Cosy pubs and hearty Sunday roasts are probably what first comes to mind when you think of winter in Britain, however there’s far more to see during the country’s colder climes. When the snowflakes start to fall they transform Britain’s landscapes into an array of incredible wintery scenes, each with their own charm. From striking frozen lochs to dreamy misty woodlands and frost-coated cottages, come and take a look at some of Britain’s stunning winter views.
It’s not all about ponies in the Shetland Islands. Shaped and carved by ice, this smattering of isles huddled in the Northern Atlantic deliver breath-taking scenery of both land and sea that become even more impressive when shrouded in snow. They are also closer to the North Pole than anywhere else in Britain which makes them the best place to see one of nature’s most dazzling winter displays, the elusive Northern Lights.
Ullswater, Lake District
Staggering beauty comes with the territory in the Lake District but a crisp winter setting amplifies their majesty in shaper hues of deep cobalt and pale icy blues. At seven and a half miles long, Ullswater is the second largest lake in England and our top pick for a hit of natural winter splendour where you can enjoy the lake’s gentle hills mirrored in its glacial surface. Just remember to pack your camera.
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury
Britain is dotted with picturesque country towns but perhaps none are more iconic than the sloping Gold Hill in Shaftesbury which was catapulted to fame in the 70s as the set for British TV commercial by Hovis Bread. Today, when crowned with snow, the chocolate box cottages that line the cobbles paint a wholesome winter picture that is surely worthy of any Christmas card.
Loch Morlich, Scottish Highlands
A wonderland of mountains, lochs, glens and famed for its malt whiskey – it probably comes as no surprise to see the Scottish Highlands as a winter destination. The Cairngorms National Park is one of the snowiest regions in Britain and is a popular skiing destination in the country. But for show stopping beauty, head to the jewel-like Loch Morlich where you’ll find a blanket of sparkling ice set amid a mesmerising panorama of frosted beaches, forests cloaked in mist and a backdrop of snow-clad peaks.
If you like your winter views with more civilisation then you can’t beat the ancient grandeur of Edinburgh. Already a breath-taking cityscape, under snow the craggy hills, gothic spires and castle ramparts that make up the skyline of Scotland’s capital create a scene to rival any fairy tale. Soak up the view from Carlton Hill before heading into town to sample the city’s boutiques, museums and Michelin-starred restaurants, or time your visit for Hogmanay, one of the world’s best New Year parties.
Absorb the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire Dales in winter and you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular brooding landscapes. The tapestry of peaceful valleys, meadows and fields dressed in white add a drama to this rural idyll that’s made even more enthralling in the slanting winter sun. Here you will find the perfect spot to enjoy a long winter walk before ducking into one of the region’s snug country pubs to warm yourself beside a crackling log fire. A perfect end your wintry explorations.
Nicole Harley is Editor at The Epicurean.