The great British holiday means different things to different people – from a weekend of sun and sand in Blackpool to an energetic few days of hiking through the wilds of Yorkshire. Whatever your idea of a holiday at home is, it’s easy to forget just how much diversity we have in our own backyard – so here’s five ideas for your next break:
On the beach in Margate
Where to stay: Stop in a B&B for that authentic seaside holiday feel – just be sure to get in before lock-up every evening!
What to do: Margate remains one of the top British seaside resorts, with clean, golden sands, fish ‘n’ chip restaurants and, of course, all the penny-swallowing arcades you can handle. The Turner Contemporary and Shell Grotto are great places to experience Margate’s long association with the arts.
One of Margate’s most famous attractions, Dreamland, was sadly closed in 2005. However, work is underway to relaunch the amusement park that stayed open for the best part of a century, as well as repairing the popular Scenic Railway and adding new rides – so visitors in the future may be able to experience the classic ghost train, water chute and flying scooters all over again!
Countryside getaway in Devon
Where to stay: Rent a cottage to combine the best of English scenery with the luxury of your own place.
What to do: Enjoy the stunning rural landscapes of the south-west on a walking holiday, visiting local beauty spots like Becky Falls and Lydford Gorge. Get lost (not literally) in the wilds of Dartmoor, and spend relaxing days at the many farmer’s markets the county’s charming towns offer.
Devon is also a great place to take the kids, with places like Pennywell Farm where they can make friends with farm animals and watch falconry displays. Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre offers a magical look at vintage fairground rides and steam-powered contraptions from history that children are sure to love, for a fun and educational day out.
City break in Edinburgh
Where to stay: A city centre apartment or a hostel if you’re budget-conscious – but the closer to the centre, the better.
What to do:
As well as its famous castle, winding cobbled streets and vibrant pubs and clubs, Edinburgh is famous for its festivals. The Fringe in August is the world’s largest arts festival, and overlaps with the annual Film Festival, while the Jazz Festival takes place in July.
Even out of festival season, it’s a fantastic city with something for everyone. Explore the spooky underground vaults of the Scottish capital on one of the famous Auld Reekie tours, take a leisure boat cruise on the Firth of Forth, drink a dram or two at the Scotch Whisky Experience and spend a relaxing afternoon exploring the Royal Botanic Garden.
Riding high at Alton Towers
Where to stay: For the full experience, check into the Alton Towers Hotel, which offers quirky themed rooms and rides on-site.
What to do: Take the kids for a weekend of fun in Britain’s most famous theme park. Thrill-packed rides like the Nemesis, Oblivion and the spine-chilling Thi3teen are just the beginning: there’s also a water park to explore and even a spa for Mum & Dad to relax in at the end of a long day.
Alton Towers is divided into a number of zones, such as the pirate-themed Mutiny Bay and the dramatic Forbidden Valley. To save too much walking around, it’s worth visiting just a few of these each day before moving on to the next ones. Visitors planning a trip to the park in 2013 have a real treat in store: the resort’s longest-ever rollercoaster, codenamed SW7, is due to open in March.
Adventure sports in Snowdonia
Where to stay: Take your pick from the many camping and caravanning sites in the great Welsh national park.
What to do: A caravan break doesn’t have to be all about playing Monopoly in the rain – Snowdonia offers white water rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking and much more! For a more relaxed outing, there are also plenty of golf courses and fishing spots – Llyn Cwellyn, lying in the shadow of mighty Snowdon, makes for an unforgettable fishing trip.
One fantastic way to take in the beauty of Snowdonia is to go on horseback. Places like Snowdonia Riding Stables offer trekking in the hills for all experience levels. If you’re up for a real challenge, try climbing Snowdon – there are six routes to the summit of varying difficulty, so be sure to pick the right one for your group’s ability. The Watkins Path is generally considered the hardest, but this means it’s less crowded – the decision is yours!
This article is contributed by RentMyCottage.com