It’s summer and time to get out on the road and explore the prettiest places the UK has to offer. Whether you fancy the coast, the mountains, an awe-inspiring structure or picturesque villages, there’s plenty of reasons to take a staycation. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites to inspire you, so get out there and enjoy the view!
We’re starting in the South West with a beautiful traditional Cornish fishing village. The harbour, once renowned for smugglers boasts a backdrop of higgledy piggledy cottages nestled into the hillside. There are few prettier places to soak up the Cornish history whilst tucking into a tub of cockles or a traditional pasty.
Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Whilst in Cornwall why not take in the dramatic wonder of the Minack Theatre, an amphitheatre carved into the granite cliff face overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. From April until September the theatre is open for day visitors, but you can also book to enjoy one of the many theatre shows that take place, from brass bands through to Shakespeare. A truly stunning place to enjoy the arts. To book visit minack.com
The Jurassic Coast, Dorset and East Devon
The Dorset and East Devon coast boasts a wealth of natural geographical points of interest that have become beauty spots in their own right and a great educational destination for children. One of the most iconic landmarks is Durdle Door, a limestone arch which sits just outside Lulworth Cove by a sandy beach. Take in the wonder of nature and dip your toes into the English Channel, the beach has been recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for water quality making it a perfect spot for a paddle.
The Severn Bridge, Wales
What many know as the gateway into Wales, the M4 Severn Bridge opened in 1999 and was the second bridge, built to ease congestion on the first. This feat of engineering is over 5000m long and took just four years to build. Drive across at sunset and enjoy the vista of steel pylons and ascending cables against the evening sky.
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Just a stone’s throw from Heathrow airport and on the edge of Windsor Great Park, is the impressive Windsor Castle. As the Queen’s main residence, it is still very much a working castle but is open for visitors at certain times of the year. The Royal Park can be accessed all year round. With open grassland, roaming deer as well as more formal tree-lined avenues, it’s a great place to take in the fresh air and the castle views.
The Lake District, Cumbria
You couldn’t make this list without including England’s largest national park. Spanning a huge 885 miles of North West England, the district offers an endless panorama of lakes and mountains. One of the prettiest spots in the lakes is the Ullswater Valley, said to have inspired Wordsworth’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’, and Wast Water, a stunning glacier-deepened valley has previously been voted Britain's Best View. As you explore this unique region, awash with photo opportunities, it’s easy to see how many artists and writers of the past and the present would be inspired to capture the essence of the lakes in their work.
The Peak District, Derbyshire
Another of our famous parks, the first to be designated a national park, sits across the north of Derbyshire and reaches into parts of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. With rolling hills as far as the eye can see, it’s a breathtaking place to walk, cycle, ride, drive, or even take a train ride on one of the steam railways. Derwent Edge, just outside the town of Bamford offers spectacular views across the Ladybower Reservoir, but if stately homes are more your thing, visit the stunning Chatsworth House and take in the magnificence of a royal residence.
Home to Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales, Snowdonia offers a unique blend of mountains, coastline and traditional Welsh working villages. It’s easy to see why it pulls in over six million visitors a year. For walkers its rugged mountain peaks offer epic views across lakes and rivers, and for watersports lovers it’s a mecca for white-water rafting, kayaking and sailing.
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
This dramatic gorge is the largest in Britain and home to the famous Cheddar Caves. With the rocky outcrop looming 450m above the winding road, it’s an imposing sight to behold. You may even spot some Peregrin Falcons diving down for prey from their nests in the rock-face. While you’re there be sure to visit Gough’s Cave for some stunning Stalactites and Stalagmites, and Cox’s Cave to witness some amazing calcite structures and ghostly mirrored pools.
Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Technically it’s not one spot, but a collection of 200 hundred islands, spanning over 130 miles off the western coast of Scotland. The wild and rugged landscape offers some truly amazing vistas with sandy beaches, dunes, and grasslands. One of the best beaches is Luskentyre, boasting sandy shores and crystal waters akin to the Carribean. And there’s nothing like blue skies, shimmering sea and a mountain backdrop to make you forget that the rest of the world exists!