With the prospect of foreign travel looking just as remote as ever, it seems most of us are once again looking closer to home for our 2021 vacations.
According to the latest UK Travel Intelligence Report*, 24 per cent of the UK population plan to do more staycations than they did pre-pandemic. This compares to 13 per cent looking to visit Europe more frequently, and 5 per cent planning to travel outside of Europe more often than they did pre-COVID.
Apparently 14 per cent of us are planning a short ‘holi-stay’ in either April or May, with 12 per cent counting down the days till a UK break in August.
Time then for another round-up of idyllic destinations, here covering adventurous bank holiday breaks, half term trips and remote romantic escapes…
Apparently 14 per cent of us are planning a short ‘holi-stay’ in either April or May, with 12 per cent counting down the days till a UK break in August…
Cornwall – the premium holi-stay destination
This intriguing group trip takes in both the north and south coasts of Cornwall beginning in Padstow, renowned for its food scene and home to several of Rick Stein’s acclaimed restaurants. Cross the Camel Estuary by ferry and discover Rock and the beaches of Polzeath and Daymer Bay. The group will then head to the southern coast to explore the Fowey Estuary as well as the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Mevagissy. For the second half of the trip, the group will be based in Charlestown staying right in the Georgian harbour, as seen in Poldark.
Exodus Travels’ five-night Walking in Cornwall is priced from £999 per person including five nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast, five days’ guided walking, and transport and activities as listed.
Pembrokeshire – best for walking
The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path stretches 299km along the South Wales coastline from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south. 2022 will be the 70th anniversary of the area being designated a national park with the path itself being Wales’ first national trail when it opened in 1970. This new walking holiday follows the southernmost section of the Pembrokeshire Coast path, starting in the historic town of Pembroke. From here it follows clifftop trails with spectacular sea vistas, distinctive natural rock formations, and some of Wales’ best bays and sandy beaches.
Headwater (www.headwater.com) has a seven-night self-guided walk from £829 per person including accommodation with breakfast daily, maps, luggage transfers and services of a local representative.
Norfolk – for outstanding natural beauty
The North Norfolk coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This Headwater cycling holiday, new for 2021, takes in both the country and coastal scenery. The trip includes time at RSPB Titchwell and the seals at Blakeney, as well as visits to Sandringham and the gardens of the historical manor houses of Holkham and Houghton Hall. Three nights are spent in Holt, a Georgian market town as a base to explore the coast and reach the Norfolk Broads, a haven for avid bird watchers.
Headwater (www.headwater.com) has a seven-night self-guided cycling holiday to Norfolk from £1,099 per person including accommodation with breakfast daily, bike hire, GPS route maps and navigation app, luggage transfers and services of a local representative.
Scottish Highlands – time for a remote adventure!
Explore Scotland’s less travelled North Highland Way with Exodus Travels, beginning with three nights in Scotland’s northernmost town of Thurso before walking west across the very top of the UK’s mainland. The adventure begins with a scenic railway journey from Edinburgh, admiring Scotland’s stunning landscapes while getting to know fellow travellers. The group tour encompasses exhilarating walks along the remote and wild North Atlantic Way, breath-taking cliff-top views, and along Scotland’s most magnificent beaches. In addition to exploring the mysterious Scottish Highlands, the trip also includes a day trip to the Orkney Islands with possibilities of seeing puffin colonies, whisky tasting in the famous Wolfburn Distillery and a visit to John O’Groats.
Exodus Travels (www.exodus.co.uk/) has a seven-night Walk the North Highland Way priced from £1,499 per person including seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast, six days’ guided walking, luggage transfers and transport and activities as listed. Departure options include 10-17 April and 4-11 September 2021.
Plymouth, Devon – the place for marine history
From the classic 1950’s architecture of the rebuilt city, to a 17thcentury fortress, maritime heritage and scenic grandeur, Plymouth never fails to surprise. ToursByLocals offers private, customisable tours in over 180 countries, all led by local guides to help visitors travel like an ‘insider’, getting under the skin of the destination whilst exploring hidden gems, best watering holes and local legends. With local ToursByLocals guide Chrissie who has been a qualified, accredited Blue Badge Tourist Guide in England’s South West for many years, take the brand-new Plymouth walking tour that showcases the expanse of Plymouth Hoe and the old medieval town, the history of the Mayflower and its Pilgrims, and World War Two. Visitors can also take in the views across the waters of the Plymouth Sound, the UK’s first National Marine Park.
ToursByLocals (www.toursbylocals.com) offers private, tailored tours, including three in Plymouth. The Plymouth Devon Walking Tour is priced from £340 for up to six people for three hours.
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire – best break for families
Apparently £30m has been invested into revamping Nottingham Castle, with a view to creating an attraction worthy of the fame of Robin Hood. Due to reopen this spring, the new visitor centre will host a range of year-round outdoor events including tours, trails, and underground cave adventures.
The four-star St James Hotel, located in Nottingham’s city, is a short walk from Nottingham Castle, ideal for local museums, historical sites and shopping in the area.
Anglesey – perfect for those seeking a romantic break
Couples can explore Wales’ tranquil rolling hills and the scenic island coastline of Anglesey by bike, boat or on foot and then curl up at Bodafon Lodge.
These lakeside self-catering lodges sit right on the edge of the water and have a private hot tub on the outside decking. For chillier days there’s a log burner in the living area and the bathroom comes complete with a sauna. For an extra touch of romance, a pamper pack can be pre-ordered containing Champagne, chocolates and use of bathrobes. The lodges are individually designed, have all the expected modern comforts as well as allowing up to two dogs to stay.
HolidayPirates (www.holidaypirates.com) has a four-night stay at the Bodafon Lodge from £485 per couple (£63 per person per night) and a deposit of just £25.
*The UK Travel intelligence Report, compiled by travel communications agency Lotus, surveyed 3,000 UK households on travelling in the context of the COVID-landscape.