UK

UK Staycations: 17 Destinations You Won’t Believe are in England

If these photos are anything to go by, you do not need to get on a plane and travel miles to get beautiful beaches and stunning scenery. If you think you need to go abroad to have an exotic break? Over the coming months UK Staycations are going to be everyone’s choice of travel option. 

Then you might want to think again… Gone are the days of wet, cold summers at the beach, or camping in the countryside, instead you’ve got destinations that feel like you’ve left the country, with stunning coastlines, dive pools, picturesque streets and quaint canals.

It almost goes without saying that there are some incredible holiday destinations to be found in this world – Bali, Hawaii, the Maldives and Mexico to name just a few. Exotic places where you can find everything you need to truly escape and unwind. 

White sand, tick. Turquoise sea, tick. Fantastic surf, locally-sourced seafood, lush greenery, far-reaching views, watersports, space to sunbathe, blue skies and startling sunsets, palm trees, and delicious cold drinks on tap – tick, tick and tick. A UK Staycation is the perfect choice for a family holiday, that could be abroad.

In a recent survey by Stay In Cornwall, 90% of people can’t tell the difference between Cornwall and the Caribbean in their picture quiz. I certainly couldn’t and I travel the world for work! 

The tricky picture quiz proves that the vast majority of people genuinely can’t tell the difference between a beach in the Indian Ocean and one hidden on the coast of our own little island. The picture-postcard paradise is actually an awful lot closer than any of those far-flung destinations mentioned above and is in fact in the south-westerly county of Cornwall.

Here are my favourite destinations you won’t believe are in England for your UK staycation…

 

Porthcurno, Cornwall

Porthcurno is a small village covering a small valley and beach on the south coast of Cornwall, England in the United Kingdom. It is the main settlement in a civil and an ecclesiastical parish, both named St Levan, which comprise Porthcurno, diminutive St Levan itself, Trethewey and Treen.

INSTEAD OF: MAJORS BAY, ST KITTS

West Voe, Shetlands, Scotland

West Voe Sands is located on the Southern tip of Shetland, right by Sumburgh Airport and the ancient settlements of Jarlshof and Old Scatness Broch. The quietest getaway is likely to be West Voe in Scotland! This gorgeous town is certain to make you feel like you’re on a Finnish beach – specifically Yyteri Beach in Pori!

INSTEAD OF: FINNISH LAKES 

Port Lympne Reserve, Kent

On 600 acres of countryside, this wildlife park with a collection of lodgings, including a historic hotel, is 9 miles from Romney Marsh wetland area.

The upscale lodgings include a hotel, a cottage, cabins, safari tents and luxe tree house suites. The hotel, cottage and suites come with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Upgrades include distinctive touches such as 4-poster beds; some add living areas and kitchens.

INSTEAD OF: SERENGETI, TANZANIA

Observatory Gully, Ben Nevis, Scottish Highlands

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, the summit is 1,345 metres above sea level. Ben Nevis stands at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William.

There are only 170 searches for Observatory Gully on Ben Nevis, ensuring an isolated but adventurous weekend away; similar to Mont Blanc in the Alps.

INSTEAD OF: MONT BLANC, THE ALPS

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England. The gorge is the site of the Cheddar show caves, where Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be over 9,000 years old, was found in 1903. 

INSTEAD OF: NEW ZEALAND

Elegug Stacks, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Elegug Stacks is a dramatic natural rock arch and rock pillars on the south-west coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales. If the weather is right these clifftops highly resemble Nusa Penida in Bali.

INSTEAD OF: BALI

Minack Theatre, Cornwall

The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. The theatre is at Porthcurno, 4 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, England. 

INSTEAD OF: ANCIENT GREECE

High Force, Durham, England

High Force is a waterfall on the River Tees, near Middleton-in-Teesdale, Teesdale, County Durham, England. The waterfall is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and European Geopark.

High Force in Durham is surprisingly unknown to Brits – with only 420 searches every month! This beautiful 70-foot waterfall is surrounded by natural beauty and mirrors Nauyaca Waterfalls in Costa Rica!

INSTEAD OF: COSTA RICA

Norfolk Lavender Fields

Norfolk Lavender Fields is around 100 acres of lavender fields and an oil distillery, plus on-site gift shops and restaurant. It’s a beautiful sight and you could be in Provence, France.

INSTEAD OF: PROVENCE, FRANCE

Langamull Beach, Isle of Mull, Scotland

This really is the most fabulous expanse of glistening white shell sand and there are a couple of hidden coves too. The views out to Rum are spectacular on a clear day. The jaw-dropping beach is one of Mull’s best kept secrets with only 430 searches every month and holds strong similarities to Crane beach in Barbados!

INSTEAD OF: BARBADOS

Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall, also called the Roman Wall, Picts’ Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. 

INSTEAD OF: THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

Mealt Falls, Skye, Scotland

The 55-meter free dropping Mealt Falls is slightly more popular, but still likely to be a quiet getaway! This clifftop is a duplicate of Háifoss Waterfall in Iceland!

INSTEAD OF: ICELAND

Lunan Bay, Scotland

Originally built for King William ( the Lion) of Scotland to defend against Viking invaders, all that remains of this once-formidable fortified house is part of the 15th-century rectangular tower and the curtain wall. The beach is a popular destination for surfers and horse riders.

INSTEAD OF: CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS

Bidean nam Bian, Scotland

This complex Scottish mountain resembles peaks on the Himalayas! It is an 8-9-hour walk, so although there are 1,460 searches per month it is certain to be a desolate trip.

INSTEAD OF: THE HIMALAYAS

Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a botanical garden located near Mevagissey in Cornwall, UK. The gardens are considered to be amongst the most popular in the UK. The gardens are typical of the 19th century Gardenesque style with areas of different character and in different design styles. 

INSTEAD OF: LYNN CANYON PARK, VANCOUVER, CANADA

Sgwd yr Eira, Brecon Beacons, Wales

Sgwd yr Eira is part of Brecon Waterfall Walk in Wales, on the route you can also visit three others on the ‘Four Falls Walk’ which is described as an unforgettable family experience. Interestingly, Sgwd yr Eira mirrors Mae Tad waterfall in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

INSTEAD OF: CHANG MAI THAILAND 

Portmeirion Village, North Wales

Portmeirion is a tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village, and is now owned by a charitable trust. 

INSTEAD OF: THE AMALFI COAST

Brighton Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion, also known as the Brighton Pavilion, is a Grade I listed former royal residence located in Brighton, England. Beginning in 1787, it was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811.

INSTEAD OF: TAJ MAHAL, INDIA

Little Venice, London

Little Venice is a district in London, England, around the junction of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the Regent’s Canal, and the entrance to Paddington Basin. The junction forms a triangular shape basin.

INSTEAD OF: AMSTERDAM

 

Where else have you been to in the UK and thought it looked as exotic as another place abroad?

 


My Travel Tips and Recommendations

Flights

To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals. 

Accommodation

For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!

Photography and Technology

Here is a list of the technology I always travel with:

Travel Insurance

Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend. BOOK HERE

 

You can also find me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

 

Other posts that may help you:

Weekend Road Trip in Cornwall

Ultimate Guide to a Weekend Break in York

10 of the Best places to eat Brunch in London

The Best Weekend Trips in the UK

10 Things to do in Aberdeen

Ultimate Guide to Columbia Road Flower Market London

Log cabins with hot tubs in the UK

 

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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it for me with all your friends and family!

Sophie X

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