Looking for holiday ideas to explore Britain's wonderful highlights? We're here to help and have rounded up the very best UK holiday destinations to visit.
When it comes to escaping the daily grind, UK holiday destinations offer incredible sites you just won't find abroad. From our amazing railways taking you through breathtaking countryside to our quaint villages and historic cities, there's so much to explore at home.
The best UK holiday destinations are found all around Britain too, from north to south. There are the Scottish Highlands offering wild, remote beauty and the Cotswolds leaving you utterly mesmerised by their unspoilt scenes.
Snowdonia is a terrific place for captivating views, while the Isles of Scilly are ideal for experiencing Caribbean-like beaches without the carbon footprint. The opportunities to see the charms of the UK are endless!
Whether you're planning on travelling as a couple, a family or solo, you'll find a variety of places in the UK for an amazing staycation this year and next.
Whatever the time of year you're travelling in, be it winter, spring, summer or autumn, these are the UK holiday destinations to consider.
1. Scottish Highlands
Scenic, remote and one of the real treasures of Britain, the Scottish Highlands offer a truly wild escape, where you can get lost among mountains, lochs and beaches. Home to Britain's largest national park, the Cairngorms, as well as the legendary Loch Ness, mighty Ben Nevis and Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands are also where you can ride the amazing Jacobite steam train, aka the Hogwarts Express.
Taking you over the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct, just like Harry Potter and his friends, and close to Ben Nevis, Loch Morar and Loch Nevis, the Jacobite is an absolute must-do. Try it on a four-day Scottish adventure, where you'll also take in Loch Katrine and the Falkirk Wheel.
When? June 2022
Alternatively, you can experience the Highlands in classic luxury as you sail around on a yacht-style cruise that takes in Fort William, Loch Linnhe and Oban.
When? April 2023
When? Various dates throughout 2022 and 2023
With its royal attractions, wonderful wildlife and stunning natural scenery, Norfolk is a marvellous destination for your UK bucket list. Marvel at its windmills, watch the seals and their pups, and be amazed by the unspoilt countryside. There's no better way to explore Norfolk's charms than by train, with the Bittern Line, Poppy Line, Bure Valley Railway and the Mid-Norfolk Railway providing relaxing rides.
For something truly special, you can experience a variety of rail journeys in Norfolk during a five-day escape with historian Lucy Worsley, who will join you on a tour of the Sandringham Estate.
When? May, July, September 2023
If you're a foodie, you can experience Norfolk during a tasty trip with cookery legend Delia Smith.
When? September and November 2022
Pembrokeshire is an incredibly beautiful part of south-west Wales. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, this county offers seemingly endless coastal walks with awe-inspiring views. Along the coast you will discover meandering trails leading to quaint harbours, hidden coves, and quirky towns, including Britain’s smallest city, St Davids.
One highlight of the Pembrokeshire coast is the pretty village of Fishguard. From here you can explore the ancient woodlands of the Gwaun Valley, on a walking trail that takes in the River Gwaun, the medieval Llanychllwydog Pillar Stones, and the ancient St Brynach Church.
You can visit Fishguard and the Gwaun Valley on our exclusive cruise, where you’ll also discover the wildlife, remote islands and spectacular scenery of Britain’s coastline.
When? July, August and September 2022
We’re lucky to have a vast number of fascinating historic palaces to explore in the UK. One of the most impressive is Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. The towers and battlements of the castle peer over the town of Windsor, creating a spectacular skyline. It’s no wonder the Queen recently decided to make the elegant Windsor Castle her permanent residence.
You can visit Windsor on our special three-day tour to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee this year. You’ll enjoy a private, after-hours tour of Windsor Castle and a champagne reception and will be joined by the Queen’s brilliant biographer Robert Hardman for a fascinating talk.
When? October 2022
One of the most picturesque pockets you'll find in all of Britain, the Cotswolds are where you'll fall in love with chocolate box villages, miles of rolling countryside and grand stately homes. Covering 800 square miles of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, you can only imagine how much there is to explore - from 'England's prettiest village' Castle Combe to the gardens of Prince Charles' private residence Highgrove House.
This September, you can explore the Cotswolds' gorgeous gardens with The One Show host Christine Walkden who will join you on a tour around Highgrove. There will also be visits to other beautiful gardens, including at Hidcote and Broughton Grange.
When? September 2022
With its sprawling estates, historic houses and manor gardens, Northamptonshire is the underrated UK holiday destination to add to your 2021 and 2022 bucket list. It's home to Althorp House, the home of Earl Spencer, which is one of the highlights of the county. The magnificent 13,500-acre estate features a 90-room Grade I-listed stately home filled with art, furniture and ceramics.
