Seven UK Winter Staycation Destinations We Love

Seven UK Winter Staycation Destinations We Love

We take a UK road trip, bringing you seven destinations to have on your staycation radar. Prepare to feast, sea-to-plate-style, in Scotland, dance in Cambridge’s grooviest bar and shop at Yorkshire’s finest independents

something undeniably special about holidaying in your
homeland. Discovering the destinations that sit on our doorstep
comes with uncovering the rituals, traditions and cultures that have
shaped – and continue to shape – our heritage. There’s much to be said for tracing
the beautiful landscapes of an area, but it’s often the people we
meet along the way that create the lasting magic; the individuals
behind thriving foodie startups, artisan bakeries and independent
art galleries.

With that in mind, and looking ahead to our next staycation, we
travel across the UK, taking in some lesser-trodden pockets, to
bring you the towns, islands and cities that are worth journeying
for. From an old-school East Sussex chippy to a stylish Somerset
manor house, with a short hiatus at Cambridge’s coolest cocktail bar, these seven
destinations all promise a seriously wholesome weekend getaway.

Winter wonderlands: seven staycation destinations to visit

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Isle of Skye


Scotland’s dramatic landscapes can be enjoyed year-round, but
there’s something quite remarkable about its brooding hills in the
winter months. The Isle of Skye, the largest and northernmost
island of the Inner Hebrides, is dotted with shimmering, windswept
lochs and jagged peaks. Despite the island’s off-grid location, a
thriving foodie scene exists here – hand-dived scallops and
langoustines, some of the world’s finest native oysters and
sustainable eateries make this a great choice for a culinary
adventure. But where to feast? The Three
is ideal for a five-course supper, while the Red Skye
is our call for a long, lazy lunch. Outdoor
enthusiasts will delight in discovering Skye’s magnificent
attractions, which include the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, the
mountain pass of Quiraing and Dunvegan Castle.

Where to stay: Perched on southern Skye’s Sound
of Sleat, Kinloch Lodge is the island’s favourite
countryside retreat. Bedrooms hit the sweet
spot between cosy and chic, with muted colour palettes,
goose-feather mattress toppers and roll-top baths. Meanwhile, a
sea-to-plate menu beats the drum for Skye’s local larder. There are
plenty of outdoor pursuits to enjoy, too, from foraging and fishing
to wild walks and stalking.

Frome, Somerset



Just a two-hour drive from London, this Somerset market town is
the epitome of English eccentricity; home to winding cobblestone
streets, independent startups, vintage emporiums and design-forward
galleries galore. With its share shops and anti-loneliness schemes,
this community-minded destination feels more akin to one large
family than a town. Start your day with a fist-sized flaky
croissant from Rye Bakery, before picking up some greenery from plant
shop Bramble and Wild. After dark, wine lovers should make a
beeline for the glass-fronted facade of Eight Stony
, an award-winning independent that stocks more than 400
labels. After picking up some exciting bottles, slip downstairs for
sharing-style grub – the garden board is guaranteed to hit the

Where to stay: Make the grand and glorious
Grade II-listed Georgian manor Babington House your base, partly for the bespoke
facial offering at its Cowshed spa, but largely for the snug living
spaces. Standouts include a well-stocked library, cinema room, gym,
outdoor pool and an orangery serving seasonal chef specials, most
of which are crafted using ingredients freshly harvested from the
walled kitchen garden.



Oh, Cambridge – land of chocolate-box, academia-steeped
buildings, characterful medieval lanes and serene riverside
gardens. Whether or not you’ve visited before, you’re sure to have
heard of the city’s quirky rituals and free-wheeling students. But,
while we’re not suggesting you dismiss the hallowed university’s
history, we think it’s the city’s thriving art scene and hip new
hangouts you’re going to be more excited about. The perfect day?
Punting along the River Cam, rummaging through the shelves of
Heffers Bookshop, browsing the artworks at Kettle’s Yard,
dancing in 196
Cocktail Bar
and taste-testing the French-inspired menus of
. Plus, a pit stop at the legendary Fitzbillies for
a sticky Chelsea bun.

