Planning Your Winter Break: Family-Fun on a Shoestring20 September 2018
Once cooler days and darker evenings roll around, it’s almost instinct to hunker down for the winter and put plans for your next family adventure to one side. But the truth is winter can be as good a time of year as any to enjoy some quality time together – despite the occasionally unforgiving weather that comes with the UK’s holiday low season.
That’s not all. The reduced demand for travel in this period means you could pocket a great deal when you go away, from discounted day trips to impressive prices on park homes and holiday lodges in winter. So, without further ado, let’s explore some ways to get the very best from your off-peak family break.
Our top tips for UK winter holidays
Embrace the rain
We all know there’s no escaping the unreliability of Britain’s weather. Crisp and clear mornings of winter sunshine can fast give way to downpours, leading to soggy sandwiches and a cacophony of complaints from family members of all ages.
Instead, accept the inevitable and come prepared. Armed with some solid waterproofs and sturdy pairs of wellies, a soaking stroll can be a one-of-a-kind family activity the younger children will love. Let kids be kids and listen to their laughter as they splash around in puddles without being told off by the adults. Provided you’ve packed plenty of supplies to clean up the aftermath, applying a carefree attitude could be the best approach.
Plan family games nights
Once you’re all dried off, the comfort and cosiness of a winter holiday home should bring all the family together. Without their bedrooms and games consoles, kids will look to you for entertainment – so what better activities to choose than some old-school family card and board games?
You could dust off long-established classics that have been hanging around in the attic, like Guess Who?, Cluedo, and Monopoly. Or invest in some of the latest games so that all ages can try their hand at something new, including modern hits like Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and Carcassonne. For those travelling light, you could get hours upon hours of entertainment just from a humble deck of cards.
Whether you’ve toddlers or teens in tow, winter holiday home stays often create that close-knit social dynamic that’s a world away from the hectic rituals of day-to-day life. It’s the perfect time to put the usual pressures aside and properly catch up. Get the campfire roaring (after checking your park’s rules and guidelines), the marshmallows roasting, share stories, jokes and experiences – and create a moment that’ll live on for everyone.
Give camping a go
We know what you’re thinking. Winter and camping might seem a less-than-ideal mix, but spending a night among the sights and sounds of nature is an excellent way to get young minds inquisitive about the great outdoors. If you pack a tent and bring it along on your static caravan or lodge holiday, there’s no reason you couldn’t pitch up outdoors for a night or two if weather conditions are calm and mild enough while you’re away.
Barring anything drastic, most modern tents hold up exceptionally against the wind and wet, and camping equipment like mats and sleeping bags should prove surprisingly cosy.
Take to bird watching
Birds famously fly south for the winter, so this might seem an odd time of year to recommend a spot of bird watching. But did you know that many species travel from even cooler climes to make Britain their home during the coldest month of the year?
Search local maps for a designated watching point or hut, pack a hot flask of tea, and grab your binoculars. With a little patience you may well spot migratory species like the barnacle goose, black-tailed godwit, sanderling, and bohemian waxwing. To keep the youngest members of the family engaged, you could always pack some crayons and encourage them to sketch the birds they spot.
Try your hand at fishing
Another way to enjoy a brush with wildlife, fishing is the perfect excuse to spend a blissful day together on the shores of a lake, river, or pond. There’s a few things you’ll need to get to grips with, including any licences or permits you might require as well as the obvious equipment (which you may be able to hire rather than buy) – but the payoff is more than worth it. Just remember to wrap up warm and bring a few snacks along with you!
Wondering where to head for? Read our guide to the UK’s best fishing spots.
Hit the trails
If temperatures do drop, staying on the move might seem a more appealing idea. Thankfully, the UK is blessed with some truly spectacular scenery, with no end of epic hiking routes to be found in all corners of the country.
From family-friendly woodland walks to more demanding climbs, walking in winter can be wonderfully picturesque. Just remember to stay safe with lots of warm clothing and always check weather forecasts before setting off along your route. For inspiration on where to make tracks for, check our guide to the best nature trails in the UK, including some incredible Cornish walking spots.
Where to go for your UK winter holiday
With an exciting itinerary of off-season activities planned, all you need now is the perfect setting. Here’s just some of the UK’s favourite regions for a family holiday in winter:
Encompassing a vast swathe of Central England, the East Midlands offers all kinds of areas to be explored by foot or cycle. These include the ever-popular, sweeping landscapes of the Peak District, as well as the less touristy but no less beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds.
Find a park in the East Midlands >
Famed for its rugged landscapes and dramatic coastline, England’s North East is a fantastic region to escape to. Whether it’s bustling cities like Newcastle or beautiful coastal spots like Whitley Bay and Saltburn, there are all kinds of activities on offer to suit every member of the family.
Find a park in the North East >
From the sweeping valleys of the Dales to the heather-topped hills of the North York Moors and popular costal spots like Whitby and Filey, there’s so much to love about Yorkshire. Enjoy this spectacular corner of the country at any time of year, including the region’s popular network of cycling routes.
Find a park in Yorkshire >
If you’re looking to enjoy a home away from home all year round, look no further than our bespoke park homes and holiday lodges. Contact our team today to hear more about our what we can offer, including static caravan park locations right across the UK.