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Lockdown Life: Top ten holiday destinations in the UK this summer

The easing of restrictions appears to be constantly delayed, especially with the spread of the new Delta variant in the UK. Now the future of post-lockdown life seems rather uncertain. We all envisioned ourselves free at last, enjoying nights out and gradually returning to a ‘new’ normal by June 21st, but unfortunately, we have had to put our dreams on hold for another four least.

However, this is no reason to not make the most of your summer! Due to the precarious situation of the pandemic many of us are looking to stay at home for health and financial reasons, but a staycation in the UK is much more than a practical convenience. The cluster of islands that make up our little kingdom are home to over 12,000 miles of coastline, 15 national parks with natural beauty and flourishing wildlife, and endless opportunities to indulge in seasonal produce and local delicacies - there's a staycation vibe for everyone!

Whether you’ll be celebrating our future freedom with a group trip with your loved ones, an intimate couple’s getaway or an adventurous solo escape, get exploring the UK!

Here are some of Gen-Z Talk’s Top Ten destinations for your staycation this summer:

1. Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Why not start exploring the UK again with a visit to Wales, home to uncountable and unimaginable hidden gems, like the secret infinity pool in Snowdonia National Park.

The pool itself was actually built as a renewable energy source to harness the hydro power of the mountain stream it’s situated on, but is now a popular destination for its crystal clear water and impeccable view.

Snowdonia National Park also has the highest mountain and the largest natural lake in Wales, which can be discovered on breath-taking hikes, making it a perfect location to discover the Welsh natural world.

2. Bath

Next on our list is the Roman city of Bath, the UK’s second most popular staycation location. Bath is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a relaxing city break with its stunning architecture and picturesque streets.

The city has so much to offer and is actually the only city in the UK to be a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety for its natural hot springs and gorgeous Georgian architecture.

Obviously, the city gets its name from the famous Roman baths in the town. Although you aren’t able to bathe in them, there are other places to bathe with luxurious spa treatments available. You can book a torchlit summer evening at the baths from the 23rd July until the end of August for a unique and unforgettable experience of the 2000 year old buildings.

3. Cotswolds

If you’re road tripping from London to Bath, a perfect stop-off on the way is the Cotswolds, another popular destination. Just two hours outside London you’ll discover lovely little villages and amazing views.

The picture above shows the magical village of Castle Combe, which has been named England’s prettiest village numerous times. No new buildings have been allowed to be built there since the 1600s, making it really feel like you’re travelling back in time.

4. Peak District

Ever hung out with an alpaca? Well at Brackenfield Alpacas in the Peak District you’re able to feed, pet and take alpacas out on a walk. This is just one of the many incredible activities you can do in the Peak District!

Renowned for its spectacular walks, the Peak District is located in central England where you can discover marvellous landscapes, reservoirs, cycleways and diverse wildlife.

Pictured above is Stanage Edge, which only takes fifteen minutes to get to the top and is considered an ideal spot to watch the sunset.

5. Cornwall

Cornwall is a classic UK staycation spot, renowned for over 400 stunning sandy beaches and an ideal surfing scene. Being surrounded by coastline also means there’s an opportunity to sail, paddle board, kayak or hop on a boat trip.

There are so many hidden coves and beaches for you to discover, like St Nectan’s Glen (pictured above). This spot has been called one of the most sacred sites in Britain and is one of the most beautiful and fascinating historic sites in Cornwall. It has also been named a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in recognition of the array of rare plants growing along the river. At St Nectan’s Glen there are three waterfalls that can only be reached on foot after a mile-long walk beside the River Trevillet.

6. Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye, nicknamed ‘cloud island’ is famous for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles. The landscapes are breath-taking and you’re able to reach them by a bridge connecting the island to mainland Scotland. The island is the largest of the Inner Hebrides and the picture above shows the gorgeous capital, Portree.

7. Stonehenge

Why not dive into ancient British culture by taking a trip to Stonehenge? The legendary prehistoric monument has puzzled historians and archaeologists for centuries and its purpose is still unknown today. This UNESCO World Heritage Site takes under two hours to get to from London, and is also an ideal stop-off on the way to Bath.

8. Devon

After Cornwall, Devon is the next UK hotspot for pristine sandy beaches. With its incredible coastline and beaches with clear blue water, such as Saunton Sands (shown above), you could easily mistake it for the Caribbean (depending on the weather of course!).

Like many of the locations on this list there are beautiful little hidden gems, a popular one in Devon being Tunnels Beach, a quaint old Victorian bathing pool that you can find by going through old stone tunnels.

9. Les Minquiers

Another place that you could easily mistake for the Caribbean or the Maldives is Les Minquiers, which are a group of islands south of Jersey. Although Jersey is not technically part of the UK as it is part of the British Isles, it is located in the channel between the UK and France so not far from home at all!

The Minquiers islands are home to striking white sand banks surrounded by turquoise water, ideal for paddleboarding, swimming and even picnics. You can expect to find a variety of wildlife, including seals and dolphins!

10. London

Last but not least, London is an amazing staycation spot, especially for city-lovers. Among the hustle and bustle you’ll find a huge variety of food, cute cafes and secret gardens. A great thing about London is that there are so many free attractions. Some of the finest museums, such as the National Gallery, the Science Museum and the National History Museum can be explored for free.

London's vibrant culture is thanks to the diverse melting pot of cultures, nationalities, and languages found there, which is what makes London so attractive to travelers nationwide as well as worldwide.

Cover picture credits: Central Liverpool Credit Union

Denia is our Lifestyle & Travel Editor and a third year student studying BA French & Arabic at the University of Leeds. She is pursuing a career in international relations and diplomacy and is interested in foreign languages and cultures and filmmaking. Her Instagram handle is @denia_beidaoui.

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