Winter is a great time to travel as some of the sceneries you can catch this way are as magical as a place can get. Add to this the spirit of the holidays that are getting closer and closer by the day, and you get a sure recipe for an unforgettable trip. The holidays can sometimes be stressful, so deciding to take it easy and spending the holidays at a lovely destination might be exactly what you need at the end of the year.
Every city has its own traditions and celebrates the holidays differently, so wherever you decide to go, you can probably expect to see something interesting. However, there is no doubt the UK is a splendid choice for a winter holiday as the countryside is tranquil and scenic while the locals really know how to celebrate. If you’re curious about their traditions, or if you are in fact from the UK, looking for the best places to visit in your own country, here are a few suggestions that will help you decide.
Few would argue that York is one of the best places to spend Christmastime in. Especially for those who want a more dynamic experience, this is the place to go as York’s Christmas festival has a lot to offer. Lasting from the 14th of November all the way to the 22nd of December, you will have a chance to see ice sculptures and sip on mulled wine while also enjoying the Christmas concerts of notable performers such as Kate Rusby. If you’re traveling with children, you will be delighted to hear that there are so many programs catering to them that they will have a hard time choosing what they want to see. Magical lanterns, wreath-making workshops and encounters with Santa are all at your fingertips! What’s more, you can also break a sweat and have some fun if you take a trip to Stockeld Park, just half an hour’s drive from York, and try their artificial Nordic ski trail that takes you through an illuminated forest.
Exploring the historic streets of Edinburgh, Scotland during the winter holidays is a great idea. Wander through the Old Town to feel like you have been transported to a different time period, marvel at the charming street lights that bring the Christmas spirit even closer, check out little stalls and enjoy some fresh-baked goods, or even go for a Ferris wheel ride to see the spectacular view from up above. Another option you have if you decide to go to Scotland is hopping on a train and exploring the highlands for yourself. The journey will already be an experience of its own as you stare out the window and marvel at the majestic views along the way. The Scottish Highlands are well worth traveling to if you are a nature lover for whom nothing compares to the sight of snow-capped mountains. Bring plenty of warm clothes and you’ll be fine!
A contender of York, Bath is surely among the top Christmas destinations in the UK. The Christmas market in this city is unparalleled – starting from November 28 and lasting for 18 days, Bath’s Christmas market is the biggest such shopping event in the southwest of the country. You will feel the holiday spirit once you see the beautiful wooden chalets lining the street, and you will feel tempted to stock up on Christmas presents. Indeed, few things make a better Christmas present than the unique, handmade items that constitute the majority of the articles sold at the markets, but even if you don’t purchase anything for your significant other, you will certainly get inspired to get some lovely Christmas gifts for him. What will make this trip even more memorable is the beautiful historic architecture this city is so well-known for. Shopping and relaxation can be the keywords of your Bath holiday, especially if you check out some of the natural hot springs, too.
While York is still a great choice, traveling a bit further north to North Yorkshire might be what those who want something less urban are looking for. If rather than in a crowded street, you’d like to spend the winter holidays by the sea, Scarborough is a lovely seaside town that could prove to be your perfect destination. Active travelers can enjoy a winter bike ride or just simply stroll by the harbor, enjoying the refreshing wind. In case the breathtaking sceneries are not enough in themselves, something in the area that is worth exploring is, for example, Burton Agnes Hall, a historic building where you can check out the nicely decorated rooms. Or if you are feeling creative, you can try to make your own willow deer in a workshop.
From the 8th of November all the way to 22nd of December, Leeds boasts a magical Christmas market too, featuring more than 40 chalets selling all kinds of pretty things. What makes this market different is that it’s a German-style market, which means that you can expect to see lots of food stalls that sell delicious local and authentic German foods and drinks. As if that were not enough, the centerpiece of the market and everyone’s favorite is certainly the beautiful traditional carousel that makes for a nice backdrop for all of your photos. If you’re traveling with family, rest assured there are lots of children’s activities planned too, while adults can expect concerts to entertain them through the night.
When winter comes, all corners of the UK assume the holiday spirit and towns all over the country turn into magical winter wonderlands with twinkling lights, delicious traditional foods, and wintery landscapes. Sip some mulled wine, try ice-skating on one of the outdoor rinks, soak in the historic atmosphere among the beautiful Georgian buildings and forget about stressful days back at home. Whichever of the aforementioned destinations you decide to visit, you will have the chance to savor the local tastes and mingle with the crowd, and of course, have a lot of fun.