Winter is for bracing walks through atmospheric landscapes draped with mist, sparkling with frost or bathed in soft, golden light – and the promise of magical discoveries along the way! Here are some of the most enigmatic places in which to soak up the season during your winter escape at Landal’s UK resorts…
Routin Bridge

Near Dumfries, Scotland
5-minute drive from Landal Barnsoul

At Routin Bridge (also known as the Routin Brig) you can witness the mighty force of the Old Water, as it surges over a rocky crest and plunges down beneath this picturesque stone structure to continue its journey. It’s a dramatic woodland spot that’s enhanced by the rich colours of autumn and the spidery black branches of winter – and there’s a bit of an eerie atmosphere here too, perhaps due to its sadly troubled history. It’s said that the area, and indeed the bridge itself, was directly linked with religious struggles and witch hunts of the past. But today, its powerful beauty is not to be missed.

Crowland Abbey

Crowland, Peterborough, England
25-minute drive from Landal Rockingham Forest
1 hour 30-minute drive from Landal Kenwick Woods
1 hour 50-minute drive from Landal Laceby Manor Resort & Spa

There are few places with more atmosphere than a ruin – perhaps especially when it’s located in the enigmatic Fenlands of eastern England. At Crowland Abbey you can feel and learn about a history stretching back to the 8th century when a monastery was first founded on the site in memory of St Guthlac – but then razed to the ground in a Viking raid in 866. After being rebuilt and then destroyed by fire on two successive occasions, the abbey then prospered until the Dissolution. Today, you can see the remains of the impressively decorated west front, dating to the 12th and 14th centuries; some of the nave’s piers and arches; and – still in tact and used as the parish church – the north aisle.

The Hermitage

Near Dunkeld, Tay Forest Park, Scotland
50-minute drive from Landal Piperdam

Take the woodland trail among towering Douglas firs with their evocatively seasonal scent, and see if you can spot this magical riverside forest’s treasures – from wildlife including salmon and red squirrels, to tumbling waterfalls, to enchanting features such as the mossy Hermitage Bridge, a folly known as Ossian’s Hall (pictured), and the grotto-like Ossian’s Cave, which hark back to The Hermitage’s time as an 18th-century ducal pleasure ground.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Near Keswick, Lake District National Park, England
20-minute drive from Landal Whitbarrow
30-minute drive from Landal North Lakes

One of the earliest British stone circles, dating back to around 3000 BC, Castlerigg Stone Circle is renowned for its spine-tingling atmosphere and location – particularly when lit by the rising or setting sun and when shrouded in ethereal mist. Of the original 42 stones, 38 survive, each standing at 1 to 2.3 metres in height. With spectacular panoramic views, and the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat towering over the circle, it’s not difficult to be enraptured by this mysterious Neolithic site.

Kingley Vale

Near Chichester, South Downs National Park, England
1-hour drive from Landal Marwell Resort

Let your imagination run wild during a winter wander at Kingley Vale, where the twisted trunks of ancient yew trees are like something out of a dark fairytale! One of the country’s first national nature reserves, Kingley Vale contains some of the oldest living things in Britain, with several of its veteran trees said to be at least 500 years old. You’ll also find an array of well-preserved archaeological sites here, with 14 Scheduled Monuments including the Devil's Humps Bronze-Age barrows and Goosehill Camp hillfort.

Jamaica Inn

Launceston, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, England
40-minute drive from Landal Bude Coastal Resort
50-minute drive from Landal Leycroft Valley
1-hour drive from Landal Gwel an Mor
1-hour drive from Landal Clowance

Indelibly linked with Cornwall’s smuggling history, this 18th-century coaching inn is likely to have seen a fair amount of contraband pass through its doors in the early days. Thus it became the inspiration and setting for one of Daphne du Maurier’s most famous novels: the eponymously named Jamaica Inn. It sits at the heart of Bodmin Moor, which is famed for its windswept landscape, prehistoric sites, geological features, rich folklore and infamous ‘beast’, and is traversed by the Smugglers Way walking trail. So, why not stride out and explore this wildly beautiful moorland – stopping for a well-earned drink and bite to eat at the inn.