From luxurious spa holidays and exclusive countryside retreats to city breaks filled with culture, shopping and lots of discovery, the UK has everything you need for a fantastic winter vacation.
Once the cold weather comes along, the historic pubs, cozy cottages and frosty cobblestone streets of the United Kingdom come to life with holiday spirit and cheerful decorations that give the place a fairyland feel. The cities are brimming with ice skating rinks, atmospheric Christmas markets and all sorts of winter activities, while the natural beauty and Gothic charm of the UK’s countryside is only enhanced by the winter’s frost, chill winds and moody skies. In a nutshell, the kingdom makes for a wonderful destination to spend your winter holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s Eve or anything in between.
Here are a couple of travel ideas to help you get started:
Spa holidays are a wonderful and relaxing way to spend the festive season, and the UK boasts a fantastic range of historic spa towns and luxury spa hotels to choose from.
One of the best and most renowned destinations for combining health and beauty treatments with a dash of British tradition is Bath. Home to England’s most spectacular Georgian architecture and some of the best-preserved Roman bathhouses in the world, the beautiful World Heritage city in the county of Somerset is the quintessential English getaway. Moreover, once the Christmas lights switch on, at the half of November, Bath becomes a veritable twinkling festive heaven, with lots of Christmas shopping opportunities and exciting winter activities to choose from. The ancient Roman Baths, however, with their hot mineral-rich waters and fabulous history, remain the main tourist attraction in town.
Well, Bath might be the United Kingdom’s foremost spa destination, but it’s certainly not the only one. A mere 40 miles from Bath, the beautiful health resort of Cheltenham welcomes travelers with stunning regency architecture, a dynamic festival scene and a variety of little spas, some open to public (Chapel Spa), others tucked away in majestic country manors and luxury boutique hotels.
Other interesting destinations where you can relax and sample the healing waters across the UK include: the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, where Victorian era grandeur and the century-old tradition of Turkish baths blend like nowhere else; the charming Worcestershire town of Droitwich, renowned for its brine baths; Buxton (Derbyshire) with its gorgeous Georgian architecture, legendary St Anne’;s Well and famed natural thermal springs; Strathpeffer in the Scottish Highlands; or Royal Tunbridge Wells in west Kent.
With its fabulous mix of culture, shopping, nightlife and cuisine, there’s no wonder London tops the list of Britain’s must-see cities, especially when you’re traveling on a high budget. Although steeped in history, London is a living metropolis that is constantly evolving, a place with a myriad of faces, where tradition intermingles with avant-gardism everywhere you look. Historic pubs share space with some of Europe’s fanciest restaurants, cocktails are served with the same soothing sophistication of an afternoon tea in the Orangery, and historic landmarks of great monarchial importance such as the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey rub shoulders with cutting-edge constructions like The Shard or The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe).
For an even more authentic experience, try Edinburgh – the city of castles, literature and festivals. Unlike London, Edinburgh breathes a distinct, more relaxed atmosphere with its mind-blowing Georgian splendor and dramatic setting on the east coast of Scotland. Colorful Christmas markets, lively events and elaborate decorations will light up the UNESCO-listed Old Town during the holiday season, creating a beautiful festive ambience.
For those in search of small town charm with a touch of history and big-city conveniences, destinations such as Winchester, the former capital city of England; charming Marlow on the River Thames; Stratford-upon-Avon, the fascinating home town of Shakespeare; or the recently modernized Sheffield are a smart choice. All of them have their fair share of luxury boutique hotels in addition to great shopping, dining and entertaining opportunities.
Peppered with spectacular castles, sleepy hamlets, charming cottages and coastline vistas that take your breath away, the UK’s legendary countryside is a breath of fresh air, offering not only rewarding culture and history, but also luxury, utmost tranquility and peace together with inspiring places to explore and get away from it all.
Some of the most enchanting rural escapes can be found in Devon, where the picturesque coast in the south along with the chocolate box villages sprinkled around and the natural riches of Dartmoor National Park will leave you a deep impression.
Equally enchanting are the counties of Somerset, Wiltshire, Cornwall and Dorset, also in South West England, as well as the elegant Kentish countryside, the historic Sussex and the bewitching Cotswolds in Oxfordshire.
Whatever type of holiday you have in mind, the endless travel opportunities that the United Kingdom has to offer along with the incredible collection of refined places to stay provided by Small Luxury Hotels of the World in this part of the world, will ensure a memorable winter experience.
Ranging from utterly romantic retreats and spa getaways tucked away in idyllic rural settings to majestic castles and unique urban sanctuaries with flawlessly designed interiors, SLH’s boutique hotels in UK are intended to fulfill the most discerning travelers’; expectations and to offer bespoke experiences in the country’s most coveted destinations. To get an idea about what to expect from this award-winning brand management company that is SLH, browse their prestigious list of luxury hotels in UK. Don’t be surprised when, just like us, you’ll end up bookmarking their website for keeps.