Around 20 minutes from Althorp in the village of Stoke Albany, on the edge of the picturesque Welland Valley, lies The White Horse Inn, a quintessential English village inn, originally built as a coaching inn in 1706. It's small and cosy, with exposed oak beams, open fires and exposed stone walls.
When? Whenever you like!
The wildlife, white sand beaches and ample walking opportunities, Scotland's Inner and Outer Hebrides are an utter delight. The more than 50 inhabited islands off the west coast of the country offer island hopping at its finest - because who needs Greece and Croatia when the islands of islands, like Islay, Mull, Harris and Lewis await?).
It's here that you can truly immerse yourself in Britain's natural beauty by spotting puffins, eagles and deer. There are enchanting castles to discover too, such as Duart Castle on Mull and Dunvegan Castle on Skye, plus there's whisky to try and dark skies for stargazing.
Experience the ultimate island hopping cruise around the Hebrides with Country Living in spring.
When? April 2023
8. Peak District
We can't think of a better place to experience the great outdoors than the Peak District, where you can make the most of the great open spaces and soak up the views of England's wild beauty. It's also a fabulous spot to marvel at sprawling stately homes and do some antiques shopping, with Chatsworth House and Chesterfield Flea Market being two of the top places you'll want to visit.
From quaint farm houses to country inns and blissful holiday cottages, the Peak District has an array of places to call home during your break. It's also the perfect place for walkers to enjoy. In fact, you can join Country Living's exclusive five-day walking break in the Peak District in 2022.
When? September 2022
Britain's most underrated capital city, Belfast is compact but packed with delights, from its Botanical Gardens, which are free for everyone to visit, to its maritime history, which you can get to know at the architecturally-stunning Titanic Belfast. For more history, you'll want to stroll in front of City Hall and stop for a pint at one of the most beautiful British pubs around, the National Trust-owned Crown Liquor Saloon.
The best thing about Belfast? It's a city that nature-loving active travellers will appreciate. Due to its size and location, you're just a few minutes from beaches and scenic Strangford Lough. This is the place to get up close to wildlife by kayaking the calm waters (try an experience with Mobile Team Adventure), where you'll spot seals and make your way to the lough's deserted isles.
Another way to experience Belfast this year is with former BBC correspondent Kate Adie, when you'll hear her fascinating insights about the Troubles, visit Titanic Belfast and see the Giant's Causeway.
When? October 2022
A haven for gardeners, Kent is a superb county for seeing England at its very best. Here, you can stroll through writer Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Castle Garden, take in impossibly pretty manor house Ightham Mote and sip delicious wine at Chapel Down.
There's plenty to explore in Kent, from gorgeous gardens to vineyards and castles. A great place for a couples' escape, there's romance all around and if you're after a quintessential British country getaway, there's miles of it to discover on two feet - or two wheels!
Kent has a huge range of hotels, cottages and cosy inns for a mini-break.
When? Spring and summer are excellent seasons to drive through the countryside
11. Jurassic Coast
A place so beautiful it often features on posters for British tourism, the Jurassic Coast is a UK holiday destination everyone should visit at least once. It was England's first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site and if you like beaches, you'll find a whopping 95 miles of dramatic coastline to discover.
Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are its most iconic spots, while the pretty seaside towns of Swanage, Lyme Regis and West Bay are worth adding to your list. This spectacular region in Dorset has plenty of history, too - we're talking dinosaur history! Famous around the world as one of the richest heritage sites for prehistoric remains, the Jurassic Coast is the place to join a fossil hunting walk.
Around 20 minutes from Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door lies The Bear Hotel in Wareham, a quirky boutique hotel, combining 18th century charm with modern day luxury. Or get to know the Jurassic Coast on Country Living's five-day rail tour...
When? September 2022
12. Isles of Scilly
Sitting 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, these idyllic islands are the UK's answer to the Caribbean. The heavenly white sands, turquoise waters and slightly milder climate make the Isles of Scilly a UK holiday destination everyone should have on their bucket list. Five of the 140 isles are inhabited (St Mary's, Tresco, St Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes) and boast some of Britain's most outstanding attractions, including Tresco Abbey Garden.
There are dark skies for stargazing, wildlife that thrives (including puffins and Atlantic grey seals), plus the laidback lifestyle that's high on most island holiday wish lists.
You'll find a range of hotels, cottages and B&Bs to book in the Isles of Scilly, such as St Mary's Hall Hotel in Hugh Town, St Mary's, but for an unforgettable tour of the islands, join Country Living's exclusive trip with wildlife and nature experts in autumn, when you can really get to know the destination.
When? October 2022
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