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The 7 wonders of England in winter!

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Winter seems to be one of the most difficult seasons with all its gloominess, cold and rain. Certainly the approach of Christmas holidays sprinkles many with happiness, enthusiasm and anticipation.

But what about those of us who have no long flights, big plans or even the luxury to spend these days with loved ones painting every single town red? Should we dwell ourselves on deep misery or is it time to start exploring the beauty of this country (since we’re stuck here)? I certainly opt for the second. England is a country with a lot to offer when it comes to travelling. True, it doesn’t have any tropical sceneries and crystal clear waters, but this is what makes it even more suitable as a destination for the coldest months of the year. So here are some suggestions.

 london city street

1) What do Harry Potter and the Vikings have in common?
Well, the answer is York of course. Located in Northeast England, York is the perfect destination if you want to stroll around beautifully narrow streets and admire the medieval architecture of the city. A walk on The Shambles will make you feel as if you are shopping in Diagon Alley due to its timber-framed buildings where many of the famous Diagon Alley scenes were set. And if you decide to visit in February, when the Viking’s Festival is on, you might meet a Viking on your way.

london city street

2) When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.
Whether stuck in London by choice or not, this city has great things to keep you moving. Especially in December the whole city is brightened up by thousands of lights initiating the festive period. Christmas markets are a must-do as they offer delicious delicacies, the famous Glühwein, and, of course, a variety of ornaments to decorate your house. Go to Trafalgar square to admire one of the biggest Christmas’s trees (delivered as a present from Oslo), visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland for ice-skating and great fun, and certainly don’t forget London Eye where you can be showered by thousands of fireworks on New Year’s.

3) Time to stop being a couch potato!
For the more adventurous among us the Festival of Winter Walks should be on top of the list. This annual event runs between Christmas and New Year across England, and promises an unforgettable walking experience around the country. The organisers, who are called Ramblers, ensure that the tours are suitable for everyone, including those whose running shoes were hidden in the closet until very recently. During the Christmas period this experience is worth trying for the themed walks which take place.

4) I know it’s winter, but I need some Sun..derland!
Sunderland is in North East England and is considered a metropolitan borough. Of course it couldn’t be missing from this list since the Christmas Lights Switch-on is a remarkable experience. But Sunderland has much more to offer. The Magic Christmas at the Stadium of Light running from December 1st to December 25th is a perfect choice for a festive get-together. If you like ice skating, you should definitely visit The Frost Village in the city centre as it is an authentic open air ice rink. The village also holds a Christmas Funfair.

london hot water pool

5) Winter is the time for long, relaxing baths. But a rooftop bath? Well, why not?
You are certainly aware that Bath has been a popular destination for centuries due to its famous baths. Wanting to preserve the city’s reputation, The Thermae Spa is the only naturally heated spa in England as it uses hot springs which were invented thousands of years ago. The view from the rooftop pool is spectacular and should not be missed. If this type of relaxation is not your cup of tea, then don’t forget that Bath is a festival city, so whenever you go there will always be something on to enjoy.

london city street

6) Being broke feels good!
Especially if you are in Bristol where there is a huge variety of events taking place during the winter. Oh! And many of them are free! You can drop a visit to a traditional German Christmas market and, if you want to lighten up, then go to Clifton Suspension Bridge which is veiled with innumerable lights at night. If you get thirsty, then head to Coronation Tap for a glass of cider made by..apples! Finally, for the young ones who’ve been well-behaved, the Santa’s Grotto is held in Bristol Zoo Gardens during the festive period.

7) Shall we stay indoors or shall we go to Devon?
One of the reasons why Devon is included here, is because its scenery is much more different in the winter, but not less breathtaking. If you are up to a great laugh, go to Exeter Phoenix Show to enjoy the comedy festival. If you’re feeling a bit sporty, then try a winter walk on Dartmoor. And if you want to go crazy, then go swimming in Tinside Beach in Plymouth – you won’t be the only one, believe me! Don’t worry about the cold. The chilli farm in Devon can offer dried chillies, chilli sauces and even chilli chocolate to help you keep warm!

Whatever you do, don’t stay in. Stay cool!

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