When most of you might be planning to be cozying up with your blanket under the Christmas lights on your sofa, why not take a different route this year? Discover the most beautiful winter holiday destinations with your loved ones and make loads of memories for years to come.
Winter is a season that you either love or loathe. Although it is unpredictable, fickle, and very cold, the freezing temperatures make for the ideal setting for some amazing winter excursions in the UK. Unlike other seasons, winter has more chances for travel than any other, so why not grab the opportunity to explore the best winter holiday destinations?
Whenever you experience fat-bike riding, snowboarding, or ice fishing for the very first time and it becomes a yearly tradition, a few of the perfect winter getaways to the best winter holiday destinations in the UK happen by chance.
The UK has some fantastic winter vacation spots with so many winter holiday destinations, that is for sure! In order to ensure that you get a cabin in that nice lodge or set together that ideal agenda of stuff to do without worrying last-minute, it never costs to start organizing your trip prior some months.
Everyone experiences conflicting feelings when the winter weather approaches. Many people enjoy the cold, while others detest it, while for some, it indicates the start of the festive season. No matter which category you fall into, you may still reward yourself throughout the winter by visiting all or any one of the best winter holiday destinations.
Whether it is a vacation to London lit up for the holidays, ice fishing in the middle of Iceland, or a journey to the tropical beaches of Kent. There are no incorrect responses because there are so many wonderful winter holiday destinations to explore. Here, though, is a list of the top winter holiday destinations in the UK to assist you.
Tourists in the winter fall into two categories: those who seek refuge from the cold and those who swarm to the best winter holiday destinations. There are many locations around the UK that will appeal to each of the pro-sand and pro-snow groups because of their size, natural beauty, and diverse climate.
To up your traveling game, there are numerous top winter holiday destinations to visit in the UK during the chiller months. You can enjoy your wintertime holidays in the UK while enjoying priceless experiences to jump-start bidding goodbye to 2022 by quenching your wanderlust.
And bet you will return from your trip to these specially selected winter holiday destinations with more blood pumping through your veins.
In tourist hubs that get crowded in the summer, winter might be a fantastic time to score discounts on lodging, dining, and activities. Hibernation in winters is for the wild, not for you, so whichever group you belong to, you are most likely to find some amazing winter destinations in this roster. Dig in!
Catch the Golden Hour in these Winter Sun Destinations
1. Canary Islands – Bask in the Sun in the Winter Months
With a chic farewell, the final month of the year needs to be enjoyed to the most. Christmas and the New Year on the Canary Islands are warmer than most places in the UK, with an average temperature of 22°C, festivities outside on terraces, eight hours of sunlight per day, stargazing shows, and, of course, the occasional swim in the sea.
Although this Christmas may not be among the most traditional in Canaries, why not create a brand-new tradition?
It is no surprise that the secluded and yet so beautiful Canary Islands are a very well-liked vacation destination given that they have some amazing beaches, a rocky volcanic environment, a vibrant nightlife, and a wide range of activities, of course it deserves a place on the list of the best winter holiday destinations.
You may travel to this Atlantic Island at any period of the year, even during the winter, because of its abundance of sunny days. Explore essential things to keep in mind on your travel to Canary Islands to know everything about Canaries.
Approximately 3,000 hours of sunlight fall on the Canary Islands every year. So, you can count on having long, sunny weather all year round. If you wish to spend some leisurely afternoons on the beach, the sun is perfect company because it is usually always beaming.
Spain’s Canary Islands are the ideal wintertime getaway for those seeking a little sunshine and sand due to its subtropical temperature and proximity close to the African coast. Every year, tourists from all over the globe travel to the seven archipelagos due to the temperate climate and beautiful weather that prevail throughout the year.
You don’t have to give up the sun just because you are on vacation in the winter. Along one of the finest urban beaches in Europe, tourists can discover an outstanding nativity scene made from sand in mid-December rather than typical snowmen.
