5 Fabulous Winter Breaks in the North of England and Scotland

Monday 05th December 2022

There’s no need to wait for warmer weather to enjoy a fantastic break in Northern England or Scotland. January is as good a time as any to book yourself a fabulous getaway – whether that’s a relaxing spa retreat with your other half or an exciting city break with the kids in tow.

Need some inspiration on places to go this January? Wrap up warm and prepare to explore some of the most picturesque, culture-packed locales in the UK. Many of them are easily reachable by train too. So, get ready to update your calendar with one of the following fabulous picks.

Yorkshire is teeming with lovely walks and historic cities


Yorkshire never fails to wow with its incredible holiday destinations. There’s somewhere to suit everyone too, from scenic seaside towns like Scarborough to attraction-packed cities like charming York.

Want your winter break to be all about R&R? Look no further than the Yorkshire Dales. Along with the Peak District, the Dales are one of our region’s most dramatic National Parks. They’re brimming with chocolate-box towns featuring rustic pubs, traditional tea rooms and quaint local attractions like the Grassington Folk Museum. Prefer to spend your time outdoors? Epic hiking trails, spectacular waterfalls and awesome heritage sites like the medieval Bolton Castle are just a few things to place on your agenda.

No matter your budget or who you’re planning a trip with, you’re bound to find the ideal accommodation option. You can stay in a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales complete with a roaring fireplace and its very own hot tub or enjoy an indulgent stay in a top Yorkshire Dales hotel.

You can’t go wrong with a last-minute Lake District holiday

Snow capped hills
Hiking enthusiasts and fans of welcoming countryside pubs will find lots to love about the Lake District National Park. Thought it was only a good place to visit in warmer weather? Thanks to its stunning scenery and huge choice of cosy Lake District cottages, it’s a sublime location to explore throughout the winter months too.

You can stay on the shores of one of the National Park’s namesake lakes or enjoy total serenity in the mountains. As well as idyllic cabins and lush Lake District lodges, you’ll spot no shortage of Lake District hotels with stunning lakeside locations. Most offer special deals in the winter months, especially for those interested in a soothing spa break.

It couldn’t be easier to reach the Lake District too. Penrith and Carlisle are both accessible by train and on the doorstep of some fantastic walking routes – just make sure you wrap up warm!


Why not tick off a few major heritage sites in Durham?

Minster and river
With its medieval castle, landmark cathedral and selection of nearby National Trust sites, Durham makes an ideal winter break destination for those intrigued by the past. Photo opportunities are at every turn, plus you’ll find a fantastic selection of local eateries serving sumptuous seasonal cuisine.

The attractive university city is also blessed with a pretty riverside where you can spend hours strolling in the winter sunshine. Just a ten-minute walk from the train station you’ll find Crook Hall Gardens. The Grade I listed hall dates back to the 13th century and has delightfully dog-friendly grounds, including a traditional walled garden.


Take in the sights in Edinburgh without the crowds

Edinburgh castle
For a city break this January, consider travelling to enchanting Edinburgh. The city is typically quieter in the winter months, making it a brilliant time to book tours of its world-renowned heritage sites.

You can enjoy the likes of Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and plenty more, without the crowds. Or if you fancy visiting when the city is a little busier and with a lively atmosphere, you could always head up to Edinburgh for an extra special Burns Night celebration. The night itself is Wednesday 25th January, although many events – like the Burns & Beyond Festival – will run into the weekend.

Book a serene spa escape near Loch Lomond

Dogwalkers by a lake
Prefer to enjoy Scotland’s awesome landscapes from a steaming hot tub than on skis? A spa escape in the Trossachs might be a better fit. The National Park – which includes the immense Loch Lomond – is just a short hop from Glasgow and teeming with wonderful hotels that offer enticing winter retreats.

The MacDonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa is a failsafe option close to Aberfoyle. It’s nestled on the shores of Loch Ard and offers a range of accommodation options, from self-catered lodges to elegant hotel suites with epic views of the surrounding mountains. You can spend your days making the most of the resort’s excellent facilities or exploring the local area; highlights include lofty Ben Lomond and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.

There’s also plush Cameron House hotel on Loch Lomond’s southern shoreline which features a luxurious spa, an onsite cinema and opportunities for sea plane or helicopter rides. Nearby Glasgow is home to a huge range of first-rate spa hotels, including the extremely central and effortlessly chic Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel.

Sold on a winter break to the North of England or Scotland?

If you’re venturing to your chosen destination by train, remember to check before you travel and book your tickets in advance on our website or using the TPExpress app.

Remember to check before you travel and book your tickets in advance on our website or using the TPExpress app.


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