• Best winter getaways in the UK

Best winter getaways in the UK

Hiring a car isn’t just for the summer holidays - check out these brrr-illiant cold weather breaks across the country

As any of us living in the UK know, even in the summer months, sunshine isn’t always guaranteed. But that shouldn’t stop you from exploring everything Britain has to offer… With so much to see and do, there is a winter holiday road trip waiting for you!

In this article, we share our top 12 best winter breaks in the UK - these cold-weather holiday destinations are not to be missed! We’ve recommended the best escapes during the winter months in the UK, including trips for couples, families, and groups of friends in one handy guide.

All of these wintery escapes are accessible by car - and here at Rent Direct, we have plenty of hire vehicles to choose from! Read on to find out more… 

12 of the best winter getaways in the UK 

Whether you’re looking for a romantic riverside road trip, a family-friendly journey inspired by adventure, or travelling with friends for fun-filled festivities, these winter escapes will do just the job:

  1. Bath
  2. Belfast
  3. Brighton
  4. Cairngorms
  5. Cambridge
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Lake District
  8. New Forest
  9. Snowdonia
  10. Tenby
  11. Truro
  12. York

Bath in Somerset

Located in North East Somerset, Bath is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Best known for its collection of ancient Roman baths (after which it was named), the city has naturally become a sought-after destination for those wishing to put their well-being first - if only for a few days. As such, the Thermae Bath Spa proves to be a highlight for visitors; the original natural thermal spa is an ideal retreat to unwind and warm up during the colder months! 

Belfast in County Antrim

As the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast is a popular destination for tourists and is accessible by car when using the Stena Line ferry from England and Scotland. Ireland has everything - from cosy pubs serving traditional hearty food to stunning sightseeing tours and exciting nightlife. Highlights of the cosmopolitan city include a trip to Titanic Belfast - a world-leading visitor attraction that tells the story of the famous ship, from where it was originally built and launched. 


Brighton in Sussex

The famous seaside resort of Brighton is located down on England’s South Coast not far from the South Downs National Park. It attracts visitors from all over the country - particularly during the summer months - but shouldn’t be overlooked in autumn or winter. The bustling city in the heart of Sussex boasts a hybrid of modern culture set against the backdrop of the sea where pods of dolphins can often be spotted. A perfect spot for Christmas shopping thanks to the quirky North and South Lanes.  

Cairngorms in Aberdeenshire

The Cairngorms is a mountain range located within the Eastern Highlands of Scotland, surrounded by a stunning and unspoiled national park. This special place attracts tourists from all over, who wish to experience the vast rolling hills and wildlife for themselves. During the winter months, visitors can witness the free-roaming Cairngorm Reindeer and can book to join a timetable of tours led by expert herders, who help look after the 150-strong herd - it’s a sight to behold. 

Cambridge in Cambridgeshire

Famous for its world-renowned University, Cambridge (home to one of our six Rent Direct branches!) is a charming city to be inspired by and has so much waiting to be discovered. No trip is complete without a punt along the River Cam where you can get cosy on brisk days underneath a blanket while soaking up the sights in style. The Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit on a clear and crisp day, while the multitude of Christmas markets provides winter wonderland delights and a chance to go ice skating too. 

Edinburgh in West Lothian

A UK winter road trip isn’t complete without a visit to Edinburgh - Scotland’s capital city. Full of life and with so many sights to see, Edinburgh is the ideal destination to get wintered up and in the festive mood. The city’s Christmas Hogmanay is the ultimate way to celebrate the festivities which run from November until January - with events for young and old, the city centre comes alive! Just make sure you leave time to visit Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the Scottish home of the King!


Lake District in Cumbria

At some point in your lifetime, a trip to the wonderful Lake District is a must. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then ‘the lakes’ is an ideal escape - and is just as beautiful during the winter months. England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike will likely be capped with snow and the ground crunchy underfoot when the frost takes hold. Wrap up warm for a hike to explore the breathtaking landscape and cosy up by the fire afterward at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the area.  


New Forest in Hampshire

A top holiday destination in the UK, the New Forest in the southern region of England is a must-see spot - even in the winter. The vast area is one of the largest remaining pieces of pastureland in the country which is home to many native wild ponies. Nestled among miles of forests, heathland and pasture are quaint villages such as Lyndhurst - known as the capital of the New Forest. Whether you want to roam by foot, by bike, or by car, the stunning scenery will make for a memorable experience.

Snowdonia in Wales

Covering no less than 823 square miles, Snowdonia is the largest national park in Wales. Known for its outstanding natural beauty, the area is home to 74 miles of coastline and nine mountain ranges - including Mount Snowdon. To help make the 1,085-metre mountain more accessible, hop on the train to the summit which runs up until the end of October. A trip to North Wales isn’t complete without visiting the enchanting village of Portmeirion which is a lot quieter to enjoy in winter than during peak summer periods - idyllic! 

Tenby in Pembrokeshire

The harbour town of Tenby in southwest Wales more than deserves its title as the country’s top seaside town. Nestled within medieval walls, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of Great Britain, with coastline walks for miles. Proving most popular during the summer, this little gemstone of a trip shouldn’t be overlooked in the winter. Make the most of the shoreline in peace and guarantee yourself a seat in Tenby’s many pubs and restaurants to enjoy seafood caught by local fishermen.


Truro in Cornwall

A trip down to the West Country is well worth undertaking - not only is the journey by car utterly stunning, but there is so much to see and do. The cathedral city of Truro is an absolute must - famous for its ancient cobbled streets, the blend of Gothic and Georgian architecture is what sets the place apart. December is a fantastic time to visit as this is when Truro hosts its famous ‘City of Lights’ event which entertains a crowd of thousands every year. 


York in Yorkshire

The famous walled city of York in the northeast of England is home to a large 13th-century Gothic cathedral called York Minster. Rooted in history, the city attracts pursuers of the paranormal by offering after-dark ghost walks, which really ramp up during the winter months. The Shambles shopping area is a popular spot and will delight fans of Harry Potter too! For lovers of locomotives, the National Railway Museum is a must-do, and festive fans will love the York Christmas Market during November and December. 

Winter holiday hire cars at the ready

Hire a car from us this winter at Rent Direct for a road trip to remember. We’re a leading provider of rental cars and rental MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles) which means we can help you whether you need five or seven seats! 

Simply fill out the online booking form which can be found on the homepage of our website to find the ideal car or MPV for your winter getaway.