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The joys of winter travel

Get out and about this winter

While it may be tempting to hibernate over the winter, our travel expert says it’s a great time to take a feel-good break.

Winter is the perfect season to get away in the UK, says travel and food writer Sophie Pither. “Once you’ve got your head around the fact it’s going to be cold and possibly wet, there are many advantages to taking a break at this time of year,” she says.

There are plenty of healthy options says Sophie – from winter water sports in Cornwall or Pembrokeshire, horse riding in Cumbria, birdwatching in Norfolk to cycling just about anywhere.

“Wear some good outdoor gear – layers you can peel off as you get hot, hat, gloves, raincoat – and get out. Then you'll benefit from the most fantastic after-glow feeling,” she says. “Simply climbing a hill in one of our wonderful national parks, walking around a lake, or even walking to a country pub. The feeling of cold air on your face will clear your head and put colour in your cheeks.”

Scotland-based Sophie who writes for Condé Nast Traveller, Olive and The Guardian says that being on top of a Scottish mountain on skis, you have to pinch yourself to remind yourself you’re actually in the UK. “Skiing in Scotland is more accessible and less complicated than in the Alps – far fewer ski lifts to navigate – and you can go just for a day or two if you like.”

The other advantage of a holiday in winter is that nowhere in the UK is as busy at this time of year, she says, so you can get some fantastic deals on hotels and cottages. “And many places let you book just for a night or for the weekend at this time of year,” Sophie adds. Plus if you’re near the sea, you can often enjoy the beach all to yourself.

For wellbeing breaks, there are many reasonably priced restorative spa breaks to be had at this time of year, too.

“Whatever you do, you’ll feel better for getting outside – even for a day,” says Sophie. “Simply download a map and go for a walk. Then when you come home to a hot chocolate and warm fire, you’ll feel like you deserve it.”

Staying safe while you’re away

Whether you’re travelling in the UK or venturing further afield, Benenden offers travel insurance cover for medical conditions and all ages. There are three levels of cover available. To get a quote see www.benenden.co.uk/insurance/travel-insurance/get-a-quote/