Breathe in the scent of cherry blossoms and lavender on a springtime meander and sip cocktails on balmy summer evenings at buzzing rooftop bars. Spot hedgehogs rustling through a carpet of red, golds and purples on an autumn wander, and cosy up by roaring log fires as snow turns the world into a winter wonderland. From ice-skating in the Tower of London to baby puffin-spotting in Wales, Britain is brimming with seasonal highlights to enjoy.
Come springtime London has cherry blossoms to rival Japan (if we say so ourselves), with the Cherry Walk at Kew Gardens a notable hotspot, as well as breath-taking lavender fields within two hours of London and row upon row of golden daffodils around Ullswater in the Lake District. The spring also brings with it fields of glistening bluebells and welcomes millions of seabirds to nest.
In London, keep your eyes peeled for sleepy hedgehogs in Regent’s Park, the only Royal Park with a breeding population, or head further afield to discover the cute creatures in any of our gorgeous National Parks. On Skomer Island in Wales see brightly billed puffins cavorting against a backdrop of wildflowers, or watch the island’s seal population soaking up the sun at North Haven. Explore sun-dappled spring gardens at Sissinghurst Castle and Igham Mote in Kent or Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, and wander amongst ground-breaking works of art at Yorkshire International Sculpture Park, an outdoor art gallery framed by the country’s rolling emerald dales.
We Brits know how to make the most of the sunshine, not to mention the lovely summer light that tempts us into beer gardens and barbecues until late in the evening! Escape to the seaside as the sun gleams on the retro Victorian piers dotted along the coast and breathe in salty sea air filled with the aroma of fresh fish and chips.
Soak up 200 years of history on a walking tour along Brighton Palace Pier, take in the views from Llandudno’s Cable Cars and catch a traditional Punch and Judy show on the Welsh town’s sprawling promenade. Head south to discover the sun-soaked beauty of Porthcurno Cove, nestled in the shadow of the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, or while away lazy summer days, cocktail in hand, on one of London’s pristine urban beaches or buzzing rooftop bars. Enjoy Scottish summer evenings dining al fresco on fine smoked salmon and fresh oysters at Leith waterfront in Edinburgh, savour international flavours at Bristol’s open-air street food markets, or discover the cultural highlights of Liverpool and Manchester at either city’s many summer festivals.
Britain’s National Parks are a magical mix of reds, oranges and yellows during the autumn months. The colours glisten as they reflect on the waters of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, shine resplendently over the Brecon Beacons and contrast spectacularly with the grey-stone cottages of the Cotswolds.
Discover the stately home of Blenheim Palace and soaring spire of Salisbury Cathedral surrounded by golden foliage. Spot bushy-tailed red squirrels gathering nuts for winter on the Isle of Wight, as you wander walking trails that weave between ancient towering chestnut trees. Watch glorious sunsets and breathe in the scent of crackling leaves and wood smoke as the sky lights up with fireworks for Bonfire Night, before retreating to a cosy countryside pub for the evening to relax in the warmth with a local ale or two.
When the weather cools, there’s a whole range of reasons to visit the UK. Glide across the ice at twilight at the Natural History Museum and beneath the glowing ramparts, towers and battlements of the Tower of London, at the iconic landmarks’ winter ice rinks. Breath in the scent of mulled wine and chestnuts as you shop for presents at the fairy-lit stalls of traditional Christmas markets in Bath, Cardiff and Leeds. Catch a festive pantomime at theatres across the country, or discover cobbled streets bathed in the glow of elegant Christmas lights in Covent Garden’s Seven Dials.
From exploring snow-kissed villages and wandering rosy-cheeked to meet Britain’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer in the Cairngorms, to snuggling up next to crackling log fires in traditional pubs, our cities and countryside are alive with winter charm.