Staying for the duration? Then take a look at these UK holiday hotspots
When it comes to holiday destinations, there has arguably never been a greater choice than exists now, but in thinking long-haul, it’s easy to overlook the wealth of options on our doorstep.
According to Visit England, 7.3million Brits holidayed at home in the first quarter of 2016, 10 per cent more than in 2015. And post-Brexit, it is highly conceivable that many more will decide to follow that trend.
And why not? The UK may be small compared with France or Spain but it is jammed with breathtaking scenery, extraordinary history, thousands of miles of stunning coastline and gorgeous countryside. Given the nation’s size, there is no reason why you cannot be ambitious and seek out somewhere you have never been before.
But, like any holiday, it pays to prepare a little and ensure your staycation is as enjoyable as possible.
To help you find those gems, we’ve hand-picked five special staycation destinations just waiting to be discovered.
1) Kingsand, Cornwall
Much overlooked by holidaymakers on their way to more fashionable (and often busier) parts of Cornwall, the village of Kingsand has sandy beaches, great pubs and dreamy pastel-coloured fishermen’s cottages. The surrounding Rame Peninsula (known as Cornwall’s “forgotten corner”) has tidal creeks, secluded coves, stately homes and lush green countryside.
2) St Davids, Pembrokeshire
The UK’s tiniest city is a laid-back place of shops, galleries, pubs and a magnificent 12th-century cathedral. When you have wandered its handsome streets, head out into the surrounding peninsula for craggy cliffs, long stretches of sand, an abundance of wildlife, and great surfing and kayaking. “It may be small, but St Davids offers visitors a very special cathedral, a huge variety of eateries, easy access to beautiful coastal walks and, best of all, peace and tranquillity in spades,” say Hamish and Linda Elvidge, of Ty Gwilym Holiday Cottages.
3) Walberswick, Suffolk
Quieter than its glamorous neighbour Southwold, this picture-postcard village has a green, two excellent pubs, a famed deli, mobile fish hut, dunes and family-friendly beach. Buy a bucket, bait and line, and go crabbing, cross the little wooden bridge to explore Southwold or walk the spectacular coastal path.
4) Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex
On the eastern fringes of the county, this is a pretty town of Georgian and Victorian terraces, little wooden cottages and a rather magnificent 1930s modernist yacht club. Explore the mudflats, creeks and hamlets of the Dengie Peninsula, take a ferry to bird watch in Wallasea Island or snuggle up in one of Burnham’s old pubs.
5) Rye, East Sussex
With its cobbled streets, Georgian and medieval houses, ancient inns and old tea rooms, Rye looks like a film set and is made for mooching. Beyond the town, the countryside has National Trust properties galore, the renowned Chapel Down Winery (and restaurant), miles of sandy beaches and Derek Jarman’s garden at atmospheric Dungeness. “Rye is a beautiful place that still has a greengrocer, butcher and no major brands,” say locals Toby and Kathryn Darkins, of the Rye Windmill B&B. “It also enjoys a growing reputation as a culinary destination.”
Tips for a great staycation
1) Don’t build your UK holiday around the weather. Given how variable it is, it makes sense to go somewhere with indoor attractions on offer.
2) Plan your journey to avoid traffic jams, leaving early or taking the route less travelled.
3) Be prepared to pay a little more for UK accommodation – certainly when compared with Europe. But remember how much you are saving by not flying.
4) Follow your nose, not the crowds. Some of the most picturesque places get rammed with tourists. Often there is an equally lovely but less crowded spot just around the corner.