Five Breaks to delight your inner twitcher this winter

Experience the best winter birdwatching spots with up to 50% off at Best Western Great Britain hotels

Birdwatching is a trend hotly anticipated to take flight in 2017, with Condé Nast Traveller touting it as the next big thing and hipster celebrities such as Damon Albarn and Alex Zane taking up the hobby. From seaside starlings in Brighton to wild swans in Scotland, Best Western Great Britain can accommodate fans of our feathered friends without ‘beaking’ the bank.

Wedge and wildlife

With more than 100 acres of land and an impressive 18-hole golf course, the Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel & Golf Club outside Blackburn is a haven for more than 50 species of birds. Set in the beautiful Ribble Valley, on the edge of the Forest of Bowland (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the hotel staff actively encourage the resident birds and mammals to enjoy life on the golf course. More than 25 bird boxes have been installed along the course, and guests are encouraged to help the staff keep a diary of what has been seen, and where. Regular guests to the hotel include the common buzzard and sparrow hawk as well as sika deer, stoats and hares.

For those wishing to the explore local area, the Ribble Valley is blessed with an abundance of  glorious, unspoilt landscapes, perfect for walks in the countryside and exploring  quiet, idyllic villages or mountain biking in the Forest of Bowland.

Double rooms start from £55.30 including breakfast for two adults based on a stay on the 12th January (save 30% - was £79) as part of Best Western’s Winter Campaign*.

Swan around Dumfries

From October to April the Caerlaverock Wetland Centre, Dumfries, comes alive with flocks of tens and thousands of barnacle geese, American wigeon and other wintering birds. Most visitors flock to see the hundreds of whooper swans which migrate to the reserve in the winter from Iceland, wild swan feeds are held daily throughout the winter months and a warden is on hand every day (11am to 2pm) to identify the different types of birds.

The Best Western Station Hotel, Dumfries, is a short drive from the Caerlaverock Wetland Centre and just five minutes' walk from Dumfries town centre. After a day of birdwatching, guests will be twitching to get back to the comforts of this cosy Victorian hotel. Guests can also explore the castles, rivers, gardens, galleries and mountain-biking courses of the surrounding area.

Double rooms start from £75.00 based on a stay on the 13th January

Starlings by the Seaside

Throughout winter, large numbers of starlings arrive from as far away as Scandinavia to join their native cousins as they roost in Brighton. The flocks, which can swell to as many as 40,000 birds can be seen each evening over Brighton Pier as they perform their spellbinding aerial show known as murmuration.

The Best Western Princes Marine Hotel, Hove, is situated on the Brighton seafront overlooking Hove Lawns and the English Channel. Just two miles from central Brighton, guests are close to the Royal Pavilion and historic Lanes, while the lively esplanade is right on the doorstep. Brighton and Hove also has several Local Nature Reserves including Wild Park, which has spectacular views over the city, perfect for a winter walk in the Sussex countryside.

Double rooms start from £56.00 including breakfast for two adults based on a stay on the 16th January save 30% - was £80) as part of Best Western’s Winter Campaign*.

Delve into Devon’s Wildlife

Devon's landscape of estuary marshland, forest, fields and commons make it a haven for birdlife, and with several nature reserves and viewing hides, there are plenty of opportunities to get close to nature. One of the best places for winter birdwatching is the Haldon Forest Park, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to many birds of prey. The park is one of the most important breeding spots for nightjars as well as being home to kingfishers, mute swans, the uncommon water rail and little grebe.

The Best Western Lord Haldon Country House Hotel is a short drive, or enjoyable countryside walk, from the Haldon Forest Park. Set in large, sumptuous private grounds, the hotel enjoys views over the rolling Devonshire countryside and acts as a marvellous base from which to explore the many historic places of interest in the area.

Double rooms start from £94.50 including breakfast for two adults based on a stay on the 13th January 2017 (save 30% - was £135) as part of Best Western’s Winter Campaign*.

Osprey Outing

Cumbria is rich in birdlife with over 200 species of bird recorded each year and one of the main attractions is the relatively recent addition of breeding ospreys in the Lake District. The Lake District Osprey Project has made viewing these elusive birds possible for even the most novice of birdwatchers through telescopes in Dodd Wood, or via the webcam display at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre. Ospreys are not the only big birds to be seen circling the Lakeland fells. Visitors should also look out for buzzards, peregrines and kestrels. A visit to Haweswater may even reward you with the sight of a golden eagle.

The Castle Green Hotel in Kendal, BW Premier Collection is perched on the edge of the Lake District, set in 14 acres of garden and woodland overlooking Kendal Castle and Lakeland Fells. The hotel gardens are a key feature and staff keep a list of all of the wildlife and plants including a resident kestrel, great crested newts and a great spotted woodpecker. For those feeling ‘peckish’ the hotel’s Greenhouse Restaurant has been awarded 2 AA Rosettes.

Double rooms start from £92.40 including breakfast for two adults based on a stay on the 3rd January 2017 (save 20% - was £115.50) as part of Best Western’s Winter Campaign*.

* The rate will appear as ‘Winter Sale Rate’ on the Best Western website.


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Editors’ notes:

Winter Sale Rate terms & conditions

The Winter Sale Rate is full prepay, non refundable and non cancellable and is exclusively for Best Western Rewards Members. To benefit from the offer, non-members can join for free during the booking process via the Best Western website or call centre. All Best Western hotels are independently owned and managed and as such availability of the Winter Sale Rate will vary from hotel to hotel and some hotels may not participate in the promotion. The Winter Sale Rate discount is applied to each hotel’s Flexible Bed & Breakfast Rate which may fluctuate or be limited during key holiday periods and may be subject to mid-week or weekend stays. Hotels may review and change their Flexible Rate on a daily basis, affecting the price and availability of the Winter Sale Rate. The Winter Sale Rate is available at participating Best Western hotels on selected dates for stays between 1 December 2016 and 31 March 2017. The number of rooms available at any hotel on the Winter Sale Rate may be limited. Customers are advised to check availability of the Winter Sale Rate at their chosen hotel online by visiting or by calling 0844 387 6660. 

Full T&C apply and can be found on the website All rates featured in this release were correct as of 09.12.16.

Further information on Best Western GB

Best Western GB represents the largest collection of independently owned and family run hotels in Great Britain, with over 260 properties across the country. From beach front properties and mountain views, to city escapes, rural retreats and both modern and listed buildings, each hotel is different. What brings them together is their commitment to the quality, value and standards of service that every guest receives.

Best Western GB is a retained-profit membership organisation that helps hotels maintain their independence. Committed to representing the views of its independently owned member hotels, Best Western GB tackles key industry issues on their behalf, including the effects of Government policies and legislation, industry changes and environmental impact on the heartbeat of the Great British hospitality industry.

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