Home to diverse scenery ranging from beautiful bucolic countryside and preserved heritage castles to stunning stretches of shoreline punctuated with a plethora of both off-the-beaten-path and time-honoured beach beauties, the UK offers an abundance of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to explore.

Partner that with its multitude of multicultural cities brimming with great street eats and Michelin-star meals, buzzing bars and world-class art galleries and museums, and soon, the UK stacks up as a heavyweight tourism giant.

So, whether you’re in the mood for a seaside stroll or keen to take on challenging hikes, try your hand at fossil hunting off the coast or gander through the grand homes of Kings and Queens, want to stop off at traditional teashops or pack a picnic basket for a canal boat cruise, there’s no end of places to discover and with holidays at home experiencing a resurgence, revel in the newfound fame of the destinations that will make you fall in love with staycations. 

Discover these dream destinations in the UK that will make you fall in love with a holiday at home.

Hadrians Wall Tyne and Wear

Staycation in the UK: Tyne & Wear 

Trek in Tyne & Wear: The Boldons

A group of three South Tyneside villages located close to Sunderland and Newcastle, the Boldons makes for the perfect launchpad from which to explore the natural and ancient treasures of Tyne & Wear. 

Surrounded by a green belt of wide-open spaces, outdoor enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice from the options available: meander through the open heather moors and tumbling upland rivers across the North Pennines, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a UNESCO Global Geopark, or retreat to the tranquillity of nearby Northumberland National Park, home to England’s cleanest rivers, air and darkest skies. 

Hop on board the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to take in spectacular scenery on one of the world’s greatest heritage railways or stomp across the sweeping moorlands and ancient woods in the North York Moors National Park, an hour’s drive away.

History buffs will love exploring the Roman ruins of Arbeia South Shields’ Roman Fort, which once served as a supply centre to sustain the thousands of Roman troops stationed along Hadrian’s Wall, as well as discovering the World Heritage Site itself. Additionally, its close proximity to the coast is perfect for water babies looking to take on the surf beaches of Tyneside, build sandcastles on Sandhaven beach, enjoy a geological adventure at Cullercoats or spot puffins at the Farne Islands, a wonderful day trip adventure away.


Staycation in the UK: Arundel

Stunning Sights in South East England: Arundel and South Downs

Arguably the prettiest town in West Sussex, Arundel is surrounded by a vast fairy-tale castle and hillside streets overflowing with antique emporiums, teashops and a host of mouth-watering eateries. 

Storm Arundel Castle, England’s second-largest castle, situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun or take a short trip along the river to enjoy the seaside resort and pleasure harbour of Littlehampton lying in the English Channel – a route was once popular by ancient smugglers making their way to unload their contraband cargoes of tea, tobacco and brandy in the town!

For something a little different, travel back in time to Ancient Britain and experience life from the Stone Age, Iron Age, Roman Britain and the Anglo-Saxon periods with all your senses: from smelling wood smoke rise out of the houses to tasting bread cooked over a crackling fire, the Butser Ancient Farm offers a unique experimental archaeology site and insight into Britain through the ages.

Alternatively, take a dip in Arundel Lido, the only remaining Lido in West Sussex or enjoy world-class cricket with a front-row view of the South Downs at the Arundel Castle Cricket Club. Birdwatchers rejoice! Arundel is also home to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust where thousands of national ducks, geese, swans as well as rare and migratory birds flock each year. Spot water voles from the boat safari or hand-feed rare geese while observing the local wildlife.

Perhaps the most popular activity for visitors staying in Arundel will be to traverse through the sensational South Downs National Park. Cycle or walk the South Downs Way, a long-distance trek and one of Britain’s National Trails running for 100-odd miles from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in Sussex. Following the old routes and drove ways along 280 hectares of chalk escarpment, river valley ridges and open grassland, it’s a popular place for a number of outdoor activities including walking, bird watching, cycling, canoeing and paddleboarding alongside one of Britain’s finest unspoilt coastlines.


Staycation in the UK: Ramsgate

See Heritage Treasures In South East England: Ramsgate

Since its heyday in the Victorian era when Queen Victoria would holiday here, the seaside town of Ramsgate in the South East of England is a much-loved coastal escape and designated Heritage Action Zone by Historic England.

