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Whilst the news is plastered with happy tourists stepping off planes into sunny Portugal, a feeling many of us can barely remember, or with warnings from the government about travelling to the current ‘amber list’ countries, it’s clear, and entirely reasonable, that many in the UK feel that a domestic holiday is the slightly safer and more viable option for 2021.

And with unusual places to stay and unique accommodation either full or filling up fast for the summer, a few are casting their minds to winter breaks in the UK. And why not?

The UK in winter has its own special kind of charm. The quiet solitude of getting out into the countryside, lighting a warm fire after exploring the hills, woodlands and coasts or Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland is a satisfaction you can’t quite put your finger on, but one that you’re sure to appreciate.

So with that in mind, the team at Not In The Guidebooks have collated some of our favourite winter breaks in the UK that get you slightly further afield than England, where you can enjoy your very own winter wonderland.

Eco-Barn Retreat in Pembrokeshire

living area of an eco barn

The perfect place to get away from it all on a winter retreat to Wales, this eco-barn provides a cosy retreat from the chilly winter weather, all whilst generating 85% of the energy you use on-site.

After a day hiking along the rugged Pembrokeshire coast, drinking in the magnificent sea cliffs or the wild beaches, or even enjoying a day out getting hands on with the landscape on a foraging and feasting experience, you can head back to your beautifully restored barn, light up the log-burner, and put your feet up.

A glass of wine with sweeping views of the countryside and with that weary, yet satisfied, feeling of having spent a full day doing something active or different… it’s a hard one to beat.

Winter Warmer Yoga Retreat

anglesey retreat winter

Heading a little further north up the coast to the Isle of Anglesey, and blow away those approaching winter blues by getting yourself re-energised on this wellness and yoga retreat.

As well as guided yoga sessions in the beautiful on-site, oak-framed studio, you head out on walks around the island that get you genuinely off the beaten track to places known only by the locals.

You’ll stay in a gorgeous country house retreat, with a large wood-burning stove and an impressive upstairs dining area to meet your fellow travellers and enjoy some great food after enjoying a day in the outdoors.

Popular Winter Breaks in the UK

Spring & Autumn Traditional Scottish Cooking Holiday

Scotland, Argyll & The Isles

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Winter Warmer Yoga Retreat

Wales, Anglesey

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Private Cottage Retreat in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

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Eco Barn Retreat in Pembrokeshire

Wales, Pembrokeshire

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Private Cottage Retreat in Northern Ireland

glamping kitchen and fire

Tucked away in an idyllic little corner of Northern Ireland, this private cottage provides you with the perfect base for a winter getaway in 2021.

Surrounded by a stunning landscape that is steeped in centuries worth of myths and legends, the trails that wind into the rolling hills and woods provide you with the perfect routes along which to explore and make the most of the area. You could also spend the day fishing, or curled up with a book, whatever helps you disconnect with your busy daily life and properly unwind.

The cottage itself is equipped with a wood-burning stove for those cosy nights in, as well as a luxurious wet room shower to enjoy and warm up in after a day spent exploring.

Spring and Autumn Traditional Scottish Cooking Holiday

cottage in summer in scotland

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly available in the depths of December or January for a true winter break in the UK, but it does run to the end of November which, for Scotland, is about as late as you’d really want to be travelling.

And as for the holiday itself, it’s a one of a kind look into authentic Scottish culture and cuisine, as you stay in an idyllic canal-side cottage and explore the mountains, lochs and coasts by foot or by bike, and enjoy some fun, personal Scottish cooking lessons in the evenings.

Using only the freshest and most local Scottish ingredients: salmon, venison, seafood and more, you’ll learn how to cook iconic and delicious dishes under the guidance of your host.


Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we are always searching for new unique, local, and authentic experiences around the globe, so that we can help our customers really get to know a culture, a place, and its people.

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