You may be surprised to learn that 55% of the nation is still planning to holiday this summer and instead of jumping on the next plane, Brits are instead opting to design their own “multi-location” staycations. But where are the best British places to visit this summer? Check out our list of top 10 staycation locations for 2020:
At the top spot is the stunning county of Cornwall, the home of the picturesque ‘Cornish Riviera’, beautiful fresh fayre and miles and miles of rugged heritage coastline. Dotted with dozens of quaint charming towns and villages from Padstow and Newquay in the north, down to Land’s End and St Ives further in the south this is the perfect place to spend your staycation. Walk along one of Cornwall’s many heritage coastal routes, or head to the Eden Project for some impressive eco environments and exhibits. When hunger strikes why not try a traditional homemade pasty from Philps Pasties at Hayle, Marazion or Porthleven, or stop off at Olives Cafe in St Ives for a cracking Cornish cream tea. Cornwall is also a great place to experience extreme sports and fishing so whatever your staycation style, there’s something for everyone to tuck into.
2. North Wales
A visit to North Wales is a perfect excuse to discover Snowdonia National Park which is home to Wales’s highest mountain, Mount Snowdon. At the higher climbs of Snowdonia, there are views across the sea to Ireland which would make for the perfect pitstop for a picnic. As well as splendid sights to see high above ground, there’s plenty to see below ground too. Explore the winding tunnels of Sygun Copper Mine nestled in the Nant Gwynant valley at the heart of Snowdonia. Sygun’s Copper Mine uncovers the industrial heritage of the area throughout its colourful chambers and fascinating cave formations. Another stunning place to visit while in North Wales is Portmeirion village. Wander around the cluster of historic cottages, have a bite to eat at one of the award-winning restaurants and treat yourself to dessert at the Italian ice cream parlour as you soak in your surroundings. You may even mistake them for it’s Italian doppelganger, the Amalfi Coast which is why this is a great alternative staycation location for your summer break.
Another great multi-location staycation for beach lovers is Bournemouth. Whilst being one of the most well loved beaches on the south coast of England, Bournemouth is also only 13 miles from New Forest National Park so you can enjoy New Forest Wildlife Park as well as a variety of landscapes in just one weekend trip. If however you just want a summery beach staycation, Bournemouth beach offers plenty of sandy family fun, while Bournemouth Pier has an adrenaline sparking experience at Rock Reef with rock climbing, an aerial obstacle course and an indoor cave. The Oceanarium on the seafront is also a great choice for an afternoon of entertainment, and a ride on the Bournemouth Observation Wheel as the summer sun is beaming down will make for some great selfies and family photos.
Home to the fondly named ‘English Riviera’ comprising the harbour towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, Devon is a great choice for a summer staycation. From the ancient city of Exeter which sits on the River Exe, to the picturesque coastline views from the World Heritage site of the Jurassic Coast there’s lots to see and do for everyone. Step back in time in Kents Cavern, Torquay and explore the labyrinth of prehistoric caves on a guided tour which goes into amazing entertaining detail about every stalagmite, stalactite and ancient human remain. Once you come back to the surface, go and explore one of Devon’s two National Parks, Dartmoor or Exmoor. Exmoor is a vast expanse of moorland, woodland and valleys which is home to a variety of interesting animals such as red deer, otters and some of the UK’s rarest butterflies and bats. A guided tour of Exmoor is run from Somerset by a local Exmoor expert where if you’re lucky, you may well get a glimpse of wild red deer as they roam the vast landscape. From one stunning National Park to another further south. At Dartmoor, lots of activities are open to visitors such as fishing, cycling and horse riding. Another way to discover is on the South Devon Railway where you can see the Dart Valley and the River Dart from aboard a heritage steam train that goes from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Devon is a perfect staycation location for the whole family.
5. Lake District
Feel inspired on a staycation at England’s largest National Park and World Heritage Site with its sweeping hills to the ribbons of lakes and rivers. Come and see for yourself what inspired a whole host of England’s best and most well known writers such as Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth. If you want to delve deeper into the world of Beatrix Potter then head South to The World of Beatrix Potter in Windermere and discover the story of her life, her books and the enchanting characters she created. You can also see her 17th Century farmhouse, Hill Top which has all kinds of interesting trinkets. The national park itself has many hiking routes to take advantage of the dozens of amazing views but when the sun is out, a relaxing cruise on lake Windermere is a must. Float along the river at a glacial pace as you take in the stunning surrounding views.
6. Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales are iconic of Yorkshire and a trip here is one of the best ways to see this part of the country. Adorned with thousands of square miles of moors, waterfalls, valleys, rolling hills and villages, you’ll never get bored here. Hidden away in the far eastern edge of the park is The Forbidden Corner. Walk through the gaping mouth of the stone statue and you’ll find cobbled pathways leading to a labyrinth of tunnels, chambers and passages to explore. See how many statues and secrets you and the family can uncover on this challenging and quirky day out. Another great discovery on your journey through the Dales is Bolton Priory, a 12th Century church ruin on the shore of the River Wharfe which would make for a great picnic spot and photo opportunity. A visit to Malham on the South West edge of the park is a must for more iconic views. Look around in awe at the centuries old limestone amphitheatre shaped cliff face of Malham Cove which featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, or head up the road to see the impressive lake at Malham Tarn with sprawling grasslands its home to a whole host of rare plants and animals.
7. Scottish Highlands
Home to many iconic landmarks, myths and legends, a visit to the far north of Britain would not be complete without a journey around the Scottish Highlands. First of all, take a trip to Loch Ness to see once and for all whether ‘Nessie’ does indeed lurk in its waters. For an even better vantage point of the Loch, head over to Urquhart Castle, a 16th Century fortress that perches just on the Loch’s shoreline. If Nessie isn’t clear from here, you can still explore the castle’s 1000 year history and uncover stories from its ruins. From one Scottish icon to another, Ben Nevis, standing at over 1000m above sea level is the highest mountain in the British Isles and so rightly is the best place to see some of the greatest views the Scottish Highlands has to offer. As well as a fantastic view, a trip to Ben Nevis is a great opportunity to hike and explore its rugged mountainous landscape. Fans of Harry Potter will love a trip to Glenfinnan which is home to the iconic Glenfinnan viaduct featured in the films. Explore the museum at Glenfinnan station, or for the true Potter experience, take the train from Fort William station to Glenfinnan station where you’ll pass over the viaduct on your journey.
8. Peak District
Home to a hugely diverse range of landscapes and dramatic panoramic views, The Peak District National Park is well worth a visit for somewhere to truly rest and unwind. Discover the miles and miles of hiking routes, limestone valleys, calm lakes and reservoirs. If you want to spice things up, there are plenty of adventurous activities you can do while you’re at the park too including cavern exploration at Treak Cliff Cavern and abseiling at Millers Dale Bridge. Although a trip to the Peak District wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Chatsworth House. Walk through the magnificent ornate rooms filled with art works that span over 4000 years. Marvel at exhibits from Egyptian and Roman sculpture to masterpieces from the likes of Rembrant, as well as more modern pieces from David Nash and Lucian Freud. Once you’ve finished in the house, a walk around the garden adorned with rock gardens, sculptures and fountains will reveal the stunning product of over 500 years of careful cultivation.
From the high vantage point of Edinburgh Castle to the characterful cobblestone streets, medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town, there’s a lot to see and do in the Scottish Capital. Edinburgh would usually be bustling this time of year with the eclectic and quirky Edinburgh Fringe Festival bringing out the best in entertainment and the arts. However, with this year’s events cancelled summer 2020 is the perfect opportunity to see the best of Edinburgh at a slower pace. Perch upon Arthurs Seat and take in the panoramic views of the city and beyond or if you fancy it, explore one of the hiking routes in the area. Edinburgh’s museums such as Camera Obscura, Scotland National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Scotland will also be welcoming guests back from August. While the city itself may be quieter than usual for this time of year, the stories and tales from yesteryear waiting to be told are anything but. Every night you can take a free ghost walking tour that will go into every spooky detail that lurks in the city’s shadows.
Get back to exploring London this summer with more attractions and experiences opening to get the whole family excited. Many museums such as the Natural History Museum, The V&A Museum, The Science Museum and The Imperial War Museum are all due to open back up to the public in August with pre-booking now open. The royal parks are also open providing a great summer picnic or BBQ opportunity (check with individual parks for their rules) and a place to admire the Capital. Nestled inside Regents Park is ZSL London Zoo which is also now open to visitors which is a great option for a fun family day out. You can also support the historical heritage of London by visiting one of London’s historic royal palaces such as the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace. A stay in London is a gateway to culture, history and variety and with more of our London hotels opening up again, it’s no better time to book a staycation weekend to see what London has to offer.