Wednesday, 6 December 2017

THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT DURING WINTER


With summer well and truly over and the festivities about to kick in, it's time to start thinking about those destinations perfect for visiting when its a little chillier. Most people say holidays are made for the summer time - but seriously, how wrong are they? Some of my most favourite and memorable breaks have been during the winter months. There is just nothing better than getting tonnes of layers on, grabbing a hot drink and exploring a new place in the snow. Not to mention, its also considered low-season for most cities so it'll be a lot lighter on your pocket.

I've shortlisted 6 places I think are best to visit during Winter, mainly December. Though they're also ideal to plan for your first trip in the New Year too! I have been to all but one on my list - you could probably hazard a guess as to which one that is - but they are all just as good to visit in winter as well as enjoying them in the sun. Not to mention, there's plenty of places you can visit where the temperature is still high enough to work on your tan lines, we've all heard of winter sun, right? I've never actually experienced a 'winter sun' holiday, but I would definitely consider booking one if the time was right. 

From places in the UK, to countries on the other side of the world, December is a month where celebrating the Festive season can have a whole lot of different meaning and is one of the best and cheapest months to see different parts of the world. Here are my top picks for travelling in December and why these places are so perfect!



- EDINBURGH -
photo credit: @edxmas
A gorgeous and highly underrated city is Scotland's capital, Edinburgh - and its extra special during the festive season. From the Zoo to Edinburgh Castle there is so much to see and do all year round, and it makes for a great day out or weekend away for both couples and families.

As the festive season approaches, the streets are laden with Christmas Markets which feature your classic spread of bespoke gifts, mulled wine and local delicacies and sweet treats - I mean who isn't partial to a trip to the markets? Aside from spending the day at the markets, you have your pick at various locations that host the cities best ice rinks - my favourite. I've heard that ice skating around St. Andrews Sq is the pinnacle, and I have been keen to go for so long. Incorporate those all important hours of retail therapy and you have the perfect UK winter city break right there.




- AMSTERDAM -
A firm favourite of mine to visit during the winter time, is Amsterdam. Due to the obvious reasons of Christmas Markets and the gorgeous frosted over canals, the city is quiet, cheap and stunning to visit during the snowy season. From receiving blankets and hot chocolate on canal cruises to sampling the finest beer, everything stayed open quite late giving the amount of daylight we had. I also sampled a lot of dutch pancakes to equal amounts on Nutella during the time I spent here, which was obviously the highlight.

In 2015, I spent Christmas day here and it exceeded all expectations. I definitely didn't expect to fall on any special holidays or events, but we luckily fell during Amsterdam Light Festival. This consisted of various sculptures and lights being showcased in different spots of the city which were all singly made by local Dutch artists. We decided to walk around in a bid to find each one - below was my favourite - and they were so beautiful. There was always something to see or do in Amsterdam which is what I loved about this place.



- AUSTRALIA -
photo credit: @mapsoftheworld
If you hadn't had already guessed, this was the place I haven't had the pleasure of visiting during winter, or in fact ever. Unfortunately I haven't been so lucky and my budget hasn't stretched thus far as of yet, but it's surely featured on everyone's to-do list, including mine! My reason for featuring it on my shortlist was because regardless of what year it is, I always end up seeing people on the beach sat in santa hats on my timeline - and I can't be the only one? 

Opposed to the classic British Christmas we all know and love, over in Aus it's the peak of summer so I'm not sure how I would enjoy looking out to the sun whilst opening all my pressies. Nevertheless, it is always one to experience and I definitely wouldn't be turning down a trip the beach (any day of the year).




- LONDON -
photo credit: @hancooper_ & @naomiwise_
Who can fault this wonderful place? Winter Wonderland, shopping 'til your hearts desire/bank balance is empty, the wonderful capital has so much to offer during December. If I'm ever down in London, its either for a day out or a little mini break away. The hustle and bustle of London, is a far cry away from my every day life, so it is nice to experience it once in a while but I honestly have no idea how people cope with the commuting on the tube daily!

When the festivities begin to kick in, London is a well-lit, Christmas lovers dream. Of course, its not going to be the cheapest place to escape too in winter, but it's definitely worth it if you're in the mood to treat yourself. Plus, if you're a little late on buying the presents, its the perfect as you can virtually get everything you're after in one place.



- CANARY ISLANDS -
photo credit: @telegraph
We all know someone who jets off to the Canary Islands to soak up some winter sun when they get the chance, who can really blame them? With your pick of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura, it's a cheap and cheerful trip you can plan well in advance or last minute to really get your hands on a good deal. For me, I have never been away in winter for the purpose of a tan but I'm sure its a nice change to the patriotic traditions we have here in the UK.  



- NEW YORK -
photo credit: @mychristmasinnewyork
A place like no other during winter is none other than The Big Apple. Having been during the hottest summer ever (no exaggeration), it is somewhere I have always dreamed of going back to in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Mainly to enjoy the amazing winter weather and shopping, its home to none other than Central Park, which is extremely picturesque in comparison to summer. The city that never sleeps is also lit even brighter with the addition of its many, many Christmas lights - I am so eager to go back.

Alike London, it's probably going to cost you an arm and a leg to get here, but on top of all that you have a long, 8 hour flight to endure (it's still worth it!). Though if you still don't think you could quite afford the Christmas trip of a lifetime to this side of the US, just rewatch the Home Alone films - it's the closest you're gonna get this year. 

I hope you've enjoyed my pick of the best places to visit in the colder months leading up to Christmas. With a fair pick of both budget and luxury finds, there is options for those late bookings or if you want to start planning for Christmas 2018!
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