6 Beautiful Places to Visit in the UK This Winter
While some like to get away during the winter months, seeking a sunnier spot to enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of places within the UK that can provide scenery so stunning you won’t mind the colder clime. The landscapes in the UK are diverse and provide a variety of outdoor experiences, so get your lightweight hiking boots on and enjoy what the nation has to offer. To help you on your journey, we take a look at six of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK this winter.
Located in the North of England, North Yorkshire is a county packed full of rugged landscapes and incredible architecture waiting to be explored. Home to two of the UK’s National Parks, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, there is an abundance of walks and hikes to embark on in the area. Snow isn’t uncommon in this area during the winter months, offering crisp winter days, with incredible scenery of hills and dales covered in a blanket of white.
The North York Moors are also an incredible spot for stargazing, especially during the long nights of the winter months. The Moors have a few Dark Sky Discovery Sites, such as Dalby Forest, where the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye.
North Yorkshire also plays host to a vast selection of English Heritage and National Trust sites, including castles, abbeys and stately homes. Many of these properties are accompanied by incredible grounds, featuring parkland and garden walks, perfect for a more relaxed day.
Lake District National Park, often considered one of England’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in the UK in winter. While a gorgeous spot to visit all year round, the quieter winter season will allow you to enjoy the peaceful wilderness of the hills and lakes undisturbed. The Lake District has inspired many writers, artists and musicians and a glance at the stunning mountainous landscape will surely tell you why. With a mix of terrain and plenty of natural wonders to spot, there are plenty of walks to be undertaken here, suitable for all abilities, from lakeside strolls to hikes up the fells.
Almost half of Hampshire is covered in national parks – the New Forest and the South Downs – making it a beautiful spot for walks no matter the time of year. From ancient woodland to wild expanses of heathland, the landscapes are diverse and beautiful. The wilderness of the New Forest offers everything from woodland to wetland, and the winter views here are breathtaking. Spot the ponies on the grassland, huddled together for warmth in the winter chill. Hampshire is also home to a variety of National Trust estates, providing a range of trail walks, which will look incredible blanketed in snow during the winter months.
Set in the heart of Devon, Dartmoor is an ancient landscape where you can truly enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. A mix of moorland, forests and rivers offers you a diverse range of walking routes and terrains. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a snowy winters’ day, then you’ll likely spot tobogganers racing down the slopes of the tors and hills. Navigate your way to a warm and cosy country pub and enjoy a hearty lunch and beverage to recover.
Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is an ideal winter getaway location, perfectly pairing a bustling cityscape with moments of natural wonder. From stunning architecture to a wealth of cultural activities, Edinburgh is a delightful city to visit. Surrounded by hills, you’re never far from a great view, and when city life gets too much, head for one of the nearby hillside walks. About 15 minutes walk from the city centre is Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that now offers a steep hike that rewards with incredible views of the city and surrounding countryside. South of the city, you’ll find the Pentland Hills Regional Park, with a range of hills here providing a wide variety of hikes.
Isles of Scilly
While many are up for an adventure, some walking enthusiasts may be a little apprehensive about heading out for a hike on some of the icier days of the year. If you don’t want to miss out on outdoor exploration time, even in the winter months, then why not head for somewhere that you won’t have to worry about the weather! Despite being in the UK, the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall, is one of the warmest places in the UK. Unspoilt, the Isles of Scilly offer an assortment of spectacular coast path walks, nature trails and historic wonders to explore. Walk the woodland and coastal routes of St. Mary’s or visit the sub-tropical gardens and castles of Tresco, where around 300 plants still flower in January!
Where do you head in the winter months to see stunning views? Check out our winter hiking tips to ensure you stay safe, wherever you may go!