The best winter staycations in the UK


We’re now in November and the nights are swiftly drawing in. For many people, it’s the perfect time to plan a getaway and escape the rain – or at least find somewhere more picturesque to stay while it pours.

There are plenty of destinations that truly come to life in the wintertime, so whether you’re a sun-worshipper seeking some winter warmth, Christmas-obsessed, or you’re looking for something a little more off-beat, there’s a destination for everyone. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a master list of some of the best UK winter holiday destinations to pique your interest and inspire you to escape this winter. *

Be sure to keep an eye out for part 2, coming soon, which will cover the best locations for winter sun.

*All information correct as of November 2022

For the foodies

Canterbury, Kent, England.

One of the greatest joys of winter is tucking into delicious comfort food when it’s freezing outside. For some time, Canterbury has been growing in popularity amongst foodies thanks to its many gastropubs, restaurants, and food markets. Home to The Sportsman and many other highly acclaimed and Michelin-starred offerings, you certainly won’t be short of places to eat.

Aside from food, Canterbury is, of course, the setting for Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The historic streets and 6th-century cathedral still remain, making the city a charming and unique UK staycation.

Average winter temperature: 4-8°C


Read on to see our other UK staycation ideas…

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For those who want a traditional New Years celebration

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is home to a whole host of traditions around Christmastime. The Edinburgh Christmas event programme in 2022 runs from 25th November until 3rd January, and there is a plethora of activities – from the traditional and family friendly to the downright weird and wacky – to get involved with.

Hogmanay (the Scottish new year celebration) is an unmissable event in the capital, and a chance to experience all of the traditions surrounding new year in Scotland. Take part in a ceildh (pronounced kay-lee), have a steak pie on New Year’s Day, or participate in Loony Dook if you’re feeling particularly brave! Whatever you choose to do, you’re guaranteed to have a great time in the Scottish capital.

Average winter temperature: 3-7°C


For bookworms, raconteurs and music-lovers

Hay-on-Wye, Wales

Hay is known for its spring festival which features storytelling, music and comedy, along with plenty of food stalls and too many activities to count. Perhaps lesser known is the Hay-on-Wye Winter Weekend, a mini version of the main festival that takes place just before Christmas. You can still expect the same entertainment, food, and family activities – simply with a more festive spin. The event takes place at the end of November at various locations throughout Hay-on-Wye, starting with the Christmas light switch-on.

Aside from the festival, the town also has book shops, independent stores and all of the cobblestoned quirkiness to be expected from a small town in Wales.

You may also want to consider hiring a classic car to make your trip to Wales that little bit more memorable.

Average winter temperature: 4-8°C


For people who need time to relax and recharge

Bath, England

Speaking of cobbled streets, Bath practically wrote the book on how to be a historical and charming English city.

Bath is beautiful year-round with a good blend of shopping, hospitality, and culture, but the thing that sets it apart in the winter is its unique thermal spas. The Thermae Spa is the perfect place to warm up and enjoy some rest and relaxation in the restorative waters of the natural hot spring.

Once you’re relaxed, a stroll around the streets will have you immersed in stunning Georgian architecture, and with a Christmas market to boot, there’s lots to do and lots to love in Bath.

Average winter temperature: 4-8°C

bath christmas market

For the drivers, explorers, and aurora-hunters

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland – Derry to Cork (2500 km/1600 miles in total)

The Wild Atlantic Way is a stunning driving route that spans 1600 miles through Ireland. The route runs from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale, Cork, and boasts incredible views and wild terrain. Plus, on clear midwinter nights, the unpolluted skies offer a chance to spot the Aurora Borealis.

Be warned though: the drive during winter is not for the fainthearted, as the Atlantic Ocean is as unforgiving as it is beautiful. Weather conditions can change in an instant, and the terrain in some areas is far from smooth-sailing. However, you don’t have to drive the route; staying anywhere along it will give you an equally scenic experience with more chance to explore the secluded bays and rugged coastlines.

Average winter temperature: 5-9°C

For skiers, snowboarders and Christmas lovers

Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Highlands

Scotland may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of ski resorts. The Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands is home to quite a few, with slopes suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels and ages. Away from the slopes, there is ample opportunity to enjoy the majestic surroundings with 1,768sq mi of national park to explore, and independent hotels, museums and activity centres scattered throughout.

For those who want to experience something a little more Christmassy, the hills are home to the UK’s only free-roaming reindeer herd that were reintroduced to Britain in the 1950s with great success. There are various tours available to those who want to see the deer up close.

Average winter temperature: 2-5°C


cairngorms national park reindeer

If we’ve inspired you to book the ultimate UK winter staycation, don’t forget that travel insurance is helpful, even for UK trips. Some of your personal items may be covered by your home insurance, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so speak to your broker to ensure you’re fully covered.

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