The heating is on. The leaves are gone. Darkness is bottomward afore tea time. Basically, winter is aloft us, and the allurement to coil up and hide is strong. But resist. Not alone is there affluence of fun to be had in the abundant British outdoors appropriate now, admitting the chill, it’s important for your brainy and concrete bloom too.
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The NHS estimates that Melancholia Affective Disorder (SAD) affects one in 15 bodies in the UK. The depression-like affection – which can be decidedly astringent throughout December, January and February – aftereffect from decreased acknowledgment to sunlight. Alike if you’re not a SAD sufferer, accepting out and authoritative the best of winter’s meagre application can advice advance your mood. Not to acknowledgment that accepting out and alive can advice annul the assured bistro and bubbler excesses of the blithe season.
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Some adeptness be advantageous abundant to fly south for a attempt of winter sun. But there’s no charge – there is an arrangement of alfresco pleasures to allure you off the daybed at home. Britain can be ablaze in this alleged bad weather.
This is a time of crowd-free trails, honeypots afterwards tourists, air abstemious with woodsmoke and dark-beamed pubs at their cosiest. It’s a time of new angle appear by bald trees, frosts that accommodate forests the abracadabra of Narnia and some of the country’s best wildlife spectacles – from all-inclusive flocks of overwintering birds to the bearing of believing allowance pups.
The British landscape, generally acclaimed for its gentle, awkward charm, can become fiercer too. Stormy seas accommodate gnarlier, added constant waves, acropolis hikes about-face into crampon-worthy expeditions and mountains buried in snow action Alps-lite sports potential. No charge to fear, admitting – there are affluence of experts who can appearance you how to analyze cautiously through the season. All you charge is a faculty of adventure. And a acceptable coat.
When winter tides and abundant swells accident Cornwall, the act of leaping about all over the bank becomes added thrilling. Yes, you adeptness charge a bit added kit – winter wetsuits and added adeptness to adventurous the algid – but there’s little added animating than branch out to Newquay’s Gazzle Headland with a adviser to analyze smugglers’ caves, jump off cliffs and attempt into the accustomed avalanche and storm-stirred seas.
Where to stay: Lewinnick Abode is a hip restaurant-with-rooms, perched on Pentire Arch (B&B doubles from £155; telegraph.co.uk/tt-lewinnick-lodge-hotel).
A two-hour North Bank Challenge with Newquay Activity Centre costs £45pp (01637 877722; newquayactivitycentre.co.uk).
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The Somerset Levels is that rarest of things: a attention success story. And this is abnormally axiomatic in winter, back the melancholia wetlands allure masses of wildfowl, birds of casualty and million-strong flocks of starlings that accomplish the best mesmerising aeriform acrobatics. Call the RSPB’s Starling Hotline (07866 554142) for the latest updates, or accompany a guided trip.
Where to stay:The Swan is a good-value gastropub in the Levels apple of Wedmore (B&B doubles from £67; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-swan-wedmore-hotel).
A three-day Somerset Levels breach with Naturetrek costs from £325pp including accommodation, best commons and able guides (Jan 11, Feb 1 & 6 2019; 01962 733051; naturetrek.co.uk).
Britain’s canals are crowd-free, mist-hung and bewitched in winter. You aloof charge to aces the appropriate boat. Ideally one with acceptable radiators, hot showers and a wood-burning stove, to ensure activity aboard stays cosy. Try Simone, a four-berth narrowboat based in admirable Bradford-on-Avon, from breadth you can float forth the Kennet & Avon Canal, jumping off for animating towpath walks or amphibian into Bath for the Christmas Market (Nov 22- Dec 9).
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Where to stay: Non-boaters can breach abreast Bradford’s aqueduct at boutiquey Widbrook Grange Auberge (B&B doubles from £185; telegraph.co.uk/tt-widbrook-grange-hotel).
A three-night breach aboard Simone with Waterways Holidays costs from £695 (01252 796400; waterwaysholidays.com).
Snow or no snow, you can booze with canines like you’re in the Arctic Circle aloof alfresco Tewkesbury. Spend time with the attractive huskies, accepting hands-on with the pack, afore acquirements how to concoction your own aggregation aboard a dryland rig – a array of stand-on bike – through the countryside. Hot drinks about the campfire, or alike a night spent in the on-site Sami Tipi, adds to the Lapland vibe.
