, climbing and canoeing are some of the best activities to indulge in at Dartmoor.
Castle Drogo, Hay TorTor and Buckfast Abbey are some places to visit in and around Dartmoor. There are guided walks and events apart from the Museum of Dartmoor Life to learn more about this enchanting place. Look out for the Dartmoor Pony and the Dartmoor Greyface Sheep while you’re here. The Park’s official website has all the information regarding the activities and guidelines necessary for planning you trip.
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Streets lined by historical buildings and traditional pubs – Oxford is truly one of the best winter destinations in UK. Grab a hot pasty and start walking because everything you see on the way may have some historical significance. The Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, the Covered Market, Christchurch Meadow and the Christmas markets some of the main attractions here.
Sip a tall glass of ale at the oldest pub in Oxford, the Bear Inn, which was established in 1242! Oxford is also home to the Queen’s Lane Coffee House, known to be oldest continually serving coffee house in all of Europe! Get in touch with the city’s history at the Ashmolean Museum and Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The Story Museum is great for adults and kids if you’re for a bit of a different experience. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, try a Harry Potter tour as well!!
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Cornwall is a beautiful seaside destination, promising stunning beaches and quaint fishing villages. There is quite a lot to experience in Cornwall to say the least. You can start by exploring the Rainforest and Mediterranean biomes of the Eden Project. Visiting the St Michael’s Mount, Minack Theatre, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pendennis Castle, the fishing village of Port Isaac and Trebah Garden are some other things to do here. You can also try the King Arthur Tour to learn more about the legend. Do try some Cornish Pasty, clotted cream tea, crab sandwiches and Cornish wine while at Cornwall as they are the very authentic to the place.
So pack your warmest clothes and some Wellies and hop on the next flight (or train) to experience the best winter destinations in UK! History, architecture and nature come together to give you an unforgettable vacation – solo or with your loved ones.