How to spend a great summer in the UK: the best UK staycation ideas!
THE BEST UK STAYCATION IDEAS FOR YOUR GREAT BRITISH SUMMER
A staycation is defined as a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
Having a great summer holiday is usually associated with traveling abroad but I’ve actually had the most amazing summers without leaving the UK!
How is it possible without traveling to far and exotic lands? I have created a list of the best locations and experiences across the UK that can easily compete with or even beat holiday abroad.
Check out the snapshots of my magical UK staycations below!
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: THE LAKE DISTRICT
The exceptionally hot summer weather certainly encourages to explore some of the most picturesque UK locations.
I spent a week in the beautiful Lake District in Cumbria.
The Lake District is a mountainous region in North West England. It’s famous for its stunning lakes, forests, and mountains.
The Lake District really is a magical land and sometimes I felt like I was in the middle of a fairy tale. It just seemed too beautiful to be true and I could not believe I was still in the UK!
Because the weather was absolutely amazing I was even able to swim in the crystal clear lakes. There are sixteen lakes in the Lake District; I managed to swim in eight of them!
My two favorite lakes were Buttermere Lake (because of its fairy tale setup) and Coniston Water (great for swimming and paddleboarding, not too busy and good facilities).
Driving through the Newlands Pass leading to Buttermere Village was quite an experience, the views were truly spectacular! This road is not for the faint-hearted though as it’s a narrow winding mountain road with some steep drops.
Although lakes are naturally the main attraction of the Lake District, there is so much more to explore!
I recommend visiting Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse surrounded by beautiful gardens. It’s located in the dreamy village of Near Sawrey.
Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top with the royalties from the first of her little books, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
The magic of Hill Top is seeing Beatrix Potter’s stories brought to life in the place where they were created. Readers of her little books will be able to see the rhubarb patch where Jemima Puddle-Duck tried to hide her eggs and the view up the slate-flagged garden path, captured in The Tale of Tom Kitten.
If you visit the Lake District, you must try gorge scrambling!
Gorge scrambling (or ghyll scrambling) involves scrambling directly up a mountain river, but in the water rather than by taking the path along the side.
I had so much fun and the views were absolutely stunning! I was slightly apprehensive about sliding down numerous waterfalls at first but it turned out to be beyond amazing!
Check out the Lake District Activities by Lakeland Ascents website who organized our gorge scrambling adventure. In addition to gorge scrambling, they offer other exhilarating activities such as waterfall and rock climbing, abseiling, mountain scrambling, and canyoning.
The Lake District has so much to offer for everyone, from spectacular hiking trails to various water activities. It was my first visit to this fairy tale land but definitely won’t be the last!
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: THE ANCIENT TOWN OF RYE
If you are into cute historical English towns, Rye should certainly be on top of your list.
It’s one of the places I like going back to as it makes me feel like I have traveled back in time.
Rye is located in East Sussex, two miles from the sea. It’s full of narrow cobbled streets, antique shops, cute cafes, and restaurants.
The Mermaid Inn is a Grade II listed historical inn located on Mermaid Street in Rye.
It’s not only a truly unique historic building and a favorite place to stay for celebrities but also one of the most haunted hotels in Britain, The Mermaid Inn, located on Mermaid Street.
The current building dates from 1420 and has 16th-century additions in the Tudor style, but the cellars date back to 1156! As the Mermaid Inn is well known for its hauntings, it has been subject to an investigation on the Most Haunted TV series.
If you want to read some ghost stories reported by the guests, check out my post THE MOST HAUNTED HOTEL IN THE UK: THE MERMAID INN.
Famous guests who stayed at the Mermaid Inn include Charlie Chaplin, Marlon Brando, Sophia Lauren, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Dame Judy Dench, Pierce Brosnan, Andy Garcia, Prince Edward and Elizabeth (Queen Mother).
Will you dare to stay the night?
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
I try to escape to the countryside as often as I can in the summer.
I don’t particularly enjoy the hot weather when I’m in the city and I never really understood the excitement of a heatwave coming from people who would be stuck in the office and traveling in trains with no air conditioning!
The English countryside is beautiful and my favorite place is just over an hour’s drive from London in East Sussex, so this is where I spend most of the hot weekends.
I have my favorite beautiful quiet spot by the river where I can go for a swim. It feels like being on holiday in a hot country but I enjoy it even more because it’s so peaceful and private. And it’s free. It’s like having a large natural swimming pool all to myself!
I found myself thinking on numerous occasions why on earth would I pay for a holiday in the sun abroad when all I want is to relax in the sun and go for a swim.
There’s nothing quite like the English countryside for rural escapes, I highly recommend it for recharging your batteries, clearing your head and catching a breath. And the great thing is that wherever you live, I guarantee you will be able to find some beautiful countryside spots near you so you won’t have to travel far.
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: THE MAGIC OF GODRIC’S HOLLOW
Godric’s Hollow is a fictional village in England featured in the books and film series as the birthplace of both Harry Potter and his wizarding headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
Although Godric’s Hollow is fictional, it was based on a real place – Lavenham in Suffolk. Described by The Guardian as ‘one of the most beautiful small towns in Britain’, it was chosen as the location for scenes in Godric’s Hollow.
