Visiting the UK this winter, or planning a frosty staycation? Here in Britain, we are lucky to house a plethora of pretty towns, ripe for the visiting. From little towns nestled in bucolic countryside to mediaeval markets, here are the UK’s best towns to visit in winter. Make sure you wrap up warm!
Best UK Towns To Visit In Winter
Set in the grounds of the mediaeval Cathedral, Winchester Christmas Market is one of Europe’s most famous festive affairs. With a buzzing atmosphere, delicious food and drink, and an ice rink, too, this one’s not to be missed. Winchester town is delightful, too – Hampshire‘s county town and one of the UK’s oldest cities. Stroll through the ancient streets and admire the old old buildings, hot chocolate in mittened hands.
Inverness, Scottish Highlands
Considered the happiest place in Scotland, Inverness is an ancient city on Scotland’s north east coast, well-located to make the most of Scotland’s most famous mythical creature, the Loch Ness Monster (it is Inverness, after all). Hop on a cruise on Loch Ness or, if you’d prefer to stay on dry land, take a stroll through the pretty town and along the Caledonian Canal, soaking up the gorgeous sights.
With quirky bars, cosy pubs, and plenty of scenic walks to embark on nearby – perhaps you’ll even attempt to visit a few Game of Thrones filming locations – hop over to Belfast for a wintery staycation warmed by Irish hospitality. The German-style Christmas market is a must-visit, too, featuring global cuisine, plenty of beer, and a Santa Train.
STAY: For a city jaunt, stop in the chic Harrison Chambers of Distinction, a boutique hotel on the doorstep of Belfast’s theatre and museum quarter. Country lovers should retreat to the nearby Holywood Hills where Culloden Estate & Spa is ready and waiting with palatial suites and excellent views. chambersofdistinction.com / cullodenestateandspa.com
This idyllic town – home of the famous Bakewell Tart and Bakewell Pudding – is one of the UK’s best towns to visit in winter. Nestled in the Peak District on the banks of the River Wye, the sand coloured buildings, mediaeval five-arched stone bridge and plethora of cosy pubs and pretty courtyards make for a delightful wintery stroll. Nearby, head to the gorgeous Chatsworth House – lovely year-round, but at its best when the Christmas Market is running and the scent of mulled wine is flowing through the air.
STAY: Originally a manor house, The Peacock at Rowsley is a lovely Derbyshire bolthole close to both Bakewell and Chatsworth House; their restaurant is delightful, too. thepeacockatrowsley.com
If you’re looking to explore Snowdonia this winter – the name is definitely on theme, at least – then the picturesque Beddgelert is an ideal base from which to explore the best that the National Park has to offer. Here, there’s Aberglaslyn Pass to the south, Nant Gwynant to the east, and Snowdon to the north, all making for exciting wintery walks and sights.
Beddgelert is also a stop on the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, meaning you’re well-connected to visit other pretty towns nearby – though it is also, of course, a very pretty village itself, with stone buildings, a lovely bridge, and panoramic hilly scenes.
Often called the ‘gem’ of the Cotswolds, Broadway is filled with local shops, quaint cafes and lovely restaurants to bundle in to, away from the cold. Warm up with tasty cream tea from a traditional tea room, or embark on a wintery stroll surrounded by green. The shops stay open late in winter (until around 8:30 pm) to accommodate Christmas shoppers and festive stalls fill the hidden courtyards selling unique gifts, too.
STAY: Originally a 14th century coaching inn, the 86-room The Lygon Arms epitomises Cotswolds country luxury. Head here in the footsteps of the likes of Oliver Cromwell and King Charles III, for delectable local menus, and an indulgent spa – and pups are welcome, too. lygonarmshotel.co.uk