With international travel back on the cards, the idea of a drizzly staycation here in the UK might seem ludicrous.
Research commissioned by NatWest, which surveyed 2,000 18 to 40-year-olds from Britain, found that 84% said there were many places they were ‘yet to explore,’ in their own country – with 56% hoping to rectify this before they turn 40.
If you’re stuck for ideas, you needn’t worry – those surveyed also chose their favourite travel experiences from a shortlist compiled by a group of travel experts, from vineyards in Kent to coasteering in Wales.
Taking the number one spot is Northumberland’s International Dark Sky Park, where you can stargaze into the darkest skies in England.
Also high up on the list is seal spotting at Blakeney Point Nature Reserve, as well as a road trip up Scotland’s North Coast 500 and a wilderness course in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District.
Of course, music and dancing can’t be taken for granted, with Glastonbury festival, Manchester’s Canal Street, London’s Notting Hill Carnival and Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle making the list, too.
It isn’t short of beaches either: think Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall and Pentle Bay on the Isles of Scilly.
The list also features a number of great foodie options such as Birmingham’s Balti Triangle, which took third place, cream tea taste-testing and Devon and Cornwall, a whiskey tasting tour in Scotland and a walking gin tour through Belfast.
You can find the full list of experiences below.
The 40 must-do UK staycations:
- Stay the night at the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and stargaze into the darkest skies in England.
- Take the ultimate road trip on Scotland’s North Coast 500 and see spectacular wildlife, landscape and imposing Dunrobin Castle.
- Travel to Birmingham’s Balti Triangle, the culinary birthplace of the famous ‘Balti’, for a uniquely British-Asian foodie experience.
- Explore the UK’s 2,000 miles of canals and rivers with a staycation on a canal boat.
- Learn bushcraft and survival skills on a wilderness course in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District.
- Go seal spotting for common and grey seals at Blakeney Point Nature Reserve.
- Bask in the early morning sunshine on the golden sands of Porthcurno Beach after an overnight stay in Cornwall.
- Savour world-class English wines and book a vineyard tour in Kent.
- Explore the Puzzlewood in the Forest Of Dean, the landscape that inspired Tolkien’s ‘Middle Earth’.
- Climb the basalt steps of the Giant’s Causeway in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland.
- Swim in the crystal-clear waters of Pentle Bay, Tresco, and stay by the white sandy shores on the Isles of Scilly.
- Go hiking in the vast, wild Epping Forest, Essex, and get back to nature in a camping pod.
- Take a stroll round the picturesque and colourful Italian-style village of Portmeirion, Wales.
- Watch the headline act at Glastonbury Festival, Somerset.
- Hire a traditional punt and sail under the Bridge of Sighs on the River Cam, Cambridge.
- Visit the Turner Contemporary Gallery in the trendy and kitsch seaside town of Margate, Kent.
- Enjoy nature with a touch of luxury whilst glamping in the New Forest.
- Hike up Mount Snowdon in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales – the highest mountain in England and Wales.
- Taste-test a cream tea from Devon and neighbouring Cornwall and decide which is best.
- Sandboard down ‘The Big Dipper’, Europe’s second-largest sand dune, in Merthyr Mawr, Wales.
- Visit Devon and Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast to discover prehistoric fossils.
- Tour a former mine 300ft underground at the Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon, Wales.
- Breathe in the fresh sea air during a coastal hike along the Seven Sisters, Sussex.
- Take a scenic drive from Glasgow to Fort William up the A82 for peak Scottish views.
- Cycle along a former railway line, the Tissington trail, in the Peak District.
- Join the parade at Notting Hill Carnival in London, celebrating the UK’s Caribbean history.
- Get a taste of the upper class and visit the real Downton Abbey; Highclere Castle in Hampshire.
- Take a trip to Windsor Castle, Berkshire, and see one of Her Majesty’s residences.
- Book tickets to explore the magnificent palace, park and gardens at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
- Go on a whiskey tasting tour at a Scottish distillery in Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland or Speyside, in Scotland.
- Relive history by walking the 5000-year-old Neolithic Ridgeway in Oxfordshire, the oldest road in England.
- Hire a kayak off the beautiful beaches of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.
- Book a walking gin tour through the iconic pubs and artisan distilleries in Belfast.
- Party in an old brick warehouse in the Baltic Triangle; the thriving cultural hub of Liverpool.
- Take a trip to Manchester and dance the night away in one of the many gay bars lining Canal Street.
- Join the lively London Pride parade as it goes through London
- Experience the history of the Thames at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.
- Travel on the oldest, steepest inland electric funicular railway in England on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway.
- Get an adrenaline rush whilst coasteering cliffs, caves and rockpools in Pembrokeshire.
- Go surfing on the 19 miles of coastline in North Devon.
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