The word ‘Staycation’ has become popular over the last couple of years and based on data from Visit England, the country’s national tourist board, Briton’s are taking fewer and fewer foreign trips, preferring to stay in the UK for 1-3 days holiday.
Instead of staring at the telly this year, why not use your precious winter days off to good use and explore some of the most breathtaking scenery that the UK has to offer?
If you are looking for a snow-covered Christmas, then Cairngorms is the place to go. Found in the eastern Highlands of Scotland, it’s a colossal area covering almost 4,000 km2 and more than 600 meters above sea level. This region’s weather is the most extreme in the UK, with winter temperatures ranging from several degrees below freezing to around 5C, and subarctic conditions are common. The weather may be unforgiving, but it is rather beautiful and teeming with wildlife, including reindeer and timid mountain hares. Birds include golden eagles, ospreys and the difficult to spot ptarmigan, whose feathers turn white in winter. Aviemore is an established base for skiing, hiking and for those who enjoy the bracing weather.
If you are looking for drier weather or a quiet time away, why not try Brighton instead? Less than two hours away from any major central London train station, Brighton has hardly any rain at all and is named one of the sunniest spots in the south-east. Most of the shops and bars close for the season and it might sound a bit bleak, but wandering through the seafront enjoying fish and chips or hot chocolate on the promenade is rather romantic.
Cornwall might not be warmest place in the world, but with an average annual temperature of 11.5C, it’s definitely warmer than most other parts of the UK. Cornwall’s fine winter weather is due to the Gulf Stream, which carries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico, keeping the sea and air temperatures milder than in other places on the same latitude. The milder climate has meant that Cornwall is home to several exotic gardens, including the spectacular Lost Gardens of Heligan. Also, take time to visit the Eden Project, as it houses the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning and good fun for all the family.
Condé Nast Traveler has named the Brecon Beacons as number 9 out of the 50 most beautiful places to visit in the world. Only two hours away from London, Wales is known for its rugged coastline, mountainous national parks, distinctive language and stargazing. With adventures for all, Wales has also been featured in Travel + Leisure ‘Best Places to Travel’ feature for 2016, and in Wanderlust’s Where to Travel in 2016. You can’t go wrong if a place has already been included in Best of 2016 lists already!
If you prefer something more compact than the open countryside why not try Bath, as it ticks all the boxes for a perfect short break. Just two and a half hours from central London, it has a fascinating history, from the Roman baths to the life of Jane Austen. There is no bad time to visit Bath, with various outdoor related attractions such as the National Trust’s Bath Skyline walk, river trips and even hot air balloon rides. If it gets too chilly, there are plenty of museums to visit, along with cozy pubs and cafes. A strong contender for one of England’s most beautiful cities.
If nothing has tickled your fancy and it all sounds too much to organise, then don’t despair. Why not visit one of the UK’s many luxurious spa resorts, to still get that getaway feeling? Who said massages were only for sports injurie