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Weekend winter breaks in the UK with the kids can be a great last minute escape without the summer crowds. Pack up the car (or camper) to head out to see of these inspiring destinations that are full of adventure for your little ones.
Head north during winter and you might get to glimpse the Northern Lights from UK shores. The further north you venture, the more chance you have of seeing this natural event. Isle of Skye and the Shetlands are known for spotting the aurora borealis.
Extend your Shetland visit on the last weekend of January to also include the spectacular Up Helly Aa fire festival. This is a traditional viking celebration that takes place on the last Tuesday in January in Lerwick each year. It’s a stunning torch-lit procession through the streets of Lerwick that ends with a galley burning. Plus, the island has extra music events taking place around the fire festival.
Wrap up warm for walk through the North Yorkshire Moors, with breath-taking scenery and plenty of cosy family-friendly pubs along the way. A stop off York is beautiful around Christmas-time and steeped in Viking history the whole year round.
The National Railway Museum has free entry and will keep your train-mad tots entertained for hours so put plenty of snacks into your ToddlePaks to keep them full of energy to see it all. Plus, there are ancient city walls, castles, and plenty of street performers dotted around this small city.
Winter in the Lake District can still give you some spectacular views if you pick a clear weekend. There are over 40 child and buggy-friendly walks in the area and often fewer tourists walking during the colder months.
Ignite your little one’s love of Peter Rabbit in the Beatrix Potter Museum in Windermere. Hire a boat and take a ride around Coniston or Windermere. Or let someone else do the hard work with a leisurely boat cruise. There’s also a Lakes Aquarium and a steam train in the area. Perfect for the winter weather.
Head to the Wye Valley for the Forest of Dean where there is plenty of cycle routes, woodland walks and even a filming location of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s also thought that this area inspired Lord of The Rings. You’ll also find an epic hedge maze, castles and plenty of outdoor activities to try.
Make sure you stick the wellies in your Trunki for plenty of mud-splashing, tree climbing and den-making while you’re there.
Charming little English villages take on a chocolate box look in the winter and they are all dotted around the Cotswolds. Head to Bourton on the Water for walks along the Cotswold Way, a trip to Bird Land and the miniature model village of the town where your kids can pretend to be giants.
You’ll find plenty of charming towns dotted around the area or take in the spectacular views from Broadway Tower - perfect for kite flying or sledging if there’s snow.
Devon and Cornwall are usually top summer destinations but during the winter season you can have a quieter break and see lots of more the area without the crowds.
Dartmoor becomes a magical winter wonderland during the colder months. Plus, you’ll get to spot the moorland ponies roaming wild across the hills. The National Park advises you put on your winter tyres and to not try cross the hills if there’s heavy snow. But winter, you’re likely to see frost topped hills and wild-roaming ponies.
Don’t forget to head off to some of the spectacular beaches across these two counties. While you might not fancy a freezing paddle, there’s still plenty of fun to have on the beach in winter. Pack up your wellies, PaddlePak and beach toys to build some winter sand castles, go rock pooling, and do some mini coastal walks. You’ll also get more sand to yourself as without the summer crowds.
Then warm up with a traditional Cornish Cream Tea and go visit some of the many zoos during the quieter periods.
Weekend winter breaks can give you plenty to look forward to during the darker winter months while you’re dreaming of your big summer holidays. And the best bit about a winter adventure? Cosying up by a nice warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate in the evening.