If you feel like you couldn’t eat another morsel, yet still find yourself reaching for the mince pies, it’s time to pull a jumper on and get out in the great outdoors! There’s a vast choice for holiday walks and events, with many theme parks and stately homes still offering special activities, whilst decked in festive finery
Tenbury Wells, an ancient market town in north-west Worcestershire, is just a few miles from Birmingham yet surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Teme valley. It is also the mistletoe capital of Britain; much of the UK's mistletoe grows in this part of the Midlands, and the parasitic plant thrives on the fruit trees in the many orchards dotted around town.
Pay a visit to Santa's reindeer in the Cairngorms National Park, north-east Scotland, and see if you can spot Santa’s team relaxing after their busiest night of the year. The only such herd in the UK, you can book onto a daily hill walk to feed the reindeer. Ranging freely over the mountains, a small group is kept in the paddock over winter
Pretend you're exploring the Great Woods of Narnia (after the White Witch was defeated and Christmas has been restored, of course) on a walk through Bedgebury National Pinetum. The arboretum has the most complete collection of conifers on one site anywhere in the world.
Stanwick Lakes is a nature reserve in the lovely Nene valley, Northamptonshire. It is especially known for waterfowl but is home to a huge variety of birds, including lots of Christmassy robins. Learn more about winter birds on a guided walk with friendly RSPB wardens, spotting iconic robins and their rarer cousins: linnets, bullfinches and lesser redpolls.
If your idea of a good New Year’s Day is jumping into water expected to be around 7 degrees, then get to Salford! The long established New Year’s Day swim is a perfect traditional cold water dip for aqualovers daring to be different. Located in Dock 9, MediaCityUK.
Kew Gardens boasts one of Europe's most comprehensive collections of that quintessential Christmas plant, holly. The kilometre-long Holly Walk is flanked by many unusual varieties, many of which have grown there since 1874, displaying red, black and white berries. Pick up a free Winter Walks leaflet, showing Kew's most scenic wintry spots.
Work off the mince pies on the Port Path, a stretch of scenic coastline between Portstewart and Portrush in County Derry. The route passes interesting buildings such as traditional ice houses, where ice used to be stored in the winter ready for preserving salmon, and St Patrick's Well, which was used as a source of holy water.Learn More