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Bournemouth pier at dusk

5 UK winter trips to beat the January blues

If you’re suffering from a bout of the January blues, you’re not alone. After all the excitement of Christmas, and before spring blossoms into life, January can feel like a bit of a flat month for lots of us. It can really help when you’ve got something in the diary to look forward to, so we’ve come up with some travel ideas that will put a spring back in your step. From bracing beach walks to adrenaline-pumping rides, here are our top 5 trips to make January a little brighter.

1. Blow the cobwebs away in Falmouth
Cornwall is best-known as a summer destination thanks to its line-up of gorgeous beaches. But visit in winter and you can enjoy the coastline minus the crowds and boost your body’s supply of feel-good endorphins with a blustery winter walk. Wander along pretty Gyllyngvase beach and follow the path that leads to Swanpool to soak up the incredible seaside scenery. Falmouth isn’t the only place worth visiting while you’re in this neck of the woods, of course. Try nearby Newquay, or places like Exeter and Plymouth – all of which you can take a coach to.
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2. Boost your adrenaline in Bournemouth
Another coastal favourite in summer, Bournemouth is far quieter and possibly even prettier in winter – when the crowds have gone home and the beach takes on a wintery hue. In fact, some of the biggest attractions in summer are even better in winter – like the PierZip, AKA the world’s first pier to shore zip wire. Prices and queues for this dual zip line go down in the winter months, from £22 per single rider in the summer peak, to £15 between October and March. Group prices go down, too, which is the perfect excuse to bring your mates.
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3. Take a bracing walk in Barnstaple
Barnstaple is one of those towns that manages to stay relatively off-radar. It’s away from the coast, so it’s less well-known than lots of nearby North Devon favourites. And that’s even more true in winter, which makes this a great time to visit. Once you’ve checked out the town itself, tackle a section of the Tarka trail, a 180-mile route that runs through Barnstaple. You can walk it – walking is a great way to clear the mind or get motivated when you’re feeling a bit sluggish – or tackle it on two wheels. The southern loop incorporates the longest continuous off-road cycle path in the country and the scenery is something else.
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4. Laugh out loud in Leicester
January isn’t the only winter month worth a boost – we think February could do with some attention, too. So, pay a visit to Leicester from the start of Feb and you’ll be just in time for the Leicester Comedy Festival. Laughter can be a great stress-relief medicine, and there’ll be plenty of it all the way from the 2nd to the 20th February, so get those tickets booked pronto. This year marks the 29th anniversary of the event, and there are 560 shows lined up at a whopping 64 venues. You’ll be giggling all the way home.
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5. Jet off to the sun from Heathrow
Getting a dose of daily sunshine can really help when it comes to boosting your mood, but that’s easier said than done in the UK during the colder months. So, jet off somewhere sunny – a destination like the Canary Islands is a good bet in winter, and these warm-weather hotspots are only a quick flight away. You can get to many UK airports including Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester and Edinburgh with megabus, which takes the stress out of your journey. Check the entry requirements, pack those bags, and swap the January blues for bright blue skies…
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