There’s no denying it – winter is officially here. But instead of shivering and mourning the long-lost summer, wrap up warm and enjoy all the delights that come with this time of year
1, Soaking up the Christmas spirit
- The best thing about winter — Christmas. The food, the music, the lights, the gifts… need we go on? So why not throw yourself into the festive spirit and get yourself down to a Christmas market this month? Shop for original presents, enjoy a warming tipple and soak up the atmosphere. Here are some of our London favourites:
North – get yourself to Lauderdale House on 11 December for live Christmas music, locally produced food and gifts, and a drop-in crafts workshop — plus a chance to check out Flock England's winter collection.
South – Wimbledon's Christmas Market is a little hub of festive cheer. Find Flock England on 17-18 December amid the wafting aromas of mulled wine and mince pies. Weekends from 26 November.
East – the East Village Christmas Makers Market features a 'hygge' theme — the Danish concept of cosy living — and artisan London traders. Weekends from 26 November.
West – head west to Kingston for unique gifts and the new Alpine village, nestled in the Ancient Market Place. 19 November - 31 December.
Central - a cluster of wooden chalets twinkle outside the Tate Modern, offering a wide range of Christmas treats and quirky gifts by the river. 19 November - 23 December.
2, Baby, it's cold outside
If you’d rather avoid the elements, this is the time of year for guilt-free hibernation. Snuggle up by the fire under a large, cosy blanket and get lost in a book.
3, Tis the season...
Yes it gets dark at lunchtime and by January you’ll be pining for daylight — but why not use the long, dark winter evenings to get stuck into a new hobby, or resume an old one? Be it knitting, cooking, pottery or learning a language, now’s the time to make real progress.
4, Hitting the ice — or snow
Winter fun doesn't have to be indoors. Wrap up warm and go for a whirl on one of the many seasonal ice rinks around the country. Or take to the snow — you don’t need an expensive alpine holiday to get your skiing fix: head to an indoor centre around the UK.
5, Experiencing nature at its best
How many times have you watched the sun rise? If you’re anything like us, it’ll be a rare event in summer. But winter is the perfect time to enjoy one of nature’s most beautiful, and underrated spectacles — at an acceptable hour.
6, Indulging in edible winter delights
Warm spiced cider, gooey hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, hearty stews, cheese fondue, hot mulled wine – need we go on?
7, Staying cosy
Everyone loves a chunky knitted sweater and a snuggly, stylish scarf. Choosing 100% wool is your best bet is beating the Baltic conditions, and you can support the British farming and wool industries too.
8, Finding your winter wanderlust
Most of us are quick to book an escape to the sun while in the depths of British winter, but why not embrace the season? Skiing is the obvious one, but what about experiencing Iceland's glacial beauty, or heading to Norway to catch the Northern Lights and enjoy some Scandi culture? Or, if that all sounds a little too much effort, stay curled up under a blanket, and get planning for next year.