Where to stay: Tewkesbury Park looks out on the Cotswolds and Malverns (B&B doubles from £99; telegraph.co.uk/tt-cotswolds-tewkesbury-park-hotel).
A two-hour Full Mushing Experience with Arctic Quest costs £99pp, Tipi from £99 (07968 794758; arcticquest.co.uk).
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Brrrrrisk but beautiful, that’s the Beaulieu River in winter – there’s no added aesthetic time to booty to the water. Wrap up balmy and hop in either a Canadian-style canoe or abiding touring kayak for a guided bank forth the burnished river from the old shipbuilding armpit of Baileys Hard. Breathe in the brittle air, adenoids bottomward creeks and accumulate an eye out for winter wildlife forth the frost-fringed banks.
Where to stay: The handsome Master Builder’s sits appropriate by the River Beaulieu (B&B doubles from £99; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-master-builders-hotel).
Two-hour Winter Paddles with New Backwoods Activities amount £15/20 child/adult. Accessible November-March (01590 612377; newforestactivities.co.uk; thenewforest.co.uk).
Channel your close Winter Olympian at the alone able crimper amphitheatre in the south of England. Aloof alfresco of Tunbridge Wells, Fentons provides crimper charge and accessories throughout the colder months. Find some accompany (curling is usually played with two teams of four), appoint a lane and apprentice how to slide, ambit and accurately your stones like a pro.
Where to stay: One Warwick Park is a abreast auberge in a adapted brewery in Tunbridge Wells (doubles from £99 allowance only; telegraph.co.uk/tt-one-warwick-park-hotel).
A two-hour crimper affair for up to ten bodies costs £180 including accessories appoint and tuition. Fentons amphitheatre attainable October-April (01892 826004; fentonsrink.co.uk).
There’s article about the Broads in the winter morning light, abnormally from a the peaceful, low angle of a kayak. Adviser Martin Rendle leads trips that analyze quiet nooks of Hickling Broad not usually attainable to the public. Balmy up with coffee and pastries, or escape the Christmas commotion on the Boxing Day mulled wine and chip pie outing.
Where to stay: The Boathouse is a affable restaurant-with-rooms on Ormsby Broad (doubles from £85 allowance only; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-boathouse-hotel).
A 2.5-hour Coffee & Nature Kayak Safari with Norfolk Alfresco Adventures costs from £35pp (Dec 1 & 26, Jan5 & 26, Feb 16; 07968 083334; norfolkoutdooradventures.co.uk).
Every winter, hundreds of blah seals accumulate on the beaches at Donna Nook Civic Nature Assets to accord bearing to fluffball pups – 2,033 pups were built-in actuality in 2017. A examination breadth is attainable November-December, so you can watch from a non-intrusive distance. Then arch south from the assets to the new North Sea Observatory, the UK’s aboriginal purpose-built abyssal observatory, to atom added littoral wildlife.
Where to stay: Bridleway B&B is a relaxed, admirable atom abreast Lincoln (B&B doubles from £89; telegraph.co.uk/tt-bridleway-bed-and-breakfast-hotel).
Entry is chargeless to Donna Nook (lincstrust.org.uk) and the North Sea Anchor (01522 552222; lincolnshire.gov.uk/nso).
Motivating yourself to run in winter can be tough. So angle up with agreeing souls for a accumulation countryside bimbles. UK-based accessory aggregation Alpkit leads chargeless weekend aisle runs; outings from its Hathersage abundance generally end up on Stanedge Edge, and end with coffee and cake. The food additionally has Repair Stations breadth you can bead off damaged kit, and it’ll be anchored while you’re on your run.
Where to stay: The Samuel Fox Country Inn is well-placed for exploring the Peaks (B&B doubles from £130pn; telegraph.co.uk/tt-rothay-manor-hotel).
One-hour runs are chargeless from Alpkit Hathersage on Saturdays at 9.30am. Runs from Alpkit’s Ambleside abundance are on Sundays at 10am (01433 730930; alpkit.com/stores).
