The big question on everybody's lips is when can we all go on holiday again?
The truth is there has never been a better time for holidaying in the UK and taking stock of the destination delights on your doorstep. The UK is full of gorgeous landscapes, buzzing cities and beaches, so forget about COVID restrictions abroad and stressful airport security, simply drive up the road to discover your post-lockdown summer escape. With Boris revealing self-catering holidays within England potentially being back on the cards from mid April 2021 as part of his road map out of lockdown things are certainly looking up, so let’s get the dates in the diaries and a staycation booked!
Discover the best of Britain, from the soaring hills of the Peak District to luxury beaches in Cornwall, these are some of the top UK staycations worth checking out!
Renowned as one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the UK the Peak District is England’s oldest national park covering over 550 square miles full of rolling hills, serene rivers and an abundance of walking trails. Somewhere you can easily escape the crowds and maintain social distance. With underground caverns, magnificent gardens and beautiful hotels and cottages you can really make the most of your stay. Enjoy a long walk along Curbar Edge, a great place to soak up the views and keep an eye out for Chatsworth House. Home to Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth House is known as the “jewel in Peak District’s crown”, it’s full of wonderful galleries, extensive gardens, water features and wildlife on the ground too. Visit Treak Cliff Cavern for a guided tour deep below the grounds to discover where the world-famous Blue John Stone is found. You even get the chance to polish your own piece of this rare stone!
A great family friendly destination thanks to its beaches, swim friendly waters and rock pools, museums and attractions, Devon is a must visit coastal spot. Enjoy the English seaside at Woolacombe Beach, feel the sand between your toes and soak up the rays. For thrill seekers try your hand at surfing or white water rafting in Torquay.
For something more active, rent bikes (or boats) and explore Devon’s countryside along the popular cycling trails such as Tarka Trail or the Exe Estuary Trail. Visit the red cliffs in Teignmouth and enjoy searching for dinosaur fossils on the Jurassic Coast, which runs 95 miles from Dorset to Devon. Oh, and don’t forget a spot of cream tea, the Devonshire way! There really is something for all the family to enjoy.
A city filled with amazing food and drink, world class festivals, history and culture, Edinburgh makes a great city getaway for some much-needed time away from home. Begin your tour with a coffee from Edinburgh New Town and make your way up to the Royal Mound, before making your way to Edinburgh Castle to enjoy the city views. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, located just a mile from the city or the famous Edinburgh Zoo, home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals from all over the globe including UK’s only giant Pandas.
One for the grownups, take a sensational journey through the Whiskey Distillery for a taste of the perfect golden dram in The World's Largest Whisky Collection.
The beautiful countryside in the Cotswolds makes for a quintessential staycation, spread over Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Enjoy walks through the landscapes especially along River Eye. There are endless quaint villages and market towns to explore, you can even checkout Kelmscott Manor, the retreat of William Morris. A visit to the Cotswolds not only allows you to relax and unwind, but also provides a whole host of attractions such as Berkeley Castle, Blenheim Palace and Sudley Castle.
Enjoy the beautiful Batsford or Westonbirt Arboretum full of Japanese blossoming cherry trees and spectacular autumn colours, full of romance and splendour, perfect for families and couples.
Sometimes know as “London by the sea”, this colourful seaside town may feel kitsch in parts but it’s also full of charm and home to an array of independent boutiques, fantastic restaurants and party scene! Not to mention a whole load of insta-worthy architecture. So, what are you waiting for? Head there in the summer, grab an ice-cream and stroll along the beach to the famous pier, marvel at the grand Royal Pavillion, grab fish and chips on every corner and head to The Lanes, one of the coolest spots around.
Don’t miss a ride on the British Airways i360, a giant ferris wheel offering panoramic views of the city and south coast. Interesting sights and sounds, the vibe here is like no other! Perfect for families, and groups of friends wanting a good time.
Snowdonia National Park
One of the UK’s top natural wonders is the beautiful regional park in North West Wales. Head to the beach for surfing lessons or walk one of the gorgeous costal paths. Grab a picnic, your walking boots and take one of the six paths to the top of Snowden, the highest mountain in Britain to take in the fantastic views and marvel at beautiful waterfalls. You’ll feel as if you’re looking at Lake Tahoe!
If the climb is too much, see the peak by taking the Snowdon Mountain Railway which will take you to the top and back in two and a half hours with spectacular views along the way. On a drizzly day, when the weather doesn’t hold out it’s worth visiting the Caernarfon Castle, the medieval fortress right on the waterfront. Snowdonia is close to many major cities like Manchester and Liverpool making it a great nearby getaway destination.
If sea, sun and sand is your thing head down to Cornwall. The surfers and sea lovers will call out the beaches in Newquay, the foodies have Rick Stein’s Padstow restaurant and artsy St Ives. Families can head down to the rainforest domes at Eden Project, campsites and bucket and spade worthy promenades. Take a long some folding travel chairs so you can relax at your own leisure on the beach. Alternatively for a slice of calm and piece and quiet head to sub-tropical gardens of Trebah and cream teas in Falmouth and beyond.
If you’re there during the warmer weather, get tickets for a show at the open-air Minack Theatre situated right on the coast. You can take in a variety of shows, many of which are kid-friendly, against the stunning backdrop of the sea. Don’t forget to indulge in a traditional Cornish pasty or two!
No getaway list would be complete without the Lake District in the county of Cumbria. This breath-taking holiday destination is known for its grassy lakes and idyllic rolling hills. There are a number of amazing hikes and trails to follow, but the top picks for exceptional scenery are the climb up Old Man Coniston and the walk from Patterdale to St Sunday Craig. Make sure you stop off for an ice-cold beer or prosecco at one of many picturesque towns.
Have fun with the family at Brockhole on Windermere with a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained. Paddle in the lake and explore the fabulous Thomas Mawson designer garden with easy pushchair and wheelchair access. Hire a boat on the lake or challenge yourself with archery, laser clay or mini golf.
Where ever you choose to go, stay safe and observe the rules. Self catering holidays will re-open from 12th April meaning you are now allowed to stay overnight away from home, with members of your own household or 'support bubble', so plan attraction visits and "things to do" accordingly. Hotels, group holidays and bigger attractions will not resume until mid May albeit with some restrictions. However remember that things can change quite quickly, which may effect your travel plans so be sure to keep up to date and check your local council's website for the latest information.