10 luxurious places to visit in the UK this winter
In a sovereign country that maintains a level of disappointingly bleak weather all year round, it can often be difficult to fully embrace that winter feeling here in the United Kingdom. With the glorious French Alps, quintessential German Christmas markets, and the ‘official’ hometown of everyone’s favourite big man, Santa Claus, in Rovaniemi, Finland, all just a short plane ride away, what possible reason could there be to stick it out in the UK this season?
Well, I am here to give you 10. Here at Luxury Lifestyle, we have compiled 10 of the best places and things to visit over the next few months that are sure to remind you just how wonderful the winter period can be in this nation. Traditional winter sports, Christmas themed foods and activities, and extreme ways of embracing the snow are all on this list, so those of little faith in a winter spent in the UK this year might just be reminded of all the hidden, luxurious winter beauties it has to offer. And if you are looking for that perfect place to stay, be it cottage, chalet or lodge, Cherished Holiday Homes are here to help with their nationwide selection of private holiday rentals. Just one more thing to tick off your ‘winter in the UK’ checklist.
Illuminated Light Trail
Oxfordshire is a central southern county in England rich with English heritage, home to one of the most prestigious universities in the world and the monumental country house, Blenheim Palace. This UNESCO World Heritage Site acts as a family home, mausoleum and national monument, and is the ancestral home and birthplace of former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Aside from its rich historical and cultural reputation, Blenheim Palace is a world class visitor attraction that holds a variety of events including their unmissable Illuminated Light Trail held between November 22nd and January 1st. The ornate building and its surrounding grounds are transformed with immersive light installations, illuminating the stunning landscapes of this beautiful palace to create a truly spectacular festive experience.
The Sleeping Beauty ballet
You are never short of things to do in the great city of London, and the winter season is no exception. From November 7th until January 16th you can see the world-class Royal Ballet perform the classic, well-loved production of The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The perfect event for a December evening, and an impassable opportunity for glamour and glitz, a trip to London’s West End is a chance for you to experience tradition, innovation, and elegance in a masterfully choreographed ballet to Tchaikovsky’s esteemed compositions.
If you are wanting something a little more slow-paced with plenty of opportunities for late night moonlit strolls and true English pub dinners, the Cotswolds are the place for you. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this area of the UK is characterised with quaint and charming villages and towns, ideal for a wintery getaway. Explore the picturesque streets of Chipping Camden and Broadway, experience the charming festivities of Bourton-on-the-Water or Stanton, and enjoy your time in this magical location.
Indoor skiing and snowboarding
It comes as no surprise that the UK is perhaps not the ideal destination for a winter holiday of skiing and snowboarding. Although the nation may luck out with the occasional white Christmas, the lack of mountains and consistently heavy snow fall makes it pretty impossible to ‘hit the slopes’. However, as such a popular winter activity, even for the snowless Brits, indoor ski slopes have quickly popped up across the country. Chill Factore in Manchester is the UK’s longest indoor ski slope located in Trafford City and can offer you that mountain-like feel you might be craving this winter.
Sugar Plum Fairy afternoon tea
Step into The Waldorf Hilton, one of London’s most iconic hotels, to experience a truly special winter pairing of afternoon tea and The Nutcracker. The notorious hotel has combined its signature tea with the beloved character, the Sugar Plum Fairy, to give guests an enchanting edible experience. From smoked salmon blinis, finger sandwiches, sugar plum jam, and vanilla choux crown cakes, this dining homage to Tchaikovsky is a unique combination of food and luxury that is a must this season.
The North Pennines is the northernmost section of the Pennine range of hills running through northern England and is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO Global Geopark. The open landscape and mile-long sky views in this area make it the perfect spot for stargazing, in fact, this area has the most nationally recognised Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the UK. With so many densely populated and light polluted towns and cities, many of us have yet to see a truly breathtaking night sky, but in the Durham Dales and North Pennines, you can witness a sky full of up to 2000 stars at one time, see the Milky Way which is 2.5 million light years away and the Andromeda Galaxy, and even catch a glimpse of meteor showers.
Bath Christmas Market
There is no better place to do a little Christmas shopping than at the award-winning Christmas market in Bath. From November 28th to December 15th, the Georgian streets of this small Somerset city are lined with 150 festive chalets selling unique homeware, handmade jewellery and artisan decorations, and food stalls for you to get your mulled wine and roasted nut fix. Take a trip to this elegant city to admire its grand cathedral and twinkling market lights.
Another traditional and must-do winter activity is, of course, ice skating. Grab your skates and head to the southern coast of the UK to release your inner figure skater at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion ice rink. Open this season from November 2nd until January 19th, the outdoor rink has a rinkside restaurant, a royal backdrop, and ice that is powered entirely by wind and solar energy.
The Winter Night Garden
Having newly relocated to Wandsworth this year, Backyard Cinema is now one of London’s leading alternative cinema experiences and the UK’s only themed cinema experience. This year, the company is bringing back their much loved theme, The Winter Night Garden. Having transformed an abandoned TV studio into a multi-sensory, immersive cinematic experience, Backyard cinema present a magical journey to rediscovering your favourite films. Enter through a library wardrobe into an enchanted forest, follow the fairy light paths into a cosy cinema, then sit back and cuddle up to enjoy classics like The Rocky Horror Show, Dirty Dancing and The Lion King.
Sleep in a snow hole
Higher up the UK, Scotland is probably the closest to a true, snow-filled winter that you will get. Embrace the cold Scottish climate and its white mountains on a Snow Hole Expedition in the Cairngorms. Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the highlands, dig and construct your very own snow hole, and wake up to the winter wonderland that is the Cairngorm mountains. A truly hands-on, all-in, unforgettable winter experience.
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