While winter is not generally considered to be a prime holiday season, winter holidays can give you many wonderful opportunities to explore what the UK has to offer. With the cold weather driving many of us into our homes, there are nevertheless many indoor and outdoor activities that can give you a wonderful holiday. Kent and Sussex have some wonderful walks and experiences to enjoy, but unless you have an unseasonably warm day it may be difficult for you to really appreciate the experience.
Listed here are ten winter activities that many will be able to enjoy.
1. Mountain Biking
While heading outside may seem counterintuitive for winter, for the adventurous going mountain biking can give you a unique perspective on the British landscape. Winter is often characterised as bleak, but evergreen forests especially can be very beautiful in winter. There are many shops around the country where you can rent bicycles to go and enjoy the outdoors.
It is important to get your daily dose of fresh air to keep healthy. Mountain biking is a perfect winter activity for the adventurous, and both Kent and Sussex have numerous trails that can give prospective visitors a challenge.
2. Horse Riding
Whether it is a winter sleigh ride or taking some ponies out on a hack, horse riding can offer a wonderful way to explore the natural world. Both Kent and Sussex offer a wide variety of walks and hikes that can be explored on horseback as well as on foot. If you have young children or are not a practised rider, then pony rides can be a fantastic way to dip your toes in the water and explore whether the sport would be something you would want to pursue further.
Many stables offer escorted rides with experienced riders to guide you if you are not an experienced rider. Horse riding can be dangerous – horses may be trained for riding, but they have minds of their own, and it is often a good idea to have an experienced rider on hand to help out in case a horse gets upset or you fall off.
3. The Spa Valley Railway
The Tunbridge Wells Spa Valley Railway takes customers for a trip on their beautiful steam engine, with a catering car as well as a bar. The train stops briefly at various stations, allowing customers to explore and enjoy these rest stops before continuing.
The train itself is warm and comfortable, allowing those in the cars to view the beautiful Kent countryside without having to brave the weather. No matter whether you are a train enthusiast or are simply interested in the trip, this experience is an enjoyable one for all ages.
4. Ice Skating
Ice skating is a wonderful seasonal pastime both for families and couples. While the creation of artificial ice rinks is relatively new, ice skating has been activity enjoyed by those in northern Europe for centuries. During the winter season rinks across the country open up for visitors to enjoy and to allow those on the ice to enjoy the sensation without the danger associated with the deep water of natural ice skating areas.
Ice skating has evolved into two very different sports, hockey and figure skating. Hockey is a team sport played on the ice, whereas figure skating is enjoyed by individuals or pairs.
Curling is a relatively unknown sport which involves a team of two, one attempting to slide a granite block along the ice to land in the centre of a bullseye while the other team member will go ahead of the block and ‘sweep’ the ice in front of the block in order to maintain its forward momentum. This game is especially associated with its origins in Scotland in the early 16th century, but it is now a sport played worldwide. It quickly became popular in Canada after Scottish immigrants brought the game with them.
This is a fun game for players of all ages and can provide an excellent day out. If you are further interested you can look at the Olympic or Paralympic curling competitions.
6. Fossil Hunting
From beaches to old quarries there are a huge number of fossil hunting sites around the UK, where you can find anything from ammonites to dinosaur footprints. Many specific sites will have various fossils that can be found there if you take a look. While heading outdoors could be considered a mostly summer activity, beaches are often less busy in the winter, giving you free rein to explore to your heart’s content.
Both children and adults often have a fascination with dinosaurs, and finding traces of prehistoric life can be immensely satisfying.
Falconry experiences can be a fantastic way for animal lovers to enjoy a winter’s day. Birds of prey are beautiful creatures and it can feel like a privilege to be allowed so close to them, even in a controlled environment.
8. Pub Walks
Going out on a winter’s day walk that starts and ends at a local pub can be a fantastic way to enjoy a Sunday. There are many walks with parking close to a pub, so walkers can book tables for when their walk is finished. With many inns and pubs having hundreds of years of history, the atmosphere of these places is often truly unique.
After a long walk, taking a break for a Sunday roast and a pint of the local brew is often a perfect way to finish off the day.
The UK has some wonderful museums to explore and enjoy, from the London Natural History Museum, to many smaller local museums. Many historical sites, such as the Battle of Hastings, have adjoining museums and castles to explore.
If you are bringing your children with you, many of these sites organise activities, such as dressing up in historically accurate costumes, or talks by professionals, for them to enjoy.
10. Christmas Markets
Christmas is an exciting time of year and many of the holiday celebrations begin months before the actual holiday with hundreds of Christmas markets, selling food, gifts and a wide variety of goodies, popping up all over the country. These can offer a fantastic way to explore local crafts and cuisine, with many unique winter dishes such as cooked sweet chestnuts and devils on horseback making mouth-watering appearances.
If you are considering a stay with One Warwick Park Hotel this winter, then please contact us here to book with our hotel and speak with our staff. To find out more about activities and winter holiday options on offer, please discuss your plans with our professional and experienced team.