Whether it’s to escape the stress of Christmas, or recharge with a much-needed New Year holiday, a UK winter break is the perfect opportunity to sip mulled wine at a Christmas market, curl up with a good book in a traditional tea room, or ramble the beautifully frosty countryside when there are less walkers about.

To help you work out where to go this winter, we’ve rounded up the best places to visit and stay for a UK winter holiday.

Where To Go: The Lake District

Come winter, The Lake District becomes even more picturesque amidst the mist and drizzle, with endless possibilities for wild winter walking. There’s a host of valleys, woodlands, waterfalls to explore. Pop into a tea shop or cosy pub after you’ve wandered, and arm yourself with a warming mug of tea or mulled wine.

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District, with off-grid Airbnbs and guest houses dotted around it. Fall in love with its enchanting hiking trails and forests of frosty trees that would look perfect on a postcard. Just make sure to pack your waterproofs.

Where To Stay: Another Place

Another Place boasts some seriously romantic vibes if you’re headed here on a couple’s winter escape, with impressive views of the lakeside landscape. As one of the area’s newest and most game-changing developments, it’s the ideal sanctuary to reset, refresh and recharge after a day’s hiking.

With stylish bedrooms and a swimming pool with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, it’s the perfect spot to add a little rejuvenation to your winter escape.

Where: Watermillock, Ullswater, Penrith CA11 0LP

Website: www.another.place

Where To Go: The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds truly transforms come winter time, bursting with chocolate-box villages that wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard. Expect to find plenty of super-cute tea rooms and charming local traditions to enjoy as you enjoy the country atmosphere.

To sate your appetite, make sure to pop into one of Huffkins’ six branches; a local producer that’s been delivering freshly-baked goods to the people of the Cotswolds since 1890. Back then it was via donkey and cart of course, but nowadays you can pop in for some warm respite and delicious cake.

Where To Stay: Thyme

Well-known for being its own village within a village, Thyme is a stunning destination in the heart of the Cotswolds, and a perfect winter getaway that’s not to be missed.

After a busy day exploring, take part in a cooking lesson at their cookery school, relax in the spa, learn the art of festive wreathmaking at a floristry workshop, or settle down in a cosy corner at their own village pub. You’ll never want to leave.

 

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Where: Southrop, Lechlade GL7 3PW

Website: www.thyme.co.uk

Where To Go: The New Forest

If you’re looking for an escape for the winter season – or any season at that – the New Forest is always a good idea. A stay here means there are winter walking routes right on your doorstep, perfect for exploring the beautiful English countryside on foot.

Head to the Beaulieu River for kayaking, and take part in some bird watching as you paddle. The view from the river in winter is one of the most magical, just make sure you bring a flask of something to keep you warm.

Where To Stay: Chewton Glen

This luxury hotel is the epitome of a quintessentially English country house hotel, and a must-visit for a winter escape in the heart of the New Forest. Settle in for a cosy stay at one of their treehouse suites and take in a winter sunset from your private hot tub on the terrace.

The hotel will also deliver a breakfast hamper to you the next morning, perfect for cosy winter mornings when you don’t want to leave the room.

 

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Where: Christchurch Rd, New Milton BH25 6QS

Website: www.chewtonglen.com

Where To Go: Cambridge

There are few wintery delights that can’t be found in the iconic city of Cambridge, the most popular being the university which, if you’re lucky enough to get snow, is truly magical at this time of year. The idyllic streets turn into a festive wonderland as the evenings get darker, with the city’s architecture dressed to impress.

If you want to give any strenuous outdoor activities a miss in this weather, try punting down the River Cam instead, with a friendly local guide doing the work for you as you take in the city sights. Pop into one of the city’s many tea rooms afterward to warm up.

Where To Stay: Graduate Cambridge

A boutique sanctuary along the River Cam, Graduate Cambridge is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the rich tradition and history of academic life in Cambridge. From the 100 year old punting boats that line the lobby walls to nods to college architecture and notable University alumni in the cosy rooms.

Make sure to check into a riverside room, and make the most of stunning views of the Cam from your balcony.

The perfect location for exploring this historical city.

Where: Granta Pl, Mill Ln, Cambridge CB2 1RT

Website: www.graduatehotels.com

Where To Go: Norfolk

Can’t decide between a winter coastal break or forest walks? In Norfolk, you’ll experience the best of both worlds. With crisp, coastal air and marshes and villages inland, it’s the perfect spot for a quiet and isolated winter break.

For a dose of winter wildlife, head to the Cley Marshes, where thousands of geese migrate to Norfolk around the end of November and you can watch them fly in flocks. There’s also boat trips from Morston Quay, where you can head out for an up close and personal look at the seals chilling out on the sand, who often give birth to pups in December and January.

Where To Stay: The Victoria Inn

Perfectly positioned moments from Holkham Beach, The Victoria Inn is a firm Norfolk staycation favourite because of its proximity to Norfolk’s windswept coastline and countryside. Book into one of their individually decorated rooms and enjoy details such as views of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, ornamental fireplaces and roll top baths.

With a cosy restaurant offering up a curated menu of locally sourced ingredients and a log fire for the colder winter days, it’s the perfect rural escape to escape the hustle and bustle of a city for winter.

Where: Park Rd, Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1RG

Website: www.holkham.co.uk

Where To Go: York

 

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York in winter is particularly special, and its Christmas offering is hard to beat. Spend a long weekend here and you can explore everything from grand cathedrals and quirky boutiques, to innovative foodie spots as you meander through the frosty medieval streets and ancient walls.

Soak up the atmosphere and wander around York’s award-winning Christmas fair, with Alpine-style chalets, festive foodie treats, local Yorkshire produce, traditional Christmas decorations and gifts.

For the most magical of experiences (one for the Harry Potter fans), you can even explore the “real” Diagon Alley. The Shambles could easily double as the famous wizarding world street, home to a selection of independent shops and cafes. Unleash your inner wizard at The Shop That Must Not Be Named, or indulge in a stunning selection of luxury handmade chocolates and Monk Bar Chocolatiers.

One of England's most magical places in winter.

Where To Stay: No.1 by GuestHouse, York

With its central location, spacious Regency townhouse rooms, and dreamy sash windows, No.1 by GuestHouse, York is the perfect spot to sweep yourself away to for a cosy winter break. A welcoming team and luxury amenities are on hand to make your stay extra special. Pantries full of treats for the taking? Done. A cellar spa with bespoke wellbeing treatments? Sorted.

As well as that, they’re also dog and kid-friendly, with thoughtful touches included to keep them entertained. Think in-room tipi hideouts, instant cameras to capture their adventures, and local dog-walkers on hand when you fancy a lie-in.

A must-visit for a winter escape in the heart of York.

 

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Where: 1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA

Website: www.guesthousehotels.co.uk


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