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Top 5 staycation destinations

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22nd July 2016

Emily Robertshaw

Does the current exchange rate mean you’re rethinking your plans to go abroad this year? Or, do you just want to take advantage of the lovely sunny spell we’re having? Either way, here are our top 5 last-minute ‘staycation’ ideas.

 

1. The Lake District

There are so many exciting and beautiful places to see in England’s largest national park.

If you love hiking, why not start in the lovely market town of Keswick? From there you and your family can go on walks of varying difficulty whilst taking in some of the most picturesque views in England. For beginners and those with small children, we recommend walking around the top of Latrigg or around Derwentwater reservoir. For those who seek a challenge, try tackling some climbs such as Esk Pike, Scafell Pike and the Three Tarns (Langdale, Stool End Farm and The Band).

However, you don’t have to love hiking to enjoy the Lake District. For a more relaxing staycation try Windermere. You can while away the hours on Cumbria’s most popular attraction – The Windermere Lake Cruise. If the rain makes an appearance there’s plenty to do indoors too. You can discover some freshwater fish in the Lake Aquarium or relive your childhood in the World of Beatrix Potter.

 

2. Cornwall

If it’s a beach holiday you’re looking for, why not make a trip to Cornwall?

As recommended by the Good Beach Guide 2014, Porthcurno beach in West Cornwall is a lovely peaceful getaway for all the family. The beach is sheltered in a bay 200 yards downhill from the car park, so you can relax and build sandcastles with the children away from the hustle and bustle of busier beaches. There’s also a large stream at the top of the beach that’s ideal for children to paddle in.

For those who want to take their dogs for a good run-around, we recommend dog-friendly Whitsand Bay beach in South East Cornwall. The 3-mile stretch is great for strolling or jogging along with your dog in tow. While you’re there pay a visit to View Café on the cliffs for lunch overlooking the beach.

If you’re a keen surfer or want to start learning, St Ives is the staycation destination for you. St Ives Surf School offers beginners, improvers and advanced lessons and provides family discounts. There are also numerous art galleries and exhibitions in St Ives that you can stroll around to stretch off your legs after a morning of surfing!

 

3. Edinburgh

For a city break with plenty of activities, we highly recommend a visit to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh.

History enthusiasts will love walking through the beautifully preserved Old Town, which is made up of cobbled streets and narrow alleyways. To learn more about what life used to be like there, we recommend booking a guided tour with Historic Edinburgh Tours.

Learn all about the network of underground passageways under the Royal Mile by taking The Real Mary Kings Close tour. It’s hard to believe that in the 1600s the passageways that lie beneath the city were once Edinburgh’s main streets until they were built upon. If you want a spookier experience, try one of the ghost tours such as the ones with Mercat Tours or City of the Dead Tours, which also go underground. You’ll learn about all the ghosts and ghouls that roam beneath the city and some tours also take you to the famous Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyards where the Makenzie Poltergeist is said to lurk.

You can’t take a trip to Edinburgh without paying a visit to the iconic Edinburgh Castle. You can explore the Royal Palace, marvel at the Crown Jewels and learn about 400 years’ worth of artefacts in the National War Museum.

After stepping back in time in Edinburgh’s fascinating Old Town, stop off for a drink or a bite to eat in one of the trendy bars and restaurants in New Town.

 

4. Northumberland

If you love walking along and exploring the coast, you should definitely consider a staycation in Northumberland.

The county, located just above Newcastle, has an amazing coastline with 30 miles of beaches. The coast itself is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are long walks to go on as well as opportunities to go fossil hunting and rock pooling along the way.

Along the magnificent coastline are some of England’s most dramatic and famous castles. Harry Potter lovers should head to Alnwick Castle and Gardens to discover some of the famous locations featured in the films. You can also watch Shakespeare plays and visit the outdoor cinema in the castle and grounds. At Bamburgh Castle you can learn all about the incredible history of one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK. It’s also the location of Bamburg Research Project, a highly important archaeological site and school.

Last but not least, you can’t visit Northumberland without going to Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can walk all 84 miles, or if that sounds a bit much and you’re just stopping off there, there are lots of shorter walks you can go on.

 

5. Yorkshire

Yorkshire countryside

We may be biased but Yorkshire has so much to offer to everyone, so you should definitely pay us a visit!

For great shops, art and nightlife visit Leeds City Centre. Trinity Leeds and Victoria Gate shopping centres have transformed Leeds into one of the most vibrant retail cities in the country. Also, just a stone’s throw away from the bustling centre there are loads of beautiful parks you and your family can visit. We recommend walking around the lake in Roundhay Park and having an ice cream while you take in the fantastic views from the top of the Otley Chevin.

Daredevils should visit the Peak District in South Yorkshire where you’ll find lots of activities to get your adrenaline pumping. Why not try waterskiing, abseiling, gorge walking or paintballing? There’s also a Go Ape where you can swing through the trees.

There is so much to explore in the breathtaking Yorkshire countryside. If you love long walks and family picnics you should head to the Yorkshire Dales. Avid walkers can tackle the Three Peaks and families can visit some of the numerous farm parks to see and feed the animals.

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