Owls are easier to atom in leafless trees. And sightings are easier still at the Civic Centre for Birds of Casualty in the North York Moors. The centre runs Winter Owl Evenings, which accommodate a guided tour, mulled wine, a two-course banquet and a torchlit attack into the dupe to see owls aerial free.
Where to stay: The characterful Black Swan Auberge is in the centre of Helmsley (B&B doubles from £155; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-black-swan-hotel).
A Winter Owl Evening at the Civic Centre for Birds of Casualty costs £35pp including meal (Dec 15 & 22, Jan 26, Feb 2 & 9; 0844 7422035; ncbp.co.uk).
The fells can become alarming beneath a blind of ice and snow. But amazing too. The Lake District Civic Park’s arduous Winter Abilities Days, run by Fell Top Assessors who acme Helvellyn circadian throughout the season, will advise you the basal snowcraft bare to breach safe. Routes will alter depending on conditions, but will including aggressive the 950m-high aiguille and tramping about Striding Edge.
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Where to stay: Helvellyn can be tackled beeline from the aperture of The Inn on the Lake, which overlooks Ullswater (B&B doubles from £190; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-inn-on-the-lake-hotel).
A Winter Abilities Day Advance in the Lake District Civic Park costs from £100pp (Dec-Apr; 01539 724555; lakedistrict.gov.uk).
Winter is back the blast animation best – nights are continued and skies are generally at their clearest. Arch anywhere in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park if you appetite a boring with low ablaze pollution. Or arch for Kielder Observatory, breadth contest – from Astro Photography to Introduction to Astronomy – run about nightly. Plan ahead, too, for the Dark Skies Festival, actuality captivated beyond the civic parks of Northumberland, Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and South Downs in February 2019 (darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk).
Where to stay: The Pheasant Inn is country pub, 10 afar from Kielder Anchor (B&B doubles from £110; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-pheasant-inn-hotel).
An Introduction to Astronomy at Kielder Anchor costs £15pp (0191 265 5510; kielderobservatory.org).
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Porthcawl Cream School is absolutely audacious by winter acclimate – it’s attainable every day of the year except Christmas. Indeed, the best time of year to cream off the beaches of South Wales tends to be October-February, back bigger storms in the Atlantic actualize constant swells. Get appropriately kitted – wetsuit, booties, gloves, awning – and you won’t apprehension the chill. Much.
Where to stay: The Coed-Y-Mwstwr Auberge is a country abode retreat amid the Welsh hills and the surf-slapped bank (B&B doubles from £120; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-coed-y-mwstwr-hotel).
A two-hour surfing assignment at Porthcawl Cream School costs from £30pp, including lath appoint and wetsuit (07583 348013; porthcawlsurf.co.uk).
Search for your own melancholia supper with RAF architect angry backcountry administrator Craig Evans. Hands-on courses, which run year-round, are spent investigating bedrock pools and mud flats for sea vegetables and added agrarian capacity afore you baker up the boodle in a cloistral sea cave. According to Craig, pepper dulse (“remarkably like truffles”) and mollusk are decidedly acceptable in winter.
Where to stay: Brown’s in Laugharne is a above bubbler den of Dylan Thomas (B&B doubles from £95; telegraph.co.uk/tt-browns-hotel).
A one-day Classic Foraging Advance with Littoral Foraging costs from £80pp (under-16s free) including lunch; £10 acquittance for accession by accessible carriage (01994 427417; coastalforaging.co.uk).
Think you can’t haversack hills in winter acclimate and daylight? Not true, according to abundance baton Stephen Jones, who runs a ambit of guided walks and courses to advice bodies accretion aplomb in algid climes. On his Winter Walking Abilities day, you’ll apprentice about basal abundance safety, aeronautics and equipment, including application crampons, afore branch out to put approach into practice.
Where to stay: The Olif, in Betws-y-Coed, is a fun, affable abject for Snowdonia (B&B doubles from £79; telegraph.co.uk/tt-olif-hotel).
A one-day Winter Walking Abilities advance with Aim Higher costs from £50pp (next advance Dec 15; 07877 902624; mountain-hill-courses.co.uk).
A bead in temperature can beggarly a acceleration in thrills . Zip World has launched Winter Membership, alms absolute admission to the assorted swings, swoops and escapade at its Fforest and Slate Caverns sites. That agency you can zoom beyond a slate quarry on Europe’s better zip area and – abnormally acceptable in brutal acclimate – trampoline and zip underground as abounding times as you like.
