Our top five UK winter destinations for group holidays

Group, Seasonal

The UK isn’t exactly the most obvious choice for a winter break. Many of us plan foreign holidays in an attempt to escape our unpredictable weather forecasts. It can be a time when many of us feel the dread of the shorter days, darker mornings and colder evenings. But it doesn’t have to be an endurance test until springtime. The UK can be a beautiful place to explore during this season. Have a look at some of our holiday ideas and see why our country is just as wonderful in winter too.

England

1. Devon

If not for the picturesque thatched cottages and market squares glistening with morning frost, than for the spectacular wilderness of Exmoor and Dartmoor on a fine and crisp winter’s day, Devon is beautiful all year round, but it has a special magic about it during winter. Take a drive up to Exmoor in North Devon on a fine winter’s day and be blown away by the panoramic countryside views and picturesque beauty. There are plenty of warm and welcoming country pubs to stop in along the way for a hearty lunch or hot drink.

South Devon is renowned for its warmer temperatures, so if the thought of a frosty holiday in the countryside gives you the shivers, head to the palm tree lined shores of the English Riviera and enjoy the natural suntrap of Torbay. We recommend catching the train on the Tarka line, heading down the coast to Plymouth for some essential Christmas shopping in the annual Christmas markets. Drake Circus is a great venue to pick up January sale bargains too.

Must Visit: Killerton House and Gardens is one of the best National Trust properties in the county to visit during winter.

Start planning your group holiday in Devon - browse our Devon cottages.

2. Lake District

A favoured holiday destination all year round, the Lake District is magical whatever month you choose to visit. In the winter months, enjoy the undisturbed wilderness of the hills and lakes in the peaceful and quieter season – the same beauty without the crowds.

Among the most popular spots are Lake Windermere, Coniston Water, Derwentwater and Ullswater - each lake is surrounded by a variety of walks suitable for various abilities, from flat lakeside strolls to hikes up into the surrounding fells.

Must Visit: Wastwater is said to be one of the Lake District’s most popular lakes for enjoying long walks. In winter, the landscape is just as beautiful, with the panoramic mountainous scenery of Scafell Pike, the Great Gable and Wasdale Valley dominating the spectacular skyline.

Start planning your group holiday in the Lake District - browse our Lake District cottages.

3. Norfolk

Head to Norfolk for great festive markets, delicious traditional food and magnificent winter wildlife displays. The spectacular flight of thousands of pink-footed geese leaving their night-time roost on The Wash and heading inland to feed is just one of the region’s special winter sights. Norfolk boasts 90 miles of coastline to explore, so there are plenty of opportunities for brisk beach walks with clear sea views. Norfolk Snowsports in Trowse is fantastic for the active visitor, and the artificial slopes provide the perfect venue for skiers and snowboarders.

This time of year is perfect for walking and lapping up the region's scenery. Head to Thetford Forest to see the wild horses, or perhaps to the coast of North Norfolk for unspoilt views of the shoreline, the sea and the sky. You also shouldn't miss the boat trips heading out from Blakeney Point - your chance to see over a thousand grey seals and their pups.

Must Visit: Holkham Beach – one of the most unspoilt beaches in the country, the winter months mean less crowds and more wildlife to enjoy this delightful beach and its winter wonderland magic.

Start planning your group holiday in Norfolk - browse our Norfolk cottages.

Wales

4. The Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons become a winter wonderland in the cold grasp of late autumn and winter, and this National Park is a lovely place to visit even in the greyest of days. Just over an hour away at most from the attractions in Cardiff, there are plenty of crisp winter walks nearby to take in the glittering sights of beautiful wintery days.

Bordering the Beacons, the beautiful Wye Valley is also worth visiting in the winter months. We recommend taking a walk around Abergavenny, the historic market town sheltered by the breath-taking scenery of the Black Mountains. Pick up a traditional love spoon from the indoor market for your loved one in time for St Dwynwen’s Day on 25th January. Commemorating the Welsh patron saint of friendship and love, what could be more warming in the midst of winter?

Must Visit: Fforest Fawr – Once an ancient hunting ground, this is a magical area to visit in the winter.

Start planning your group holiday in the Brecon Beacons - browse our Brecon Beacons cottages.

Scotland

5. Edinburgh and North Berwick

Edinburgh comes alive in the winter months with bustling German Christmas markets, glittering lights, fairground rides, Europe’s largest open air ice rink, and of course the world-famous Hogmanay New Year celebrations. Banish the winter blues with Christmas shopping, fabulous festive food and drink in world-class restaurants and listening to the choirs of St Giles’s Cathedral as you explore the city’s cheerful atmosphere.

Climb up to Arthur’s Seat or Holyrood Park in the heart of Edinburgh for a blustery and refreshing walk on a chilly winter’s day. Your reward: magical views of the city.

Only half an hour from Edinburgh by train, you’ll reach North Berwick. Home to the Scottish Seabird Centre, this is the place to be for witnessing the world’s largest single-rock gannet colony returning to the famous Bass Rock in January. There are many delightful coastal walks to enjoy around the area, so wrap up warm, get out there and plan some days out.

Must See: Edinburgh Castle – perhaps even more enchanting in the winter light, don’t miss the chance to see this famous landmark.

Start planning your group holiday in Edinburgh - browse our Edinburgh cottages.

Start planning your group getaway this winter - find the perfect place to stay, big enough for all of you, amongst our large cottages.

Posted by Hannah on 11th November 2017