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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

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12 Places You’d Never Believe Were In The U.K.

The U.K. landscape varies wildly, from the snow-swept peaks of Ben Nevis to the tropical looking, white sandy beaches of Cornwall. It wasn’t for the weather, you’d probably never have to go abroad at all.

1. The Maldives?

Put away your passport (and your sun cream): this perfect white sandy shore is actually Seilebost Beach in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

2. Mont Blanc?

Mont Blanc?View this image ›

This is actually the Observatory Gully on Ben Nevis in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands. Standing at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, it’s the highest mountain in the UK.

3. Italy?

Good guess, but this is actually the quirky Portmerion Village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. If it looks familiar, that might be because it was used as the location for surreal 60s spy drama The Prisoner.

4. Ancient Greece?

No, this is Cornwall. The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. The theatre is at Porthcurno, 4 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, England.

5. Normandy?

Nope, Cornwall again! St Michael’s Mount’s Cornish name means “grey rock in the woods”, and may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount’s Bay was flooded. The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.

6. Cyprus?

This might look like a Mediterranean sun-trap, but it’s actually Achmelvich Beach in the Highlands of Scotland. Sutherland, to be precise.

7. Polynesia?

You don’t have to go to the Pacific ocean to visit this reef-like inlet. It’s actually part of the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Two miles to the north of Lizard Village lies the secluded Kynance Cove, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

8. South of France?

Although it looks Provence-like, the road signs and very British-looking onlookers clearly show that this picture-perfect village is actually in England. It’s called Cockington (stop sniggering) and it’s only a stone’s throw from Torquay in Devon.

9. Portugal?

This lookalike starts with the same letters, at least. This is Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall. The deep blue water is popular with surfers.

10. New Zealand?

This is actually a view from the top of the deliciously named Cheddar Gorge in Somerset’s Mendip Hills. No hobbits here!

11. India?

This Taj Mahal style building is Brighton’s iconic Royal Pavilion. It was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811.

12. Skyrim?

No, it’s not actually a location from a video game. This is the spectacular Smoo Cave in Durness, Sutherland (Scottish Highlands). The cave is unique within the UK in that the first chamber has been formed by the sea, and the inner chambers by rainwater.

Post by: HilaryWardle (BuzzFeed Contributor)
http://www.buzzfeed.com/hilarywardle/12-places-youd-never-believe-were-in-the-uk-aplm

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