Ever since I was a child I’ve spent loads of summer holidays at Haven – from the Jurassic Coast in Dorset all the way to up Seton Sands near Edinburgh. And on these holidays I’ve always make friends with the people in the neighbouring caravans, which means I now have friends all around the country.
And since most of these friends have their own children now too, we’re always exchanging activity ideas. I love taking my kids on little trips away but in winter I hit a bit of a stumbling block when it comes to thinking of good places to go.
That’s why I’ve rung around all my old friends from Haven and asked them which summer holiday destinations near them are good for winter too. Here’s what they said.
Too cold to go to the beach? My husband’s friend Mike, who we met at Seton Sands in Scotland, suggests using the winter to explore a new city. For example, going on a daytrip to Edinburgh, which you can do come rain or shine.
Even if the weather’s too wet and windy to climb Arthur’s Seat, you can still explore Edinburgh castle, the National Museum of Scotland and watch a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse.
The coastline near Edinburgh and Seton Sands is just as stunning in winter as it is in summer – you’ll just need to wrap up warm before you go for a walk along the beach!
The Lake District
Accessible to anyone living in the north of England, the Lake District is a popular holiday destination all year round. According to my friend Jenna, who I met as a child when we were both on holiday at Lakeland Holiday Park near Grange-over-Sands, visiting the Lake District in winter can make it even more special.
Jane lives in Lancaster so she’s only a stone’s throw away from the Lakes and goes there fairly regularly. And although snow on the mountains and poor weather conditions can put a dampener on your hiking plans, you can still go for picturesque walks around the lakes.
Jane recommends steering away from the more commercial lakes, such as Windermere, and taking a walk around Lake Buttermere. The walk is around 4.5 miles long and suitable for families.
If you live in the south west, there are plenty of great winter days out to be had in Devon while you wait for it to be summer again.
When we were on holiday at Devon Cliffs about five years ago, we got talking to Dave, who worked on the park at the time. He was a keen surfer and told us that wet and windy days produce some of the best conditions for surfing – meaning it’s still possible to ride the waves in the winter months.
But if you’d rather get active indoors than outdoors when it’s wet and cold outside (we’re not really the surfing type), he suggested going to the Plymouth Life Centre. Whatever sport you’re into, it’s got everything. From rock climbing and abseiling to splashing around in indoor pools and pretending you’re sunning yourself on a beach, you can be as active or as relaxed as you like. I’d probably go for relaxed but I’m sure the kids would want to let off some steam and get active!
If you visit Northumberland in summer, you’ll hardly want to tear yourself away from the beautiful coastline. But Judith, a friend of mine who we met at Blue Dolphin in Yorkshire and who lives in Northumberland, suggested using the winter months to explore Newcastle.
For starters there’s the Angel of the North and the Centre for Life science museum is great for a family day trip if you live nearby. Since we live in York, we’ll definitely be making a trip there this winter.
Do you know any more summer holiday destinations that are great in winter? Let me know!
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