If there's one thing the British know a great deal about, it's the weather. Famed for its often grey, quite often unpredictable weather, it may seem to some that the UK is the last place you would want to plan any kind of vacation. However, it seems like more and more visitors are coming to the UK to experience the unique blend of landscape and history this little island has to offer.
Interestingly enough, there seems to be a growing trend for people to take short breaks in the winter. Seems crazy given the nations reputation for a rain but only in the UK do residents simultaneously complain and take a great sense of pride in their unpredictable weather.
Truth be told, the weather is actually not that bad; the last few winters have been some of the mildest in recent history and the cheaper travel and lower rates make Britain far more enticing. Don't be put off from planning a relaxing break in what is arguably one of the most unique and beautiful places in the world. Check out our guide to some of the best Christmas breaks for you to experience in the UK this year.
London City Break
The UK capital is often the first choice for anybody who considers themselves something more of a 'city cat'. Naturally, London is jam packed full of accommodation; from the traveller on a budget, right up to five-star quality service.
During the day, there are a whole host of world famous landmarks that you may wish to visit. The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square to name but a few; or, if you prefer, maybe take a tour of the museums which cater to scientists, historians and art lovers alike. Of course, there are also the shops (our favourite thing about London). No visit to London is complete without a visit to Harrods in Knightsbridge; along with some of the most luxurious items in the world (ideal chance to drop a few hints to a loved one) Harrods Christmas displays and light shows take window dressing to a whole other level. Sadly, we can't all splash out on such luxury so be sure to take a stroll down Oxford street and find yourself a deal or two.
Speaking of Oxford Street, Selfridges department store now has its own basement theatre which is currently hosting a production of ‘Down the Rabbithole’ a queertastic, glitter-filled, adults only pantomime that will have you booing and lip syncing along with the show's band of merry drag queens!
If you prefer your entertainment a little more traditional and child-friendly, why not visit Shakespeare's Globe on the South Bank. This unique venue will be putting on a production of Hans Christian Anderson's ‘The Little Match Girl’, a show designed to both simultaneously warm and break your heart.
Of course, if you prefer your evenings a little more lively, there are a wealth of pubs, clubs, and gigs all over London getting into the Christmas spirit. Our recommendation is Toddla T's Winter Carnival over at Koko in Camden but rest assured, you'll find something that will appeal to you.
London really is an ideal location if you prefer your winter breaks that little bit more metropolitan.
Cornwall Cottage Breaks
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Cornwall? The Atlantic coast in the middle of winter? But surprisingly, it is a resounding yes.
Despite being famed as a holiday destination in the summer months, holiday cottage specialists Duchy Holidays are reporting a steady increase of people wishing to book their self catering cottages in Cornwall over the winter months and for good reason it seems.
For those of you who might be unsure, Cornwall is located in the far south west of the UK and is famed for its beautiful beaches, scenic countryside, fishing villages and historic mining towns. Cornwall is the perfect location for those of you that are looking to get away from busy city life and spend a relaxing few nights away enjoying the fresh sea air.
Whilst hotels and B&B's are available, we'd recommend renting a cottage. Cornwall holiday cottages can be found pretty much anywhere in the county and often come at a lower rate given the time of year. Be sure to hunt around because they accommodate all requirements. From large family-friendly modern cottages to the more traditional granite mining cottages - ideal for those of you wishing to live out Poldark fantasies!
The convenient thing about Cornwall is that you are rarely any further than about twenty minutes from the coast; giving you the opportunity to go for long walks or even charter a boat for dolphin watching and a bit of sea fishing. Cornwall is a very family orientated location so don't panic if you think you may be stuck for things to do with the children. Top of our list is the world-famous Eden Project just outside St Austell. Along with its two unique biomes and exhibitions, the Eden Project always plays host to a range of Christmas activities including a beautiful grotto complete with you-know-who and a large ice rink.
One of Cornwall's best kept secrets is the annual ‘Winter Woods’ held in Tehidy Woods just outside Camborne. Take your family for a stroll through the woods to meet the fairies that reside there. Send greetings to Old Man Winter and then pass through to a huge marquee, where Rogue Theatre company host their yearly Christmas play. It's wonderfully atmospheric and we'd recommend that you go to an evening performance, when the woods are truly magical!
Renting a Cornwall holiday cottage is the perfect opportunity to do things at your own pace and will guarantee that you are ready and prepared for whatever the new year has to offer.
There we have it. One city break, one country break. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Britain is literally filled with incredible locations designed to meet your needs, whatever they may be.