Great Britain is proving popular with holidaymakers once more this summer, as May’s heatwave seems set to extend into June and beyond across the British Isles.
Once more the shores of Blighty, are in demand so grab your bucket and spade and feast your eyes on the best summer holiday destinations across England, Scotland and Wales.
Scottish national parks
Scotland has two national parks which are perfect for summertime exploration. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs is where you’ll find Scotland’s rugged brilliance, featuring wild scenery and plenty of restaurants serving traditional food such as haggis in addition to locally-distilled whiskey.
Loch Lomond is Britain’s biggest lake and you can explore it by hiring a boat, canoe or jet ski or hopping aboard the near century-old Steamship Sir Walter Scott for a loch cruise. Little ones can also go for a paddle in one of the national park’s 22 lochs.
There’s also Cairngorms National Park. Alongside royal residence Balmoral Castle, whose public grounds can be visited from March to July, there are plenty of forest paths, rivers, wildlife hotspots and friendly villages to discover.
In the Cairngorms, which is twice the size of the Lake District, you can also visit the UK’s only free-grazing reindeer herd at Glen More, take a rise on the highest railway in Britain or climb to the country’s second highest peak and stand atop Ben Macdui.
Cornwall and Devon
Cornwall and Devon combine to create one of England’s most beautiful regions. A large portion of the South West’s tourism is centred along its edges and in Cornwall alone you’ll have access to over 300 miles of coastline awash with dunes and cliffs. Hit the beach in St Ives for the country’s best surfing, paddle the day away at Praa Sands or go rockpooling at Nanjizal.
In Devon you’ll find both Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, which contain some of England’s last remaining wilderness areas with untamed expanses stretching as far as the eye can see. Both areas are great for days of hiking and rural exploration, while Cornwall’s popular Eden Project houses exotic flora and fauna from diverse climates and environments across the world.
The Pembrokeshire Coast is the jewel in Wales’ crown, with many turning up for its first-class sands. Pembrokeshire has over 100 beaches, 44 of which have Blue Flag status, and last year Barafundle Bay was named in a list of the world’s top 25 beaches by Passport Magazine! The Pembrokeshire Coast is also connected to Wales’ northern reaches thanks to its 870-mile long coastal path.
Kids will love Oakwood Theme Park. Here you’ll find something from toddlers to teens – whether that’s the enchanting and classic Carousel or the fast and furious Megafobia roller coaster! You can also discover the regions varied flora and fauna, from the bluebells which carpet the floor of its woodland to the butterflies dancing through arches of honeysuckle and over clouds of thrift and gorse.
In the serene setting of the Norfolk Broads, you’ll find 125 miles of waterways, beautiful scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. A boating holiday in Broads national park is the perfect way to enjoy this part of the world as you escape the stresses of day-to-day life onboard a cruiser, picnic boat or kayak.
Stay in a fully-equipped waterside holiday cottage which acts as a home away from home, providing a great base from which to fish, walk or cycle your way around the region. You can find a range of exciting attractions on the Norfolk Broads including Africa Alive, a walking animal safari covering over 100 acres, and Bewilderwood adventure park – the perfect spot for families with its treehouses, zip wires and jungle bridges.
Bath and Bristol
Although two separate places, Bath and Bristol act as twin centres due to their proximity. Explore Bath, a city combining modern culture with a rich history and heritage. Here you can visit the ancient Roman Baths and bathe in the newer Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only public natural hot springs.
Bristol is the livelier of the two cities and has plenty going for it. Visit the work of Brunel and see the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, which can be combined with a hike through Avon Gorge. You can also go for a dip in Bristol at Clifton Lido – a swimming pool hidden from view by rows of beautiful townhouses.