Where to stay: Caer Rhun Hall has aloof reopened, afterward face-lifting (B&B doubles from £140; telegraph.co.uk/tt-caer-rhun-hall-hotel).
Combined Winter Membership costs £485/155 family/individual; accurate Nov 6 2018-Mar 31 2019, excluding Feb 16-Mar 3 (01248 601444; zipworld.co.uk).
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According to the outdoors experts at C-N-Do Scotland, snow shoeing is aloof the affair for back the drifts are abysmal and the backwoods advance accept angry to ‘porridge’ but you still appetite to get out in the white stuff. Stride out from Stirling with a adviser and, afterwards a bit of address training, you’ll be appropriately exploring the powder-dusted glens.
Where to stay: The Andy Murray-owned Cromlix is a stylishly refurbished Victorian retreat in all-encompassing area (B&B doubles from £250; telegraph.co.uk/tt-cromlix-hotel).
A Snow Shoeing Guided Day with C-N-Do Scotland costs from £100pp including use of snow shoes and poles (01786 445703; cndoscotland.com).
Skye is currently splendid: few tourists, no midges, a blanket of snow, the roaring of attainable fires. Accomplish the best of it on the new Winter Country Escape at Kinloch, a above 17th-century lochside hunting lodge. Spend two canicule with adviser Skye Ghillie, foraging and photo-stalking red deer, abiding to the abode for affair (mixed with foraged finds), whisky-tasting, a acceptable buzz and a five-course supper.
Where to stay: Standard stays at Kinloch are additionally accessible (B&B doubles from £120; telegraph.co.uk/tt-kinloch-lodge-hotel).
A two-night Winter Country Escape at Kinloch Abode costs from £1,100pp including accommodation, commons and activities (until Feb 15; 01471 833333; kinloch-lodge.co.uk).
Scotland adeptness not be able to out-do the Alps, but the country has a admirable 140 pistes beyond its bristles ski resorts – Glencoe, Cairngorm, Glenshee, The Lecht and Nevis Ambit – additional a ambit of breathtaking backcountry routes. For the aboriginal time, this year Glencoe is alms affirmed division dates (Dec 1-May 6), acknowledgment to the accession of a new TechnoAlpin snow factory.
Where to stay: Glencoe Abode is a picturesquely set Highlands abode (B&B doubles from £320; telegraph.co.uk/tt-glencoe-house-hotel).
One-day Glencoe lift passes from £18/25 child/adult; two-hour ski/snowboard accumulation acquaint from £20/25 child/adult (01855 851226; glencoemountain.co.uk).
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When the after-effects weren’t rolling, Hawaii’s surfers angry to longboards – a added abiding sort-of skateboard. If you anticipate it’s too algid to cream off Northern Ireland appropriate now, do similarly, and try Derry-Londonderry’s new guided longboard tour. Suitable for all, the tours are a apathetic accelerate about the smooth, celebrated streets, finishing at the Walled City Brewery to sample a few ales.
Where to stay: Bishop’s Gate Auberge is a affable and affected advantage in Derry-Londonderry (doubles from £120 allowance only; telegraph.co.uk/tt-bishops-gate-hotel).
A two-hour Boom Lath Bout with Far and Agrarian costs from £40pp, including accessories (07775 911198; farandwild.org).
Whatever your age, ability, area or amusing situation, the Ramblers Anniversary of Winter Walks will accept a avenue to suit. Designed to get anybody out exploring over the blithe period, which can be abandoned for many, it encompasses a ambit of chargeless accumulation walks – from family-friendly to arduous tramps. Search Ramblers’ database, tagging the anniversary theme. How about the nine-mile Post Christmas Workout Airing (Dec 28, Chilterns), to bake off the chip pies?
Where to stay: The Mash Inn is a kitchen-centric Chilterns gastropub (B&B doubles from £100; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-mash-inn-hotel).
The anniversary runs Dec 21- Jan 6 (020 3961 3300; ramblers.org.uk).
Gallery: Abundant Britain Alone Has 15 Civic Parks, And They’re All Attractive [Fodors]
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