The summer months may be behind us, but there’s a whole host of exciting activities and events for you to enjoy this winter. Whether you’re holidaying in a favourite corner of the UK or looking for new and exciting events nearer home, our fair isle has plenty on offer to keep you and the family busy over the winter months, whatever the weather. Click on the first image to start the tour.
A land-packed with awesome scenery and heritage, Scotland is simply stunning in winter. The best place by far in the UK to see the fascinating Northern Lights; it’s definitely an extraordinary sighting that you won’t forget. The blanket of reds and greens that illuminate the sky are most likely to be seen in January around the Caithness coast and the Orkney Island. (photo by Kris Williams).
For a true taste of Scottish tradition, why not join the celebrations for Burns Night on January 25th, with events planned to mark national poet Robert Burns. Warm up with a traditional Burns Supper of haggis, neeps and tatties at a local ale house and release your inner bard at the National Museum of Rural Life for a jam-packed Burns programme, guaranteed to keep everyone entertained, from Grandma to toddler.
A little further south on the Coast, make a stop at Northumberland, where you could spot the resident Grey Seals that breed on the Farne Islands. This area is a mecca for nature – with many species of birds and wildlife to be seen.
Iconic Stonehenge in Wiltshire is also spectacular at this time of year and on 22nd December visitors gather to watch the sunrise on the Winter Solstice over the stones.
Not just a summer hotspot, the South West offers just as much for winter visitors as it does for those seeking sun, sea and sand. The Eden Project in Cornwall has a packed winter programme, including an ice skating rink, an Enchanted Rainforest, Cornish Choirs and craft workshops.
For a crisp culture hit, try Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield. Get wrapped up and explore the open air displays of modern and contemporary art from some of the world’s finest artists. Not just for art enthusiasts, the park is beautiful in winter and offers great facilities for children, including hidden treasures and woodlands to explore. (photo by Dave Wild)
Everybody knows that the UK is a hiker’s hotspot and nothing can beat a fresh winter walk in Wales. Pull on your walking boots, fill the flask and head out to the hills of the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia for awe-inspiring peaks dusted with snow. The perfect place to blow away the cobwebs (and work off the festive feasts), Wales offers some of the best walking paths in the UK. Walking the Gower Peninsular AONB is highly recommended.
For families with kids, nothing can beat a day at the zoo and the South Lakes Safari Zoo certainly won’t disappoint! Mingle with free roaming lemurs, monkeys and a whole host of other wildlife in walk through natural areas, and pack up a picnic of kings, which you can enjoy in the indoor picnic area. Wherever you are though, there’s no shortage of fantastic animal and wildlife parks in the UK; how about Manor House Wildlife Park in Tenby, 140-acre Marwell Zoo in Hampshire or take a walk on the wild side at Africa Alive in Lowestoft.
However if the winter weather’s not on your side, fear not – the UK is jam-packed with indoor events and attractions to keep you dry and entertained. If you’re in need of some festive cheer, the Polar Express Train Ride at County Durham’s Weardale Railway will definitely give you a festive kick as you take a magical round trip to the North Pole or for a more grown-up evening head to Beamish Hall’s annual Winter Festival for real ales, ciders, perries and live music. Held at the end of January, it’s the perfect post-Christmas night out.