Featuring sophisticated Regency streetscape filled with Blue Plaques houses where Charles Darwin and Vincent van Gogh once stayed, and Britain’s only Royal Harbour, the seafront destination of Ramsgate Main Sands is the town’s central beach and main attraction.

Close by, holidaymakers can head to the artsy must-visit spot of Margate where the reopening of the vintage Victorian Pleasure Beach, Dreamland, has thrown the seaside spot into the spotlight or away from the seashore, Ramsgate boasts a complex network of tunnels and caves where visitors can tour the UK’s largest civilian wartime tunnels, as well as explore the not-so-secret smugglers’ caves built into the cliffs of Pegwell Bay.

Blackpool Illuminations

Staycation in the UK: Blackpool

The Legend of Lancashire: Blackpool

Home to a Grade I‑listed British landmark inspired by the Eiffel Tower, and perhaps the most iconic of all British Seaside spots, Blackpool is unmissable. 

With spectacular sandy beaches stretching out for miles, Blackpool’s beaches are perfect for romantic late-night strolls, family picnics and beach games but aside from the sand and sea, the resort offers a host of additional sights to explore.

Standing at 518ft tall between the north and central piers, The Blackpool Tower features a glass-floored observation tower offering panorama views across the Irish Sea and a 4D cinema experience educating visitors about the area. It also comprises the Circus, Dungeons and Ballroom sites offering a plethora of attractions within an attraction for all to explore. 

Just a few paces from Blackpool’s South Pier, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of Britain’s most loved amusement parks. Visit Nickelodeon Land for sublime slime adventures or the hair-raising Infusion ride to tackle the world’s first rollercoaster completely suspended over water. Those who prefer traditional rides, four of Pleasure Beach’s roller coasters are wooden, including the Big Dipper, which dates back to 1923

Trams have been a part of the promenade scene since 1885, and while they aren’t as vital to getting around as they once were, Blackpool’s Heritage Tram Tours

are the perfect nuggets of nostalgia. Though the trademark English Electric Balloon trams have all but some been replaced with a modern service, the heritage services that runs on weekends, bank holidays and certain weekdays, as well as during the Illuminations in autumn will give ample opportunities to tour in the trams of yore.

One of the most popular attractions bringing crowds to the Lancashire coast, the town’s annual Illuminations held every autumn are a time-honoured tradition. Launched in 1879, the free light show lasts for 66 days and is inaugurated by a different celebrity each year.

Cov Cathedral

Staycation in the UK: The Midlands

Marvel at the Magical Midlands: Coventry, The Cotswolds & Stratford-Upon-Avon

Once a bustling production hub for everything from cloth, clocks, bicycles, cars and importantly, munitions, Coventry’s heritage as an industry powerhouse is what has defined the cityscape: its industrial strength drew the attention of the German Luftwaffe in WWII where on the night of 14 November 1940, the city was blitz so heavily that according to local rumours, the Nazis coined a new verb, coventrieren”, meaning to flatten’. Only the handful of medieval streets that escaped the bombers offer a glimpse of old Coventry. To see some, head to the relics of Ford’s Hospital where over 500 years is trapped in a timbered almshouse that once provided a home for elderly residents of the city. Tucked away on a quiet side street, it is one of Coventry’s less obvious historic treasures but one of the most beautifully preserved. Alternatively, visit Coventry Cathedral Ruins to see the former St Michael’s Cathedral’s bombed remains which have been kept intact to serve as a reminder of the futility of war. 

Additionally, in the city’s centre, the Holy Trinity Church features the Coventry Doom”, a rare type of medieval painting that pre-dates other artistic masterpieces, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Its survival is a miracle; during the English Reformation, Puritan clerics covered such works in whitewash as they were considered too popish”, and during a botched restoration, the painting was varnished with the wrong material and turned black. It was only rediscovered in 1986 after a small fire in the church burned away some of the concealing material and revealed the image. Having survived these ages, it’s well worth a visit to see and around the corner visitors will also discover another local legend of the city: the Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom Clock which on the hour plays out an abridged version of the famous tale embraced by Coventrians. For those who don’t know, the story centres around the Countess of Mercia, an 11th-century earl’s wife known as Lady Godiva, who stood up to unfair taxation by riding naked through the city on horseback. All the townsfolk agreed not to look to preserve the modesty of their saviour, however, a local Tom’ couldn’t help by peep and for his treachery, was eventually blinded.

