The uncertainty surrounding travelling abroad during the pandemic has left many of us stuck without any summer holiday plans. And whilst there has been a rise in staycations this past year, maybe you’re not sure if you could have a proper summer holiday in the UK.
We understand. Britain isn’t exactly famous for balmy climates and palm trees. But, we firmly believe that the UK is chocked full of beautiful holiday destinations just waiting to be explored and adored. Plus, you don’t have to pay all those added travel fees that come with flying abroad.
Not only are home holidays better for your pocket, but they are also better for the British economy.
A recent study undertaken by Barclays discussed the increase of Brits who’ve been encouraged to explore their local landscape amid the current pandemic and how much this kind of home holidaying could benefit our economy! The study suggested that, with over 48% of Brits claiming they are planning a holi-stay, the UK economy could see an injection of £31 billion from the tourism industry!
Has there ever been an easier, more enjoyable way to support the British economy? A getaway to a gorgeous location, soaking up the local culture and cuisine and exploring the best of what the UK has to offer. It sounds ideal!
So, join us on a tour of some of the most beautiful beaches, gardens, and natural sights that Britain has to offer. Who knows? Maybe next year, you won’t even want to leave the UK for your holidays.
First on our list is the historic city of York. Over the years, York has been the site of some of Britain’s most significant historical events. It’s been a Roman city, it’s been a Viking city, and now it caters to its vast student population and the many tourists that flock to the area to soak up some British history.
Each era of York’s past can be admired through the city’s decadent architecture and many landmarks. And, on the top of the list of must-see historical hotspots is the York Minster.
York’s iconic Cathedral is one of the largest in Northern Europe, which, with its magnificent Gothic architectural features, makes it a truly wonderful sight to behold. And if you’re feeling up to the climb, you can take the 275-step staircase all the way up to the highest point in the tower, where you can admire the landscape in its entirety.
The city is full of guided ghost tours for lovers of all things spooky, as well as trendy art galleries for those looking to enjoy some of York’s more contemporary cultural features. Many studios even offer artistic workshops meaning you can try your hand at making your very own ceramic masterpiece or mosaic work of art.
The city of York is rammed with fun activities which can be enjoyed by the whole family - you can even visit The Shambles, the medieval street which inspired Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley! - but if you want a break from the urban setting, we’d recommend exploring the beautiful views of Yorkshire’s Lavender Farm.
Photo Credit: @lavenderworlduk
The Cotswolds is home to some of the UK’s most picturesque villages, such as Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Bourton-on-the-Water. Whilst the Cotswolds technically spans over 800 square miles, each village you’ll find there has such a quintessentially British charm about them, we wanted to cover them all in one go.
If you’re a foodie, you’re looking for some prime dog-walking spots, or you’re travelling as a family, the Cotswolds will tick off all your vacation boxes. The villages are brimming with gourmet pubs, fantastic bars, wildlife parks, rural walking routes, and quaint holiday cottages adorned with gorgeous gardens.
If you’re looking to explore the local history, head on over to the ruins of ancient mosaics at Chedworth Roman Villa, or you can even visit the grandiose National Trust site, Grey’s Court, which is straight off the set of Downton Abbey. Literally.
But if you’re bringing your pooch along to visit the scenic sights of the Cotswolds, make sure you’ve got all your dog-walking essentials prepped for your holidays with our range of eco-friendly, all-natural dog products, including doggy SPF balm, shampoo bars, handy poo bag dispensers and more.
Plus, if you’re as into supporting local British businesses as we are, check out the many markets located in the Cotswolds, where you’ll find everything from cheesemakers, fresh fruit and veg vendors, skilled crafters, and much more. Perfect for shopping for British gifts, goods, and more.
No list of British holiday destinations would be complete without a nod to Cornwall. Famous for its beaches and pasties, Cornwall is a no-brainer for those looking for the perfect staycation destination for their summertime getaway.
The great thing about visiting Cornwall is that you can enjoy the beauty of the region, any time of year, even when the weather does leave something to be desired.
Plus, Cornwall really does offer something to all different holiday goers. Take a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores of Porthminster or Fistral beach or dive in the deep end with some surfing.
Or, if you’re not too keen on taking a dip in the brisk British waters, you can still admire the views of the coast from afar by taking the Cornish Coastal Path on foot or by bike. Just don’t forget to pack yourself some quality moisturisers to keep your skin from getting wind-chapped or dried out by the sea.
One of Cornwall’s top attractions is The Eden Project, an enormous botanical project located just outside of St Austell. Each biome has been designed to replicate a different hot climate, meaning you can admire the sights and smells of the rainforest or the Mediterranean right here in the UK. The Eden Project is fun, educational, and family-friendly, and, with it being an entirely indoor experience, you don’t have to depend on the temperamental British weather to have a good time.
