Winchester is the most peaceful city for a Christmas staycation

Christmas cabins with stone arches visible behind

Once all the obligations of the festive period have been fulfilled it’s great to get some time to yourself. Heading off in the caravan or motorhome is an effective way to relax, but which locations are the most peaceful for a Christmas break?

Research carried out by UK Saunas found the answer is Winchester. After creating a relaxation index and giving each destination a score, the cathedral city in Hampshire came out on top.

Winchester accrued a relaxation score of 317, closely followed by Lichfield with 298. There was a tie for third place with both Oxford and Ripon achieving 295 points.

The research took factors such as life satisfaction, access to green space and noise pollution into account when creating the index. It also used data from TripAdvisor reviews mentioning terms associated with relaxation to create a fuller picture.

Winchester is self-proclaimed as “England’s Christmas capital” and the festive lights in the city have already been switched on for the season. While there are lots of events to enjoy throughout the Christmas period, there are also many opportunities to relax.

Take a sunset walk up St Giles Hill for breathtaking views of the city or follow in the footsteps of John Keats. The famed poet lived in Winchester for a time in 1819 and was known to wander the water meadows.

For an opportunity to stretch your legs even further, Winchester is conveniently located at the end of the South Downs Way. This 100-mile stretch of picturesque pathways stretches to Eastbourne, passing through river valleys, ancient woodlands and rolling hills.

There are a number of caravan parks in the vicinity of Winchester that remain open throughout the winter. So, instead of packing up your leisure vehicle for the colder months of the year, it could be worth continuing to make use of it.

Check out:

  • Marwell Resort, with its lakeside location.
  • Stockbridge View in the Test Valley.
  • Woodlands Camping, which offers pitches on a working farm.
  • Watercress Lodges Campsite, where you can see the trains going past.

Brian Clarke, wellness expert and manager of UK Saunas, said: “Mental health continues to be a vital issue in the UK following years of pandemic-induced stress, increased inflation and the cost of living crisis. Indeed, a quarter of Brits say that Christmas makes their mental health worse.

“Taking some time away should be considered a valuable investment in our psychological and physical well-being, rather than a mere luxury. The holidays give us an opportunity to take a break from our home and work life which can be sources of anxiety.”




Photo credit: Unsplash/Annie Spratt