Britain’s wanderlust adventurers are looking for the perfect holiday but going abroad has its post-pandemic challenges. With restrictions, quarantines and no-entry lists, UK travellers are hunting for staycations to satisfy their travel urges. While it sounds inconvenient, travelling in the UK can be your best option for a holiday. Forget airport lounges, stressful flights, passport control and restrictions, and enjoy a holiday in the UK’s beautiful, unexplored island. The UK has 12,000 miles of awe-inspiring coastline, 15 gorgeous national parks, picturesque villages, seaside towns, and a food variety of every kind. We’ll look at 5 UK staycations so you can pick your favourite.
The Welsh Himalayas: Snowdonia
Tucked away in northern Wales hides a mountain range with 14 glorious peaks in the Snowdonia National Park. Driving the winding roads feels like touring the European alps, making this one of the best UK road trips you’ll find. On your drives through the mountains, you can set up base in one of the seaside towns like Towyn and Rhyl, and if you’re feeling adventurous, check out the town with a name so long you’d think the person who named it fell asleep on their keyboard. The town of Llanfairpwll-gwyngyllgogerychwyrndrob-wllllantysiliogogogoch, or Llanfairpwll for short, is a tiny welsh speaking town opening up the island of Anglesey on Wales Norwest coast. You’ll find the Holyhead cliff walls, picturesque beaches like Newborough Warren & Ynys Llanddwyn, and the 13th century Beaumaris Castle with stunning views overlooking Snowdonia.
The Mediterranean UK: Northumberland Beaches
Further North in Northumberland you’ll find 40 miles of incredible coastlines to explore. The wonderful scenery set the backdrop for the Harry Potter movies and Game of Thrones TV series, so you’ll feel like magic as you hike the sweeping castle-topped hills. Rumbling Kern Beach in the Northumberland Coast is a designated AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and boasts some incredible beaches you won’t believe exist in the UK. Alnmouth beach has amazing summer night views with a friendly village you’ll enjoy all day, Creswell Beach with rock-pools, mossy rocks and golden-white sand, and many other beautiful beaches you’ll love.One beach is so impressive, it deserves its own place on this list as a must-see destination of our UK staycations, Bamburgh beach.
The King’s Beach: Bamburgh Castle Beach
I discovered this location by accident when driving back from Edinburgh on a UK road trip. Since then it’s become my favourite beach in the UK. Words don’t do this beach justice, but it’s everything you want from a beach and more. The town of Bamburgh is a friendly English seaside town, with a small population of around 500 people. One reason this is such a jovial town is because it’s one of the most beautiful places in the UK. The expansive sandy Bamburgh beach backs onto grassy sand dunes with the famous Bamburgh castle sitting atop the hill. It’s almost hard to believe you’re still in the UK when walking along endless sandy beaches hidden by mounds of grassy dunes with glorious 18th-century castle views in the background. The flat sands make it perfect for kids to build sandcastles, take dogs for a walk or even go horse riding at the Slate Hall Riding Centre for an unforgettable UK experience. Head to Embleton Bay to get the view from a distance, and you’ll be glad you didn’t book that overseas trip this year.
Cumbria National Park: The Lake District
Another fantastic UK staycation is the beautiful national park in Cumbria, northwest England. The Lake District is home to England’s 12 largest lakes, towering mountains and fun for the entire family. You can hike the mountain bases, find water sports like paddleboarding or sailing and at night-time, enjoy stargazing in the clear dark skies. Between hiking and water sports you can visit some of the many pretty towns and villages. There’s Keswick in the north, Grasmere, where the famous poet William Wordsworth lived for 8 years, and Ambleside, a bustling town close to Windermere, England’s largest lake. You can go kayaking, sailing, hire a rowing boat, try windsurfing or take a toured cruise.
Pembrokeshire: The UK Tropics
Would you believe that the second-best coastline in the world, as rated by National Geographic, exists in the UK? With over 180 miles of incredible beaches, cliffs, and coves, you’ll never run out of beauty to discover on the Pembrokeshire coast. From the Blue Lagoon to Barafundle Bay, you’ll find miles of sandy white beaches, eroded cliffs and gorgeous countryside nature, perfect for the entire family or romantic couple getaways. Freshwater West is an expansive sandy beach, backed by the Broomhill Burrows dune system. Look carefully and you might find the filming location for the last Harry Potter movie, and high in the dunes you’ll find Dobby’s grave (Harry Potter fans quickly scribble this down for their next UK staycation).In Marloes Sands Beach you’ll find Seals lining the coast and dramatic cliffs battered by millennia of wild ocean waves. For the best view, head to Deer Park's clifftop in the late summer and you might spot the seals and their new pups.
The UK’s Best Summer Staycations
We’ve only scratched the surface of options for the best UK staycations, and you can already see the fun and adventures possible on this wonderful island. In the north, you can visit Scotland and its majestic Highlands and bustling city of Edinburgh with hilltop Castle views. In the south-west you can visit the picturesque village of Bibury in the Cotswolds, and experience the delightful Dorset, Plymouth and the Dartmoor National Park. From Exmouth to Studland Bay, a 95 mile stretch of gorgeous cliffs make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Jurassic Coast. Stony beaches and natural rock formations like Durdle Door line this coast where you can channel your inner Indiana Jones and find ancient fossils in the rocks. With the endless options available to you, you don’t need to travel abroad for a far-flung adventure. Look no further than our wonderful UK home to find beauty, adventure and the finest holiday destinations to explore. If you're looking for something closer to home, why not take a look at our selection of articles all about Bars and Nightlife