Even those who adore the holiday season have to admit, Christmas can get pretty hectic. At Snaptrip, we relish every part of Christmas, from when the first carol plays in our local supermarket, to cold turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.
That being said, sometimes all we want is a quiet getaway to one of Britain’s most scenic spots. Somewhere we can enjoy the crisp mornings, purple sunsets and wintery magic, without all the extra noise and fuss.
With December 25 fast approaching, we thought we’d help those of you who feel the same, with our top picks for a quiet Christmas holiday. We’ve scoured the UK’s stunning shores to find the places that really come alive during the festive season. If you see anywhere you like, why not make a trip of it, with one of the best holiday cottages in the UK.
Quiet Christmas getaways in the UK
Location: Scottish Highlands
Best for: Stepping inside a Christmas card
Christmas activity to try: Sledding down snowy hillsides
We’re starting our list with a spot so spectacular, there’s a danger you won’t bother to find out what else we’ve got. The Cairngorms is Christmas spirit brought to life. If you’re looking to spend your holiday season inside a traditional Christmas card, it’s time to visit Britain’s most magical national park.
Nestled in the heart of the highlands, the Cairngorms are craggy castles above glistening Scottish Lochs. They’re the smell of pine needles on the breeze and mountainside cottages with roaring log fires. They’re long snowy slopes that may as well have been built for sledding. And according to National Geographic, they’re one of the top 20 places to visit in the world. One look at the park’s horizons and incredible natural beauty is enough to get the Christmas cheer flowing.
Featured Christmas cottage: Coille Ghlas
There are three ingredients to the perfect Christmas cottage – stone walls, log fires and a gloriously cosy vibe. Set in the picturesque village of Nethy Bridge this gorgeous four-bedroom property has them all, and even lets you bring your four-legged friend along to join the fun. There are two living rooms, each one with an open fire for chestnut roasting, while a wild nature garden provides the perfect place to spend Christmas eve staring up at the seasonal stars.
Best for: The world’s most romantic sights
Christmas activity to try: Bracing seaside strolls down the Jurassic Coast
When you think of Christmas, sandy beaches may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But trust us when we say the Dorset coast in winter may be the most picturesque place you’ll ever see. Durdle Door is renowned as one of the most stunning sights in the country. With a place on every list of ‘Britain’s most picturesque landmarks’, and recognised as the most photographed location in England, this vast natural arc looks like the gateway to the realm of the gods.
Many would say Durdle Door couldn’t become more beautiful. But those are people who haven’t seen it capped with snow. At Christmas time, these incredible cliffs take on a new level of magic, as mist rolls in from the English Channel and a crisp, seasonal freshness enters the air. For anyone out there planning a Christmas day proposal, there’s no better place than beneath Durdle Door.
Featured Christmas cottage: Bricklesey Cottage
Built in 1840, this Grade II listed cottage is the definition of cosy. As an ancient Fisherman’s cottage, that’s been extended and refurbished, it combines quaint, utterly-Dorset charm with spacious seaside luxury. What’s more, as locations go, it couldn’t get more perfect. The cottage sits at the end of a lane leading right to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, close enough to the sea that a fresh salty breeze washes across the front porch.
Best for: Family friendly fun
Christmas activity to try: Keswick’s theatre by the lake
You shouldn’t be surprised that the Lake District is the second national park to make our list. Renowned worldwide for its jaw-dropping beauty, the Lake District is the most popular natural tourist attraction in Britain. Its beauty has even inspired the works on countless literary legends over the years. Ever wondered where William Wordsworth ‘wandered lonely as a cloud’? It was across one of the Lake District’s fantastic fells.
In Winter, as mist rolls down the mountains and magic drifts across the lakes, this Cumbrian location is at its most stunning. Even better than the scenery, however, is the selection of family-friendly Christmas fun that’s on offer. Why not wander one of the National Trust’s ‘Winter Walks’, designed for all ages and abilities but still perfect for working off the Christmas Pudding. Or for something a little warmer, check out the Windermere German Christmas Market, or some seasonal Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.
Featured Christmas cottage: Springlea Cottage
Set in a rural village, on the fringe of the National Park, this quaint, character-filled cottage dates back almost 400 years, to the early 17th century. Chock full of old-English charm, its stone walls, wood-beamed ceilings, and open log fire, make it feel like a cosy, Christmas-time cottage in a tale by Raymond Briggs. Thanks to its well-connected location, almost all of the Lake District is easily accessed from this snug spot.
Best for: An old-world feel
Christmas activity to try: The award-winning Christmas markets
Bath is a brilliant city to visit at any time of year, being home to incredible architecture, a uniquely welcoming vibe and the only naturally warm springs in Britain. The healing waters which erupt from three points contain 43 different minerals. They spill out at a gorgeous 46 degrees centigrade and are arguably the most relaxing attraction known to man.
From November 28 to December 15, however, Bath hosts something even better, as it becomes the epicentre of the Christmas celebrations. Over 150 chalets spread across the city’s gorgeous Georgian streets spring up and create the award-winning Bath Christmas Markets. Here, you’ll find everything. From handcrafted jewellery to bespoke home furnishings and the best mince pies you’ve ever tasted.
Featured Christmas cottage: Ford Cottage
Bath is known for its amazing architecture, so why should you choose a holiday cottage here that doesn’t come with its own fantastic aesthetic. This picturesque 16th-century property is overflowing with historic charm. Mixing old-world flavour with modern-day luxury, it boasts stripped stone walls, a roaring open fire and beautiful beamed ceilings. Right outside the door, you’ll find dozens of Bath’s cosiest pubs, shops and tearooms. What’s more, the elegant Italianate Peto Gardens of Iford Manor are a short walk away.