While the UK seems far from ideal when it comes to going for a winter vacation, I can assure you that it’s worth visiting. It tends to turn into a winter wonderland with many activities, especially for the more adventurous travellers. Another cool thing is that it’s considered the low season so you’ll see the more peaceful side of the UK with cheaper prices for most things.
My winter experience in the UK
Last year I spent my winter vacation in Bangkok. While I liked the wet winter, I still prefer the snowy version of winter. It’s fun to explore different places with their own unique weather. Plus I was lucky enough to get tickets for Bangkok discounted flights and save some extra cash. However, after spending a winter vacation in Great Britain, I can confidently say that snowy winter is much better.
Britain is quite popular among tourists so you can imagine how crowded it must get in peak season. That is not the case while visiting it in winter because most people prefer to stay inside and pass the winter time quietly. While in peak season, the popular sites are noisy and sometimes you need to stand in a huge line to get a ticket. In winter, however, it’s not uncommon to sometimes have the whole place to yourself.
Check out the Christmas markets
One of the best thing about visiting Britain during winter is the awesome Christmas celebration and the lovely Christmas markets set up in different places. From cute traditional stalls to markets that are spread around the whole city, you’ll simply love their homely festive vibe. During December, the streets in Britain come to life. There are so many cool stalls selling traditional Christmas themed food items to awesome souvenirs. The best place to grab gifts for your loved ones while you sip on a soothing cup of hot chocolate.
Dark moody landscape
To some extent, everyone is aware of the Victorian and gothic vibe of the UK but it takes on a whole new meaning in winter. The usually sunny bright places are covered by dark clouds on top and the chill I the air makes it a very moody place to visit. I always imagine myself in some gothic or noir movie. If you’re a literature fan then you’ll like the site of old gothic buildings straight out of famous stories. Similarly, the coastline becomes extra nice during winter. The dark skies add a certain charm to the crashing waves. Perfect for moody pictures!
Pubs and tea rooms are a big deal in Britain. What better time is there than winter to cosy up in these establishments? I don’t drink so I visit tea rooms where I enjoy a lavish afternoon tea, complete with snacks and finger sandwiches as I gazed upon the dark rainy weather outside. There are many cool and quirky pubs, bars as well as cafes and tea rooms all over Britain because they seem to be part of the tradition there. Look around and explore as many as you can.
Bargains and Discounts
While it’s not cheap to travel around Britain, winter is the perfect time to be able to save some money. From reduced accommodation prices to cool bargain deals of on most things. There are even travel and tourism packages that’ll help you experience more things in lesser money. It still won’t be dirt cheap but the difference is there nonetheless.
Museums and Galleries
Winter days, as well as rainy days, are the best time to explore the many museums and galleries available around. Britain has a very long extensive history with many rulers coming and going. Way back in the day, Romans ruled over Britain as well so there are museums dedicated to that part of history as well. From sophisticated regency era to the rather progressive Victorian one, you’ll have much to see here. Same goes for art galleries and art museums. Two of my personal favourite places are Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and of course, the British Museum. Both of them are pretty unique and perfect to kill an hour or two.
If you happen to love animals then you’ll be delighted to know that winter is a great time to spot a unique variety of wildlife in the less urban parts of the UK. There are simply too many bird species flying about so bring your binoculars and enjoy some relaxing bird-watching. Even at night, if you stay vigilant enough, you can see different species of owls. Plus in the wilderness, the sky looks very beautiful in a dark haunting sort of way. You can also check out grey seals in the Norfolk area because cute pups are born in the winter season.
Check out Quaint Villages
Britain is full of quaint and picturesque villages and towns straight out of some story. However, after a light dusting of white snow, they take on a whole new ambience. I enjoyed taking a stroll about such villages and taking in the crisp air along with the overall sleepy atmosphere.
Now that the rush of summer is gone, life takes on a slower pace. It’s more likely that you’ll be able to chat with a local as people seem to have more free time in winter. It’s especially fun when you’re cosying up in some pub or tea room. Another side to this is that tours are more detailed. The travel and tour agencies are glad for any tourists visiting during winter so you can bargain better as well as get a more comprehensive tour of whichever place you choose.
The New Year!
After Christmas, you can stick around for a lovely New Year celebration. With fireworks and wild parties, Britain has some cities that are in top lists for New Year celebrations. And if you happen to visit after the New Year then try to stay until the start of February to join in the Chinese New Year celebrations. Not every city celebrates this event but all the major cities that have their own little Chinatowns will. I personally loved the dash of the Orient while visiting London!