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The best UK holidays after lockdown

Where do you dream of travelling in the months after lockdown? Perhaps the question should be: where will you be allowed to travel, and how will you feel about it?

 

Tunnels Beaches, IlfracombeTunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe in Devon

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Best UK holidays after lockdown 

It seems clear that for many people the UK will be our first port of call. But don’t let all those photos of sardine-packed beaches in Southend and Brighton put you off. This is an opportunity to discover – or rediscover – the remarkable beauty, rich culture and regional diversity of our own country.

Here, Mark Hodson of 101 Holidays, selects 10 of the most appealing UK holidays to book after lockdown.

Charter a barge in Scotland

If you’re looking for a real treat, you can charter a luxury hotel barge in the Highlands. The Scottish Highlander sleeps eight with a crew of four and cruises along the Caledonian Canal from April through to October. You can book a berth or – better still – charter the whole vessel with European Waterways, to enjoy gourmet food, wine included and fascinating shore excursions. Exploring Scotland by barge must be one of the best UK holidays ever!

barge on Scottish loch

 

Boutique hotels in Wales

Wales boasts a wealth of cosy boutique hotels with countless miles of gorgeous countryside on the doorstep. i-escape has put together a guide to the best including Llys Meddyg, a restaurant with rooms in Pembrokeshire National Park, and Ffynnon, a small stylish hotel with six bedrooms in Snowdonia.

cosy pub interior in Wales

 

Walking in the Lakes

Many of us have been dreaming about long walks and tactivities in the Lake District, with endless views and cosy pubs. If you want to splurge, book one of the lake houses at The Gilpin. To keep costs down, stay at small friendly Hassness Country House, which is owned and run by Ramblers Holidays and welcomes both couples and singles.

House in the lake district

 

Cottages for two

If you don’t like the idea yet of mixing with others, you could rent your own cosy little cottage for two. Rural Retreats has more than 600 rental cottages that sleep two. You’ll find them in every corner of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They range from a simple wood-built shepherds hut in woodland in Suffolk to a Victorian hunting lodge overlooking 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland. This is definitely my idea of one of the best UK holidays.

Thatched cottage in England best UK holidays

 

Take a spa break

Who doesn’t love a spa break? Many of us will be craving a spa treatment right now, whether it’s a reflexology massage or a French manicure combined with the calming environment and healthy food of a spa retreat. Specialist spa hotels are working hard to establish new protocols and many will be well placed to open soon. The Healthy Holiday Company is your best guide to where to stay.

outdoor spa pool at night

 

Drive the North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 in the Scottish Highlands is one of Europe’s most beautiful driving routes and it’s on my travel wish list. You’ll discover wild beaches, dramatic ruined castles and traditional fishing villages. McKinlay Kidd has designed a seven-night itinerary with stops at charming inns and small hotels. You can drive your own car or rent one in Inverness.

North Coast 500 route ScotlandThe North Coast 500, Scotland

 

Indulge your passion for music

If you love classical music, you can join fellow enthusiasts at a small specialist festival in the UK. Kirker Holidays runs its own festivals where you can attend recitals and mingle with the artists. This includes a three-night festival dedicated to chamber music in the historic and incredibly pretty village of Alfriston in East Sussex in November.

violinist close up fingers

 

Walk the Welsh borders

Would you like to spend your days enjoying the superb countryside of the Welsh borders and your evenings at a gorgeous cosy little hotel? Then book a stay at the four-star Castle Hotel in the delightful market town of Bishop’s Castle in Shropshire. It’s been around since 1719 and knows how to look after its guests. 

Castle Hotel frontage at Bishops CastleCastle Hotel in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire

 

Find a waterfront cottage in Norfolk

You’ll typically pay a hefty premium to rent a cottage on the waterfront, whether it’s overlooking the Thames or the coast of Cornwall. But Norfolk has such a wealth of coastline, rivers and lakes, that it’s a great destination if you want to gaze out over your own little patch of water. Kett Country Cottages has an inspiring collection that includes coastguard huts, modern harbour-front apartments and pretty houses overlooking the Broads. You might like the idea of a Norfolk road trip.

waterfront cottage in NorfolkWaterfront cottage in Norfolk

 

Group trips for singles

If you’re on your own, or your prefer to travel solo, there are some group trips just for you. Solos Holidays has a range of UK breaks including three nights in Harrogate in October and a hike through the Cheddar Gorge in September.

Cheddar reservoirCheddar Gorge in Somerset

I hope this has given you some UK inspiration for travels for the best UK holidays after lockdown. I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors with some hiking in the UK’s stunning scenery. For more ideas, visit 101 UK Holidays.

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The Lake District UK

 

Joanne

Friday 26th of June 2020

These are such great options for post-Covid. I certainly want to stay far from the teeming crowds. Scotland would be a beautiful option and a cottage in rural England would be lovely.

Suzanne Jones

Friday 26th of June 2020

I want to stay away from crowds as well. A cottage makes the perfect rural retreat with long walks and relaxing in the garden. A Scotland road trip is my current dream trip right now!

Tania Muthusamy

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Scotland is on my radar and your photo of the North Coast 500 in Scotland's Highlands looks fabulous. It would be so much fun to rent a car and drive. Chartering a barge in Scotland, through the Caledonian Canal would be even more exciting I think.

Suzanne Jones

Thursday 25th of June 2020

I love a road trip. We've done quite a few in the US but I really like the idea of the North Coast 500 too

Laura Pedlar

Thursday 25th of June 2020

I’d like to do a staycation this year, maybe a few long weekends. I like the idea of the barge holiday in Scotland! I live in Cornwall and all the campsite are already fully booked, it’s great for the economy but I hope everyone stays safe.

Suzanne Jones

Thursday 25th of June 2020

We're thinking along the same lines. Not in a hurry to jump on a plane at the moment. I like the idea of getting outdoors for long walks and picnics!

Smita

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Driving through the Scottish highlands is indeed a bucket-list-worthy experience - we did a part of it last year and were blown away by how spectacular it was! If only the weather had kept up with us we would have had an awesome trip - hopefully, next time. I have been fascinated by the Lake District ever since reading Jane Austen - really need to get there soon!

Suzanne Jones

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

When the weather's good the UK is fabulous. We went to the Lake District for the first time a couple of years ago and we loved it. Lots of hiking, beautiful views and great weather ;-)

samantha karen

Monday 22nd of June 2020

Looks like there are many amazing places to visit in the UK after lockdown. I haven't explored much of the UK yet but I'm very eager to do so! The thought of Driving the North Coast 500 looks amazing and definitely added it to my list of things to do.

Suzanne Jones

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

The North Coast 500 is on my travel wishlist to. The UK has some stunning scenery and I'll be happy to explore any of it this year!