The staycation is now more popular than ever before. Last year, the number of Brits choosing to holiday at home increased by nearly a quarter compared to 2016. It is clear that the British public has a new found love for exploring the countryside and rural villages, with almost one in five now opting to lace up their boots and take a walking trip.
The reasons for this vary, however, the strength of the pound against other currencies has been one of the main factors and UK businesses are loving it. With so many stunning locations on our own isles, we take a look at some of the best countryside destinations for a luxurious UK break.
And with so many beautiful locations on our own isles, here we look at some of the best countryside destinations in the UK to visit.
The Lake District provides breathtaking countryside, with treks and hikes full of postcard-worthy views – it won’t come as a surprise that it’s by far the UK’s most popular national park. There is, after all, a reason why 15 million people visit each year to explore the region. It was also recently named a UNESCO World Heritage site. With a huge range of walks available, from the family-friendly circuit of Latrigg that takes in the lovely views of Keswick, to the 14 mile trek that will put you on top of the highest mountains in England including Scafell, there really is something for everyone here.
Typically referred to as ‘the Lakes’, this region was also home to Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, so you can actually visit their homes, including Wordsworth’s Rydal Mount, if you don’t feel like taking on the great outdoors.
And what about Lake District accommodation? From boutique to budget, you’ll be spoilt for choice. With an extremely diverse selection of locations, you’ll be well looked after whether you choose to stay at a campsite or an amazing country house.
Cragwood Country House Hotel, set in its own secluded estate that leads down to Lake Windemere’s shores, offers the ideal setting if you’re after some relaxation. It’s dog friendly too, so you won’t have to leave your four-legged friends at home. You can also indulge in a spot of fine dining without even setting foot outside, as the hotel boasts an AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence.
For those who enjoy something a bit more adventurous however, why not give Simon Rogan’s Michelin Star winning L’Enclume a try. This Cartamel restaurant puts its own unique twist on British cuisine and is not for the faint hearted! The restaurant changes its dishes on a regular basis depending on what’s in season, and every day has the potential to have a new meal available.
While Dunkeld might not be at the top of the list when you think of places to visit in Scotland, this idyllic destination is quickly becoming one of the top locations for avid walkers. Visitors can enjoy walking along the beautiful River Tray, whilst, just like the Lakes, the region has ties to Beatrix Potter.
If you fancy a bite to eat, Howie’s Bistro is a good choice. With home cooked meals and fresh produce, this is a cosy establishment that attracts the attention of many locals and regulars.
If relaxation is more your thing, the Dunkeld House Hotel nestled in the Perthshire landscape offers luxurious countryside living. According to their website, this hotel boasts an unrivalled experience of Scottish country living – it’s also just 90 minutes away from 90% of Scotland. With award-winning dining, spa facilities, geocaching and fishing spots, this luxurious hotel can help you to unwind in style.
The wonderful gem that is Northumberland is located on the North East coast of England. This area is often winning awards and accolades for its beauty and offers ancient settlements, castles and mysterious stone formations. You don’t need to hike for miles to enjoy its peaceful ambience and its linked by quiet roads crossing the beautiful countryside.
For those wanting to experience Northumberland as many haven’t before, there’s the opportunity to stay in the spectacular grounds of the Cragside Estate. With waterfalls, a rock garden and 30 miles of footpaths and lakeside walks, you’ll never run out of places to explore, all while enjoying the views of the Simonside Hills and Coquet Valley.
Further afield, if luxury is what you’re looking for, Walwick Hall features 10 individually designed rooms and a sophisticated, laid-back eating area. If a jacuzzi and pool aren’t enough, this country house also has its own masseurs on hand to help with the stress of modern day living.
You can also take a boat from Seahouses over to the Farne Islands or explore Alnwick Castle for a day of broomstick training in the same setting as Harry Potter!
If you enjoy walking, look no further than the Cotswolds in South Central England. Ranging 102 miles, the Cotswold Way is an excellent destination for the walking enthusiast. For those who want to set a base for their road trip however, why not consider De Vere Torthworth Court in the South Cotswolds? With 30 acres to explore and country heritage-style bathrooms, this beautiful spot is close to many historic castles, including Blaise Castle Estate and Castle Combe.
For history and science lovers, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden are located less than 15 minutes’ drive away.
For food lovers, the number one restaurant according to Trip Advisor is the 3AA Rosette Award winning Lumière Restaurant. Just a stone’s throw away from the famous Cheltenham Promenade, this relaxed eatery offers a discreet and delicious dining experience.
Causeway Coast and Glens, Northern Ireland
For a trip away from the mainland, you could explore Belfast and the Causeway Coast, which topped Lonely Planet’s ‘regions’ section of their Best in Travel roundup in 2018. Home to some of Northern Ireland’s most stunning scenery, the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough is a popular year-round visitor destination.
This really is a destination that can take your breath away – with the UNESCO World Heritage site at Giant’s Causeway and the world’s oldest licensed distillery, it’s well worth a visit. There are also Game of Thrones excursions available with the series often being filmed in the region, such as the Dark Hedges in Ballymoney.
Any visit to Northern Island will be steeped in history, but why not relax on your staycation in a luxury boutique hotel that was once a coaching inn in the 1600s? Ideally located for easy access to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway, The Bushmills Inn can offer a myriad of places to hide from the world.
There are many locations that could have made this list, which proves that the UK is full of beautiful locations. It’s no wonder that more people than ever before are choosing to take a staycation. So, put the passport away and take a look at what’s on offer at home.