Enjoying the customary Christmas night entertainment, which is held outside by the sea in Tenerife, is an alternative. A fantastic evening that has evolved to be a holiday tradition.
You won’t need thick scarves or jackets even if you visit at year-end or year-start months. Choose your most stylish attire, and travel light. Even if you forgot your swimsuit at home, the Canary Islands are known for their fashionable beachwear.
Hiking, windsurfing, biking, scuba diving, or whatever you want can be found here. Even high-end athletes from all over the globe travel to the Canary Islands frequently to train because of the year-round pleasant climate, you can join-in as well and work out some extra fat you gained during the holiday season.
For instance, there are several clearly marked hiking trails and excellent cycling routes. You will enjoy yourself while seeing beautiful scenery. You can engage in water activities along the coast, including sailing and snorkeling.
2. Canterbury – Stargaze in the Winter Weather
Ranking second on the list of winter holiday destinations is Canterbury. You must consider a trip to Canterbury, England in the winters. If you have never gone, it can be challenging to determine whether a day trip is worthwhile aside from the well-known Canterbury Tales and Cathedral.
Since there is an abundance of beauty to see throughout the UK, this is especially a must-visit for ex-pats or tourists who are visiting England for a little period of time.
The Canterbury area of New Zealand’s South Island is fantastic in the wintertime. During the winter months, the snow-capped highland landscape, highlighted by the renowned Southern Alps, the lovely waterways, and the “garden city” of Christchurch are sights to view.
Cold weather has its charms with its sparkling blue skies, fresh snow, and chilly days. Of all the regions in New Zealand, Canterbury has the most ski areas, making it a snow lover’s paradise.
There are 13 fields between the Mackenzie and Hurunui that offer everything from family-friendly entertainment to off-piste adrenaline. There are courses for everyone, from absolute beginners to pro shredders.
Being among the most stunning old towns in the nation and the location of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Canterbury draws tourists from all over the globe who are interested in history. If you work or live here, you likely take everything for granted, yet a leisurely walk through the sidewalks uncovers all kinds of noteworthy historical structures.
For instance, Westgate Towers, among the principal entrances to the historic walled city, is the greatest medieval gateway in the UK and is almost 640 years old. Eastbridge Hospital, a historic pilgrims’ dormitory with amazing 1190 architecture, is located in the center of the city.
Even further ago, part of the St. Augustine’s Abbey remnants, which are currently under the management of English Heritage, dates back to 613 AD.
Canterbury is a shopper’s paradise today. The major retailers, such as Fenwick, Marks & Spencer, and Primark, can be discovered both on the busy High Street and in the outdoor Whitefriars Shopping Mall.
However, the city also has a lot to offer those who want to peruse unique, tiny shops. The King’s Mile Quarter is made up of the congested streets closest to the chapel and is filled with distinctive, frequently eccentric shops, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques.
3. Edinburgh – Explore Cross Country Skiing
Scotland’s lovely capital city has a lot to explore, especially in winters. All year long, guests are welcomed, and various events are offered at the center of appeal. Historic buildings are frequently covered in snow throughout the winter and can be seen from several slopes that surround the city.
Edinburgh has a festive winter season. Figure skaters spin, Xmas lights sparkle, and firework displays brighten the night sky. Long nights are made more bearable with malt whiskey at cozy taverns where people unwind in front of a crackling fire.
Edinburgh sparkles in the wintertime with snow-covered mountains and frost-covered trees. Wrap up warmly and go for a brisk walk to admire the city’s view from Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, or Calton Hill. You can see the Firth of Forth, a skyline of chapels, the rocky-topped Edinburgh fortress, and more below you.
Expect bright lights as you begin at the top of the renowned Princes Street Gardens. Here, you will encounter sights, scents, and flavors from all around Europe. Every area of the park is taken up by the marketplace, which then begins again across from the railroad tracks.
A large public parkland that offers a variety of leisure opportunities is a major attraction. Children’s parks, basketball courts, a polo club, and other amenities will appeal to more athletic individuals. Alternatively, romantic strolls can be enjoyed year-round along walking trails that are surrounded by lovely trees.
