Britain was absolutely sizzling this past weekend with some areas hitting 27 degrees. Hotter than the Med! I’m swapping my usual summer holiday in Spain for something in good old Blighty. Here’s my shortlist, but I want to hear from you about your top UK Holiday tips.
“Staycations” have been growing in popularity since the 2008 financial crisis when cash-strapped Brits decided to chuck out their passports and see what the UK had to offer. Here are some of my favourite ideas for a home-grown holiday:
Be a London tourist
You know how the saying goes; “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. England’s capital has so much to offer it’s tricky to narrow down my favourite places to go. You can visit Buckingham Palace, take a stroll down the South Bank or sample some culture at one of London’s many museums, galleries or theatres. My favourites are: The Science Museum for fascinating facts, The Tate Modern (which boasts the title of largest museum of modern art in the world) and The Barbican; a gigantic multi-arts venue which presents theatre, dance, music and exhibitions – you could spend an entire week there!
The city boasts eight beautiful Royal Parks and many more green spaces if nature is your thing, some even have Lidos open in the summer, chilly but fun! If you’d rather splash the cash rather than splash about – then there is the amazing shopping on Oxford Street but you can also head to Spitalfields, Roman Road and countless other weekend markets to grab a bargain.
For the gourmand, you can find an incredible selection of cuisines from around the world; my favourites are China Town for tasty buffets, Brick Lane for a great value curry and Haringey Green Lanes for top-notch Turkish food.
Go hiking in the Lake District
There are so many sites that boast incredible natural beauty in the U.K, if you love fresh air then take a trip to the Lake District. Blencathra, Cat Bells and Helvellyn are gorgeous walks with rolling hills and Tolkienesque scenery – but watch out for wandering sheep!
If you’re planning a trip with the family I’d suggest Go Ape in Grizedale Forest for some monkey-swinging fun, visiting the charming Beatrix Potter Museum or take in the scenery by having a gentle stroll around Lake Windermere – where you can also try canoeing or kayaking.
After all that exertion you can recharge with a visit to one of the many local pubs that serve delicious locally sourced dishes or do what I do and fill up on a local speciality – Kendal mint cake!
Try surfing in Cornwall
The crystalline waters that surround some of Cornwall’s beaches are host to some incredibly diverse marine life such as porpoises, jellyfish, seals and even Basking sharks! Cornwall also takes the prize for the sunniest county in the U.K, so if you want to catch some rays head to the stunning beaches at Fistral, Porthminster and Perranporth. If you have ever wanted to learn how to hang ten then head to Newquay where you can take surfing lessons with the Quicksilver Surf School.
Cornwall also boasts several lovely walking trails, my favourite being the walk from Looe to Polperro. My other recommendations would be a visit to the St Austell Brewery, winner of Best Regional Brewer for some tasty local beers and ales. Lose yourself in the Lost Gardens of Heligan– a picturesque historical garden that was only opened to the public 25 years ago.
Lastly a visit to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without tasting the local grub – Cornish Pasties from the local bakery, Cream Teas and some fish and chips on the beach- Lovely!
Take in some culture at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
I think Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and there is no better time to visit than during Edinburgh Festival Fringe, if you want to see some of the funniest comedians all in one place, plus theatre, dance, circus and performance art then this is the place for you!
Aside from all the fringe entertainment you also have the gorgeous surrounding scenery – you can take a walk up to Arthur’s Seat for a bird’s eye view of the city and there are many day trips available to see more of the stunning countryside. In the city centre you can view Edinburgh Castle, The Museum of Childhood, The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Old Town and if you’re a fan of Harry Potter you can visit Elephant House restaurant to see where J.K. Rowling dreamt up the magical wizarding world.
If you do decide to take a trip to this incredible, historic city then I wholeheartedly encourage you to book a City of the Dead walking tour around Greyfriars Kirkyard it’s spooky, informative and hugely entertaining, I very highly recommend!
These are the ones that come to mind for me, but I’d love to go off the beaten track this summer. Does your postcode hold some hidden gems? Give me some inspiration in the comments!