5 staycation destinations for an early break in 2021
With the four nations split in their response to the coronavirus pandemic, different tier systems, lockdowns, and local restrictions could apply across the UK at the start of the new year.
But with vaccine rollouts starting and the potential for more areas to come out of the higher tiers as the overall situation improves, now is a great time to look forward to traveling (albeit nationally rather than globally) as we head into spring.
Here are five great destinations for a staycation next year.
1. The North East
Northumberland National Park is the most northerly, but least visited, of the country’s National Parks. At over 1,050 square kilometres, it stretches from the Scottish border in the north to just south of Hadrian’s Wall.
It’s a wide area, encompassing the Cheviot Hills, rolling moorland, and the manmade reservoir of Kielder Water as well as many archaeological sites documenting thousands of years of UK history.
Further north, though still in Northumberland, you’ll find the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This tidal island has recorded history going back to the 6th century. A small castle was built there in 1550 and the building is now maintained by the National Trust.
Still on the coast, if you’re looking for a seaside staycation, try Tyne and Wear’s Whitley Bay.
The resort town boasts a two-mile Blue Flag beach, the 120-year-old St Mary’s Lighthouse, and the Iron Age settlement and Anglo-Saxon monastery of Tynemouth Castle and Priory. For something a little more modern, visit North Tyneside’s answer to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the Spanish City.
Away from the seafront, there’s the National Trust-owned Seaton Delaval Hall. And just a few stops along the Tyne and Wear Metro – the journey itself is well worth it for the stunning sea views – visit the Grade II* listed Tynemouth station for a weekend market beneath the steelwork of its intricate Victorian roof.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, surfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding are great ways to get out onto the water. On land, hire a bike to cycle the coast.
York is a city steeped in history. Walk along its city walls, stroll the Shambles, or dare yourself to enter York Dungeons.
Built by the Romans in 71 AD, large sections of the city wall remain intact (though much altered from Roman times). The city has the longest remaining city walls in the UK and tracing their route is a fantastic way to glimpse York’s history.
The Shambles is a narrow street of looming timber-framed buildings dating from the 14th century. Visit the street and you’ll be transported to a time when construction was still underway on nearby York Minster Cathedral.
Other city attractions include the Jorvik Viking Centre, the National Railway Museum, or, for a more relaxing afternoon, take a boat tour along the Ouse.
3. The Peak District
The Peak District is a sprawling National Park incorporating sparse moorland and the rugged peaks of Kinder Scout and Mam Tor. You’ll also find picturesque villages such as Castleton and the spa towns of Buxton and Matlock Bath.
The High Peaks reward the intrepid adventurer with miles of walking routes suitable for experienced and more casual hikers. At Castleton, you’ll find show caves and boat trips into the area’s cavernous mines.
Matlock Bath, on the eastern edge of the Peaks, counts Princess Victoria of Kent, John Ruskin, and Lord Byron among its former visitors. Present-day sightseers will want to brave the cable cars hanging precariously above the River Derwent or take the zig-zag path to the summit and the Heights of Abraham.
A hilltop tourist attraction with stunning views over the Derwent Valley from the viewpoint at Tinker’s Shaft, there are also regular mine tours into the Great Masson and Great Rutland Caverns, both of which have been attracting visitors since Victorian times.
The city of Bath in Somerset is a World Heritage Site. The first stop for any Bath staycation must be the Roman Baths. Dating from around 60-70 AD, a Roman temple was built on the site of a public bath in use throughout the Roman era. Rebuilt throughout the Middle Ages, the site receives more than a million visitors a year.
Explore the baths, walk on the original Roman pavements, and see the ruins of the former temple.
Elsewhere in the city, marvel at the Georgian architecture of the Royal Crescent, or head out to the National Trust-owned Prior Park. Prior Park and its Palladian Bridge are both Grade 1 listed and the bridge – complete with Palladian arches – is one of only four such bridges in the world.
Complete your historic and architectural tour by exploring the gothic architecture of Bath Abbey.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, take to the River Avon on a paddleboard tour of the city or cycle the 13-mile Bath to Bristol route and explore another historic West Country town.
The likes of Padstow, Newquay, and St Ives have been tempting ‘staycationers’ since long before the coronavirus pandemic made UK holidays a must.
But the county has an abundance of beautiful fishing villages, panoramic coastal walks, and large towns like St Austell, home to – amongst other things – St Austell Brewery.
For the archetypal Cornish fishing village try Mevagissey, just six miles south of St Austell. Tight one-way streets lead to the working harbour where you can take a mackerel fishing boat or coastal tour to view the stunning Cornish coast from a new perspective.This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any product for sale. This article contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results and no representation is made that the stated results will be replicated.