Top 5 United Kingdom staycations
Being stationed in the United Kingdom, I always seem to find myself looking to vacation elsewhere. With cheap flights to mainland Europe on the rise, staying home may not be your first choice for a break. However, who says you need to jet off to Europe for an escape? Check out these top five destinations within the United Kingdom for a relaxing, yet adventurous staycation!
Cornwall is located on England’s southwestern tip. It’s been dubbed the sunniest place in the UK and with its magnificent coastlines, it’s no surprise that it’s the most popular seaside destination. With over 300 miles of coastline, there are many activities to choose from. For stunning views and lush greenery, Penzance, a port town, is a popular choice along with nearby Land’s End, the most westerly point of the English mainland. For those interested in water sports like surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing, Newquay is a great little beach town where waves from the Atlantic create great swells. Also, the Eden Project in St Austell is a domed haven for nature lovers with stunning gardens and unusual plants.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its heritage, amazing food and drink and world-class festivals. This city blends the Old Town filled with historic buildings and many gardens with the New Town adorned with Georgian buildings. You can visit Edinburgh Castle, a medieval fortress that towers over both Old and New Town or take a hike to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano with the best views of the city. Edinburgh is home to the largest arts and cultural festivals in the world that completely overtake the city with a wave of sound and performance in the summer months. It also has a vibrant food and drink scene whether you’re after gourmet Michelin-starred dining or just want to try some of the local cuisine and craft beers.
Snowdonia National Park is located in northern Wales. It's generally known for Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, but it has so much more to offer. There’s an activity for everyone and will be sure to give you plenty to pack into a long weekend. You can experience the world's fastest and Europe’s longest zip line at Zip World, bike through the UK’s first forest specifically developed for mountain biking at Coed-y-Brenin or brave the dark caverns for an adventure course in an abandoned underground slate mine at Go Below. Wales also has more castles per capita than anywhere else in Britain, often with breathtaking scenery and fascinating history to discover.
Cairngorms National Park is located in the Scottish Highlands. It’s known for its incredible views and landscape filled with both natural beauty and an abundance of wildlife. From the quintessential lochs to dramatic mountain ranges, it’s definitely the kind of place that has to be seen to be believed! One of the best ways to take in the area is to drive along one of the many stretches of scenic routes through the highlands. In the winter, the highlands are blanketed in snow making it a winter wonderland and perfect to enjoy some skiing or snowboarding. During the summer months, it’s warm enough to enjoy the lochs and camp alongside them or even get out on the water for some kayaking or wakeboarding.
London is England’s capital city, widely regarded as one of the greatest cities in the world. Even if you’ve already visited it before, there are an endless supply of new things to discover. London is a city made up of 33 small ‘cities’ or boroughs, each with its own distinct vibe and character. Westminster is where you’ll find many of the classic London landmarks, including Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, but it also includes Covent Garden and Soho, which are a must-see for anyone who enjoys shopping, quirky restaurants and bars or wants to treat themselves to a West End show. Camden is a borough with an alternative vibe unlike much of London abuzz with famous markets, live music venues and street performers. To witness an unbeatable mix of history, make your way down the River Thames and see the magnificent Tower Bridge, the bustling Borough Market and Shakespeare’s rebuilt Globe Theatre.
If you’re stationed in the United Kingdom, finding a vacation closer to home not only feeds your wanderlust but also gives you the opportunity to explore what’s right outside your doorstep!