Forget skiing in the French Alps or seeing the Northern Lights in Lapland: you don’t need to get on a plane and travel abroad to make the most of the great outdoors in winter.

There are equally memorable experiences right here on our doorstep in the UK – the trick is knowing where to find them.

UK in winter

With Christmas over and winter in full swing we’ve teamed up with outdoor experts Regatta to help bang the drum about their new campaign #HomeOrAway, which is all about showing the world what the UK has to offer in wintertime.

They’ve created an interactive map featuring a wealth of seasonal sightseeing the UK has to offer, from winter surfing in Cornwall to the Northern Lights in Scotland (yes, you can see them from the UK!)

The map pits UK experiences against foreign equivalents, comparing things like price, temperature and what to expect, and is great if you’re looking for some inspiration to help make the most of the great outdoors in the UK this winter.

UK in winter

They’ve asked me to share some of my favourite winter memories to help raise awareness about the campaign and inspire others to make the most of winter too. So, here are 5 reasons why I love the UK in winter.

5 things I love most about the UK in winter

1. Winter walks

Feeling the sun on your face is one thing, but there’s nothing quite like a winter walk either. We live on the edge of the South Downs and also have family in Dorset and the New Forest, where there’s always something to see and do whatever the season. From toad stool spotting in autumn to holly picking at Christmas, there’s all sorts of family fun to be had that you just won’t find abroad!

UK in winter

2. Roaring fires

And I don’t just mean indoors – I mean outdoors too. It doesn’t get much better than having a fire and burning leaves in the depths of winter whether you’re four, fourteen or forty and I’m pretty sure the fires we have on our allotment will be among the kids’ lasting childhood memories. Just don’t forget the marshmallows!

UK in winter

3. Days out

Some of our most memorable family days out have been in the winter, from LaplandUK and Winter Wonderland at Christmas to steam train rides and visiting seaside towns like Margate out of season. Regatta’s map compares Hyde Park Winter Wonderland’s offering with a similar experience in Rothenburg, Germany – and it works out at more than £500 cheaper!

UK in winter

4. Snow

It might not be guaranteed, but that makes it even better if and when snow does finally arrive. The middle one was three when he saw and had his first experience of snow, and I’ll never forget the look of wonder on his face!

5. Staycations

One thing the UK has in spades is rental properties perfect for staycations. We rounded off the Christmas holidays with a long weekend in North Wales and we might as well have been in another country. Thanks to a fabulous property which we rented privately, the rugged coastline and endless beaches it was a real break for all of us and perfect start to the new year.

UK in winter

What do you love most about the UK in winter? I’d love to hear about your experience!

This post was written in collaboration with Regatta. You can join in the campaign too by sharing your UK based winter fun on social media using the hashtag #HomeOrAway and tagging @RegattaOutdoors.

If you liked this you may also enjoy reading:

10 fun winter activities for kids

7 top tips for a spontaneous family getaway

10 ways to help manage your baby’s eczema in winter