Photo Credit: @edenprojectcornwall
Now, this next destination is a bit more of a journey than some of the other options, but it’s well worth the trip. Home to some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic landscapes, the Causeway Coast is packed full of idyllic holiday destinations.
Photo Credit: @yourwayireland
There’s a whole host of towns along this coastline that we’d recommend adding to your travel bucket list. Hotspots include Cushendall, Rathlin Island (a short ferry trip from Belfast), and Ballintoy. But, wherever you go, you’ll find serene beaches, quaint villages, and gorgeous establishments to keep yourself well-fed and well-watered.
Being on the coastline, there‘s plenty of water activities to keep those adventure junkies entertained - such as canoeing or surfing - whilst there are also some more scenic parks, lakes, and forests for the more hike-inclined individuals.
Plus, a trip to the Causeway Coast would not be complete without visiting The Giant’s Causeway - Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some even call it the unofficial Eighth Wonder of the World. Well worth a look.
This kind of location is great for those who aren’t after a traditional, sunny holiday in the blistering heat. After all, a brisker holiday comes with its own perks. After a long day of exploring the breezy coast of Northern Ireland, pamper yourself to a warm soak in a tub with some luxury bath and shower goodies to make your getaway extra relaxing.
Are you looking for a short weekend trip to a cute, charming, and trendy town? Hebden Bridge is the place for you. This small Yorkshire town is ideal for a relaxing getaway with all the family or even for any solo travellers out there.
Apart from strolling along the picturesque Rochdale canal which lines the village, there are dozens of quirky cafes and artsy shops for visitors to enjoy as they take in the beauty of the town.
For a more challenging walk, head on over to Hardcastle Crags, a National Trust site located a thirty-minute walk from Hebden Bridge’s town centre. The bluebell laden forest and woodland paths make it the perfect place to walk your dog and collect a few gorgeous snaps for your scrapbook.
Photo Credit: @snapperdesigns
Finally, if you’re into the classics or you’re a bit of a history buff, catch the Brontë bus up to the Pennine village of Haworth, where you can explore the small town where both Brontë sisters grew up.
Whilst Kent is famously known as the ‘The Garden of England’, the idyllic greenery is far from the only thing that this southeastern county has to offer.
In fact, Kent’s gorgeous beaches are what attracts most of the holiday-goers in the area. Pegwell Bay is perfect for all the nature-enthusiasts and birdwatchers out there, whilst beaches such as Minnis Bay are much more suited to those who want to get stuck into the water sports available.
And it’s not just tourists who flock to Kent’s coastlines to admire the views. The seasides of Kent have also caught the eye of many a director and producer. You’ll find several beachy locations such as Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs as the setting for an array of UK films, tv series, and music videos. You could even go on a movie/tv tour of the county if that kind of thing floats your boat!
In addition to the spectacular views, Kent’s coastline is also dotted with cottages previously used to dry hops in the beer brewing industry. So, you can enjoy some of the finest beers and ales brewed right there in the county whilst you’re admiring the wonderful surroundings.
Plus, if you get peckish, check out one of Kent’s many Michelin star restaurants for a luxury gastronomic experience. Or, if fine dining isn’t your bag, the seaside fish and chip shops are also a fantastic culinary option.
Our next top holiday destination is Dorset, where over half the county is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Live your Enid Blyton dreams with a picnic of traditional fish and chips on one of Dorset’s many cliffy beaches or explore the wilderness of the county on the various cycling routes.
One of the places you must visit if you’re in Dorset is the geographical wonder that is Durdle Door. An enormous, awe-inspiring rock archway leaning over the sea, Durdle Door is the result of 140 million years of erosion. It’s a part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site that is also the longest national trail in Britain.
And, if you time your trip right, you can catch an outdoor viewing at the spectacular Lulworth Castle, courtesy of the Luna Cinema. Soak in the backdrop of a 17th-century castle as you tuck into your popcorn and enjoy the wonders of cinema alongside the views of some of the UK’s most beautiful coasts.
So there we have it! A comprehensive list of all the best holi-stay sites our nation has to offer. Now you know that you don’t need to fly abroad to experience natural beauty, lots of culture, and gorgeous beaches. You can find all that right here in the UK.
So go on, explore the beauty of York’s rich past, or immerse yourself in the wonders of Britain's natural phenomenon in Dorset. But wherever you end up on your staycation, be sure to show your love to the local businesses and establishments. After the year we’ve all had, there’s never been a more important time to support the people who make Britain, Britain.
You can also help support small British businesses by heading on over to Great British Products and exploring the vast range of high quality, locally made products we have available!