If you visit at any other time of the year, you will find England’s main sights packed full of fellow tourists, but in winter it’s not uncommon to have a beautiful natural landmark to yourself. The same goes for visiting cities; less travellers visit England during the winter months so galleries and museums are likely to be less busy.
Frosty mornings give way to the perfect conditions for brisk walks in the countryside. Whether you prefer slowly strolling around quaint villages, hiking up mountains or walking across the moors, winter is the best time of year to get outdoors and soak up the fresh air.
From the traditional stalls that line the streets of Bath every year to Manchester’s sprawling Christmas markets that spread throughout the city, England’s streets come to life during December. Most major cities throughout the country host festive markets, with many stall holders travelling from across Europe for a multi-cultural offering.
Yes, England’s landscapes are beautiful at any time of year, but there’s a particular allure that comes with the winter months. Literacy lovers will flock to the Pennine moors to evoke visions of Wuthering Heights, while the country’s coastline is especially enchanting on a stormy day.
Hotels, apartments, B&BS and glamping sites all drop their prices dramatically over the winter months. Not only will you have more choice with fewer tourists to compete with for rooms, but the prices could be slashed by as much as half price giving you options that perhaps could be out of your budget at any other time of year.
English pubs are great all year round, but if you want to experience a cosy pub with an open fire, you have to visit during the winter months. There’s nothing better than nipping into a country pub following a long walk to enjoy a pint of local ale beside a roaring fire.
The light in winter is very different to any other time of year, offering perfect conditions for landscape photography. Whether you’re blessed with clear skies or you wake up to a misty morning, the sun lying low in the sky helps to create the perfect conditions for capturing beautiful vistas.
It’s never guaranteed, but there’s always the chance of waking up to a flurry of snow during the winter months. If you venture to the Lake District or the Peak District or any other mountainous area, the peaks are usually capped with white for much of the winter months, making a beautiful sight even if you just admire the views from below.
If you enjoy admiring spectacular sunsets and sunrises, the conditions are usually perfect during an English winter. Not only are the times of the sun rising and setting more convenient for observing, but the metrological conditions are usually perfect for blazing red skies.
During a summer visit, you may feel guilty spending your time indoors when the weather is encouraging you to get outdoors. If you visit England during the winter, you can enjoy whole days of visiting the many incredible galleries, museums and theatres without having to debate if you should be making the most of the weather and getting outdoors.
Winter is one of the best times of year to dine on fresh seafood in England with scores of fish in season all around the county. Everything from razor clams and cockles to seabass and mackerel are freshly and widely available during the winter, meaning that if you visit a coastal region you can dine like kings on fresh, sustainable seafood.
Animal lovers will relish a visit to England during the winter for the chance to spot a variety of interesting creatures in the wild. Birdwatchers will delight in watching murmurations of starlings creating spectacular patterns in the sky all around the country, and will also want to keep their eyes peeled at night for sightings of elusive owls. Winter is also the perfect time of year to visit grey seals in places such as Norfolk as this is when the pups are born.
England’s weather may be temperamental, but if you’re planning a winter visit at least you know that you need to wrap up warm. Pack a couple of cosy jumpers, a winter coat and woollen hat, scarf and gloves and you’ll be suitably snug and stylish during your trip.
Following a dusting of snow, England’s small villages take on a magical ambiance that conjures up memories of quintessentially British stories. Take that image of Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade during the winter months and compare it to the small villages in the Cotswolds or the Peak District and you won’t be disappointed!
All across the country, but particularly in London you’ll find an exciting array of celebrations lined up to welcome in the New Year. There’s likely to be fireworks in every town, lighting up the sky with colourful sparks as everyone counts down to midnight.
If winter isn’t your favourite season, perhaps consider visiting England in autumn instead?