Surprising iconic British sites in winter

Winter in Britain has a whole other atmosphere; with a crisp chill in the air and longer dark evenings, it’s the chance to experience our landscapes glistening with frost, iconic buildings twinkling with fairylights or to hunker down somewhere unexpected…

Ghost hunting in Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace at night
© Historic Royal Palaces

With the dark winter evenings, Hampton Court offers after-hours ghost tours that will make your hair stand on end. Be led by your guide from another century through the dark passageways and creaking corridors deeper into the palace and its chequered history. Hear about the ghost that emerges from the kitchen floor; ‘skeletor’ who was caught on CCTV, and see how many of Henry VIII’s wives’ presences you feel…

Hampton Court Ghost Tours run between November and January each year. They also offer family-friendly ghost tours.

Experiencing the Stonehenge Winter Solstice

The date of 22 December is a special one in Britain, as it marks the shortest day of the year and the Winter Solstice festivities, established long ago by the Pagans. Where better to experience the stirring atmosphere of this sunrise festival than at one of Britain’s most iconic and ancient sites: Stonehenge? Or if you’d rather stay warm, gather at the Red Lion pub at Avebury Stone Circle also in Wiltshire, where they also mark the solstice.

Staying in a real Welsh castle

Wales is famous for its castles, so why not hunker down in one for a few nights, and experience life as a castle-dweller? Roch Castle is a 5-star hotel in St Davids, Britain’s smallest city, located in Pembrokeshire National Park, so you can spend your days exploring the stunning coastline here. Retire back to the luxury accommodation at the castle, and enjoy fine dining in the award-winning restaurant.

Sleeping in the Natural History Museum

You’ve enjoyed looking around the museum, but have you ever thought you could spend the night there?! Yes indeed, London’s magnificent Natural History Museum offers full-night stays in its Hintze Hall, with Hope the Blue Whale Skeleton arching above you. The Dino Snores nights for grown-ups (kids’ versions also available) include activities such as dinner, gin sampling, live music, and after-hours tours of the galleries. After all that, you’re bound to sleep soundly as you snuggle down! Then in the morning, be greeted by a full-English breakfast and join in a yoga session, if you wish. You’ll never look at the museum the same way!

Submerging yourself in thermal waters amid Bath’s rooftops

Thermae Bath Spa

You’ve seen Bath’s beautiful sights, found Jane Austen, wandered around the Roman Baths. Well now why not immerse yourself into some hot spa waters yourself, and get to admire the city skyline why you do?! On top of the roof nearby the original Roman Baths is Thermae Bath Spa, with modern pools and facilities and a view to take your breath away. After some pampering treatments, slip into the water as the sun dips down and watch the steam rise against the chilly air.