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If you’re looking to book a trip for yourself or your principal, the ongoing COVID-19 situation may be making you nervous about going too far. International travel is still fraught with uncertainty and risk, and many are feeling unsure about stepping onto a plane.
You can avoid potential international travel problems by booking a trip to one of the top UK holiday destinations instead. If you don’t want to go overseas this summer, the UK has a diverse range of locations, including beaches, woods and mountains. The UK is also steeped in history, giving you or your principal an excellent choice of holiday activities.
Best places for a UK staycation
We take a look at the best inland and best coastal holiday destinations UK residents can enjoy. Take a look at the top holiday options available across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland below.
Snowdonia National Park in Wales
The Snowdonia National Park is vast, covering 823 square miles, which gives visitors plenty of space and adventures conducive to social distancing. Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, vast natural lakes, wildlife diversity, historical sites and charming villages such as Beddgelert and Betws y Coed.
The Snowdonia National Park reopened on July 6th 2020, giving you access to the Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Coast. The Snowdon Mountain Railway opened on July 10th and, to aid social distancing, carriages are operating at 50% occupancy.
Where to stay in Snowdonia
The Craig-y-Dderwen Riverside Hotel opened on July 13th and is located in the heart of Snowdonia. A four-star Gold award-winning Country House Hotel in Betws-y-Coed sitting on the banks of the River Conwy in 16 acres of private gardens, this luxury hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Alternatively, Martha Jones on the Llyn Peninsula, Pwllheli, is situated on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, with the Porth lago beach nearby. The accommodation is cosy, cool and modern, with rooms starting from £85 per night.
Image provided by Craig-y-Dderwen Riverside Hotel
The Outer Hebrides in Scotland
The Outer Hebrides in Scotland are a chain of inter-connected islands and will be welcoming tourism again from July 15th. The Outer Hebrides is an ideal holiday choice for people who love walking, cycling, surfing and wildlife photography.
Where to stay in the Outer Hebrides
Hebridean coastal glamping is popular and Hebrides Bothy, on the Isle of Lewis, is an excellent example. The cedar-clad eco-cabins overlook the Point Peninsula and present the perfect setting for a romantic hideaway or peaceful retreat. Room rates are from £95 per night.
If your principal wants a sporting adventure, the Grogarry Lodge on the Isle of South Uist offers access to fishing and other sporting pursuits such as golf, walking and wildlife tours. The accommodation is fully staffed and catered, with prices from £6,600 per unit, per week.
Image provided by Grogarry Lodge, credit Christian Cooksey
Alfriston in East Sussex
One of England’s most beautiful villages, Alfriston and the Cuckmere Valley, is surrounded by the Wealden South Downs. Known for its historical heritage, the Cathedral of the South Downs, wine estates and the Arlington Reservoir Nature Reserve and Fishery, this is a popular destination for outdoor pursuits and hiking.
Where to stay in Alfriston
Wingrove House opened on July 13th and is surrounded by walking and cycling trails and positioned close to Friston Forest and the Cuckmere River. Rooms range from standard doubles to premium deluxe rooms, giving an option for all budgets with consistent quality.
Deans Place Hotel was once a vast farming estate set on the banks of the Cuckmere River at the foot of South Downs National Park. The hotel boasts 36 rooms, has a seasonal heated outdoor swimming pool and is available for exclusive use.
Londonderry in Northern Ireland
Also known as Derry, Londonderry is known for its intact 17th-century Derry’s Walls with seven gates. Attractions include the Peace Bridge, Tower Museum and St. Columb’s Cathedral, where the 1688-9 Siege of Derry artefacts are on display. The museum and cathedral are now open (with reduced operating times), so coordinate your visit accordingly.
Where to stay in Londonderry
The Waterfoot Hotel is a four-star boutique hotel that is newly refurbished and located on the historic Banks of the River Foyle. You can unwind in the chic and stylish hotel and take a scenic walk towards the Derry city centre. The hotel is an excellent choice with access to golf, stunning Donegal, fabulous beaches and Irish scenery.
Ayrshire in Scotland
On the west coast of Scotland near Glasgow sit the glorious regions of Ayrshire and Arran. A mix of quaint, small-town life and coastal gems, this area is famed for its beauty. This area is perfect if your principal loves golf, as there are almost 50 different courses along this stretch of land. With nature walks like Burns’ Trail and the island of Arran to visit, this area of the world will provide the perfect respite for guests.
Where to stay in Ayrshire
Glenapp Castle is an incredible property on 36 acre private land in rural Ayrshire. Sleeping up to 34 guests across 17 rooms, complete with a tennis court, banquet halls and fully staffed butler service, this is a fantastic option for a principal looking to live like a king. Completely surrounded by gardens and parklands, this castle offers a true escape from the stresses of the city.
Isle of Wight
If it doesn’t quite feel like a trip away unless you’ve crossed the water, then the Isle of Wight is an ideal holiday location away from the mainland. The Isle of Wight is one of the best holiday spots UK residents can choose, with a lush unspoiled landscape, towering chalk cliffs, thriving wildlife, and golden sandy beaches. The Isle of Wight is perfect for a COVID-19-safe holiday where you can reconnect with the great outdoors.
Where to stay on the Isle of Wight
Overlooking Shanklin Beach, Luccombe Manor is set on four acres of landscaped gardens and a five-minute walk from Shanklin High Street. This dog-friendly hotel offers access to the facilities at Luccombe Hall Country House Hotel at no additional cost (these include swimming pools, squash and children’s play areas). Room prices vary depending on their size and view.
The Hambrough overlooks Ventor’s stunning coastline and offers 5 AA Gold Star luxury boutique accommodation on the southern tip of the Isle of Wight. There are just seven individually designed rooms and you can eat and drink in the secret garden with safe, socially-distanced seating. Room rates range between £130 to £210 per night, with rooms boasting balconies overlooking Ventnor Bay or St. Boniface Down.
One of the hidden gems of the British Isles, Osea Island is private island luxury within two hours of London. Off the coast of Essex on the River Blackwater, this 380 acre island offers the perfect escape if your principal is used to jetting off to a secluded tropical paradise, as it has an incredible four-mile beach front. Only accessible by a causeway or helicopter, it is truly secluded.
Where to stay on Osea Island
The whole island can be rented out for your principal, which would give them the choice of staying in one of three houses on the coast or in one of the village’s properties. The Manor House may be a favourite, which is a 10-bedroom property situated on the coast. All properties have been refurbished to suit the beach house theme, allowing your principal to feel like they are truly abroad.
If you’re booking a holiday for your principal further abroad, our PA Collective partner, Chapman Freeborn, has given us an insight into private jet travel during the pandemic