The UK is basking in a heatwave so maybe it’s time to plan some little getaways! For many of us, that means it’s time to jet off to luxurious locations across the globe. While for others it entails staring jealously at the endless stream of obligatory airport pint photos being uploaded onto social media (sorry, we’ve been guilty of that on more than one occasion).
Travelling abroad can often be expensive. Therefore, have you ever considered a staycation? We love staycations and we are blessed with so many idyllic locations within a stone’s throw of each other here in the UK. So a fantastic holiday doesn’t have to include a long trip on an aeroplane.
1. Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands is one location that is suitable throughout the year. With a wide variety of both summer and winter activities available across the scenic valleys. The panoramic views from the top of CairnGorm mountain are breathtaking and, depending on when you visit, you can partake in ski, snowboard or mountain bike activities.
If you love an outdoor adventure, you must take a trip to Rothiemurchus Estate. Made up of 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, including the famous Highland cattle, the nature lovers among us will be in their element on any of the three fantastic self-guided walks that are available.
However, lengthy walks can be difficult to complete for the little ones. Fear not if this rings true. Aviemore also caters for the young adventurers in the group. It offers activities such as the Highland Wildlife Park and the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre — where youngsters can see Britain’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer and those over the age of 12 can ride with sledge-dogs.
Northumberland can be the ideal spot of big families who all have different interests — but want to do something that everyone can enjoy. On England’s northeast coast, 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.
One of the biggest attractions is the filming location for Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. The blissful setting at Alnwick Castle was used for several scenes in the wizarding world films. You can even undergo some broomstick training while you’re there! One for the kids (or you) perhaps?
Another great attraction in the area is The Holy Island of Lindisfarne. If you decide to take a trip across to the beautiful island remember to check the tide tables prior to your arrival. At high tide, the causeway linking Holy Island to the Northumberland mainland is submerged under water meaning the island becomes cut off.
3. Lake District
If you want to be at one with nature, the Lake District is another ideal choice. With a running theme appearing, this is another spot for the nature lovers. As the UK’s largest national park, it is the perfect location to don your walking boots and be at one with mother nature. Whether you’re hiking in Great Langdale, climbing Helvellyn or cruising on Lake Windermere, this really is a beauty spot in 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 pencilled into your itinerary.
Although we have been experiencing a heatwave recently here in the UK, any chance of rain (it happens quite a lot in The Lakes) should not dampen your spirit. As there are also a lot of indoor activities to take part in.
If you’re a lover of a coastal national park, Pembrokeshire in Wales is a stand-out option. 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.
If you’re planning on taking your little ones, there’s a lot that can 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.
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.
Cornwall is a place that attracts many Brits throughout the year. It is listed as one of the most idyllic locations in the UK. Again, this destination is blessed with beautiful beaches and a rugged coastline. 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 worth a visit is Land’s End, with stunning views across Britain’s most southwesterly point, the location is a prime spot for keen birdwatchers.
Although it is a haven for those looking to have a chilled time away, there is plenty of activities to take part in too. Have you ever thought about tree surfing? If not, why not? 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.-
There are plenty of locations across the UK where you can holiday without spending a fortune — and they all have lots of things to offer. 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 faraway travel brochures, maybe think twice about your next holiday and consider somewhere a bit closer to home.
Looking to head to more locations on your time away? Why not invest in a monthly bus pass from Stagecoach today to ensure a stress-free trip.
Sources & Further Reading
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