With all the uncertainty around Summer holidays abroad this year and the constant risk of sudden changes in travel restrictions, the reality of a UK staycation is growing ever more near. Whether you’re ready for a rest, a romantic getaway or looking for an action-packed, fun-filled trip with friends or family, there’s something for everybody in the UK.
If inspiration is what you need, then look no further as we’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you discover the best of Britain, with a staycation selection of coastal getaways, cozy country towns and vibrant, bustling cities. There really is no better time to explore what’s on our doorstep.
Surrounded by one of the most stunning coastlines in the UK, Cornwall is renowned for it’s warmer weather, white sands and turquoise waters. Here you can surf, sail, swim, paddle board, kayak or take a boat trip from one of the 300 beautiful beaches along the coast. So there’s no need to take a flight abroad to enjoy relaxed tropical vibes and palm trees. Cornwall has it all here waiting for you. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better... two words. Cornish. Pasties.
Cornwall has quickly become a foodie’s heaven with a variety of award-winning pubs, restaurants, bars and even food festivals which you can find in Padstow, St Ives, Port Issac and Rock. Here you can really experience the taste of the ocean with the freshest daily catch of fish and seafood. While you’re there, we’d recommend accompanying your evening meal with the iconic Cornish wine from the Camel Valley.
As for the entertainment, Cornwall is home to an open-air theatre, ‘The Minack’ which is perched on the Cornish cliffs and looks out over the horizon. Here you can enjoy drama, musicals or opera in one of the most dramatic settings during the theatre season from May to September. Alternatively, you can visit an indoor rainforest, ‘The Eden Project’, and wander through the steamy rainforest in a series of giant biomes.
Discover the UK’s largest county, renowned for its rolling countryside, natural landscapes, picturesque villages, towns and impressive cities. Walk the wild open spaces, offering endless opportunities to hike, walk, bike, wild swim, explore nature and uncover Yorkshire’s treasured places.
Once you’ve explored, head to one of the seven cosmopolitan cities such as York, Leeds and Sheffield, to enjoy the diverse selection of bars, restaurants and nightlife. And if the urban life is not for you, you can choose from a variety of award-winning gastro pubs and restaurants nestled amongst the historic towns such as Harrogate, Ilkley and Ripon. That’s the beauty of Yorkshire, you really are spoilt for choice and it’s all within driving distance. It doesn’t stop there, if you fancy tasting the word’s best fish and chips then look no further than Whitby, the stunning seaside jaunt that’s watched over by the 1360 year-old Whitby Abbey.
As the capital of England and some say ‘the best city in the world’, London is one place you have to visit at some point in your life. Steeped in history, culture and famous for its art, fashion and food, the only difficult thing will be deciding where to explore first. Not to mention that London is a shopper’s paradise, promising one of the most adventurous shopping experiences with a variety of alternative shopping districts, from hidden flea markets and vintage stores, to luxurious department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges.
No matter how many times you visit London, there’s always something new to see and enjoy with the endless sightseeing opportunities. Visit famous historical attractions such as, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace, get lost in one of the 170 ever-changing cultural museums and exhibits or choose from over 230 theatres in the West End. Whatever you fancy, you can rest assured that you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy.
There’s also always something new and alternative to indulge in, as London is hailed the most diverse and exciting food capital. From street markets to Michelin-starred restaurants, you can enjoy an eclectic mix of British classics, modern and multicultural cuisines. There’s no wonder that people pour in from all corners of the world to explore.
What’s more, you won’t need to take a car for this trip, London’s easy-to-navigate underground transport allows you to move from one place to another quickly and easily.
Spread across the beautiful Gloucestershire county is the traditional, charming and quaint selection of idyllic villages, picturesque countryside and English charm. With rolling hills, ancient woodland and wild meadows providing the perfect landscape for rural walks and cycling, you can guarantee that the Cotswolds will take your breath away every time. Especially Castle Combe, otherwise known as the prettiest village in all of England. Now that’s got to be worth a visit.
Discover delicious, locally-grown produce, often found on the menus of a fantastic selection of restaurants, gastropubs and tearooms. Pair with the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin and Single Malt Whisky, produced in the very first full-scale distillery in the Cotswolds.
Once you’ve soaked up the quintessentially English stone cottages, country houses and castles, you can explore one of the several cities that surround the Cotswolds. We recommend Bath, famous for its natural hot springs and beautiful architecture, or Cheltenham, home to the famous horse racing festival.
Did you know that Norfolk is the driest and sunniest county in the UK? With over 90 miles of coastline and home to Holkham Beach, voted the ‘best beach in the UK’, the miles upon miles of unspoilt sand makes it the perfect location for a beach getaway. Ideal for swimming, boating, crabbing, playing games and building sandcastles.
Even better, hire a boat for the day and sail the 125 miles of waterways set in the beautiful countryside. Anchor down at one of Norfolk’s pubs to enjoy local ales, fresh fish, cheeses and even the famous salt-marsh honey!
Fancy something on land? Discover ‘The Brecks’, the largest lowland pine forest in the country. Here you can walk, cycle or horse ride the 8 mile Pingo trail of circular lakes that were created in the Ice Age - history and exercise, who knew that was a thing?
If the urban scene is more for you, then head to the medieval city of Norwich, famous for its art, music and culture. You can walk the Norwich lanes, a series of pedestrianised alleyways steeped with beautiful architecture, shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.
Visit any of these recommendations? We’d love to see! Tag us in your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter - @monkeyvsowl.