It’s here! Summer has arrived and is in full swing! For many of us, our eagerly anticipated trip abroad is just around the corner, while for others we will be staring jealously at our social media feed and watching to stream of obligatory airport pint photos being uploaded.
However, sometimes it could be just as good, if not better, to plan a break closer to home, The UK is blessed with so many fantastic locations for the perfect holiday, so you don’t have to include an extended trip on an aeroplane if you are still looking to book your next break.
Our most southernly location on our list is Cornwall. This delightful destination is blessed with beautiful beaches and a rugged coastline and it would be an impossible task to list all walks available, but Lundy Bay walk and St Agnes lookout are two that must be considered. Also, Land’s End is worth a visit. With stunning views across Britain’s most southwesterly point, the location is a prime spot for keen birdwatchers.
Cornwall is also home to some great activities if relaxing isn’t for you. Have you ever thought about tree surfing? If not, you should be! You won’t need a board or wetsuit for this variation of the Cornish surf scene, but one thing for sure is that you can’t be afraid of heights. Tamar Valley is home to a series of rope bridges, swings and zip wires that allow you to weave through its woodland. Of course, there’s a host of watersports at the ready, too, with Cornwall having a cluster of surf schools to choose from.
The North West of England offers the lovely location that is the Lake District. This is another great spot for the nature lovers. As the UK’s largest national park, it is the perfect location to don your walking boots and be one with mother nature. Whether you’re hiking in Great Langdale, climbing Helvellyn or cruising on Lake Windermere, this really is a beauty spot for the UK. There’s plenty for the kids off the nature trail, too. The World of Beatrix Potter is an awesome attraction close to Lake Windermere and should definitely be penciled into your itinerary.
Although the weather forecast isn’t always showing bright sunshine, this certainly shouldn’t dampen your spirits.
Northumberland – the gem of England’s North East. The area is constantly winning rave reviews for its range of beautifully clean beaches, making it perfect for a day by the seaside if the sun comes out to play. You can also take a boat from Seahouses to the most famous Sea Bird Sanctuary in the British Isles, the Farne Islands. Here, you are likely to see its large colony of Atlantic seals. With many cruises available to book, there are plenty of excellent opportunities to view the island’s offshore birds and larger mammals.
Then there’s the home of Harry Potter. Not only was the blissful setting at Alnwick Castle used for several scenes in the wizardry series, you can even undergo some broomstick training while you’re there! One for the kids (or you) perhaps?
It really is an early of the country that offers so many scenic wonders, making a trip to Northumberland an essential on every Brit’s to-do list.
Moving in to Scotland and Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands is a lovely option for more scenic delights. It is popular all year round thanks to its huge range of summer and winter activities. The panoramic views from the top of CairnGorm mountain are breathtaking and, depending on the season in which you visit, you can partake in ski, snowboard or mountain bike activities.
Another must for those of us who love the outdoors is Rothiemurchus Estate. Made up from a 50km network of well-maintained paths, you can saunter through the beautiful forest to the foot of vast mountains, passing stunning lochs on your journey. With an array of wildlife, the naturalists among us will be in their element on any of the three fantastic self-guided walks that are mapped out.
Of course, long walks won’t be everyone’s idea of fun, but Aviemore still has you covered. The location caters for the young adventurers in the group, offering activities such as the Highland Wildlife Park and the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre — where youngsters over the age of 12 can ride with sled-dogs.
The great bonus is that you don’t need your car to get here. Aviemore is easily accessible, so why not take advantage of Stagecoach buses? Check their bus pass prices and start planning your trip today.
For the Welsh addition to the list, we bring you Pembrokeshire. Here, you’ll find the UK’s only coastal national park. Sitting on Wales’ south coast, the hotspot of Tenby was voted the best place for a holiday in Wales by the country’s residents. The quintessential seaside town attracts tourists of all ages thanks to its beautiful beaches, top-notch pubs and boutique shops.
Again, don’t panic if you have kids and are looking for things to do — there’s plenty of attractions nearby to keep them entertained. The Overhang Indoor Climbing Centre is suitable for anyone over the age of four and provides both indoor and outdoor rock climbing sessions. Elsewhere, there’s the Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo in Kilgetty which is the place to be for animal lovers. Home to over 100 species of wildlife, including lions and penguins, the park also has a pirate adventure centre for the little ones to play in.
There’s also the chance to visit the animals of yesteryear as Tenby’s Dinosaur Park takes you back in time, providing fun for all ages. So, be sure to go along and dig for dinosaur fossils and embark on the dinosaur trail in a bid to spot the 30 dinosaurs that are lurking deep in the undergrowth.
Of course, the UK offers many more amazing destinations, all with their own unique selling points. With the Isle of Wight and Northern Ireland — home of the mythological Finn McCool, Giant’s Causeway and Game of Thrones — slightly further afield, but accessible by ferry, there are endless options available. So, instead of reaching for this faraway travel brochures, maybe think twice about your next vacation and consider somewhere a bit closer to home.