Winter days out in the UK

Caroline Cassidy

Though some of us may feel like hibernating as the cold weather sets in, there is still plenty to do in the UK come winter. Whether you prefer to brave the chill with the whole family or seek the comfort and warmth of the indoors, here are a few ideas for days out.

winter days out
winter days out

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Eden Project, Cornwall
If you're not too keen on the bracing winter weather, the Eden Project is the perfect place to go. In an instant you can be transported from dreary winter to the largest indoor rainforest in the world, admiring tropical plants in steamy jungles.

But when you've finished marvelling at the astonishing plant life and being inspired by the regular demonstrations, why not take advantage of the Eden Project's magical glacial-themed ice rink.

Sessions are available for all ages and abilities and cost £5 per person for a 40 minute session. However, that doesn't include entry to the Eden Project itself, for which an adult ticket is £22.

The ice rink is open at half term and throughout winter, except for Christmas and New Year holidays, and it's advisable to pre-book.

Dunham Massey, Cheshire
This National Trust property in Altrincham is home to Britain's largest winter garden. Sitting amidst a 121-hectare deer park and containing almost 700 different plant species and 1,600 shrubs, every aspect of the Winter Garden has been chosen for its wintry characteristics, from autumn colours to winter flowers and scents.

In the autumn, the reds, golds and oranges of berries, crab apples and Japanese maples are spectacular while winter brings bright yellow witch hazel, the Snowdrop Walk and the aroma of mahonia and winter honeysuckle.

When you need to warm up, the story of the Georgian house and its scandalous former residents will keep you entertained.

Though the house itself is closed from October 30 until the end of February, the Winter Garden is open throughout winter, from 11am to 4pm. Tickets cost £7 for adults, £3.50 for children or buy a family ticket for £17.50.

Christmas Market, Bath
When it's cold outside, a little Christmas spirit goes a long way and the Christmas Market in the shadow of Bath Abbey will certainly provide that seasonal cheer. More than 120 wooden chalets filled with hand-crafted gifts and unique present ideas fill the Abbey Churchyard, while the aroma of mulled wine, choirs singing carols and festive decoration will warm your heart, if not your feet and hands!

Bath Christmas Market runs from November 24 to December 11 and is open from 10am to 7pm Monday to Wednesday, from 10am to 9pm on Thursday through to Saturday, and on Sundays from 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.

The Big Reunion, Butlins, Skegness
Glastonbury and V may seem like a distant memory but the music continues throughout winter. Lining up at Butlins in Skegness for the Big Reunion are the likes of Pendulum, The Streets, Chipmunk, Example, DJ Fresh and Chase and Status among others so if you are music mad, why not make a weekend of it and head to the seaside resort.

There are two Big Reunion weekends: November 18 - 20 and November 25 - 27. Tickets are a pricey £165 per person but that includes two night's accommodation, entry to the music festival and all the resort's standard facilities.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London
London's Hyde Park will once again be home to a Winter Wonderland this year and there is something for everyone. An ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Extreme, the Giant Observation Wheel, fairground rides and the all-important Santa Land are just a few of the attractions.

There is also a huge selection of tempting treats, from the English Food fair to the Bavarian Village and, of course, the Angels Christmas Market where you can stock up on gifts.

Running from November 18 to January 3, this magical wintry world is free to enter but the attractions range in price from £7 to £10.50. A visit to Santa, however, will cost you nothing!