In the age of COVID-19, we’re seeing increased popularity in the idea of taking a ‘staycation’ within the UK. Luckily, there’s no shortage of beautiful parts of the nation that are well worth exploring this summer, some which you have most likely never even heard of before now.
Whether you’re a fan of taking long nature walks, exploring historic towns and ruins or simply enjoying a meal in a local countryside pub, there really is no need to leave the United Kingdom this summer to experience your perfect break.
So, if you’re looking to plan the perfect ‘staycation’ and aren’t sure where to head out to, here’s our rundown of ten of the most beautiful towns within England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Rye, East Sussex, England
Full of delightful medieval architecture, lining cobbled streets, Rye is a picture-perfect destination for anyone who would love the chance to stay in one of the country’s most historic towns this season.
Full of quaint antique stores and charming local pubs, there’s plenty to explore – and when you’re ready to retire for the evening, you can take your pick of a number of lovely local guesthouses and B&Bs.
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England
Shaftesbury has no shortage of beauty spots to offer tourists, whether you prefer the tranquillity of nature or the charm of exploring an old Saxon market town. There’s also a variety of different events which take place in the area across the year, including a carnival, a fringe festival and several different country fairs.
With a range of different accommodation available to suit all visitors, including pleasant guesthouses and idyllic glamping spots, you’re sure to find the perfect base before heading out to explore the sandy local beaches or perhaps hire a bicycle to enjoy the offerings of the town centre.
Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
This pleasant seaside resort is neighboured by plenty of natural beauty, and visitors to Portrush can even take a tour from the town to visit the breathtaking Giant’s Causeway.
There’s something to do for everybody – adults may enjoy a trip aboard the Causeway Lass for one of their highly acclaimed food and drink tours, while visitors who are travelling with children may wish to take advantage of Portrush’s fairground and indoor waterpark.
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The largest town on Skye, Portree has plenty to offer its visitors, including a picturesque town centre featuring beautiful churches, restaurants, independent stores, a cinema and swimming pool.
This is the perfect destination for those who would like to combine a couple of days exploring a small town with a couple of days exploring the vast natural beauty surrounding it, and the number of amenities in the town centre makes it an ideal spot for those travelling with family.
Conwy, Conwy County, Wales
This historic market town overlooks the vast River Conwy and is as beautiful to explore as it is interesting.
Soak up a little of the local culture with a trip to Conwy Castle, an incredible 13th-century fortress right on the bank, or perhaps pay a visit to the quaint 16th-century cottage thought to be the smallest home in Great Britain. Whatever you like to do with your trip, Conwy is sure to hold something to delight everyone in your group.
Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire, England
This picturesque fishing port is perfect for those who want to get away from it all this year, and offers plenty of different experiences to visitors, with everything from ghost walks to fossil hunting!
Whilst small, this delightful little town boasts no shortage of places to dine and drink, as well as lovely accommodation throughout. The real star of this area, however, is the coastline – if you’ve always wanted to find the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the sunset one warm evening, then this is certainly the place to do it.
Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Just eleven miles from the bustling city of Belfast, you’ll find the postcard-perfect Carrickfergus. Famous for its well-maintained Carrickfergus Castle, built-in 1177 and standing proud to this day, this town is full of memorable sights and landmarks.
The bay boasts several wonderful bars and restaurants, as well as comfortable guesthouses – both modern and traditional – to suit the tastes of all guests.
Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
Full of buildings and landmarks dating back to the industrial revolution, there is plenty to see and to learn during a trip to this idyllic Wiltshire town.
There are also many natural beauty spots in the surrounding area, making this a great destination for anyone looking to go on a variety of quiet nature walks during their trip. There’s no shortage of green open space where you are your family, friends or partner can stop to enjoy a picnic and take in the wonderful views.
Ludlow, Shropshire, England
This beautiful market town in Shropshire dates back over 900 years, and the history of the area is visible all around during a stroll through Ludlow’s main streets. With no shortage of friendly guesthouses, traditional countryside pubs and charming shops, this is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for a private getaway for a few days, especially for those who are normally used to a busier pace of life.
Ludlow is also famous for its medieval castle ruins, which are set within vast and beautiful surrounding gardens. If you visit Ludlow, this is an absolute must for your itinerary.
Kirkcudbright, Dumfries, Scotland
Situated just South-West of Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright offers visitors a chance to experience rollings hills and beautiful coastline. The town is also the home to many exciting and interesting events during the year, including the Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival, a bustling country fair and a traditional farmers market, so whatever time of year you visit, there’s bound to be something going on.
There’s also museums and other historic sites in Kirkcudbright and its surrounding areas, making this the ideal destination for those looking to soak up the local history and culture.
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