London Living with an Alternative Twist!


The lead up to Christmas is always exciting but instead of winding down it is easy to get caught up in the chaotic rush. With your phone a buzz with festive well-wishers, a constant stream of work emails and the pressure of Christmas shopping, it can be overwhelming.

To ensure you switch off and find time away from the madness December brings, has pulled together a list of the UK’s most stylish wintry retreats. From gorgeous mountainous walks by the sea, to peaceful woodland valleys, there’s something to help you switch off. So turn off all mobile devices, put the out of office on and embrace the season in the comfort of one of these cosy boltholes.

English: Taken in the Brecon Beacons. Samasnoo...

English: Taken in the Brecon Beacons. Samasnookerfan (talk) 16:25, 9 February 2008 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Tywi Valley

Tucked away in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountain, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, is one of the most beautiful, unspoilt places Wales has to offer. Immerse yourself in the enchanting history that bestows the valley and work up an appetite with a walk around the tumbledown relic of the thirteenth-century Dinefwr castle, once home to the princes of Deheubarth. After taking in the local heritage head back to rest your head at the beautiful country house of Llywyn Helyg Country House and unwind in your very own Jacuzzi Whirlpool bath.

Hotels start from £50


With truly magnificent scenery, you can really get back to nature in Hereford. With the option of walks and fishing by the River Wye, through to the ancient castles and museums the town boasts, you’re spoilt for choice with activities to help you unwind. Why not immerse yourself in culture and a little history by heading to the Hereford Museum and Art gallery during your stay? Set in a beautiful, remote rural location you’ll leave your stress at the door once you arrive at the Woodend Farm House B&B. A truly charming B&B, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and a delicious cooked breakfast to set you up for the day.

Hotels start from £50

The Cotswolds

A mecca for those wanting to escape the stress of city life, the rolling hills and medieval thatched houses of the Cotswolds exude serenity. If you’re looking to indulge in a little retail therapy with a mulled wine in hand, head to the Christmas markets in Cirencester, a quaint little chocolate box village. Swap the chaotic streets of the capital for the “charming capital of the Cotswolds” and enjoy ice-skating inside the Abbey and grounds of the parish church. The Kings Head Hotel in the heart of Cirencester will help you forget the deluge of daily stress as you indulge in their subterranean spa treatments.

Hotels start from £39

view of Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales

view of Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Where the mountains meet the sea, miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this dramatic landscape is a serene safe haven. Whether you want to head down to one of the secluded beaches or overlook them on one of the many coastal walks, this remote location will give you acres of space and plenty of peace and quiet.  If it’s a more exerting excursion you’re after, head to Mount Snowdon itself. With over six different routes, there’s something for people of all abilities. After a day of being at one with the elements, the roaring fire at the Ffynnon Boutique hotel will be a welcome winter warmer. Kick the boots off, put the phone down and indulge yourself, whether it’s enjoying an in-room beauty treatment, a soak in the hot tub or simply curling up by the fire.

 Hotels start from £54 


High up in the majestic Scottish peaks, you can distance yourself from the hubbub that comes with a high-speed Internet connection.  This awe-inspiring landscape really is a breath of fresh air. Home to the UK’s highest funicular railway CairnGorm Mountain is one of three places in which you can don your ski boots. If skiing isn’t your thing, take advantage of the wealth of glens, lochs and marvel at the sheer beauty of the ancient Caledonian forest. Alternatively sail, cycle or marvel at some of the UK’s most endangered species in the conservation area. Experience true Scottish hospitality at The Old Ministers House on the banks of the River Druie, the perfect spot to explore from and enjoy the untouched nature of the area.

 Hotels start from £45

Whichever cosy destination you choose, make sure you switch off, sign out and embrace the deactivation of life in the fast lane on your escape this winter.

I'm Squibb Vicious, better known as Haydy!
Happiest with a craft beer in hand, eating til my heart is content or exploring somewhere new.
Here you can read about my adventures!