Beautiful night sky on staycation

4 Amazing Countryside Destinations To Visit For Your Staycation This Summer

As lockdown begins to lift and we slowly see life edging back towards normality, it seems that our chances of a summer holiday in 2020 aren’t completely dashed. 

At the time of writing, only essential travel to other countries is advised by the UK government, so it seems like a great opportunity to try out the famed ‘staycation’ that British holiday parks and travel brands have been trying to get us to take up for years. 

Snarky comments about the weather aside, the countryside in the United Kingdom is well worth exploring —  steeped in history and full of stunning scenery, wildlife and wonderful walking opportunities (and plenty of more adventurous sports for those who wish). We may be a tiny island, but the natural beauty is brilliant and varied, from the near-tropical shores of Cornwall to the rugged mountains and rushing rivers of the Scottish Highlands. 

If you’re looking for staycation inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are four countryside holiday destinations to consider for a getaway this summer.  


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If you’re making a list of amazing countryside holiday destinations in the UK, then of course your list has to start with Cornwall. 

There’s a reason that Cornwall is such a popular holiday destination; the country that forms England’s southwestern tip is full of sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, picturesque fishing villages and family-friendly seaside towns. 

It’s the seaside — miles of coastline, unique beaches and mesmerising sea — that entice visitors to Cornwall in the first place, and once you’re down there, you’ll fall in love. 

Food is strongly tied to the holiday feel of Cornwall too — beautiful fresh fish and seafood are readily available, with delights such as crab sandwiches, mackerel or lobster dishes appearing on menus everywhere. Then of course, you have the classics, like afternoon teas of scones and jam, and fish and chips… And there’s nothing quite like eating a hot Cornish pasty after you’ve got out of the bracing sea, or an ice cream with clotted cream on a hot day.

There are plenty of things to do depending on the type of holiday you want, and each part of Cornwall has its own unique personality and feel. Our favourite area? Down towards Land’s End — home to beautiful, sandy beaches like Sennen and Porthcurno, the magical Minack Theatre, and the dramatic St Michael’s Mount in Mount’s Bay (pictured above). 

The Lake District

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If you’re looking for dramatic landscapes, then the Lake District is probably the staycation destination for you. 

The rugged mountains and huge lakes of this Unesco World Heritage Site create breathtaking views that will impress any visitor — and that never become boring if you’re heading back again and again. 

If you’re into your hiking, then there are plenty of incredible walks to do, from more gentle ambles to steeper, harder climbs that may involve some scrambling. 

And for water sports fans, there are lakes, rivers and tarns to explore. A spot of wild swimming in natural pools and waterfalls will help you cool down after a long day hiking, or you can take a SUP or kayak onto lakes like Derwentwater and Rydal.

The Lake District has also inspired numerous writers, poets and artists, from Romantic poet Wordsworth to beloved children’s author, Beatrix Potter. So if you’re a literature lover, aspiring artist or budding author, then this could be the perfect place to immerse yourself in history and find your own inspiration amongst the spectacular landscape. 

The Forest of Dean

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England’s oldest oak forest — situated in Gloucestershire on the Welsh border — has seen plenty of change over the years. Once a royal hunting ground in medieval times, a Tudor timber forest, and an iron and coal-mining area during Victorian times, the Forest of Dean is now a scenic destination for holiday-goers looking for both outdoor adventures and quiet getaways. 

This ancient woodland is made up of forests, rivers, hills and valleys that you could happily explore for days; there are miles of trails throughout the forest which you can take on foot, bike or horseback. Along the way, you can stop off at castle ruins, steam trains and picturesque picnic spots. 

For a more alternative way of taking in the scenery, you can hire canoes and kayaks to meander down the River Wye, pulling up onto natural beaches for a bite to eat or a swim. 

In particular, the Forest is great for families, so if you’ve got young kids, we’d definitely recommend it. Attractions like Clearwell Caves (an underground system of caverns and mines, made up of 230 acres and going to 180 metres in depth), the Sculpture Trail, and Go Ape treetop walks will keep kids happily occupied. As for the adults, you can always end your day in a pub garden with a pint and chips to celebrate your days of adventure.


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It may be a faff to get to, but Pembrokeshire (a seaside county in the southwest of Wales) is bloody worth it. 

There are few stretches of shoreline that are as unique and fascinating as the coastline of Pembrokeshire, which boasts dramatic cliffs, rock arches and sea stacks, all interspersed with beautiful, unspoilt sandy beaches.

For those who love rambling, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail follows this breathtaking coastline for 186 miles, offering some brilliant sea views as well as glimpses of Celtic castle ruins, local wildlife, fishing harbours and more…

And for those who just want to spend their time relaxing on the beach or splashing around in the sea, the beaches tend to be sandy, glorious and uncrowded. Barafundle (one of the best beaches in Britain), Saundersfoot and Broad Haven South beach are all amazing, but don’t just take our word for it — go and see for yourself.

If you’re looking for a countryside staycation destination, then the four above are well worth a visit this summer. The only thing you need to decide is whether you’re packing the tent or treating yourself to an Airbnb!

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