Where to stay: Overlooking Parker’s Piece
green, the University Arms hotel is arguably Cambridge’s
best-loved bolthole. Step through its forest-green front doors and
enter a world in which period charm fuses effortlessly with
contemporary flair. Bedrooms are decked out in arresting shades of
Cambridge blue, while bathrooms boast huge claw-foot bathtubs. Head
chef Tristan Welch delivers the goods at cosy in-house restaurant
Parker’s Tavern – don’t even think about leaving without trying his
famous spaghetti bolognese.

Wine Bottles


East Sussex

Lewes is sometimes overlooked in favour of its free-spirited
neighbour, Brighton, but this market town has the sort of charm
that makes us giddy with excitement. If you’re around on the first
or third Saturday of the month, swing by Lewes Farmers’ Market to
snag all sorts of top-notch local produce – we’ll meet you at the
cheese counter. Alternatively, bag a table at Bun + Bean, where
craft beers are served alongside veggie burgers and loaded fries.
Come sunset, you’ll find the cool kids hanging out at The Snowdrop
Inn. Polish off an ale and then check out Lewes
Fish Bar
, which is revered locally for its fresh-from-the-sea

Where to stay: Trevor
. Every inch of this former family home has a comforting
vibe – all wooden floorboards, walls clad with family portraits and
vintage furnishings.

Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire



Perched on the northern edge of the Cotswolds, the handsome town of Shipston-on-Stour is
lined with sloping roofs and a happy mish-mash of red-brick, stone
and half-timbered facades. Studded with independents, this is a
great place to browse antique shops, clothing boutiques and wine
cellars. Lace up your hiking boots and take a wander towards
Brailes Hill, where a two-hour hike takes in a pheasant farm and
dense pine forest. Creative types should carve out some time to
visit the nearby Chedham’s Yard, which champions traditional
craftsmanship through a roster of workshops such as willow-weaving,
textiles sessions and wheelwrighting.

Where to stay: Bed down at The Bower House. Slap-bang in the centre of
town, its bedrooms are exactly what you’d picture those of a
countryside retreat to look like, with warm lampshades, wooden
furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Its restaurant is rather
spectacular, too – the shell bisque risotto followed by sticky
toffee pud is a strong order.


North Yorkshire

There’s a lot to love about Malton, the unofficial food capital
of Yorkshire, where you’ll find stellar local produce alongside
wheelbarrows-full of traditional character. Taste your way around
town with a trip to Talbot Yard Food Court. The former stableyard features
an impressive selection of artisanal suppliers, most of whom follow
a “Made in Malton” ethos. Hit up Bluebird Bakery for oven-fresh
bread, Food 2 Remember for premium-quality meat and The Groovy Moo
for whatever-the-weather gelato. Then, flit between Atom Retro for
60s clothing, Hare & Wilde for Scandi-inspired homeware and
Cosy Cottage Soap for organic skincare.

Where to stay: Crash at The Talbot, a former coaching inn where
furniture upholstered in rich-toned velvet, wood-panelled walls and
slick bathrooms have transformed the traditional building into a
contemporary abode.

Saint Agnes, Cornwall

St Agnes


Slotted between Perranporth and Porthtowan, this former mining
town is home to boutique bakeries, delicatessens and zero-waste
shops. Spend mornings pootling alongside the gin-clear waters of
Trevaunance Cove, before returning for a well-earned meal at
The Cornish Pizza Company, where husband-and-wife duo
Fiona and Tim Barton craft specials that pay homage to the town’s
industrial roots. The wheal kitty – laden with prosciutto, parmesan
and mozzarella – is worth travelling for in itself. Post-feast,
take a stroll across to The Tap House, a laid-back bar that’s seen the
likes of George Ezra and Ben Howard take to the stage. Walk a
little further to discover Second World War bunkers and former
miners’ cottages built into the white cliffs.

Where to stay: The Driftwood
. Just a spade’s throw from the ocean, the property’s 15
bedrooms are graced with gingham headboards, whitewashed
furnishings and coastal ornaments. The downstairs pub might just be
the best spot on the North Cornish coast for a cold pint.

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