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Travelling North in Winter 2023: What Are the Best Options?



Travelling North

The winter holidays are not often treated as an opportunity to well and truly ‘holiday’, as many of us trade the possibility of travel for a bona fide staycation with family. But travel in the winter can be nothing short of magical – at least, if you know where to go…

Tips for Safe Northerly Travel

Travelling the ‘Global North’ is not the simplest of tasks, and especially not during the winter months. Northern Europe, whether we are talking about the furthest reaches of Scandinavia or the frosty tips of the Pennines, can be a tad hostile to travel if not prepared for accordingly! Many of the following northern destinations can be driven to, whether in a matter of hours or as part of a cross-continental road trip.

Doing so can be incredibly rewarding, but should be planned carefully. Renting a rugged all-terrain vehicle, and acquiring temporary car insurance for the length of your trip, can make for a much safer journey than if you attempt to take your own vehicle. Whatever vehicle you take, you’ll need to pack well for cold weather and for emergencies. Whatever the nature of any prospective breakdown, you’ll want supplies to ensure your wait for rescue is a comfortable one.

Scandinavia, and the Northern Lights

If you’re thinking of travelling north, there arguably isn’t much further you could travel than Scandinavia – and arguably nothing more northerly to enjoy than the bucket-list spectacle that is Aurora Borealis, aka Northern Lights. Scandinavia, though, is a huge region of northern Europe, and may need a little narrowing down if you’re to plan a meaningful Northern trip!

Principally, Scandinavia describes the three countries Sweden, Denmark, and Norway – though Finland and Iceland are often included as well. Scandinavia is the north and westerly portion of the Fennoscandian Peninsula, which swoops down from the Arctic Circle to touch the northern shores of Germany. The upper reaches, including the northerly parts of Sweden and Norway, are extremely cold places, but also extremely beautiful ones, and the perfect perches from which to enjoy the Northern Lights.

The Snowy Serenity of the Scottish Highlands

Though a little closer to home, the depths of the Scottish Highlands can still feel like an utterly alien landscape in the dead of winter. Snowy mountain routes and unparalleled vies down into glacial valleys abound, and scenic roads around lochs Luichart and Garve simply cannot be passed up. While not the smartest idea for casual holidaymakers in the dead of winter, avid campers might be heartened to learn that wild camping is legal in Scotland, making pretty much anywhere a potential resting-point!

Pennine Cottage Retreats

Finally, we come to the Pennines – the backbone of England, and perhaps one of the most accessible northern destinations going. The Pennines are stippled with villages and hamlets that showcase the best of provincial Yorkshire living, and provide some key home comforts – whether the roaring fire of the local pub or simply the opportunity to shack up in a rustic holiday cottage. The mountains must be seen to be believed, and the rambling paths are unlike any other in the UK.

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