Since lockdown began in 2020, one thing many of us have missed the most is our holidays.
With the current travel restrictions* in place, our plans to get away abroad have been upended by quarantines and constraints, but instead of ruing the holidays we had planned, many of us are turning our sights to home and all of the magnificent natural and urban holiday options there are right on our doorstep. This year is the year of the staycation, and it's got a lot of us heading to the coastlines, to the national parks, to the cities and the mountains of the UK to discover the history, culture and beauty hidden within.
To celebrate the staycation, we've drawn up an itinerary of places to visit in Britain to inspire you and your homebound holiday ideas. So, without further ado, let's hit the trail and discover for ourselves Britain's fantastic collection of super staycation destinations!
*Please be sure to check local guidance on travelling to any of the areas in this article.
As British people, we love heading for the beaches, and while many of us would ordinarily be searching out sun and sand in European hotspots like Spain and Greece, we have just as many beautiful beaches on our own shorelines to choose from. There's a fair few to explore but for the purposes of this blog we've picked out one of our favourites - West Wittering in East Sussex. Boundless golden sands stretch for miles against a backdrop of Atlantic blue at this coastal spot, which has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Blue Flag Beach* for its remarkable views and it's carefully maintained cleanliness. Just down the coast from Portsmouth, this bit of coastline along the British Channel is easy to get to from London and is brimming with tasteful accommodation for your seaside getaway.
*Follow their Instagram page for regular updates on parking availability
Image source: cabinsandcastles.co.uk
Dense with myth and legend, exuding fairytale magic in every valley, there are few places as beautiful and memorable for hiking enthusiasts in the UK than the incredible Snowdonia National Park. Watched over by the indomitable Snowdon at the heart of the park, the Snowdonia region lives long in the memory of those who visit this part of Wales and the host of hiking paths that snake up the peaks and through the verdant forests offer different challenges for different levels of hikers. A rise in the number of rented holiday properties in the region make it easier than ever before to spend a weekend uncovering the beauty of North Wales and if you've got the time, then you can head up through the country and out towards the sublime coasts that stretches all the way along from Chester, through Llandudno and finally out to the mystical isle of Anglesey.
Anyone who lives in London knows that it has its reputation as one of the best cities in the world for a very good reason. There is simply so much going on in the English capital, and that's putting it mildly. If you live outside London, visiting for your staycation opens up the city to you, giving you ample opportunity to explore its famed restaurant scene, catch a play at one of its iconic theatres or wander along its world-famous shopping streets. Harrods, Madame Tussauds, the gardens of Kew, the museums, the galleries, the palaces, the parks - you can pick any street in central London and it'll take you to somewhere worth visiting. Thanks to the London Underground, generally you can find accommodation anywhere in the city that's close to a tube station giving you the flexibility to explore London exactly how you want to.
The beautiful British countryside is the perfect balm for those who've spent the last few months cooped up in small flats in their big cities. A slower way of life, furnished with beguiling villages, rolling meadows and charming countryside walks, awaits out in the country and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the bucolic Cotswolds. The Cotswold Hills make up the majority of this attractive part of the south-west of England, and the hills themselves form a neat centrepiece to a region that is a quaint postcard from an idyllic British past. Hiring out a cottage here for a few days, to unwind and relax in a tranquil corner of Britain, is a great way to recuperate from what has been an intense and unsettling year. Be sure to bring a car if you do visit, the Cotswolds is famed for its pretty villages and a car can help you get to them without much hassle.
No list of staycation destinations in the UK would be complete without a visit to Scotland and its illustrious capital Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a wonderful city, packed to the brim with Scottish hospitality, remarkable architecture and enough history to fill a thousand history books. Presided over by the regal Edinburgh castle, Edinburgh is a treasure trove of historical sights from every century of its existence, from its initial status as a Bronze Age settlement to its current manifestation as the 'Athens of the North'. There's a long list of things to do and see here - we'd highly recommend a visit up to Calton Hill to start with, to help get your bearings. This viewpoint is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, overlooking the city and providing a sublime panorama of the streets below.
In the far south-west part of Wales, miles below the heady heights of Snowdonia, lies the incredible coastline of Pembrokeshire and one of the country's finest coastal national parks, the Pembrokeshire National Park. Home to fishing villages carved into towering cliffs, sweeping golden beaches and fantastic populations of coastal wildlife, the Pembrokeshire National Park is striking and gorgeous. It is also a renowned site for water sports, including surfing, kite-surfing, windsailing, coasteering and more, so it makes for an excellent choice for a staycation spot for the adrenaline enthusiasts out there. A popular holiday spot, there's a lot of accommodation close to the shoreline but it's also best to bring a car to get you to some of the most remote spots in the county.
A staycation is an excellent idea for 2020, bringing something to look forward to as lockdown begins to ease. However, there really is no place like home, and if you're looking for a permanent change of scenery, take a look at our collection of properties available to move into now.