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Reasons to visit Great Britain in winter

Britain may not be the most obvious choice for a winter break, yet it has a great deal to offer the more adventurous visitor. Of course our weather is ‘challenging’ but as long as you come prepared for rain, drizzle, wind, hail, sleet, snow and even the occasional burst of sunshine, you’ll be fine.  So, assuming you have the right gear, what are the positives of visiting our green and pleasant land?

Lancaster Canal by Zoe Dawes

  1. There are far fewer visitors so you can easily get into places that have big queues in the summer months.  This is especially relevant in London, which has so many fascinating museums, art galleries, historic houses, theatres and major attractions like the London Eye.  Imagine being able to visit Madame Tussaud’s without waiting in line half way down Marylebone Road or getting a spectacular view from London Eye within minutes of arriving. However, this also applies to places all over Britain.  Edinburgh and Belfast, York and Cardiff are all much quieter and more pleasant to get around in the winter.
  2. Accommodation is much cheaper.  You can get some excellent deals at this time of year and lots of hotels, B&B, holiday homes, caravans and camp sites are open to a bit of negotiating if you call and ask what their best price is.  (Although make sure to check school holidays such as half-term and Easter.)  Rates can often be up to 50% less than in July or August.
  3. Many attractions have ‘out-of-season’  reduced rates and often lay on special events to encourage people to come along and see what they have on offer.   Why not take a train ride through the stunning Yorkshire Dales, over the Ribblehead Viaduct and into the Cumbria countryside on the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway – if you’re lucky you may even get a seat on one of the iconic steam trains.
  4. Nature provides a beautiful plus to observing her glorious scenery by stripping many of our trees of leaves, enabling you to see through impressively skeletal trees to views that you can’t usually see once those branches are bedecked with green leaves, blossom or fruit.  Check out our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty for a selection of stunning outdoor destinations throughout the UK.
  5. Outdoor light is very different from other seasons of the year.  You can get incredibly clear skies which give an amazing clarity to your photos of those mountains in the Lake District. A misty fog swirls evocatively across a Scottish river.  The low-lying sun filters through bleached-out clouds above a deserted moor. Rosy dawn breaks over a the pier in a tranquil seaside town …
  6. Of course some days you just don’t want to venture far due to heavy rain or strong winds, or one of our infrequent but curiously immobilising snow storms.  But then you’ve got a great excuse to duck into one of our welcoming country pubs or cosy tea shops.  Britain is made for ‘changeable’ weather and some of our most traditional attractions come in the form of an oak-beamed inn or a quaint cottage art gallery. Or maybe you feel really brave and will just wrap up warm and go for a bracing walk along a Cornish beach or a Midland canal towpath.
  7. People have more time to chat, to help and show you around. Travel and tourism businesses that are open in the winter rely on visitors like you and really appreciate that you have taken the time to visit their establishment.  The important thing to remember is that you need to plan a bit in advance. For example, many National Trust properties are closed in the winter months but their gardens are open, so do check websites or contact the regional Tourist Office for latest information.

Lake Windermere in winter by Zoë  Dawes

As one of our most famous walkers, Alfred Wainwright, said, “There’s not such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.” Now, pack a waterproof, umbrella, sturdy shoes and some warm jumpers and make the most of your visit to Britain this winter.
Article source at Visit Britain Super Blogclick here

We operate a wide range of small group sightseeing tours departing from London.  These include Day tours, half day tours, overnight tours and extended tours of England.  Private bespoke tours for families and small groups can also be arranged.

The Small Group Touring Experts
http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

Experience the majesty of England’s most famed and beautiful castle’s

English Castles 2 Day Tour – New exclusive tour for 2013

 Travel into history on this 2 day private chauffeur driven English Castles Tour and experience the majesty England’s most famed and beautiful castles. English Castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries. Noble Lords built castles to control the area immediately surrounding them, Castles were both offensive and defensive structures; they provided a base from which raids could be launched as well as protection from enemies. Although their military origins are often emphasised in castle studies, Castles also served as centres of administration and symbols of power. Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, and rural castles were often situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills and fertile land.

Itinerary for 2 Day Tour of English Castles DAY 1 – 9am start (0930 weekends)Hever Castle Tour

  • Windsor Castle. Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years.
  • Wardour Castle Now a ruin, Wardour Castle was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment.
  • Highclere Castle The Golden Globe winning Downton Abbey was brought to life at Highclere Castle. It sits on 1,000 acres of parkland and it has been the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon since 1679.
  • Amberley Castle The luxury castle where you will spend the night. Hidden away for 900 years near the picturesque village of Amberley in the chalk South Downs, Amberley Castle is a magnificent historical treasure that offers a truly unique experience. Through the Portcullis and 60 ft curtain walls you will find beautiful landscaped gardens, fine examples of medieval architecture and an unrivalled atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

DAY 2 – 9am start (0930 weekends)                

  • Arundel Castle The seat of The Dukes of Norfolk and set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens, Arundel Castle has been open to visitors seasonally for nearly 200 years. It is one of the great treasure houses of England, each having its own unique place in history and is home to priceless works of art.
  • Leeds Castle Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland, a visit to Leeds Castle in the garden of England is full of discovery. Visitors are transported through the castleʼs history; an eclectic mix of period architecture, with sumptuous interiors and family treasures.
  • Hever Castle The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, it later passed into the ownership of Henryʼs fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
  • Dover Castle Spectacularly situated above the White Cliffs on the Kent coastline this magnificent castle boasts

     Chauffeur Driven Tour Chauffeur driven tours are a luxurious but affordable solution to sightseeing in style. We take you away from the crowded streets and buses on an intimate tour in a private vehicle, guided by your professional chauffeur, who gives you personal attention and courtesy throughout the experience, including hotel pick up/drop off and numerous photo opportunities, and of course a chance to savour each location at a more leisurely and intimate pace. Make no mistake, there is no better way to travel!

Overnight Tour Details: http://www.welcome2britain.com/english-castles-sightseeing-overnight-tour.htm

Travel Editor
The Small Group Tour Experts