This year, it’s winter’s job to remind us what a wonderful world we live in. The dark season will take us to the end of an awful year, but one that ends with great hope for the future. Let our winter wonderland power that last push…lands of fabulous, frosty days kindling vistas of stag-headed forests, gale-lashed beaches, cold-hearted mountains and weather-whipped moors reborn in that low, searing winter sun. It’s as wonderful as it sounds. So take care and get out there!
Check out the road map and the rule book and motor through the lanes of Devon, the Dales, the Cotswolds, the Borders, Cambria’s coast and the soft-centre of Ireland. Admire the wintry waterscapes of the Lake District, Lough Neagh, the Broads, Loch Lomond or Lake Bala. Scan the rugged horizons of the Peaks, Dartmoor, Snowdonia, the Cairngorms or the Burren.
Wonder at Wales’ waterfalls this winter. The country’s tallest, Pistyll Rhaeadr, in Powys, is higher than Niagara. Most of the cascades and forested, waterfall gorges have trails to follow…often highlighted by Mother Nature’s own ice sculptures. There’s a waterfall centre at Pontneddfechan. Then it’s underground to King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Corris, or the cavernous cathedral of the National Showcaves Centre, Powys. For travelling and staying in Wales check www.visitwales.com.
Wander the Island of Ireland in winter. The Wild Atlantic Way is at its wildest with its rugged headlands, dizzying cliffs and wide beaches. The Ancient East wants you to absorb its 5,000 years of history, framed by the Shannon and the Irish Sea. The Causeway Coastal Route is a unique adventure through time. And there’s a welcoming warmth in cosmopolitan Dublin and Belfast.
Make sure it’s ‘all systems go’ at www.ireland.com.
Meet the stars in Scotland. The Galloway Dark Sky Park launches you off into the Milky Way and beyond. Other ‘launch sites’ are on Skye, the west coast of Kintyre and Newbattle Abbey…and don’t forget the stunning Northern Lights. Ben Nevis – Britain’s highest mountain – is even more imposing in winter and the drive along the Great Glen is amazing…as are the walks.
Be safe and check it out at www.visitscotland.com.
Tread some of England’s heritage trails and walks into history this winter. There’s the beauty of the county’s Wool Towns, via the Suffolk Thread Trail; try to rouse a sleeping King Arthur and Merlin in Alderley Edge; join the gruesome world of the Vikings in and around York; ‘Go Jurassic’ in Dorset and North Yorkshire’s Forge Valley and Scarborough and learn the story behind the Long Man of Wilmington, on the South Downs.
For travelling and staying in England ensure it’s ‘good to go’ at www.visitengland.com.
Our wonderful woodlands never close. Winter gives them a hunting beauty the Woodland Trust is keen to share.