Best places for winter breaks in the UK

The winter months in the UK are often considered to be drizzly, dark and dreary, not usually what you’d want associated with a holiday destination! However, here at Shepherds Friendly, we’ve been knocking our heads together, dreaming of log fires and city breaks, determined to find the best winter-time holiday gems in the UK.

There’s a huge variety on show here. From the family friendly town of Bakewell, to the vibrant and bustling city of Glasgow, there really is something for everyone.

Bakewell, Derbyshire, England

Nestled in the spectacular rolling countryside of the Peak District, is the beautiful market town of Bakewell. With the enormous National Park so close by, this destination would be excellent for those seeking Christmas displays, relaxing country walks, quaint tea rooms for afternoon tea, and cosy pubs.

For Christmas events, Chatsworth House (featured in Pride and Prejudice and The Duchess) is known for its expansive Christmas market. Offering over 100 stalls, bars and night time visits, it truly is a winter wonderland.

But, if you’re seeking to explore the countryside with some outdoor activities, then explore one of Buxton’s many walks, such as the beginner friendly 2.3-mile stroll through Padley Gorge, to the 55-mile trek at Derwent Valley Heritage Way.

However, outdoor activities are not all Bakewell offers. Treat yourself to one of the lovely bistro pubs and tea shops which would be a perfect post-walk treat.

Glasgow, Scotland

Given its northern location you’d be forgiven for assuming that in the winter period Glasgow is cold, dark and grey. However, the plethora of Christmas events, exciting tourist attractions, and variety of independent eateries and shops, provide more than enough reason to visit.

With its beautiful architecture and array of activities, the cosmopolitan city of Glasgow is the perfect choice for a weekend break in winter-time Scotland.

There is an array of Christmas theme activities in Glasgow, including Christmas markets at St Enoch Square, George Square, Merchant Square and the Royal Exchange Square. So despite the colder climate, the Glaswegians continue to put on an excellent show!

Only a short subway ride from Glasgow city centre, is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, one of Glasgow’s many tourist attractions. Situated in the trendy West End, this expansive and free attraction offers 22 galleries, ranging from Ancient Egypt to the Glaswegian architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Anglesey, Wales

Due to its wide variety of adventurous activities, holidaymakers with children will find plenty to do in this Welsh coastal town. Activities range from exploring the disused copper mines at Amlwch, to the 13th Century Beaumaris Castle.

Christmas affairs are slightly different in Anglesey, with an agricultural winter show held at Anglesey Showground, and a market held at Beaumaris Castle. Again, this Welsh town spoils its visitors with choice!

Anglesey’s most prominent and unique attraction is the area of Amlwch. Often referred to as the Copper Kingdom, Amlwch is a close by region and features numerous attractions. Perhaps the most exciting being the Copper mine trail which features the largest copper mine of the 18th Century.

Petersfield, Hampshire, England

The beautiful and romantic countryside of Petersfield has been noted as the inspiration for famous novelist Jane Austen, and equally renowned poet Edward Thomas. The expansive forests and hillside vistas at South Downs National Park that make for the settings of these creatives’ work, means it is the ideal romantic getaway for couples of all ages.

South Downs National Park is an area that covers 1600km2 and includes a wide variety of different landscapes to enjoy. For instance, you could discover the breath taking views at the Seven Sisters’ cliffs, spend time walking through ancient woodland, or amble through picturesque villages.

During the winter months, the National Park plays host to a multitude of festive activities. To name a few there is: Bramble Basket Making, the Bolney Wine Estate Christmas Fayre, Festive Twig Wreath Making, and Bolney Carols and Crafts.

As well as the festive events there are a number of activities that take place all year round, such as evening Bat walks and a Dragonfly safari.

Love a Winter Break in the UK, Yes Really!

From the exciting food and arts scene of Glasgow, to the relaxing countryside of Petersfield and the South Downs National Park, the UK puts on a glorious winter offering.

Our digging around has shown there is an enormous variety of places to visit if you’re planning to be on holiday this winter in the UK. Each location hosts a few festive Christmas themed events, alongside all the exciting activities that are available all year round.

So, forget booking those expensive flights and discover all the exciting winter holiday destinations that are right on your doorstep.