It’s January. Again. The time of year when the remaining winter months stretch out endlessly before us in an unrelenting, dreary haze.
Christmas is just about over; springtime is doubtful; and summer is impossibly far away.
Banish those winter blues and rouse your spirits with one of our rejuvenating UK breaks. From tropical rainforests to relaxing spa weekends, we’ve got the perfect solution for your ailing joie de vivre.
Eden Project, Cornwall
It’s time to inject some tropical warmth into winter at the Eden Project, where you’ll find the world’s largest contained rainforest.
Once you’ve trekked through the steamy jungle, head over to the Mediterranean Biome to experience the warm and temperate regions of the world, from the Mediterranean to South Africa and California.
Officially recognised by the Met Office as the warmest place in the UK, the Isles of Scilly provide a beautiful island retreat to assuage the winter blues.
Go windsurfing or kitesurfing in the aquamarine waters between the islands, visit the historical ruins of ancient castles and churches, or simply head to the cliffs to watch the flocks of indigenous puffins for which these islands are famous.
Dhanakosa Meditation Yoga Retreat, Scottish Highlands
There’s no better way to brush off the 2013 cobwebs than by cleansing mind, body and soul in the Dhanakosa Retreat, set in the unspoiled Scottish Highlands.
The experience is comprehensive, offering workshops in Buddhist meditation, yoga, painting, photography and more, as well as hiking expeditions across the waterfalls and ancient woodlands on the shores of Loch Voil.
The retreat also kindly lets guests pay what they can in the form of donations.
Embedded in the bushy green forests of Hampshire, this spa, located within a modern stately home, incorporates a mud house, steam room, hydropool, rooftop herbary, and multiple treatment rooms.
Prices are a little on the steep side, so consider this one a splurge; note that Limewood offers more affordable midweek stays.
Bensfield Treehouse, Sussex
Recapture your youthful sense of adventure and escape to this luxury treehouse in the beautiful Sussex countryside.
Accessed via a suspended rope bridge in a mature oak woodland area, the treehouse is warmed with central heating and is equipped with kitchen and ensuite shower room.
Eckington Manor, Cotswolds
Whether you’re a novice chef or a culinary expert, the passion for good, honest food at Eckington Manor is positively infectious.
Operating around a farm that produces pedigreed meat, including Aberdeen Angus and Gloucester Old Spot Pigs, and with more AGA stoves on hand than any other UK cookery school, Eckington has a taste for tradition and excellence like no other. The ideal start to a tasty 2014.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas
(Feature © Matthew Dixon/iStock/Thinkstock)