THE BEST UK WINTER BREAKS

Winter is a magical time of the year and Britain offers some perfect UK winter break choices for those looking to explore during the colder weather. I asked travel experts where their favourite Winter break holiday in the UK were and this is what they had to share.

By the way, if you are new to this blog, welcome! If you have been here before, thanks for sticking around. My name is Katie and my husband and I are British expats living in a place called Tianjin, just outside of Beijing in China. We grew up in the UK and have spent the last 8 years travelling the world and share our tips, guides and advise on this little ‘ole website. So, if you’re interested in monthly when I remember updates, hit subscribe and follow us on social media. Oh and we have Youtube too! 

uk winter break

The Lake District

Most people want to visit the Lake District through the Summer when they hope the weather is warmer and sunnier. However, winter in the Lake District is actually a lovely time to visit the area. There are far less vehicles on the narrow roads, and you can still see all of the same sites, albeit it will be a little chillier to do so! If you’re lucky enough to have some snow, then the landscape becomes even more beautiful and after a day out exploring you can cosy up in one of the many traditional pubs with open fires or woodburners.
 
The weather is more changeable in winter and there is a much higher chance of rain, so you’ll need to go prepared, but even then there are plenty of little villages to explore, the Lakes Distillery, and independent boutiques and shops to browse to keep you occupied.
 
Sonja from Migrating Miss

Budget your trip

Hostel/budget hotel – £15

Midrange hotel – £40 – £70

Luxury hotel – £90 –  £130

Dinner for two – £30

Street vendor – £5

Beer – £4+

Recommendations

Things to do: Walking, cycling etc as well as Brave the Cave, a Winter Course and of course, afternoon tea!

Affordable, luxury hotels: Wateredge Inn, Daffodil Hotel and Spa, Burnside Hotel and Spa, Regent Hotel By The Lake and The Whitbarrow Hotel at Whitbarrow Village.

uk winter break

Inverness, Scotland

Inverness has something for everyone: castles, the mystery and magic of Loch Ness, whisky, the northern lights and romantic tales. Come in winter and you’ll be marvelled by the fairy tale scenery: white hills surrounding the city, the Inverness Castle covered in snow, take a stroll along the Caledonian Canal, considered to be one of the most impressive waterways in the world. History lovers sharpen your cameras and explore the famous battlefield of Culloden, that is just right outside the city! Then relax and get cosy having a drink at Inverness’ first whisky bar, The Malt Room.

Roxana from Nosy Suitcase

Budget your trip

Hostel/budget hotel – £14 – £ 25

Midrange hotel – £40+

Luxury hotel – £80+

Dinner for two – £30

Street vendor – £4 – £11

Beer – £3.50

uk winter break

York

York is a perfect winter destination, particularly over the Christmas period.  There are so many wonderful things to do in York from the fabulous York Christmas Market to the other many Christmas events in and around the city where you can sample festive afternoon teas or take the children to visit Santa.  The narrow Medieval streets in York feel wonderfully Dickensian, and you can feel like you have walked right into the pages of A Christmas Carol.  There are several theatres in York where you can see traditional pantomimes in all their kitsch glory!  Whatever you decide to do, a visit to York is like going back to a simpler, merrier time.

Nikki from Yorkshire Wonders

Budget your trip

Hostel/budget hotel – £13

Midrange hotel – £30 – £60

Luxury hotel – £80+

Dinner for two – £25 – £50

Street vendor – £2.50

Beer – £3 –  £5.50

Recommendations

Things to do: York Minister, The Shambles, National Railway Museum, York Castle Museum, Richard III Experience and the York City Walls.

Affordable, luxury hotels: The Mount Royale Hotel & Spa, The Grand Hotel & SpaHotel Indigo York and Grange Hotel.

UK winter break

Edinburgh, Scotland

Despite the chilly weather, spending two days in Edinburgh is a fantastic choice if you’re after a weekend city break in the UK during winter. The crowds in Edinburgh are considerably lower than peak months of July and August, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the Old Town and the Royal Mile without the swarming crowds.

Edinburgh also hosts a number of great events in winter including Hogmanay over the New Year, Burns’ Night celebrations in January and several Christmas Markets over November and December.

Michael from The World Was Here First

Budget your trip

Hostel/budget hotel – £25

Midrange hotel – £50+

Luxury hotel – £90 – £130

Dinner for two – £40 +

Street vendor – £4

Beer – £5 +

Recommendations

Things to do: Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets, Silent Light, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh Castle,  climb Arthur’s Seat and National Museum of Scotland.

Affordable, luxury hotels: Principal Edinburgh Charlotte SquareThe Balmoral HotelThe Lane Hotel, The Inn Place and West Bow Edmonstone Close.

UK winter break

London

Christmas in London is very magical, and it is a great choice for a winter break.  There are a lot of events going on to get people in the festive spirit. You can watch Christmas movies on comfy beanbags in a lovely winter setting in the Backyard Cinema or see the beautiful lights on Oxford Street or at Covent Garden.

There are several ice skating rinks set up all over the city, where you can show off your skills. One of the most popular activities during this time of the year is visiting Christmas markets. Winter Wonderland is the biggest in London. It has several food stalls, roller coaster rides and shows, so don’t miss it if you are in London during the festive season! Don’t forget to treat yourself to an Afternoon Tea or delicious treats at Harrods.

Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl

Budget your trip

Hostel/budget hotel – £20+

Midrange hotel – £50 – £90

Luxury hotel – £100+

Dinner for two – £30

Street vendor – £3+

Beer – £4.50 – £7

Recommendations

Things to do: Winter Wonderland, Leicester Square Christmas Market, Covent Garden, Tower of London, Borough Market, the British Museum and one of the many Afternoon teas! We have a list of free things to do in London to help you plan the perfect trip.

Affordable, luxury hotels: Montcalm Royal London House, CitizenM Tower of London, Donatello Room Aldgate and The Distillery.

uk winter break

Christmas may be over but it doesn’t mean you have to hibernate until the spring! Visit these awesome UK winter breaks locations and let us know about your experience below.

Thank you for the wonderful travel experts who have shared their favourite destinations – make sure you head over to their websites to learn more about their chosen UK winter choice.

And whilst you’re at it, feel free to follow us – here, here, here and HERE!

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UK winter break
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Showing 14 comments
  • Josy A
    Reply

    I agree totally with this. We always found travelling in the UK in winter is fantastic, because so many people *do* hibernate until spring. Prices are cheaper, and if you go for hikes, there are hardly any people out and about (even though it can be sooo pretty!)

    Anyway yay. This is a great list. 🙂

  • Shelby
    Reply

    All of these UK winter destinations sound magical, but especially Inverness, Scotland! I would love to see a castle covered in snow! Thanks for all the great suggestions.

    • Katie
      Reply

      UK is gorgeous to explore in the winter and yes, I love Scotland – just beautiful!

  • Kaisa Lee
    Reply

    This is such a cool idea, I love your budget breakdowns especially. Makes me want to go back to the UK! 😀

    • Katie
      Reply

      Thank you so much! Hope it helps you plan your trip!

  • Amor Indio
    Reply

    I agree totally with this. We always found travelling in the UK in winter is fantastic, because so many people *do* hibernate until spring. Prices are cheaper, and if you go for hikes, there are hardly any people out and about (even though it can be sooo pretty!)
    Anyway yay. This is a great list.

    • Katie
      Reply

      Thank you so much! It is so much cheaper and quieter we find!

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