Winter breaks in Landmarks
The magic of a Landmark holiday transcends seasons. Yet for some of us, winter breaks hold a particular appeal: the promise of warming fires in historic hearths, donning knitwear for frosty walks culminating in pub roasts or watching the sun set across quiet landscapes. Welcoming in the New Year seems particularly special within walls which have stood witness to many centuries of change. Here we select five Landmarks with winter availability – including for New Year - within reach of appealing seasonal activities.
North Street lies on the southern edge of the Peak District National Park in the village of Cromford, famed for its water-powered cotton spinning mill. There are numerous walks to explore the village and surrounding area, and book lovers should visit the Narnia-wardrobe of Scarthin Books. Half an hour’s drive hour north is Chatsworth House, each year dressed for Christmas with spectacular displays. This year’s ‘The Palace of Advent’ theme will see 24 rooms filled with Christmas wonder, a feast for the eyes, ears and noses, with British artists commissioned to craft new works for the experience.
As All Creatures Great and Small returns to televisions, many viewers may wistfully dream of venturing to the Yorkshire Dales. Standing in for the fictional village of Darrowby is Grassington, a 35-minute drive from our 17th-century farmstead Cowside. Situated in the Langstrothdale valley in the heart of the North Yorkshire Dales National Park, Cowside is surrounded by drystone walls and green hills. The River Wharfe passes by along the foot of Cowside’s north-facing fell and walks in any direction offers a wealth of spectacular landscapes and picturesque villages.
Winter months in Scotland guarantee a warm welcome, particularly at the nation’s famous Hogmanay events. Auckinleck House sleeps 13 with generously proportioned rooms and grounds, ideal for gathering friends and family for your own special celebrations and rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Alternatively, an hour away is the South Lanarkshire town of Biggar, where preparations for the Biggar Bonfire build across the final weeks of each year and culminate in a warm, fiery glow to welcome in each New Year. Nearer to home, Dumfries House hosts tours, events and Sunday markets, with a café and quality restaurant too.
St Edward’s Presbytery
Built by Augustus Welby Pugin in 1850, St Edward’s Presbytery formed part of Pugin’s grand masterplan perched on the West Cliffs of Ramsgate, also including a church, monastery and his own family home. Today the seaside town is vibrant in its revival, with cafes and bars complimenting quirky shops. Further round the coast sits edgy Margate, home of Tracey Emin and the Turner Contemporary - this winter presenting ‘The Offing,’ a group exhibition devised by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey.
Dated to 1420/21 thanks to a ground-breaking research project, Llwyn Celyn is a medieval hall house of the highest quality. The wooden beams and generous log-burning stove bring winter comfort, while views towards the Sugar Loaf and Usk Valley, where the dramatic Black Mountains give way to broader open pastures, will lure walkers outside. Just 10 minutes by car or taxi is Abergavenny, where the Market Hall will be hosting two special Christmas markets in November and December. Further afield is Hay-on-Wye, famed for its bookshops and this year hosting a Winter Festival from 23 – 26 November 2023.