The wintertime in Edinburgh is a time for celebrations. With a candlelight parade and tales, Santa announces his advent for Christmas. During Hogmanay, the new year gets off to a rousing start when people visit people with coal as part of the usual “first footing.”
Meet residents in Princes Street Garden for four days of festivities during your winter vacation in Edinburgh, including torch-lit parades, performances, and a knees-up Ceilidh featuring traditional Scottish songs.
Whenever the Dome wraps its decorations around its gigantic pillars, you can tell that Edinburgh is in the midst of the holiday season. Several locals have made it a custom to have a cocktail beneath the bar-to-ceiling trees.
You actually just want a whiff of the fabled Christmas aroma they fill the lower bar with—not the actual beverage. Good luck figuring out what is contained in that enchanted drink.
4. York – Best Ghost Tour
Any season of the year is a great time to visit York in the northern region of England because there is just so much heritage and culture to discover there, but there is a reason it has gained a place as one of the best winter holiday destinations.
York is a quick two and a half hours away by train from London, making it the ideal destination for a weekend getaway from the city, however, there is much to do and see in York to engage you there further.
The Gothic church at York often called York Minster, is arguably the city’s most well-known landmark. Since the fifteenth century, this imposing structure has kept vigil over the city. York, however, has a much longer history—it was previously ruled by Vikings 1,000 years ago, and before that, there are obvious signs of Romans and Anglo-Saxon occupations.
There are many indoor attractions in York that really are perfect for snowy days and nights, making winter a terrific time to schedule a weekend getaway. This historic city is brimming with enjoyable fun activities in the wintertime ideal for all generations, whether you reside in York, are traveling as a group or are on a lovely winter holiday with your partner.
York is home to numerous top-notch galleries where tourists can find out more about the city’s amazing heritage. To keep people engaged in modern entertainment, the city’s sidewalks are likewise teeming with sights.
Along with the usual commercial eateries, York features an especially good selection of local restaurants and just enough bars to keep the entire UK hydrated. If you enjoy shopping, York will not disappoint. Winter also marks the beginning of some amazing discounts, and January is a great time to score some great deals as stores get rid of their unsold inventory.
You will be in for a wonderful treat if you go to York in the winter. The city takes on a magical quality during the holiday season when Christmas markets featuring locally produced food and drink line the sidewalks.
You shouldn’t allow the heavy snow to deter you from visiting York because there are many indoor activities for everyone to enjoy. There are plenty of locations to find cover from any adverse weather. Delight your taste senses at the cocoa factory, frighten yourself silly in the York Dungeon, or board an old banger for a ghostly tour of York.
York is a great city for gourmet foodies since it has a ton of unique eateries and bars. The latter is especially pleasant in the winter because many have blazing fires and local beers on tap.
York is surely cold in the winter, but exploring the city’s meandering, small streets is made even more fun when the stores are lit and the displays are stocked with holiday food and gifts, you can also buy some for your loved ones back home.
5. The Cairngorms – Look over the Mesmerizing Northern Lights
This listing as one of the best winter holiday destinations is for those who reside or visit extremely northern latitudes and are willing to put up with colder winters in exchange for the opportunity to see one of nature’s most breathtaking displays, the Northern Lights.
The spectacular light show may be observed from the northern region of Scotland, despite the misconception that one has to go outside the Arctic Circle to see it. The Highlands provide many locations from which one can catch a beautiful glimpse of the dazzling Aurora Borealis due to their distant locations that allow for less artificial light.
One can determine the best possibility of observing the Northern Lights by monitoring the most recent aurora predictions on various websites. Tilt your nose upwards, and steer as far away from polluted air as you can. Have a look at best times to see northern lights in UK for more assistance to plan your trip accordingly.
This is one of the best locations to find them to aid in your search, but always check the most current data on any new restrictions or changes in weather that may be in effect in your region and the locations you intend to visit before you go.
