2020 has been a strange year so far, and it is likely to get even stranger for a lot of couples, families and friends who will not be able to go on their summer holidays as planned. But while foreign travel may be off the cards for a while, all is not lost.
In the UK, we are blessed with a plethora of beautiful and exciting holiday destinations right on our doorstep, and now could be the perfect opportunity to take advantage of what’s at our fingertips.
Here are the top 10 UK holiday destinations to explore.
1) For history and culture, head to York
Steeped in history and culture, and surrounded by other fantastic options for day trips, York is the perfect city escape. With plenty to do for kids, couples and those of more mature years, York will keep you coming back for more. Explore its city walls, cathedral or even take a trip on the River Ouse to learn York’s history, or head to the Jorvik Viking Centre or York Chocolate Story to keep youngsters entertained.
2) For a trip to Stonehenge, head to Salisbury
Another beautiful cathedral city, Salisbury is the perfect place to base yourself to visit Stonehenge. The curious Neolithic stone structure, which attracts 800,000 visitors per year, makes for a really fascinating day out. English Heritage, which runs the site, hopes to have all areas open again by August, so it could be perfect for a summer trip. While in the area, don’t miss a trip to Old Sarum and Salisbury cathedral, where the Magna Carta is housed.
3) For something different, head to Wells
In Somerset, Wells is nestled on the edge of the beautiful Mendip Hills and boasts a whole range of fun activities to enjoy. Explore Wookey Hole Caves (which plans to reopen from July), where there are more than 20 attractions including Dinosaur Valley, Fairy Gardens and of course, the caves themselves. Also nearby is Cheddar Gorge and Caves, where the adventurous can have a go at caving, rock climbing and a free-fall experience.
4) For a touch of Shakespeare, head to Stratford-upon-Avon
The medieval town near Birmingham is the perfect destination for literary lovers. As the home of William Shakespeare, the town acts as a homage to the playwright, as you might expect, with tours, museums, and the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. For those less fussed by Shakespeare’s works, it’s still a beautiful area with plenty to do.
5) For a little bit of everything, head to Edinburgh
As a capital city, it’s unsurprising Edinburgh is blessed with a whole range of fun, educational and beautiful attractions. Edinburgh Castle, which is currently planning a phased reopening, dominates the skyline atop the Royal Mile, perfect for history buffs. Kids will love Dynamic Earth and its range of hands-on, interactive games and challenges, while those in search of the great outdoors will relish the challenge of climbing to the top of Arthur’s Seat.
6) For stunning natural landscapes, head to the Isle of Skye
Scotland is awash with stunning natural landscapes and breath-taking beauty and the Isle of Skye is just one of many options north of the border. It’s the ideal destination for active and outdoorsy explorers, who will be blown away by the Isle’s options for adventure. Kayak, paddleboard, trek, fish, or simply relax and see what wildlife you can spot in your blissful surroundings.
7) For a beach break, head to Bournemouth
The UK is blessed with a gorgeous coastline and many opportunities to enjoy a sea view, but for a traditional, sandy beach break, which in the height of summer could be any beach across the Mediterranean, Bournemouth is the place to be. There’s also plenty to do just along the coast, whether you want to head to palatial Sandbanks or explore the historic Jurassic Coast.
8) For a hiker’s paradise, head to Snowdonia National Park
More outdoor adventures can be enjoyed in Snowdonia National park in North Wales. Whether you’re prepared to climb the mountain, or take the train to the summit, visit the historic Caernarfon Castle or the area’s picturesque villages, or head to one of Snowdonia’s three Zip World’s for an adrenaline rush, there is loads to do to keep the whole family entertained.
9) For a short break, head to Londonderry
In the north-west of Northern Ireland, a visit to Derry makes a great getaway. Close enough for a day trip to Belfast or Giant’s Causeway, Derry offers a whole host of opportunities. From the City Walls to a stunning coastal journey on the Londonderry-Coleraine Railway, there’s plenty to make for a fantastic short break.
10) For rest and relaxation, head to Bath
A beautiful city, Bath has much for anyone to admire, including stunning architecture and of course, its famous Roman Baths. Thermae Bath Spa is the place to go for ultimate indulgence and relaxing body and mind through a selection of blissful treatments, the steam room and breath-taking panoramic views from the rooftop pool. If this sounds like your perfect getaway, it may be best to wait until later in the year as there is currently no date planned for reopening.