Full of half-timbered and colorful medieval cottages, Lavenham is a truly magical place and I felt like I was really walking through Godric’s Hollow. I am happy to say it’s the most charming English village that I have visited so far.
Check out my previous post: GODRIC’S HOLLOW: THE PLACE WHERE MAGIC WAS BORN for more details and photos of my visit to Lavenham.
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: GLAMPING
I am a big fan of glamping!
For those of you who are not familiar with this term, glamping means glamour camping and it’s basically a camping type of experience with luxury private facilities. This means you have your own private bathroom (ensuite or an outside bathroom with private access), kitchen, electricity, TV, etc. You don’t have to bring anything with you and you just show up just like you would to a hotel.
Glamping can sometimes be more expensive than staying in a hotel, but paying a little extra is worth it if you are bored with hotels and seek something unusual and quirky.
There are many different types of glamping accommodation, such as Shepherd’s Hut, Glamping Pod, Narrow Boat, Showman’s Carriage, Bell Tent, or Tree House and I am proud to say I have stayed in most of them.
I can even give you a sneak peek of what they are like inside!
UNUSUAL UK STAYCATION IDEAS: DUNGENESS
If you are looking for the most unusual UK staycation ideas, Dungeness should be on top of your list!
Described as the UK’s only desert, It’s a super eerie place with a post-apocalyptic landscape, nuclear power station, majestic lighthouses, miniature railway, abandoned fishing boats, quirky architecture, and thriving wildlife.
There’s a real ‘end-of-the-world’ feel about Dungeness, and its mysterious landscape is a photographer’s dream. It’s one of the most haunting, thought-provoking places I have ever visited and definitely one of the most unusual things to do in the UK.
If you like the idea, check out my Dungeness post for more details.
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: HOLY ISLAND OF LINDISFARNE
In the north of England, situated on the border between Scotland and England, near the River Tweed that separates the two kingdoms, nature becomes capricious. Over here, you find a sacred island: The Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Home to a population of less than 200, and located in a very remote part of Northumberland, Holy Island of Lindisfarne gets cut off twice a day from the mainland by the tide. This mysterious place is known for its medieval religious heritage and picturesque 16th-century castle.
This tidal island is a hidden gem of Northumberland and one of the most magnificent places that you cannot miss!
Check out my blog post about Holy Island for more details.
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: DEAL
In my opinion, Deal is definitely the prettiest seaside town in Kent. Colorful narrow streets, a beautiful beach, pier, quirky architecture, and TWO wonderful castles – Deal has it all!
It’s a place where you can relax, go for a swim and try delicious local food. It’s not as crowded as other seaside towns so you will be able to enjoy your day without any interruptions, long queues or noise.
Check out my Deal post for more details.
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: WALES
Known for its fascinating Celtic culture and distinctive Welsh language, Wales boasts stunning mountainous national parks, beautiful lakes, rugged coastline, and a wealth of picturesque villages.
It’s another fairy tale location that’s not to be missed. The views are out of this world and there is so much to do!
Snowdonia National Park is the largest National Park in Wales. It contains the highest peaks in the United Kingdom outside of Scotland.
Fancy visiting the underworld? Go caving in Wales!
The exploration of caves, also known as spelunking, is an adrenaline-pumping fun guided by qualified and experienced instructors.
You get to experience zip-lining through caverns, boating across a lake, traversing over an abyss, scaling a waterfall and climbing up a vertical shaft, or abseiling your way down to the deepest point in the UK!
No previous experience is necessary and all equipment is provided.
Go Below in Snowdonia offer three different types of adventure. If you are claustrophobic or scared of heights, make sure to check the level of difficulty and types of challenges before booking as some adventures may involve small spaces and heights.
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: SCOTLAND
Scotland is still uncharted territory for me as it’s the only place on this list which I am yet to visit.
I have been postponing this experience because I have a strong feeling that after my first visit, I will feel an overwhelming need to move there!
Whilst the other places listed in this post may be fairy tale locations, Scotland itself is a fairy tale!
Although I have not been there myself, I felt Scotland must be at least mentioned in this article. Check out the pictures below – have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
UK STAYCATION IDEAS: SUMMER IN THE CITY
London is so beautiful in the summer! I really enjoy exploring the city and taking photos of its cute little secret spots.
The city is blooming with gorgeous floral displays outside of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Very Insta-worthy!
Blogging has given me so many amazing opportunities that I would not have even dreamt of before and I am very grateful for every single one of them. As a blogger, I get invited to various launch parties and press events which are a great opportunity to discover new brands and products as well as meet new people.
If you are not a blogger there are plenty of other exciting events taking place in the summer in your city every single day so you can easily fill your calendar with rooftop parties, outdoor movie screenings, local music festivals, flower shows, sport events, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I have inspired you on how to spend a great summer in the UK.
There are of course many other beautiful UK locations not listed here, such as Cornwall, Devon, or Dorset however they are very popular so tend to be quite crowded. My focus was on showing you some hidden gems and UK staycation ideas that would perhaps take you to some places you’ve never been to.
Thank you so much for reading and enjoy exploring the UK!
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