Travel for many of us seems like a distant memory. Gone are the days of booking a last-minute getaway or a spontaneous adventure to a far-flung destination. But why not look closer to home?
If you’re looking for an escape, here are some of the top UK destinations to consider later in 2021 once we can all travel again, from rural utopias to remote islands…
This coveted National Park, located in North Wales, is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2021 and is the perfect spot for those who adore the countryside. Snowdonia is famed for an abundance of adventure sports (including the world’s fastest zip-line), while it’s also a picture-perfect location to spend an evening or two under the stars, as it’s an International Dark Sky Reserve.
Add fuel to the adrenaline rush by organizing a rock-climbing escapade up one of the region’s staggering peaks, or head to the coast to explore one of four fortresses that have UNESCO World Heritage Status – the castles at Conwy, Caernarfon, Beaumaris, and Harlech. Alternatively, Llandudno is packed with traditional Victorian seaside charm…
It’s easy to stick to the social guidance rules in Norfolk, often without trying (even in the height of summer)! Here you will discover huge expanses of flat, beautiful countryside and vast expanses of sandy beaches near to Wells-next-the-Sea.
Look out for the brightly coloured beach huts or hunt for wildlife in the picturesque surroundings of Holkham National Nature Reserve. Alternatively, take to the Broads, where you could rent a self-contained canal boat for a few nights.
Lundy Island, Devon
If you’ve become a fan of the isolated lifestyle, try this tiny island off the coast of Devon for starters. Home to fewer than 30 people, a handful of puffins, and various historic buildings, many of which have been transformed into cutesy holiday rentals – Lundy is the perfect location for those seeking an escape from the real world.
The fact that you have to cross a small spot of water to reach this idyllic island only adds to the allure.
Dedham Vale, Essex
As the place that inspired some John Constable’s famous masterpieces, Dedham, Essex, is just a short trip outside of the M25 – a blissful countryside escape for those in the capital. It is home to lush rolling hills, the River Stour, and a handful of cutesy villages boasting equally cute riverside pubs and cafes, many of which are famed for local Tiptree jam and homemade scones.
A potential destination for a romantic getaway, or just somewhere to enjoy a taste of the great outdoors, head to the Essex-Suffolk border for a dose of traditional rural life.
Shropshire Hills, Shropshire
If craggy peaks, flowing rivers, heath, rolling hills, and moorland are your idea of heaven, add the Shropshire Hills to your travel bucket list for 2021. Located a short hop from the Welsh Border, this beautiful part of the UK is favoured by those who enjoy the great outdoors.
For the ultimate in tranquility, visit the village of Clun, where you’ll discover a handful of historic ruins. If action is more your style, head for Ludlow, where you’ll find a vibrant foodie scene and an impressive castle.
When we think of Manchester, we think of an energetic city packed with different things to do, but there will soon be more natural to this metropolis than you think. RHS Bridgewater, the fifth Royal Horticultural Society garden, will feature 154-acres of stunning gardens within the grounds of Worsley New Hall when it opens in May.
Here you can discover a picture-perfect lake, historic walled gardens, and acres of lush woodland brimming with wildlife.
West Highlands, Scotland
Another great escape for those looking for peace and quiet, the West Highlands in Scotland boasts an array of secluded, idyllic spots, perfectly suited to those who are fans of rural living. From wild camping to a trip to Loch Beag, there’s plenty of wildlife to discover.
For true isolation, book a stay on the Isle of Rona, nestled between the mainland and Skye, which has a population of just two people! The West Highlands features some of Scotland’s most postcard-perfect views, including around Glencoe and the peak of Ben Nevis.
Dating back to the Roman period when it originated as a spa town, Bath, Somerset, is jam-packed with history and eye-catching Georgian architecture. You’ll soon be able to experience even more of the renowned Roman Baths, as previously unseen areas will feature as part of a new World Heritage Centre.
Stop off to marvel at the buildings of the Royal Crescent, and look out for filming locations from Bridgerton, as many of the city’s period buildings appear in the Netflix show. Alternatively, discover more about the works of Jane Austen, as the famed writer once called the city home.