5 of the best British towns for a winter getaway

With spring still a couple of months away, you might be looking for exciting ways to banish the winter blues. If so, why not consider a winter getaway right here in the UK?

From market towns to seaside escapes and riverside beauty spots, the UK has remarkable landscapes, awe-inspiring nature and a raft of fascinating history just waiting to be explored.

Here are just five towns you might consider for a last-minute winter staycation to get through to spring.

1. Bakewell, Derbyshire

The town of Bakewell sits in the Peak District national park. This small market town has plenty to keep you and your family entertained, and is also a great base from which to launch further explorations of the area.

Visit the Old House Museum to explore 500 years of history through the eclectic 9,000-object collection. Elsewhere, enjoy the shopping and cafés in the town centre or head to the Thornbridge Brewery, home of their flagship IPA Jaipur. The Thornbridge Experience mixes local history, in-depth looks at the brewing experience, as well as all-important taste-testing.

Beyond the town itself, you’ll find the peaks. The Monsal trail – an 8.5-mile car-free route for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders – is a great way to explore the local area.

You might also visit the nearby Magpie Mines or the beautiful Chatsworth House. While the main house remains closed during winter, keep an eye out for events such as the Peak District Artisans showcase, a gallery exhibiting 20 local artists situated in the stables shop.

Before you leave the peaks behind, be sure to sample a traditional Bakewell pudding too.

2. Crickhowell, Powys

Close to Abergavenny in the Welsh county of Powys, this former market town is the place for an off-the-beaten-track getaway this winter.

On the southern edge of the Black Mountains and in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons national park, the rugged landscape provides jaw-dropping scenery that is particularly beautiful during the cold winter months.

You’ll find plenty of shops and cafes to explore in the town itself, as well as history in the 500-year old coaching inn, the Bear Hotel. Open since 1432, it was once an overnight stop for those en route to Ireland and has been providing warmth and refreshments ever since.

Nearby, you can head to the museum and White Castle at Abergavenny to brave the short but steep ascent to the top of the 380m flat-topped Table Mountain, with its panoramic views across Crickhowell, the babbling River Usk, and the towering Black Mountains.

3. Moreton-in-Marsh, the Cotswolds

Situated within the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), Moreton-in-Marsh is first mentioned as a Saxon settlement, around 577 AD. It was plenty of history to explore, including the 16th-century Curfew Tower.

You’ll also find the 18th-century Bell Inn, said to be one of the inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Prancing Pony in The Lord of the Rings.

Moreton’s location makes it perfect for exploring the rest of the Cotswolds, with the spa town of Cheltenham nearby, as well as the market towns of Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford.

4. Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear

Tynemouth is situated on a beautiful, but often overlooked stretch of British coastline in North Tyneside.

In Tynemouth, you’ll find Tynemouth Castle and Priory, an Iron Age settlement with a 2,000-year history. Beginning life as a priory, it has enjoyed spells as an Anglo-Saxon monastery, a royal castle, and a coastal defence. You’ll also find Tynemouth pier and lighthouse jutting out into the North Sea.

Nearby, consider the summer seaside resort of Cullercoats between Tynemouth and Whitley Bay. Enjoy a bracing walk along the promenade at Cullercoats, along the beautiful Long Sands Beach, or around Whitley Bay.

5. Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Just 30 miles south-east of London, Royal Tunbridge Wells is a former spa town. Tourists flock to enjoy its Georgian and Victorian architecture, including the Georgian colonnade in the heart of the town, known as “The Pantiles”.

You’ll find beautiful buildings housing pubs, restaurants, and cafes, as well as plenty of shopping.

Elsewhere in the town, take a trip on the Spa Valley Railway, which is a steam-powered trip along a five-mile stretch between Tunbridge Wells, High Rocks, Groombridge, and Eridge.

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