Splendidly desolate, Britain’s largest national park offers soaring snowy peaks, rushing rivers, freezing lochs and expansive snowfields. Nowhere else in Britain has the same scale of tundra-like plateaus and sub-Arctic habitats. Snow covers the numerous 1,000m summits for more than 100 days a year – there are 90km of ski slopes in the Cairngorms – and frozen tentacles reach all the way to the lochs that adorn the foot of the range.
Top spot Surrounded by ancient woodland and mountains, glassy Loch Morlich, just a few miles from Aviemore, is a hidden haven. This area is one of the finest remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest, home to golden eagles, red squirrels, pine martens, badgers and deer.
With its honey-hued cottages and rolling patchwork of fields shimmering with frozen dew, the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers picture-postcard winter scenery. The Cotswold Way, stretching from Chipping Campden through to the twinkling city of Bath, covers more than 150km of fabulous countryside, with beech woodlands, historic monuments and charming villages – including Chipping Campden and Broadway, which look as though they are straight out of a snow globe.
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