Not everyone wants to worship the sun. Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, those vintage ear muffs you love – rugging up and heading out on a crisp Winter’s night is one of life’s simple pleasures. Then there’s the ice skating, the roaring fire places, the fondue… here’s our Listopedia of the coolest spots to stay cold.
The name says it all – this Nordic nation has a reputation for being frosty and is home to some of the world’s most spectacular clumps of ice. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Ben Stiller and Russell Crowe have spent plenty of time filming in these dramatic landscapes. Use Vatnajökull National Park as a base for exploring the country’s dramatic glaciers and ice caves – start with an easy intro walk before tackling an ice climb. Iceland is also known as the Land of Fire and Ice and again, as the name suggests, there’s plenty of heat to be found in the active volcanoes and geothermal pools. The Blue Lagoon in Grindavik is the country’s most famous geothermal spa. Located in the middle of a stark black lava field, the Lagoon is a sprawling complex of pools, steam rooms, waterfalls and saunas. Water temperatures sit at around 37 degrees Celsius so getting in is easy but good luck getting out! Make the day trip out to the lagoon from Reykjavik, the country’s funky capital. You’ll be back with plenty of time to check out the live music scene in the many bars around town.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Florida
Winter and a water park? Why not. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is home to slides, rides, rivers, pools and play areas that are all themed around Winter. The water is heated year round, although Florida doesn’t ever get too frosty. There are a few “polar caves” you can dip your feet into if you’re feeling brave – the water is kept nice and icy in there – or there’s plenty of other ways to get your blood pumping. Ride the chair lift up to Slush Gusher, where “snow-melt” water slides plunge back down to the bottom, try out the Runoff Rapids or toboggan down Snow Stormers on your stomach.
Lake District, England
There really is something magical about this winter wonderland – and we’re not just talking about the scenes where Chris Hemsworth thrashes his way through the forests during filming of Snow White and The Huntsman. Cumbria’s stunning Cathedral Cave also featured in the film. The man-made cave is part of a series of quarries in Little Langdale and soars forty feet into the air. After a day out in the bracing cold, warm up by one of the roaring fireplaces at Merewood Country House. Sitting on a 22 acre estate looking out over Windemere, England’s largest lake, this manor house dates back to 1812. With four poster beds, stained glass windows and plenty of fireplaces to curl up in front of, it’s a great base for exploring the lakes.