Other Coventry highlights include taking afternoon tea in the beautiful Coombe Abbey Country Park’s stately home set in 500 acres of stunning countryside. Offering formal gardens and lakeside walks it’s a fun park to explore for wildlife enthusiasts as it has one of the largest heronries in the UK. It’s also the home to the Go Ape adventure park where treetop challenges will keep thrill-seeking adults and fun-seeking children entertained for hours.

Additionally, the Coventry Transport Museum provides a fascinating account of the history of road transport in Britain whereas the Coventry Canal Basin offers several art trail treks throughout the picturesque countryside.

Close-by to the city is a popular day-tripping destination: the coveted Cotswold’s, the biggest of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covering almost 1,300 square kilometres of rolling wolds’ across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. One of the most photographed corners of the UK, travellers flock in droves to experience a true taste of rural English life. Explore the quaint village greens and idyllic pasturelands by horseback, bike or trekking the excellent 16-kilometer-long Cotswold Way, or indulge in tapas travel visiting some of the popular honey-comb coloured market towns of Castle Combe or Bibury.

Literature and murder-mystery lovers should not miss a visit to the town of Blockley which serves as the fictional village of Kembleford in BBC’s Father Brown, and fans of the BAFTA-winning British Comedy: This Country, should visit Northleach to spot famous locations from the show. On arrival just off the high street, visitors will notice the familiar bus stop where Kerry and Kurtan are often seen hanging around. 

Other close-by towns include the historic Warwick, home to the stunning Warwick Castle, and Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of the bard: William Shakespeare and home to his heritage house, final resting place and exceptional Swan Theatre amongst other Shakespearean treasures. Those keen to visit Stratford-upon-Avon will find its key attractions close by to explore.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Staycation in the UK: Yorkshire

Glorious God’s Own Country: Yorkshire 

Boasting three national parks, a wild and rugged coastline flanked by world-famous beaches, wonderful Victorian architecture including preserved terraced streets and a culinary reputation for the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the country outside of London, it’s no wonder that Yorkshire is one of the UK’s most visited destinations. With its own flag, own dialect and own national day to celebrate to wonders of Yorkshire, Yorkshire Day celebrated on 1 August, the county’s pride in its heritage is unmistakable. 

Some highlights include a visit to the Peak District National Park, England’s first National Park, set in the rolling hills of the Pennines, and the Yorkshire Dales’ glacial valley beloved by cycling enthusiasts up and down the country. Discover ancient stone villages folded into the landscape, where walking and cycling through the moorlands and limestone dales against a dramatic coastline is popular with outdoor explorers. 

Famous for its hydrotherapy, the genteel spa town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire welcomes the wary with its Turkish Bath treatments, while a visit to bustling Bradford in West Yorkshire, crowned the Curry Capital of Britain, isn’t complete without diving into delicious local meals. Visit the Hepworth Wakefield art museum close-by to celebrate the work of Wakefield born and educated artist Barbara Hepworth and her creative process. 

Arguably, the biggest draw of West Yorkshire is the landscape of wild moorland dissected by deep valleys found throughout Brontë Country, an area spanning the West Yorkshire and East Lancashire Pennines, where the Brontë sisters lived and penned some of their most famous novels including Wuthering Heights”, which was reputedly inspired by the isolated moorland location of Top Withens, and Jane Eyre”. Other cultural associations with the area include poets Ted Hughes, who was born near Hebden Bridge, Sylvia Plath buried nearby Heptonstall, playwright J.B. Priestley and the artist David Hockney who were born within the district of the city of Bradford.

Other attractions in the area though not directly associated with the literary legends include the industrial village of Saltaire in Bradford, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Centre, the National Media Museum in Bradford and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway which runs from the village of Oxenhope through the must-visit village Haworth and Oakworth to the town of Keighley in the Aire Valley.

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