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Our favourite things to do in winter across the UK

Saturday 16 October 2021

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With the evenings drawing in and the weather taking a turn, it’s time to start thinking about some of the things we might want to do in the wintertime. For winter fun with family, friends, kids and parents, we’ve got a variety of activities that you’ll enjoy.

With Covid-19 restrictions changing all the time, everything might not be open when you choose to visit. Always check before you arrive and try to book ahead of time where possible.

1. Enjoy a winter walk

As our parents used to say, there’s no such thing as poor weather – just poor clothing choices. So wrap up warm, lace up your sturdiest shoes and head out on a walk into the winter sunshine (or lack thereof). Don’t forget to pack a warming thermos of hot chocolate, and perhaps some snacks for en route, and enjoy a wintery walk. We’ve created some collections of our favourite walks across the UK including:

  • Bournemouth – the beach isn’t just for the summer months!
  • Sheffield – from peaks to woods, there’s lots to see in Sheffield
  • Edinburgh – walk Edinburgh’s 7 hills and enjoy the views
  • York – York offers both countryside and city walks for the whole family

2. Get your adrenaline pumping with winter sports

Did you know that you don’t have to leave the country to enjoy the thrills of winter sports? In fact, there are lots of places where you can enjoy everything from skiing and snowboarding to curling. Get the whole family involved, or make it a romantic, adults-only activity. Either way, you’re sure to have a good time, and probably get a little competitive. You may have only seen winter sports on the telly at the Winter Olympics, so let us tell you – while the athletes make it look like a walk in the park, a lot of these activities are very physical. Wear layers in case you get warm and expect to be feeling it the next day. You can take part in winter sports in the following cities on our network:

  • Sheffield – try out ice hockey in the home of the Sheffield Steelers, one of the UK’s most successful teams.
  • Tamworth –do a range of winter sports at the SnowDome, including tobogganing.
  • Plymouth – strap on your skates at one of the many ice rinks on our network.
  • Edinburgh – discover the traditional sport of curling in Scotland.
  • Glasgow – enjoy skiing and snowboarding from much closer to home than the Alps at Snow Factor in Glasgow.

3. Get outdoors at a park

Going to a great park is one of our favourite things to do whatever the weather. In the winter, when we naturally spend more time inside, why not wrap up warm and explore one of the parks on the network? If you keep active, you’ll keep warm, and, while you may not want to sit around for a picnic, you’ll still enjoy the views. Pack a warming thermos and a snack or scout out a local café where you can warm up after exploring! Here are a few of our favourite larger parks perfect for getting out and active:

  • Cuningar Loop, Glasgow – this park boasts an outdoor bouldering park and a network of paths and bike tracks to explore.
  • Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough – walking, biking, horse riding, boating – this park really does have it all. Plus there are three play areas catering for different ages, and even an action-packed events program.
  • Heaton Park, Manchester – this incredible 600-acre park is the perfect place to explore in winter. With adventure playgrounds and even an animal farm, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
  • Roundhay Park, Leeds – one of the largest city parks in Europe, Roundhay really does have it all: gardens, playgrounds, woodland and a beautiful lake! There are views for days here.

4. Learn something new at a museum

Of course, there are always those days when it’s just a little too chilly or damp to be outdoors. (We do live in the UK after all.) So, head to one of the UK’s many amazing museums. There are many to choose from, and many are cheap or free to visit. Most of our favourites have excellent cafés where you can enjoy a bite to eat and a warming drink. The cities on our network have lots of choices; here’s a flavour:

  • Birmingham – Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is completely free to enter and is home to an amazing Victorian tearoom.
  • Newcastle – the Discovery Museum is one of our favourite free things to do in Newcastle.
  • Derby – Derby Museum and Art Gallery is one of our favourite places to go with the kids in Derby, and it’s filled with history, fun activities and excellent cake at the café.
  • Oxford – the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is free, and has enough treasures to keep you busy for a whole day. No wonder it’s one of our favourite things to do in Oxford, whatever the weather.
  • Leicester – the award-winning Space Centre in Leicester is not only a great place to go with kids, but it’s also packed with fun for the whole family.

Whatever fun you decide to get up to this winter, make sure you travel with CrossCountry, and book in advance to save.  Remember to use our Train Tickets App to find the best deals.

Written by Julia

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