As the credit crunch continues to bite, sunning yourself on a beach with a cocktail in hand can sometimes seem like a pipe dream. According to the latest research from the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) twice as many Britons are planning to spend their holidays in the UK this year compared with 2008.The survey of 3,000 British adults showed that 60 per cent of those interviewed were unwilling to give up holidays and are set to explore the British Isles. But where are the best, most exciting and unusual places to go on your doorstep. Check out our top ten guide below for the UK’s hotspots:
The European Capital of Culture boasts some amazing sights when you venture off the tourist track. Keep a special eye out for the towering features of the Three Graces on Liverpool’s waterfront, the two impressive cathedrals situated on each end of Hope Street and the Radio City tower.
The intellectual hotspot of Cambridge is a delight to visit in any season: you can relax in its many pubs, restaurants and cafés or explore the independent shops around the historic market place. There’s a brand new shopping area too, with all the high street favourites that you would expect.
As a world renowned World Heritage Site, Bath boasts some of the most famous architectural masterpieces in Europe such as the Roman Baths and Pump Room, Royal Crescent, Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge. But that’s not all – the city also has world class museums, theatres, festivals, parks, restaurants and any number of quality shops. Bath is not only a beautiful spot to relax and reflect, it is also a perfect base for exploring the surrounding countryside of North East Somerset and the Cotswolds.
As the Capital of Wales, Cardiff is a city with both heritage and ambition. The city has a distinctive character, a good quality of life and a growing national and international reputation. It presently plays host to numerous large and high profile events, including Britain’s largest free summer festival and is home to many national institutions, including the National Museum of Wales and the much-admired Millennium Stadium.
Brighton is viewed as one of the most vibrant, colourful and creative cities in Europe. Compact, energetic, fun, lively, historic and free-spirited, it’s a city like no other. Nestling between the South Downs and the sea on the south coast, Brighton offers everything from Regency heritage to beachfront cool.
As host of the world renowned summer festival, Edinburgh is steeped in history and a thriving cultural scene. With Scotland’s most famous castle dominating the city skyline, Edinburgh blends traditional and contemporary style perfectly. A labyrinth of mysterious winding streets, elegant terraces and an abundance of shops and restaurants makes Edinburgh an ideal getaway for a relaxing and lively break.
4. Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is situated about five miles off the south coast of the English mainland and resembles a diamond in shape. There is over 60 miles of coastline, which ranges from award winning beaches to spectacular chalk cliffs. A wide range of activities are available on the Isle of Wight, covering just about anything. The area is renowned for its extreme sports, with a huge variety on offer, including surfing, water skiing, land yachting, diving, windsurfing, jet skiing, paragliding and kite surfing.
3. Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads is now the UK’s largest nationally protected wetland and an important area for wildlife. A holiday in the Norfolk Broads is like a whole new world. And it’s easy. No complicated locks to manoeuvre, just 125 miles of navigable waterways with plenty of places for you to moor up and hop out to explore pretty villages and market towns, or to stop at a welcoming pub to set you up for the rest of the day.
The infamous cosmopolitan city that is London. A place rich in culture, history and heritage whilst always maintaining its status as an icon of style, charisma and excitement. London is home to some of the world’s most famous attractions and landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben and The London Eye. By day, this city offers everything from world class museums to the best in shopping on Oxford Street and the glamorous Kensington. By night, London really comes alive with its wide array of restaurants, bars, clubs and theatre shows at the Westend. Indeed London is a city to suit every individual.
1. Lake District
The Lake District National Park is famous for its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife and cultural heritage. The lakes and tarns give the Lake District a quality of scenery and recreational resource found nowhere else in England. You can walk, cycle and splash about in the beautiful Lake District to your heart’s content. With more than 3,500 kilometres of rights of way and twelve of the largest lakes in England, there’s something for everyone. If stunning scenery, amazing wildlife and an air of adventure is something that appeals to you, then Center Parcs’ Whinfell Forest, which is located on the edge of the Lakes, is the ideal short break that brings all of the elements of the great outdoors into one superb forest retreat.