Explore the great outdoors


You know, you don’t have to break the bank to have a blast on this island of ours. What’s great is that there’s no need to wait until the warmer months for glorious scenery and unforgettable days out. Not just that, but there are plenty of places that are better to visit in winter as well – take a look at our top picks.


Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

So you’ve got 100,000 plants made up of 13,302 species in addition to 3 million preserved specimens across 10 glasshouses to have a gander at. Oh, and all this is spread out across 70 acres of land, so it’s safe to say you won’t get to see everything (even if you take a week off work and attempt it). Founded in 1670 as a garden to grow medicinal plants, today it’s a highlight of any visit to the Scottish Capital.

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland

If baltic winds, monks and meade are your thing, then check this place out. If you’re travelling by car and intend to leave the island before the tide changes, be sure to check the causeway crossing timetable or else you might get stuck there. Affectionately referred to simply as ‘Holy Island’ by the local population, the island was the landing point for the Viking invasion in 793 AD when they attacked the church of St Cuthbert – not a lot of people know that!

Sheffield Botanical Gardens, South Yorkshire

First opened in 1836, Sheffield Botanical Gardens have grown to cover 19 acres of land near Sheffield city centre. Listed by English Heritage as a Grade II site, the gardens and its glass pavilions house a wonderful collection of plants from all over the world so you’ll get the chance to explore over 18 different garden areas based on geographical or botanical themes. There’s even a bear pit hidden away somewhere – make you sure you find it.

Richmond Park, London

If you happened to watch Bambi over Christmas, then you’re going to want to visit Richmond. Richmond Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and covers an area of 2,500 acres. Just a stone’s throw from central London. Discover the Isabella Plantation woodland gardens and enjoy distant views of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound while keeping a lookout for one of the 630 Red and Fallow deer that have roamed freeling in the park since 1637.

Brighton Beach, East Sussex

The chances of you stripping down to your swimsuit and plunging yourself into the English Channel at this time of year are quite slim, unless you’re very very brave. But that’s the beauty of Brighton Beach – it’s worth a visit even if you’re not planning on swimming or sunning yourself on the shingle. A seaside stroll and some fish and chips can be enjoyed all year round, as can the famous Brighton Palace Pier which is open every day. Roll up, roll up!