In partnership with Ford
It’s a funny ol’ time of year. The weather isn’t quite sure what to do, Christmas is around the corner and waking up in the dark never fails to be disorientating. But counteract that with the fact that we finally have an excuse to don every layer we own, drop a small fortune on scented candles, and add cinnamon to just about everything, and winter pretty much comes out top as our favourite season. Our favourite thing to do during our favourite season? Road trip, of course.
We’re probably biased, but we’re convinced that nowhere is quite so beautiful as home, with all four corners of the UK taking on a new vibrancy during the season’s
extended golden hour. Which is why we reckon a winter staycation is the perfect pick-me-up.
Stuck for inspiration? We’re on hand to help. Whether you’re looking for a serene solo retreat, a romantic weekend getaway, or somewhere that will suit the whole family, we’ve found the best UK breaks to take this season and the most stylish way to get there, too!
Lone travelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and top of our bucket list is solo stargazing. Sure, it’s something typically flouted as an activity for couples, but can you
think of anything more relaxing than a weekend of nothing but you and the big open sky?
Head to Northumberland for the best night skies this side of the Arctic. Home to Europe’s largest dark sky park, the Kielder Observatory, the county also contains dark-sky-friendly accommodation options (yep, it’s a thing) so you can get the full celestial experience.
Our recommendation for getting there? Ford’s dreamy new All-Electric Mustang Mach-E. Fitted with an award-winning B&O sound system*, just plug in that audiobook you’ve been meaning to listen to for months now, and enjoy the unparalleled solitude of solo travel. The best bit? All-Electric Mustang Mach-E drivers have the option of a large panoramic roof**, meaning you can study the winter stars from the cosiness and comfort of your car. Did someone say dream holiday?
Suggesting a trip to the Lake District may seem a bit been there, done that for adventure enthusiasts, but have you ever taken in the stunning region’s sights from 2,000 feet above ground? Enter: Honister Slate Mine. Home to England’s first via ferrata (that’s a series of steel ladders and bridges drilled into the rockface, for the uninitiated), which allows you to follow a Victorian miners’ route to the summit of Fleetwith Pike.
For those keen on upping the anti, there’s even an Xtreme option that promises to scale heights seven times those reached by Big Ben and twice those as the London Shard. See? We told you this wasn’t the Lake District quite like you’re used to. Any adventurer will know that you don’t want your mode of transport to hold you back. That’s why we recommend the multi-award winning Ford Puma EcoBoost Mild Hybrid to get you there and back in style. Yep, awarded ‘Small SUV of the Year’ at the What Car? Awards, and ‘Most Loved Car’ at the Auto Trader New Car Awards, the Puma is the adventurer lover’s best friend.
Complete with a ‘MegaBox’ – a lower load compartment in the boot of the car providing an additional 80L of storage space – you can store all the hiking boots, raincoats and towels you need. Waterproof and easy to clean (there’s even a drainage plug at the bottom), the handy compartment ensures your car interior stays mud free on your adventure.... even if you don’t.
Taking your kids on holiday is stressful – fact. Whether you have to please tireless three-year-olds or moody teenagers, finding an activity that the whole family can truly enjoy is easier said than done. The one thing that’s guaranteed to keep everyone happy? A day at the seaside, naturally. Head to Whitstable Harbour for that perfect mix of small, eclectic shops, crisp, winter walk-worthy coast and slap-up fish and chip shops.
Just as versatile, the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) offers the best of both worlds. With up to 39-miles electric range*** and a petrol engine, fill up your tank for longer journeys, then switch to electric for nipping around town once you’ve arrived. The best bit? There’s room for the whole family (and yes, that even includes the furry members).
When life gets a little noisy, nothing beats switching on your out of office and spending some quality time with the one you love. You’ve probably done the whole spa thing before (though if you ask us, it never gets old) but have you ever been to Buxton’s natural warm springs?
Attracting visitors since Roman times, the thermal spa town lives up to its ancient name as ‘the Spa of the Goddess of the Grove’. The best bit? The peak district is right on your doorstep, so if you get tired of tranquil treatments and lounging around in your robe, there’s rock climbing abseiling and mountain biking to be had, too.
To add to your zen, why not arrive in style and comfort in the All-Electric Mustang Mach-E. Not only is it a luxury car worthy of your luxury break it’s recently been awarded 5-stars for safety by NCAP. Ideal for alternating drivers, the Mustang Mach-E also features three different Drive modes – Active, Whisper, and Untamed – that allow you to alter engine sounds (so yes, even your journey to the spa can be serene), ambient lighting^,
and even the responsiveness of your SUV; so you and your partner can tailor the driving experience to suit you both. And don’t worry about finding a charging point: most hotels (or at least, the ones worth staying in) are likely to have one on site.....And relax.
Two words: city break. We don’t need to tell you that great cities are best explored in the company of great friends. Our favourite to visit at this time of year? London, of course. With shopping, theatres and galleries all back on the cards, London has lots to offer friends – whatever stage of life you’re at. Whether you’re catching up with school friends after a busy week at work, or escaping the kids for a couple of days of you time, there’s nothing better than throwing an overnight bag in the car come Friday evening and driving towards the city lights.
Ford has a great range of ULEZ (that’s the Ultra Low Emissions Zone on a mission to keep London’s air clean, ICYMI) ready cars that are perfect for city breaks. Ford’s Puma EcoBoost Mild Hybrid, the Kuga Plug-in Hybrid, and the All-Electric Mustang Mach-E are all compliant with the expanding ULEZ. Meaning not only will one of the brand’s low-emission cars save you from a £12.50 per day charge, it may also help you to reduce emissions in the city centre during your getaway.
Whether it’s arriving at brunch in style thanks to the Mustang Mach-E, or making the most of the Ford Puma’s MegaBox storage feature to stow away your shopping securely, Ford proves that it’s possible to find a vehicle that’s right for you and right for the city centre, by reducing emissions while driving.
*Standard on AWD & GT models. Optional on RWD models (22.25MY)
**Panoramic roof is standard on AWD models. Optional on GT & RWD models (22.25MY)
***Kuga PHEV has a battery size of 14.4kWh which gives a maximum all electric range of 39 miles (range may vary depending on the vehicle, weather conditions and driving behaviour).
Quoted WLTP Figures with options represent the weighted electric-petrol fuel consumption. ^Only available on AWD models.