The ideal times to observe the auroras in Scotland are somewhere between the last three and the initial three months of the year, avoiding any days when there will be a full moon for the greatest opportunities. Since they are extremely difficult to forecast, catching it on a perfect night can seem like a huge accomplishment and be quite exhilarating.
When witnessing from a moving vehicle, headlight glare might even make it difficult to observe the Northern Lights.
The Glenlivet Estate is among the nicest places to visit in the Cairngorms, which is why it has been designated a Dark Sky Park because of its reduced light pollution. Its status attests to the absence of ambient light obscurants and city lights. Scalan is one of the finest sighting sites in this area.
There is no better spot than Aviemore to get outfitted for this season and years to come because of the high concentration of specialized winter sports shops and professionals. Locals will not only provide you with trustworthy advice but also with insider knowledge on where to test your equipment.
Other activities also include cross-country snowboarding is a great option to avoid crowds and take in the quiet snowy surroundings in addition to skiing. With neighboring rental shops, the regions surrounding Braemar, and Glenmore are particularly picturesque and ideal.
Traveling lovers describe it as a great way to exercise and take in the high views, making it a popular choice for the more adventurous skiers. In these areas, specialty stores rent out equipment, so you don’t need to pack extra.
6. Snowdonia – For Thrill Seekers
North Wales might not come to mind when considering travel destinations in the winter. Even if some local attractions may have shortened their hours of operation, the surrounding countryside is always open to tourists. There are many reasons why wintertime in North Wales is so lovely.
If you are searching for activities to do in Snowdonia this Christmas, you will be happy to learn that there are still plenty of options available throughout the colder months.
There are many more hikes to explore in Snowdonia National Park even though it might be too risky to hike Mount Snowdon in the wintertime. One of the favorite treks in Snowdonia is the round route at Cwm Idwal, where you can take in the stunning scenery.
If you want to get away from the crowds, travel to Rhaeadr Ddu Fall. The gorgeous landscape of Snowdonia in winter, with packed clothing, and a fast pace will keep that dazzling blue sky and cold chill at away.
What finer way to burn off that Christmas pie after a couple of weeks of eating than a picturesque beach walk? Walk alongside one another with your dear ones along a deserted beach on a cool morning. Take a deep breath of the crisp Welsh air, and let the gentle breeze kiss your beautiful cheeks.
In the summertime, those folks who trace the ant route across north Wales are completely mistaken. They will all discover Snowdonia National Park to be beautiful, but they will all miss the opportunity to view it throughout the breathtaking colder months.
Welsh folklore attributes Snowdonia with an otherworldly aura and a profound feeling of place due to the wintertime. The greatest way to experience Snowdonia as a location of beauty, heritage, and peace is to go there in the wintertime when there are fewer tourists and traffic delays.
In Snowdonia, you may view the Milky Way, all the prominent stars, nebulae, and sometimes even aurora borealis on a clear night’s sky.
The Best Destinations for Winter Sun Holiday
Winter is a great season to explore because there are fewer people there and travel costs are lower. It is simple to dress warmly and travel to a few of the UK’s greatest famous sites and cultural attractions which also make for spectacular winter holiday destinations.
Whether you are looking for the best winter sun destinations, cross-country skiing trails, glorious garden route in a winter city, national parks, savoring fabulous food, wandering in Christmas market or Santa Claus village, you won’t be disappointed with Icy Europe’s selection of best winter holiday destinations which are perfect for winter holidays and winter wonderland.
Apart from the winter holiday destinations mentioned above, you can also contemplate visiting Cape Town, Isle of Skye, Amsterdam light festival, Dartmoor National Park, Bath, San Blas islands, St Lucia, etc. You will find everything from sandy beaches by charming half-timbered houses to winter hiking trails for the best winter holidays here.
Some tourists associate winter vacations with beaches rather than snow, and the United Kingdom also offers these kinds of escapes. Whatever you want to do for the duration of the winter, check out Icy Europe’s list of the top winter holiday destinations in the U.K.