WANT A QUICK GETAWAY RIGHT HERE IN THE UK? HANNAH GIBBINS REVEALS THE BEST PLACES TO GO ON YOUR STAYCATION. PACK UP THE CAR OR HOP ON A TRAIN. IT’S ALL RIGHT HERE.
If you’re itching to go on holiday but can’t quite afford the flights, (although, see Flights and Accommodation under £100 here) then you might want to consider a staycation right here in the UK. You don’t have to travel far to go to great beaches, walk with a backdrop of the incredible views and even see some amazing wildlife. England boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and our National Parks are a sight that can sometimes beat any beach in the Bahamas. I would recommend gathering a group of friends and getting a house which can be cheap for you all while also prividing you with a kitchen to cook in together (get a supermarket delivery to the house for when you get thereand divide the cost!). Pack up the car so you can drive around when you get there or hop on a train and you can be there in just a few hours. Trust me, you won’t want to leave.
KINGSBRIDGE, SOUTH DEVON
My friends and I are lucky enough to have a house to go back to every summer. Drive down in convoy and spend the week on the beach and cooking on the barbeque. Hope Cove and North Sands are both beautiful beaches just a short drive away, so if you pack up a picnic you can be there until late evening. Burgh Island is also a short drive away which makes for a great short walk (very short, about 20 mins) that you can finish off with a pint at The Pilchard Inn. If the tide is in you can take the sea tractor, or if it’s out you can walk straight across the sand. Visit the quaint little town of Salcombe, home of Jack Wills and some of the most delicious ice cream you’ll ever taste. In Kingsbridge itself there is a fair once a year with some precarious rides and you can crab in the harbour for hours. Great for beaches and seaside towns, but you will most likely need a car for this one!
Brighton, East Sussex
Brighton is one of those places full of wonders. You can get there from London by train in just an hour and be on the beach with some beers in just a couple of minutes. Head down there for Gay Pride Weekend from 4th-6th of August! The North Laines are full of thrift stores, record shops and eateries of all kinds and you can wonder around here for hours. A Saturday morning sees the streets turned into outside seating areas and music comes from buskers on every corner. The beach, although pebbly, makes for a great place to soak up the sun and relax before heading out in the evening to enjoy the nightlife. There’s plenty of hotels and hostels, and I imagine Air BnB’s, so there’s no excuse! If you’re driving, pop to Lewes on your way in/out and have a walk around it’s tiny streets and grab yourself something from a bakery, or the original Bill’s restaurant!
Lake District, Cumbria
The Lake District is home to some of the most incredible lakes in the UK (hence the name!) and some incredible mountains. Windermere and Ullswater are great places to head for a night or two for some peace and quiet. There are some incredible walks that aren’t too strenuous, and you could have a picnic and some drinks. Your Instagram feed will come alive with incredible reflections, greenery and some of the most beautiful views you will ever see.
Cornwall is endlessly pretty. There are tonnes of beaches to visit in the nice weather, although you may want to think of some alternatives incase it’s not as nice as you had planned! Pasties and ice cream, beautiful walks and dogs everywhere (it seems to be the destination for dog owners in the UK!) so you will never be hungry or far from a beautiful view! Trevarno and Rock are nearby so there’s plenty to explore, although you’ll probably need a car for this one.
It’s not guaranteed to be the sunniest place, but it is a beautiful one. If you’re near Manchester or Sheffield then trains run though the Peaks so it would be a great place to visit for the day. There’s great walks and pubs all the way, and what better way to spend a summer day? If this sounds up your street I have the ultimate bar crawl for you – starting in Manchester and ending in Sheffield (or the other way round) it’s the perfect thing to do for someone’s birthday with over 10 pubs on route. And it all goes through the beautiful Peaks so you get the best of both worlds!
Yep, it’s right here. Obviously I’m sure you all love to spend the weekend on the beach when you’re here, but have you ever been over to Studland? You can take the ferry from Poole/Sandbanks for £1 for a foot passenger. Poole and Sandbanks also has lots to do, such as crazy golf and Sandbanks beach is said to be the best beach in England. In about 5 minutes you’re at Studland. My top recommendation is heading out to Old Harry’s Rocks which is a beautiful walk from Studland. It also has an incredible amount of wildlife in the sea, including rays and seahorses! If you’ve still got your house then you could get some friends from home and show them how beautiful Dorset and Bournemouth are!
I hope I’ve inspired you if you’re not looking to go abroad this summer, or opened your eyes to some of the places you can visit. Beaches, lakes and mountains are right here in England and if you gather up some friends you’ll have free reign in a car. Staycations are sometimes the best option! These places will blow you away and you’ll be talking about it forever.