The UK is a fantastic part of the world to visit – and yet the people who actually live here often don’t take the time to really explore and appreciate it. At winter time, a whole range of festive activities are going ahead (Covid restrictions notwithstanding). What’s more, wintry conditions can often help to elevate the spectacle of certain naturally-beautiful parts of the country – and many of these wonders are just a train ride away.
Where are the best places to visit?
Dartmoor National Park
With acres and acres of gorgeous open moorland to explore, Dartmoor is a place unlike any other. Now celebrating its seventieth anniversary, the national park is a place of special significance for historians and conservationists alike.
The Scottish Highlands are especially inhospitable during winter-time. But if you’re willing to put up with the snowy weather, then you’ll be rewarded with some astonishing views, and you won’t have to contend with thick crowds blighting the landscape. Plus, at this time of year, you don’t have to get up quite so early to catch the sunrise over one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country.
Traditional German Christmas markets are popular in just about every major city in the country, with a festive food, drink and music on offer. Some markets, it must be said, are better than others: if you don’t want to have to walk around the same three stalls as you did last year, then it’s worth doing a little research in advance. Unsurprisingly, it’s in London that you’ll find the grandest (and quirkiest) markets, with outdoor ice skating in Hyde Park being a particular attraction.
If you’re outside the capital, then York boasts an especially attractive series of Christmas markets. While you’re there, you can enjoy the city’s famous historical attractions, like the city walls, which tend to be less busy during winter-time.
Preparing for a Winter Holiday
If you’re going to be holidaying in the UK at this time of year, then it’s wise to plan for a range of contingencies, including the possibility that it might rain a lot. That means packing a few extra items, including an umbrella, some waterproof boots, and plenty of layers to keep the cold out. If you’re going on a hiking trip, then this kind of preparation might make the difference between an enjoyable experience and a thoroughly unenjoyable one.