It’s been a crazy year for everyone. Whatever walk of life or working day we’ve had to juggle, adapt to, or start from scratch at, life hasn’t resembled anything we’d recognise as normal for quite some time.
However, as the lockdown restrictions ease and society tries to get back to some type of normality, there are still many issues that concern us and hold us back from our typical routines.
The typical British summer holiday is one such area.
Only a year ago, the norm would include jumping on a plane for a cheap package holiday lounging on a beach, or for glamorous explorations of far-off climes—all are now tainted with new concerns.
- Will you have to quarantine?
- When must you wear a mask in other countries?
- What are the fines if you don’t?
- Is your holiday insurance valid?
- What if your destination suddenly appears on the ‘only essential travel’ list?
With so many complications, it’s no wonder that so many Brits are staying put and searching out the best ways to holiday at home, right here in the UK.
Striking areas of the UK that are more than worth a visit
On the most southwestern tip of England, Cornwall provides a rugged coastline, wild moorland, hundreds of sandy beaches, with the Cornish Riviera culminating at the infamous landmark, Land’s End.
There are plenty of towns and villages to drop by, with all sorts of attractions and stunning features. Newquay, St Ives, Padstow, Falmouth, Penzance, Truro … the list goes on and on.
2. The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is a rural area of south-central England, covering parts of 6 counties. It offers rolling hills, grasslands, thatched medieval villages and stately homes by the bucket-load. For the more adventurous, why not take in the sites and sound by walking the 102-mile Cotswold Way?
Sat in southwest England, neighbouring Cornwall, Devon delivers the picturesque harbour towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. As well as its famed Jurassic Coast full of geological history, you can explore the vast moorland of Dartmoor or Exmoor National Park.
Cumbria contains 6 districts: Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland, and is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the country. Ideal, if you prefer a little peace and quiet.
However, if you head towards the Lake District National Park, don’t expect things to be quite so tranquil. With so many tourists heading for its inspiring views, mountainous ranges, and natural beauty, it’s one of the busiest tourist areas on the UK map.
Bordering Lincolnshire and Suffolk, Norfolk is a largely rural county in East Anglia, bound by the North Sea and The Wash on its coastlines.
Famed for its boating holidays and vacation homes along the Norfolk Broads, there are plenty of sites to see and things to do for visitors. You’ll find plenty of amusement parks, zoos, and nature reserves to explore, theatres galore for culture lovers, and masses of historical towns and villages to while away the hours.
6. Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales
You’ll find Yorkshire a little further north, but what a lot there is to find. It’s the largest county in Northern England, offering every end of the tourist spectrum you could hope for. From the stunning tourist City of York to the bustling lifestyle of Leeds, there’s something for every day-tripper.
And for the country lovers, there are miles and miles of unspoiled countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors. There’s no wonder it holds the nickname of “God’s own country”.
7. The Peak District
You’ll find the Peak District at the south end of The Pennines. It includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West and South Yorkshire.
Famed as the first national park in the UK, the Peak District National Park attracts millions of visitors every year. Hardly surprising, given its stunning vistas and that an estimated 20 million people live less than an hour away from its borders.
It’s crude to lump the whole of Scotland into one short paragraph when it has so much to offer. For those who’ve lived in the UK, yet have still to visit the country, then shame on you. Scotland has everything you could wish for from a holiday at home.
It’s rich with culture, covering everything from music and literature to its unique brand of Celtic cuisine. It’s abundant in tourism, with vast areas of boundless natural beauty and some of the most happening cities you could hope to visit.
And without doubt, the people are some of the most colourful characters you could expect to find—anywhere in the world.
Wales has a quieter personality than neighbouring England and Scotland, but that doesn’t make it any less stunning for visitors.
Surrounded by stunning stretches of coastline reaching into the Irish Sea and The Bristol Channel, Wales features predominantly mountainous regions with its highest peaks in the north and central areas.
The national park of Snowdonia is a visitor must. It contains 827 square miles of stunning panoramic views, with plenty of drop-in stops to sit back and enjoy the vistas or learn all about its history and natural interest.
Living in the lap of luxury—locally!
For those looking for a little more luxury from their summer breaks, Hello Magazine recommends the following as their top 12 stunning luxury staycations:
1. Eden Project – Cornwall
With 30 acres of gardens, featuring a rainforest cathedral and canopy walkway, there’s plenty of natural beauty to help recharge anybody’s batteries.
2. Cliveden House – Berkshire
A 5-star country house hotel. Famed as the host to Duchess Meghan the night before her wedding day to Prince Harry.
3. Sandbanks Beach – Dorset
Golden sandy beaches and plenty to do for all the family; Sandbanks is an ideal summer stay for every aged visitor.
4. Coworth Park – Ascot
Princes Harry and William stayed at Coworth Park before Harry’s wedding to Meghan. If you’re an active horse-riding fanatic, the hotel has an impressive equestrian centre and its own polo fields.
5. Greenway House – Devon
Greenway House was the inspiration behind several of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novels, so it’s an ideal location for book-lovers. The famous novelist described it as ‘the loveliest place in the world’; who are we to argue?
6. The Goring – London
Looking for the ultimate city break? Well, if it’s good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge, it’s probably good enough for the rest of us! This is living in the lap of London luxury, with nearby Knightsbridge to fuel your hi-life shopping expeditions.
7. Orchard Treehouse – Worcestershire
You’ll find this quirky holiday home halfway up a Cypriot pine tree in the grounds of a medieval Manor house. How many treehouses have you stayed in that has a private hot tub?
8. Norfolk Lavender Fields
If you need to find your relaxation fix post a tricky lockdown period, then the lavender fields of Norfolk could be everything you need.
9. Grantley Hall – The Yorkshire Dales
A beautifully restored Grade II listed Palladian mansion, set in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Explore the vistas of God’s Own Country or soak up some luxurious spa treatments—either way, the stress should seep away, from every pore.
10. Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa – Nottinghamshire
This is a 17th-century country hotel, famous for housing illustrious guests such as Queen Victoria. The rooms are thoughtfully restored—fit for royalty—and guests have access to the multi-million-pound spa facility and alpine lodges.
11. Love2Stay – Shropshire
For those looking for something a little more ‘DIY’ but with all the luxuries and trimmings, Love2Stay offers luxury caravanning and glamping. Safari lodges, private hot tubs, a natural swimming pool, gym, and a host of fitness activities—there’s plenty here for everyone.
12. Bel & The Dragon – South England
With cosy and classic rooms in country inns across some of South England’s most charming towns and villages, Bel & Dragon rounds up Hello Magazine’s top 12 staycation list for couples and families looking to live in the lap of luxury—if only for a week or two.
Wherever you choose, a staycation could be just the break you need
As you can see, in every corner of the UK we’re spoilt to have so much beauty right on our doorsteps. Easy access, glorious regions of natural attraction and scenery, plenty to see and do, visit, eat and enjoy—what more could you possibly need? Well, apart from the weather, of course …
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