Most people associate the British Isles with cities – London, of course, and then Edinburgh, Manchester etc.
Many miss the multiple areas of outstanding natural beauty in the British Isles – the places where British people go on their holidays! These destinations are now beginning to emerge and are becoming the hottest places to visit in the UK.
Here are our top 6 destinations on the British Isles that are hot to travel to right now:
The Lakes District
The trend to areas of natural beauty in the UK was kicked off by the announcement earlier this year that the Lakes District was to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. This stunning region in the North West of England is England’s biggest national park and also contains the highest mountain in England Scafell Pike.
The area has been incredibly well loved by the English for centuries and best known for its fantastic walks and ever changing weather! There are 14 actual lakes in the Lakes District, the largest and best known being Lake Windermere. The area is also filled with very cute English villages such as Hawkshead, Keswick and Grasmere.
In addition to walking there are many options to explore the lakes – from traditional boat trips to kayaking, windsurfing, canoeing and much more.
Snowdonia is in the north west of lovely Wales. The national park contains the second highest mountain in the British Isles, Mount Snowdon. This is an achievable but challenging day hike or you can just take the train to the top! There is a great café there that serves amazing soup!
Conwy is charming medieval walled town with a castle, town walls to walk and the smallest house in Britain! It is a great town to have a wonder around and stop for a spot of lunch. Then head to the beautiful Bodnant Gardens. Bodnant covers over 80 acres and has a mix of garden styles – from well sculptured to wild!
This is also a fabulous area for foodies so make sure you stop in to some of the fantastic farmers markets and local restaurants.
The Isle of Wight
A ferry from lovely Lymington takes you a short distance over the English Channel to the Isle of Wight. Time seems to slow down when you get to the island. It is known for its walk, beaches, fish and chips and ice-cream! The most westerly point of the island is home to The Needles, 3 massive white chalk rocks that are very scenic.
There are watersports, cycling, horse riding, golf etc all on offer as well as every type of accommodation. The island is particularly family friendly but also wonderful for anyone looking to slow down. The Isle of Wight festival is held every June and features well known bands and musicians. Make sure you book quite a bit ahead if you plan on attending the festival as it is extremely popular.
The Isle of Skye
From the calm of the south of England to the wild and rugged north west coast of Scotland! It is now possible to drive to the Isle of Skye over the appropriately named Skye Bridge! Don’t forget to stop and check out Eileen Donan castle before you head over – and you will probably need to stop in again on the way back as the weather will most definitely have changed!
Skye is a magical and wild place. The weather is a key feature as it is always changing and brings with it incredibly strong winds. It is quite a large island so it is best explored via car. Portree is the main town and a great base.
The Cuillin Hills offer stunning opportunities for walks in the wild landscape. Go with a guide or make sure you know what you are doing with a map as the constantly changing weather can have a big effect on visibility.
Perhaps the most scenic drive is the one around the coast line of the most easterly tip of the island. Here you will encounter everything from the old Man of Storr rock to a Fairy Glen (yes it is supposed to contain fairies!) to Tartan Rock – a rock that looks like, well, tartan! There will also be a lot of sheep along the way and the view will change from completely clouded over to stunningly clear blue skies. If fairies do exist I am quite sure they would choose to live on the Isle of Skye!
The Scilly Isles
The Scilly Isles are perhaps the least well known of the destinations in this article. This is bound to change once the word gets out as they are a stunning and unique archipelago off the coast of Cornwall. There are 5 inhabited islands and only one allows cars.
There are 2 options to get to the Scilly Isles – a short flight or a longer boat trip. The boat trip can apparently be quite difficult on the stomach. The flight could be a tourist activity in its own right! If you get a nice day the views from the plane are jaw dropping. And as the Scilly Isles has one of the mildest climates in the British Isles the odds of that are quite good!
St Mary’s is the biggest island and home to the most shops, restaurants etc. Importantly it is also home to the most boats! One of the many charming features of Scilly is that boat trips for the day are not announced till that morning – so essentially you wonder down to the port and see what the options are. There are also boats run between the islands in the evenings that allow you to head over and have a walk, a pub dinner and then catch a boat back. So lovely!
Tresco is the second biggest island and home to the number one tourist attraction of the islands – the glorious Tresco Abbey Gardens. Due to the unique climate of the Scillys these gardens have more than 20,000 plants from around the world – the majority of which cannot be grown anywhere else in Britain. The gardens are beautifully sculpted and oh so photogenic!
The Norfolk Coast
Norfolk is in the east of England and appears to be best known for being rather flat! This does however give the area that lovely big sky feel and makes for some stunning views. It is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe – particularly Holkham which was made famous in the movie Shakespeare in Love.
This area is best explored by car. It is full of great views, lovely towns, fantastic food and quite a few windmills! Don’t miss the lovely town of Burnham Market – a favourite of weekending Londoners. Cromer is the home of delicious crab – best enjoyed in a crab sandwich! Wells by sea is delightful and over on the western side is the lovely beach area of Hunstanton.
Norwich is the closest major city. Although Norwich is a lovely city do head out of it and stay around the coastal area. If you do have some extra time head further each and explore the stunning Norfolk Broads – the marshy home to many boats!
The British Isles offers some stunning places to visit that are currently most frequented by Brits – head over for a different type of holiday!
Ready to fly to the British Isles
Whilst the British Isles now offer some fantastic eating experiences let’s face it the French have had somewhat of a head start! One of my favourite things about Air France is the fantastic food that is on offer no matter what cabin you are in. Even better they also serve champagne in all cabins on most intercontinental flights! I doubt a fully qualified wine sommelier chooses the wine on offer on Ryan Air!
The seats feel very luxurious after a few too many trips on budget airlines! The armrests, seats and even headrest can all be adjusted to make you super comfortable (and there are fleece blankets!) – and there are loads of options available if you want a particular seat in a particular part of the cabin.
Add in a brilliant app and competitive prices and bien sur Air France!
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6 Hot Destinations on the British Isles to Travel to Right Now
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