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.
With clear guidelines on international summer travel still TBC, for now, planning a sojourn closer to home seems the surest bet. As it turns out, the UK has much more to offer than we jet setters can imagine. So, grab your flip flops, SPF, and sunhat… this year we’re all going on our summer holidays (one way or another).
Here’s how to travel the world without crossing a single international border.
Scilly Isles ...not The Seychelles
You don’t need to venture far for Caribbean vibes and paradisical beaches. Cornwall is already renowned for its spectacular seascapes and The Isles of Scilly are nestled just a short boat ride away. With over 140 islands – only five of which are inhabited – it is perfect place for chasing the summer. Of a summer day, venture across the vast archipelago and explore one of its many secluded bays (so long as too many people don’t make similar moves).
Salcombe ...not Santorini
The not-so-hidden gem of South Devon, Salcombe is already a popular destination for UK sailing fanatics. With breathtaking views and some of the most impressive villas in the country, Salcombe is the perfect place to sit back and soak up the sun – preferably on a yacht with some Prosecco chilling in a silver bucket nearby.
Padstow ...not Palawan
A laidback fishing town on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, few would expect Padstow to live up to the standards of a Filipino Eden. Yet, its charming harbour, green cliffs, and azure shores have made it a favourite amongst the creative set. The best part? It is also known as Cornwall’s foodie capital, so you may just spend your evenings chasing Michelin stars across town.
Portmeirion ...not Portofino
For those not willing to compromise on Italian beau’s and melting gelatos, Portmeirion offers visitors a taste of la dolce vita. Constructed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in in Northern Wales, Portmeirion is a quaint Italian-style village and resort, boasting everything from cozy hotels to sleek spas. Whilst it does not fully replace strolling down an Umbrian village, it remains a lovely weekend getaway.
Aldeburgh ...not Antigua
Take a trip to the West Indies by way of Aldeburgh. Its colourful houses, fishing boats, and honeyed sands make for an elegant contrast to the quaint cottages of its Suffolk backcountry. Make sure to stroll around the local area’s umpteen small boutiques and natural food stores that are scattered across town.
Kynance Cove ... not Krabi
Another Cornwall favourite, Kynance Cove’s impressive rock formations stand proudly along a stretch of cerulean blue sea. This pocket of sunshine will make you forget that you have not taken that 13-hour plane journey to the southern Thai coast (well, almost). As it is easily accessible by car, there’s no limit to the luggage you can take with you. Bliss times two!
Bridport .... not Belle-Ile-en-Mer
With towering syrup-hued cliffs and beautiful clear waters, Bridport-neighouring West Bay in Dorset is a dead ringer for Donnant Beach in France’s Belle-Île-en-Mer. A stretch lined with cliffs and dunes, this seaside location is ideal for family holidays. Enjoy coastal walks and strolls around the harbour, stopping for an ice cream or fish and chips along the way.
Tenby ...not Tejakula
Vibrantly painted and lined by a pleasing harbour, we’d place this Pembrokeshire town somewhere between the Balinese beachside and Copenhagen on a sunny day. It’s 4km of beaches are frequently featured amongst the UK’s best and attract visitors from all corners. For those keen to switch off, Tenby’s wholesome atmosphere makes it impossible not to sit back and relax.
Cotswold Wildlife Park .... not Chobe National Park
Finally, if the beach, cliffs, and sunnier stretches 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 parkland 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.