Summer is beginning, and everyone is itching to book a holiday. But going abroad can be expensive, time consuming, and a hassle to organise. You don’t have to jet off across the seas to enjoy a good break – the UK has holiday destinations that might surprise you.
West Coast Highland and Islands, Scotland
Scotland might not be the first country you’d consider for a beach holiday, but with its stretches of white sand and crystal clear water, you shouldn’t rule it out.
The Outer Hebrides are breath-taking, with turquoise water and even dolphins. Further inland, Mull, Skye and Eigg all host beautiful beaches, and aren’t far from the beautiful hiking trails of Fort William and Glencoe. Just remember to bring a raincoat as well as your bikini.
If you’re after dramatic cliffs, then Devon and Dorset’s coastline is the place to be. With natural geological rock formations like the famous Durdle Door, the World Heritage Site stretches for almost 100 miles.
Not only are there beautiful beaches to sunbathe on and long paths along the cliff tops, but this is also a brilliant place to go kayaking, coasteering or fossil hunting!
County town to Yorkshire, this city has plenty of rich history that’s worth a visit. York is surrounded by old city walls, which you can walk along.
Founded by the Romans, then ruled by the Vikings, the city now hosts an impressive minster, well preserved medieval streets, and a Norman castle. There are several museums and walking tours, and loads of independent coffee shops, tearooms and bars.
The Cotswolds are famous for the outstanding natural beauty of the rolling hills and meadows, and for the uniform limestone houses. Villages such as Castle Combe have been named the prettiest in England, and it’s not hard to understand why.
The charming towns have often been used as filming locations, and there are plenty of notable houses, abbeys and churches to explore. Nearby to the Costwolds are Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace) and Bath (with impressive Roman bathhouses and Georgian architecture).
North Norfolk Coast
Norfolk has a diverse range of beach towns to offer. With wild bird sanctuaries and quaint villages, there are retreats perfect for peace and quiet, as well as lively holiday towns. Sandringham (near the seaside town Hunstanton) is a favourite destination of the Queen, and if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for us.
If you’re after arcades and seaside amusement, visit Hunstanton or Great Yarmouth. For picturesque beaches, Wells Next-the-Sea, Blakeney and Holkham are beautiful. You can also visit the Norfolk broads, inland.
Renowned for its natural beauty, the Lake District is perfect for those seeking adventure. As well as historical walks and hiking trails, the lakes offer opportunities for open-water swimming, rafting, sailing and canoeing.
You can also visit England’s highest mountain (Scafell Pike), Beatrix Potter’s house, and Hadrian’s wall.
The spa town of Harrogate has been a popular destination since the Georgian era due to its natural springs. The Turkish baths are definitely worth a visit, with hot rooms and a cold plunge pool.
There are also modern health spas, grand Victorian buildings, and wonderful tearooms (Harrogate is the home of Yorkshire Tea, and Betty’s tearooms is well worth a visit).
For beautiful coastlines, picturesque villages, and beautiful bays, Cornwall is perhaps the best Britain has to offer. Fishing villages like Mousehole and Coverack make good tourist bases as alternatives to the larger towns of Truro, St Ives and Panzance.
For incredible scenery, you can walk around Zennor Head or the King Arthur Walk in Tintagel. There are also spots to go surfing, like Sennen, Newquay and Praa Sands.
Most of these destinations are easily accessible by train or bus, so next time you have a few days to spare, consider giving yourself the holiday you deserve – all without leaving the UK.
FOR MORE TRAVEL INSPIRAITON FOLLOW US ON BLOGLOVIN’