There’s nothing I love more than hopping on a plane and flying somewhere marginally more exotic than a rainy London Town, but sometimes it’s just not feasible to escape to somewhere far away – be it time, financial or family restraints that hold you back. I may have traveled quite a lot over the last few years and been lucky enough to experience life on the other side of the pond, it’s also important that I discover all there is to know about my own habitat and make a concerted effort to explore the British Isles. If you need a mini break or are planning on taking a Staycation this summer, but don’t know where to start, then I’ve pulled together a list of great places (in my humble opinion!) to check out if you’re in need of inspiration. From classic beach holidays to cultural escapes, there’s something for your every desire.
1. LULWORTH COVE
The home of the iconic Durdle Door, this beautiful part of the country is located on the southern coast and boasts some of the most beautiful hideaways. If you fancy a homemade ice cream while sat on a pebbly beach, watching the fishing boats come in for the day, then may I recommend this much underrated part of the world. With incredibly private (and therefore nowhere near as busy as you’d expect) beaches and vintage B&Bs, it’s like an Instagrammer’s paradise. If you fancy a change of scenery then Lulworth Cove is only a 45 minute drive into the classic beaches of Bournemouth too.
2. CARDIFF BAY & BARRY ISLAND
Don’t let the ‘Gavin & Stacey’ connotations hold you back, because Barry Island is actually an incredibly charming place that helps you to feel like a child again. A short train journey away from the centre of Cardiff, the bay features old school fish and chip shops alongside the iconic fairground – so you can be transported back to childhood holidays in an instant. The centre of Cardiff is a delight in itself, especially down by the bay where you can sip on a cocktail or each lunch overlooking the water. With a huge amount of regeneration happening over the last couple of years, this is one of my favourite places to spend a weekend. (Plus the fact that there’s Doctor Who tributes everywhere you look is a bonus!)
3. LIVERPOOL DOCKS
A hugely historic part of the country, the Liverpool docks are as beautiful as they are important. If you’re a fan of the Titanic story, then you’ll love the exhibitions they have in celebration of the city’s involvement in this iconic tale; if you’re an avid watcher of This Morning you can see where it all began; if you just like to shop and eat, then there are plenty of places to tickle your fancy and ensure it’s an enjoyable stay. You can’t go to Liverpool without popping by the Cavern Club to pay your respects to the late Beatles and Cilla either; it’s a city enriched with history and incredibly proud of its past.
Although I haven’t spent a huge amount of time in this Scottish city, it is one of the places I’d love to go back to and explore more thoroughly. Having visited the Gleneagles resort and enjoyed it completely, I can testament to the fact an hour’s flight transports you to somewhere altogether more exciting than another trip to Spain. My mum has recently returned from a mini break here and she couldn’t sing Edinburgh’s praises enough; the people, the atmosphere, the landscape and the food had her all in a tizzy. Book me on a flight already and get me a tartan scarf.
5. BATH SPA
Home of the Roman baths that have been celebrated for centuries for their special healing qualities, Bath Spa is the ultimate destination for lovers of afternoon tea. This quintessential British town is situated only a short journey from Cardiff, Bristol or Reading, but when you look out into the surrounding areas it feels like you’re miles from anywhere. I adore the architecture and how non-British it feels, but the shopping and food quarters make this a real destination. Whether you choose to stay in the super posh Babington House (a favourite amongst celebrities) or settle for a kitsch and cosy B&B, I guarantee you’ll have a fab time away. (Check out my review of the city’s iconic baths here.)
6. ISLE OF WIGHT
The holiday destination of my childhood, the Isle of Wight is a beautiful place to visit no matter your age. A short ferry ride across from Portsmouth (or catamaran ride if you’re a food passenger,) the island has so many attractions to enjoy – including the Botanical Gardens, Blackgang Chine theme park, the Needles and Album Bay (where you can make your own sand ornaments using the hundreds of different colours collected from the cliffs.) With some of the most beautiful beaches and even a mini rainforest hiding on the island and awaiting discovery, this is so much more than a drizzly British destination.
So where will you be planning your next trip to?
Images from fashionforlunch.net, used with permission. Make sure you check out Kirsty’s blog for tonnes of Margate inspiration (another great place to visit) and fabulous photos.
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