Winter style saga: What to pack for a well-dressed UK mini-break

Yealm fitted check jacket, £400 at Brook Taverner. Women's clothes, model's own.Yealm fitted check jacket, £400 at Brook Taverner. Women's clothes, model's own.
Yealm fitted check jacket, £400 at Brook Taverner. Women's clothes, model's own.
Whether you are heading for the hills, the coast, the country or the town, Stephanie Smith has tips on what to take for a mini holiday on home soil.

Winter sun has an understandable appeal, departing from a misty and freezing Leeds-Bradford Airport to arrive a few short hours later in a land of warmth and light.

It’s usually around 20 degrees in Tenerife and Gran Canaria at this time of year. In Yorkshire, the average January temperature is all of three degrees, although so far, we’re seeing unseasonally mild weather. It may well not continue but even so, there’s no better time to sneak in a short break on home soil. There’s nothing quite like the UK for an atmospheric winter break. There’s so much choice. Head to the coast from Northumbria to Norfolk and Oban to Cornwall, or to the country to walk in the Lake District, the Dales or the South Downs. Opt for the culture of the big cities, London, Manchester, Edinburgh or (my tip) Dundee, where the new V&A Design Museum showcases furniture, fashion and all manner of fascinating design exhibits, and you can stay at a lovely and very reasonably priced Malmaison close by, overlooking the port.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And let’s not forget the charm of our towns, from Corbridge to Totnes, taking in Bakewell and Matlock and dozens, hundreds, more. Festive favourite film The Holiday, starring Kate Winslet and Jude Law, was filmed in the village of Shere, near Guildford in Surrey, and it’s said to be the most photographed village in the UK – that has to be on the bucket list.

Faux fur coat, £89.95, at Joe Browns in Meadowhall Sheffield and at fur coat, £89.95, at Joe Browns in Meadowhall Sheffield and at
Faux fur coat, £89.95, at Joe Browns in Meadowhall Sheffield and at

Yes, it’s often cold at this time of year on home soil, but that’s what knitwear was invented for, and faux fur, and waxed jackets. If you’re travelling to your destination by car, you can take as many clothes and accessories as you want. If you decide to brave the train, however, packing will have to be rather more judicious.

So, for a three-day winter break, you might take: four tees (the general rule of thumb with tees is one for every day of your break, plus one); two sweaters/cardigans; one pair of stretch denim jeans; one pair of velvet or cord jeans (check out Jigsaw’s stretch velvet Richmond jeans, which come in forest green, at £90); one midi skirt (printed is a good idea); two dresses (one perhaps an LBD, the other one you can dress up and down with flat boots and high heels – again a printed midi in a floaty but washable fabric is a good idea); one tailored jacket (I’d go for a slouchy nautical-style navy blazer); one leather jacket; one silk blouse; one cotton shirt; one coat, either a wool overcoat or a faux fur jacket, or a quilted coat or a waxed waterproof jacket; beanie hat; gloves; wrist-warmers; generous scarf; ankle boots (low heels or flat, but smart); walking boots (always handy); white pumps or trainers; and a pair of heels for at least one posh dinner. Plus, of course, your nightwear and underwear and swimwear, if needed.

For men, it’s simply not enough to throw a couple of pairs of jeans, tees and shirts into a holdall and hope for the best. Planning for a short break should ideally involve a little pre-holiday wardrobe investment, so check out Keighley-based Brook Taverner, for classic tailored coats and smart jackets in fabrics from Harris Tweed and Abraham Moon. A cashmere sweater will keep you warm without adding bulk, so well worth the spend. A shirt with a striking print is a good idea to impress at night, and take at least one decent pair of trousers. Cords and moleskin are fine, but check with your hotel for its dining preferences.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get booking. Happy winter holidays.

*There’s more Yorkshire fashion and beauty buys and tips here: