Hygge & Happiness

This funny little word roughly translates from Danish to mean ‘cosy’ – but it’s so much more.

Stroking the dog in front of the fire, cupping your hands rounds steaming, spicy hot chocolate. Lounging in PJs most of Sunday eating comfort food. Happy hygge day to you.

Hygge – pronounce it ‘hoo-ga’ – has become ‘a thing’. Not going out, surrounding yourself with life’s comforts, good friends and many candles just about sums it up. January is made for hygge.

It is tactile, gentle, subtle and slubby-coloured. Its colours are winter-beach and its fabric are linen, soft cotton and cashmere. And it is about a sense of niceness too; ‘a cosiness of the soul’ as well as a heap of throws on a sofa.

Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world and hygge may have much to do with this.

Where to get a hygge hit >>

Do DIY hygge by taking a camping chair, a flask and a throw or two to the beach, wrap yourself up warm and cosy and listen to waves crashing and splashing.
Swinton Park in Masham, North Yorkshire has a hideaway island perfect for hole-up hygge. Hire the whole island and cross the little drawbridge into cosy seclusion.

Some outdoorsy hygge at A Place in the Pines in Thimbleby not far from Northallerton. Here you get a bit of woodland peace and quiet under canvas but with plenty of blankets to share and logs for the fire.

Get some hot tub hygge at Lake District. Definite Scandi pleasures at Gilpin Lake House where six individual suites enjoy a private lake and a cedar wood hot tub under the trees.

Hygge by the sea. Big coats and wrap-up-warm time. Take in the winter sun and seasidey grey-blue wintry colours from a perch at Riley’s Fish Shack on the sands at Tynemouth. Eat mackerel baps and catch that Northern euro grey-sky vibe.

Hygge to the hills. At Vallum Farm in Northumberland there’s a hint of a hygge welcome in the Chef’s Room where you can have a private dining feast with ingredients that come from the producers based at the farm.

Hygge in the trees in Sweden. We’re lusting after a stay in these treehouses in Sweden’s Norbotten County. Chose birds’ nest-style or spaceship-vibe. In snowy settings and with funky furnishings and of course, sheepskin rugs on the walls and floors. Adults who say they’ve outgrown treehouses are lying. You will want one of these in your garden. There are six, stylish branch-hung dens at Treehotel where room service is delivered to your ladder. There’s much to love here: treks through lush boreal forest, husky-drawn sled rides and hot blueberry drinks in the snowy wilderness. Rustic Nordic cuisine and a possible peek at the Northern Lights; but really, what more could you want when you’re staying in the world’s coolest treetop dens?