Sandy white beaches, exotic bird songs and swaying palm trees. A cold Spritz in one hand and that sweet smell of sunscreen enveloping damp skin…. Summer.
As the reality of another few restricted months is dawning upon many of us, this increasingly seems like a hazy memory at best or disappointment at worst. But fear not, we’ve got you and your sun tan covered – turns out that the UK has much more to offer than we jet setters can imagine. So grab your flip flops, SPF and get ready. Here’s how to travel the world without crossing a single international border.
THE PACKING EDIT
Scilly Isles ...not The Seychelles
You don’t need to look far for a beachy paradise and Caribbean vibes. Cornwall is already infamous for its spectacular seascapes and The Isles of Scilly are nestled just a short boat ride away. With over 140 islands and only 5 of them being inhabited, it is perfect for chasing the sun across the vast archipelago and exploring one of its many secluded bays.
Portmeirion ...not Palazzo
For those who are feeling down about missing out on their Italian beau’s and melting gelatos, you may just find a taste of “la dolce vita” after all. Built in Northern Wales by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion is a charming Italian-style village and resort offering everything from cozy hotels to sleek spas. Whilst it does not fully replace strolling down an Umbrian village, it is still a perfect sunny weekend destination.
Salcombe ...not Santorini
As a not so hidden gem of South Devon, Salcombe is already a popular destination for sailing fanatics across the UK. With breath taking views and some of the most stunning villas in the country, it is the perfect place to sit back and soak up the sun – preferably on a yacht with some Prosecco in a silver bucket nearby.
Padstow ...not Palawan
A laid-back fishing town on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, few would expect Padstow to live up to the standards of a Philippino Eden. Yet, its graceful harbour, green cliffs and bright shores have made it a favourite amongst the ‘in the know’. The best part? It is also known as Cornwall’s foodie capital, so you may just spend your evenings chasing Michelin stars across town – did anyone say “fruits de mer s’il vous plait”?
Kynance Cove ... not Krabi
Another Cornwall favourite is Kynance Cove. Its impressive rock formations, standing proudly across a crystal clear, sunny sea will make you forget that you have not taken that 13 hour plane to the emblematic southern Thai coast. As it is easily accessible by car, you won’t even have to worry about packing too many pairs of shoes or outfit changes.
Aldeburgh ... not Antigua
For a little bit of North Sea change that will transport you right to the West Indies, Aldeburgh is the perfect escape. It’s quaint colourful houses, fishing boats and golden sand make for an elegant contrast to the quaint cottages of its Suffolk backcountry. Make sure to stroll around the multiple small boutiques and food stores that are scattered across the town centre.
Tenby ... not Tejakula
Vibrantly painted and lined by a charming harbour, this Pembrokeshire town is somewhere between the Balinese beachside and Copenhagen on a sunny day. It’s 4 km of beaches are frequently featured amongst the UK’s best and attract visitors from all over. Its wholesome atmosphere make it impossible not to sit back and relax.
Cotswold Wildlife Park .... not Kenya
Finally, if the beach, cliffs and sun are still not enough to satisfy the explorer within, there is always the Cotswold Wildlife Park. Grab your favourite pair of chinos, comfy shoes and binoculars to visit these 160 acres of land that are home to 260 different species of animals. It may be the only place in the world where you can see Rhinos grazing to the backdrop of a British manor house.
With the usual ease and popularity of travelling to far away places, it is easy to forget the vibrant island that the UK really is – offering everything from luscious forest to glamorous hills and beaches. The ongoing restrictions are no reason for an empty instagram feed or to continue exploring your nearby park. So what are you waiting for? Summer is waiting and the planning can begin!