With thoughts turning to life after lockdown, many of us are looking forward to the prospect of some well-deserved time away – and whilst the introduction of ‘air bridges’ to certain destinations means travel abroad is once again possible – lots of people are choosing to enjoy a break closer to home, with a staycation in the UK.
With that in mind, we thought we’d put together some recommendations on where to holiday in the UK this summer.
From the dramatic coastline, endless views and stunning beaches, to the wild beauty of the moor, it’s no surprise that Cornwall continues to be one of the most popular areas of the country to visit. Enjoy a picnic on the sand, take a walk along the South West Coastal Path, try your hand at surfing or enjoy an adventure on horseback, there’s plenty to keep the whole family occupied during your stay. There are many attractions to visit too, from the famous Eden Project or Tate St Ives, to the historic castles from days gone by – or why not enjoy a day out with the animals with a trip to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary or Screech Owl Sanctuary? Of course, sampling some of the fantastic food and drink on offer is a must too – just remember that booking is now required for many pubs, restaurants and attractions across the UK in order for them to ensure social distancing measures are maintained.
Running through 5 counties and covering an area of 800 square miles, the Cotswolds is well known for its recognisable golden stone and rolling hills known as ‘the wolds’. Wind your way through the quintessential English villages and bustling market towns, discover historic castles, country houses and grand palaces or visit one of the fantastic museums or arboretas. For those ready to stretch their legs there are 3,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways to enjoy, whilst the lakes and inland beach, as well as attractions such as the Cotswold Wildlife Park provide the perfect family day out. With a fantastic array of local food and drink produced in the area, you won’t be disappointed when it comes to eating out either.
The Lake District
The Lake District is England’s largest National Park as well as a World Heritage Site. Home to beautiful lakes, idyllic towns and villages as well as England’s tallest mountain, Scafell Pike, there are endless opportunities to enjoy fantastic walks and bike rides - as well as a great range of water sports. Why not hire a boat or try your hand at stargazing? With some of the darkest skies in the country, the secluded valleys and remote fell tops offer the perfect place to enjoy the stars away from the bright lights of the cities.
The Norfolk Broads
Boasting over 125 miles of man-made, navigable lock-free waterways set in stunning countryside, the best way to explore the Broads is by boat. Hire a motor cruiser as your accommodation and mode of transport all in one and set off for an adventure on the water. Travel through the varied landscapes, visiting picturesque towns and villages along the way – it’s the perfect place to enjoy some time out from ‘new normal’ life.
Lush forests, sweeping glacial valleys, dramatic mountains - the magical landscapes of Northern Ireland are not to be missed. Take a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Giant’s Causeway – one of Europe’s most celebrated natural wonders, head underground to explore the subterranean world of the Marble Arch Caves or learn the full story of the RMS Titanic at the renowned Titanic Belfast museum. There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from too - like golf, cycling, paddle-boarding or exploring beautiful mountains. When it comes to eating out you won’t be disappointed, from Michelin starred restaurants to fantastic ‘pub grub’ there is no shortage of eateries to visit during your stay.
Choosing your accommodation
From campsites to B&Bs, hotels to self-catering properties, accommodation providers across the UK will be implementing measures to ensure they adhere to government and public health guidance. Whilst there has been talk of potential self-catering shortages due to increased demand, there are plenty of accommodation types to choose from should your first option be unavailable. You may wish to look out for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark which confirms providers have put all the necessary processes in place.
Visiting Scotland and Wales
Please bear in mind that some restrictions on travel are currently still in place for Scotland and Wales with announcements expected later this month. Whilst self-sustained holiday cottages, lodges and caravans with no shared facilities are now able to re-open in Scotland, it is hoped that all accommodation will be able to open from 15th July, however this has not yet been confirmed. Wales expects to announce changes to their current restrictions on 9th July, including self-contained accommodation being able to open from 11th July – please note, though, this is also subject to change.
Visiting the UK from abroad
If you are planning a holiday to the UK, please be aware that there are still some travel restrictions in place. For the latest information on which countries now have travel corridor exemptions – allowing those visiting England by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route from these locations to stay without the need to self-isolate on arrival – visit the gov.uk website. Please note that this does not apply to travel to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
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