UK winter is when the days might be short, and the temperatures might be unbearably low – but that doesn’t mean to say that hordes of Brits aren’t still heading off on the traditional weekend getaway.
On the contrary – winter can still be a very popular time of the year for such trips. However, there are some rules to abide by to ensure you get the most out of your weekend. Here, we’ll take a look through some of these in detail.
Check local attractions before travelling
Just like anywhere in the world, some attractions are only designed for warm weather. In other words, they close their doors ahead of next spring as soon as winter arrives.
Ultimately, you need to plan accordingly. While you might strike lucky at certain times of the winter (such as during school holidays where the dates can be a bit more flexible), on the whole, a winter attraction itinerary is going to look much different to warmer periods of the year.
Make sure your accommodation is booked in advance
This is especially important if you’re planning on travelling during the festive season. Christmas and New Year are two of the busiest times of the year for travel, meaning that hotels fill up very quickly.
A common mistake is to think that just because you’re travelling in a so-called unpopular period of the year, you don’t need to book your accommodation as early. This isn’t the case, and you should take the same meticulous approach to so-called popular times of the year.
Plan for rush hour, plus a bit more
Unfortunately, rush hour isn’t getting any better. Sure, it may have had some time off during the pandemic, but the roads are now busier than ever, and during winter, issues intensify.
Let’s not forget that the UK is hardly equipped to deal with large temperature fluctuations (both high and low). As such, if you do end up travelling in a blizzard, there’s every chance that your journey, even if it’s a seemingly short trip to Blackpool, is going to be considerably longer than initially planned.
Pack for all eventualities
While the UK may not be as cold as some other parts of the world, that doesn’t mean we don’t get our fair share of bad weather.
In fact, you must be prepared for all eventualities during winter. So, as well as packing your clothes and toiletries, make sure you’ve got a first-aid kit, a torch, a map, and some food and water, just in case you get stranded somewhere. Sound over-the-top? Don’t take our word for it; this is official guidance from the AA.
Understand when the sun sets
This might sound silly, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the sun sets much earlier in winter.
So, if you’re planning on doing activities that require good lighting (such as hiking or cycling), make sure you start your journey early enough to avoid being caught in the dark.