The British Isles are well-known for being home to an array of historic sites, stunning landscapes and cultural attractions. If you’re planning to visit the UK for your next holiday, or have booked already, the sheer volume of places to go and things to see may seem quite overwhelming. However, for the older travellers among us, there are plenty of destinations to enjoy at a gentler pace that are perfect for those looking for a purely relaxing trip away. Stairliftsfornarrowstairs.com share their top 5 hand-picked destinations and what you can get up to at each…
The English Lakes
The Lake District National Park is a firm favourite among many British holidaymakers. In rain, hail or shine, visitors flock to the area to enjoy the views, walk many miles around the lakes and have some relaxation away from the big cities.
Throughout the year there a number of festivals and country shows to enjoy that could make your trip that little bit more special. These include farmers’ markets, food markets and unique film festivals, so there’s certainly something for all hobbies. You don’t have to venture far to see other interesting attractions too such as glassblowing and diamond wheel cutting – you wouldn’t see that just anywhere! Or, take a trip to the Lakes working distillery and see how whisky, gin and vodka are produced on-site.
Pull on your hiking boots and take to the hills – there are lots of different walking trails that cater to a wide range of abilities and time scales. Why not take a picnic up one of the mountains and enjoy the views below with a cup of tea and a sandwich? You can take boat rides across the lakes to see the landscape from a different viewpoint.
Northern Ireland’s Coast
The beautiful coast of Northern Ireland offers a plethora of opportunities and really is worth a visit. For travelling there or accommodation purposes, stay in the city of Belfast — it has well-organised transport in and out of the city and it’s not too far from the sights you’ll want to see.
The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is one of these. First built by fisherman in 1755 to connect the mainland to a tiny island, the rope bridge is suspended around 30 metres above sea level and is famous for its scenic views and ability to get those hearts racing. If you feel like doing something a bit daring, this one’s for you. It’s close to the Giant’s Causeway too — another popular site for Irish tourists. Situated on the coast, this attraction is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption although there is a legend that argues it was built by an Irish giant as a way to reach a Scottish giant ahead of a fight.
Having claimed recent fame thanks to hit TV series Game of Thrones, Dark Hedges is another gem not far from the coast. It is an avenue of Beech trees that date back to the 18th century and make an amazing backdrop for a walk in the country or some memorable photos.
Stretching over 6 counties in rural South West England, the Cotswolds is famous for being the birthplace of one Britain’s most celebrated former Prime Ministers, Sir Winston Churchill. The area is also well-known for its abundance of quaint little villages and thatch-roof cottages.
Sitting amongst the sleepy villages, hamlets and rolling countryside are lavish stately homes and enchanting castles. One of these is Sudeley Castle, once famously owned by Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr — the late Queen of England is now buried on the grounds and you can visit where she lies. Rodmarton Manor is another house — its architecture is more than impressive and all materials used to build the home were regionally sourced and handcrafted by craftsmen in the area.
For lovers of the great outdoors, there are a number of trails you can follow either on your own or as part of a guided tour. There are walks for all abilities, with shorter detours available, and you’re never far from a small village where you can pause for a bite to eat.
If you’re struggling to make your mind up on which village to visit, consider walking The Cotswold Way National Trail. This rolls over 102 miles and weaves between the hills. You are able to walk the entire way —stopping off for overnight stays at various villages to rest your legs.
The Scottish Highlands
It’s safe to say you’re never far away from a breath-taking view or picturesque moment when you’re in the Highlands of Scotland. The country is relatively small compared to other European nations and there are plenty of transport links that allow you to see a lot in a short space of time.
The West Highland Line, running between Glasgow, Oban, Fort William and other, will open your eyes to rugged mountains, rich greenery and other scenes that you’d only spot in the countryside by rail.
Head up to Moray Firth and take your trip to seas, where you’ll be in the vicinity of around 130 bottlenose dolphins — there are many boat trips that take you out to sea to get closer and snap the perfect photograph. Other wildlife you might spot include seals, whales and porpoises!
If you are thinking of heading to Scotland, make sure you fit in a trip to the capital, Edinburgh. From visiting the zoo to exploring the old streets, there’s so much to see and do — it’s guaranteed to be a trip to remember. If possible, coincide your trip with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, this is the largest arts and culture festival in the world.
Sitting right on the south-western tip of England, Cornwall is home to charming fishing villages such as Fowey and Falmouth and a town famous for its surf beaches, St Ives. In the summer months, people head to the beaches to sunbathe, thanks to Cornwall generally enjoying higher temperatures than most of the UK.
Home to the largest World Heritage Site in the UK, learn about the history of Cornish Mining. You can tour through Carnglaze Slate Caverns which is made up of three huge caverns that played a part in Cornwall’s slate mining industry. There is also Morwellham Quay which will take you back to the Victorian era with a copper mine, working farm, railway and museum.
A trip to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Eden Project. It is made up of two biomes, one of which simulates a rainforest environment and the other, a Mediterranean climate. You can therefore see flora of all shapes and sizes that wouldn’t usually be found in England. There are elevated pathways which allow you to walk among the treetops and a waterfall that cascades through the rainforest — made of the rain water that falls on the biome.
If a sea voyage takes your fancy, why not embark on a trip to St Michael’s Mount — a rocky island off Cornwall’s coast. If you have an appreciation for gardens, this is an ideal place as there is a cliff-side garden with a range of blossoms and herbs to see.
As listed above, it’s clear to see the many attractions that you simply must visit. There are opportunities for everything from adrenaline-pumping activities to brisk walks amongst the countryside — take your pick!