Winter is a traditionally a time to head to warmer climates where you can lie on a beach and soak up the sun, but if you’re already in the UK why spend all that money when there are lots of fantastic winter destinations right there? Or, maybe you’re wondering if  UK winter travel is a good choice.

It can get a bit chilly in some parts of the UK, but there is no such thing as ‘cold’ when you are wearing the right clothes. And if you don’t want to risk a chill by stepping outside, there is plenty of scope for snuggling up in front of a cosy log fire somewhere scenic. So what are the best destinations for a winter break if you don’t fancy the idea of heading to Tenerife for some winter sun?

Cornish Charm

Fans of Poldark will be more than familiar with the charms of Cornwall. Sadly you aren’t likely to bump into gorgeous Aidan Turner if you head down to Penzance this winter, but what you will be able to enjoy is the exotic flora and fauna and the unseasonably mild weather. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Cornwall is a lot warmer than most other places on the same latitude. It’s not exactly sunbathing weather down there, but the beaches are exhilarating and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are simply spectacular.

Northumberland Beaches

Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland Coast

The stunning Northumberland coastline is gorgeous all-year-round, but if you love brooding historical castles and miles of windswept beaches, this part of the UK is a great place to visit. There are some fascinating places to visit in Northumberland, including Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle, and Edinburgh is only a short car ride or train journey away. So look for a cosy cottage or hotel in Northumberland by the sea with a log burner and enjoy a relaxing wintry break. 

Cairngorms in Scotland

The Cairngorms are a mountainous region in Scotland where in the summer, travellers go to hike and bike, and in the winter, try out the skiing possibilities. It’s a beautiful place, but in winter conditions on the higher levels can be extremely unforgiving. However, if you enjoy winter sports and don’t feel like traveling abroad, Aviemore is an excellent base. And if you are not an outdoorsy sort of person, there are plenty of local whiskey distilleries to keep you warm.

The Lake District

The Lakes are probably the wettest part of the UK, as evidenced by all the recent flooding, but one of the benefits of visiting in winter is that the winding roads are quiet and the beauty spots are free from hordes of tourists and their selfie sticks. There are some lovely, quaint tea rooms and country pubs serving real ale and good food, which will be most welcome at the end of a day’s walking. So put your walking boots, wrap up well, and enjoy some glorious views of William Wordsworth’s country.

Everything is cheaper and less crowded when you book a winter break in the UK, but if you want the bright lights and big-city atmosphere, head to London instead.