Top 6 winter vacation spots in the UK

Some people find winters depressing, because of the short and cold days, the snow, the frozen natural landscapes and the overall vibe. Others love the snow and can’t wait to get their skis out, or simply take a hike and admire some beautiful scenery. Regardless of the exact category you fit in, what’s clear is that most people think that a winter vacation is what they need in order to relax at the start of the year and then get back on track.

UK winters are known to be cold, with below-freezing temperatures, ice-covered cars and fields full of snow. The month of December usually sees the least sunshine and January is typically the coldest, with Western and Northern UK being the most affected areas. With London seeing only 8 hours of daylight at the beginning of January, it’s normal for people to want to escape the urban centers and take a vacation from the hustle and bustle of their usual lives. Consequently, here are 6 of the best winter vacation spots in the UK.

1. Lake District

If you’re looking to go as far as possible from civilization and get in touch with nature, Lake District is the place for you. It is a holiday destination all year round, but it truly turns into a wonderland during winter. It’s also the quietest season, so you can admire the wilderness in peace. You can find routes for every difficulty, from lakeside strolls to more challenging hikes. If you make it to Lake District, consider the most popular spots: Wasdale Head, Lake Windermere, Coniston Water, Derwentwater and Ullswater.

2. Edinburgh

If you’re looking to stay close to other people but switch things up a bit, consider visiting Scotland’s capital, often considered one of the best tourist attractions in the UK during winter. This is thanks to the busy Christmas markets, the fairground rides, the largest open-air ice rink in Europe, all accompanied by festive food and world-class restaurants. You can walk up to Arthur’s Seat or Holyrood Park to get some majestic views of the city. Visitors love the ancient buildings and cobbled streets and vow to return to wintery Edinburgh.

3. North Wales

If underground zip-lining or mountain biking sound like your cup of tea, the northern coast of Wales is the place to be during the winter months. Make sure you stop by Llechwedd and Snowdonia National Park, but also pay a visit to the towns of Conwy, Wrexham and Bangor in order to get a taste of a true Welsh winter. If you’re willing to make the drive down south, the Brecon Beacons is a veritable winter wonderland, a national park that amazes all tourists. Wye Valley and Abergavenny are only a short distance away and they are also worth a visit.

4. Bath, Devon & Cornwall

Starting from Bath, one of the architectural delights of England, you can kick off a roadtrip through Devon and Cornwall that will make your winter holiday. These areas are also beautiful all year round but the magical winter scenery cannot be overstated. Exmoor and Dartmoor are good places to stop, as they are known for their picturesque beauty, while the southern parts of Devon are known for warmer temperatures. Check out the palm-tree lined English Riviera, spend a night in Torbay and then move on to Padstow, St Ives and Mousehole, in Cornwall.

5. Giant’s Causeway

Northern Ireland’s iconic World Heritage Site draws tourists from all around the world and for good reason. Known as the Giant’s Causeway, this area made up of tens of thousands of interlocking basalt columns is the majestic result of ancient volcanic eruptions and looks simply spectacular. Access is free of charge and visitors usually also pay a visit to the Bushmills distillery, located only a couple of miles away.

6. Aberdeenshire

You don’t need to go to Austria or Switzerland for great skiing. Glenshee in Aberdeenshire is the most extensive skiing area in the UK, with over 25 miles of slopes, a vast diversity of natural terrain and accessible runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. If you’re looking for an area that is dedicated exclusively to beginners, consider going to Lecht, one of the smaller nearby resorts. It is essential to be prepared with the appropriate outdoor gear, but other than that, you’re good to go if you fancy hitting the slopes this winter.

Horourable mentions: York, Glasgow, Orkney Islands, Isle of Skye, New Forest, Cairngorms