It’s the question on everyone’s lips in the UK. When and where can I go on holiday?
Boris Johnson announced a roadmap out of lockdown on February 22nd, and it’s given us hope to dream of future holidays again (and, even cautiously, plan ahead). Staycations have begun to open up, and as of May 17th, we’ll be moving towards a traffic light system that lets us begin to explore more of Europe through May and June.
In the meantime, here’s a rundown of our favourite post-lockdown holiday destinations that we can’t wait to visit once it’s all safe to do so. Roll on summer!
1. Lake District, UK
Located in Cumbria, Northwest England, this mountainous region offers plenty of unique outdoor experiences for nature lovers, such as learning bushcraft survival skills, going on a guided fell walk on the shores of Lake Windermere, cycling, or even stargazing – the Lake District offers one of the darkest skies in the UK. Marvel at those diamonds and unplug from the mains for a few days. It’s the guaranteed respite we’ve all been craving!
Check it out on our Hiking and Bushcraft in The Lake District trip.
2. Peak District, UK
The Peak District is another great option for those looking to connect to nature, and one of our favourite post-lockdown holiday destinations.
Located in southern end of the English Pennines, the national park covers more than 500 square miles and is one of the top spots in the UK for hiking enthusiasts. Two of the most popular routes are The Pennine Way, which passes through the North of the Park, and the Limestone Way; the White Peak is the main attraction.
Other fun things you can do here are:
- Rock climbing
- A guided mountain bike tour through the beautiful Derwent Valley
- Picnic lunch if the weather’s on your side!
Check it out on our Hiking, Climbing and Biking in the Peak District trip.
3. Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands have long been synonymous with majestic lochs, iconic mountains, rugged coastlines, and a curious mystery that enshrines the place… But it also happens to be a damned fun place to explore!
Famous as the backdrop of many Hollywood movies, like Harry Potter, Braveheart, or Lock Ness, it’s a region that captivates millions of tourists each year. There’s a ton of awesome stuff to do here but some of the best include the hike up to Arthur’s Seat, listening to folkloric Scottish stories in a pub whilst sipping local whiskey and, of course, trying to hunt down the mythical, dinosaur-like monster Nessie. We share our top Scotland spots here.
Check it out on our Highlands Hiking trip.
Ireland’s a country of ravishing beauty, famous for its natural landscapes, beautiful castles, Guinness, whiskey, happy locals, and the popular Game of Thrones series. What’s not to love? If you’re travelling there for the first time, here are some of the top things to do:
- Visit Blarney Castle (and kiss the famed Blarney stone – Irish tradition, it’s a must)
- Drive along the Causeway Coastal Route for views like you’ve never seen
- Have a drink with the locals and listen to traditional music
- Visit the iconic Cliffs of Moher in County Clare
Check it out on our Ireland trip.
5. Devon, UK
Until more exotic waters are ours for the exploring, a little trip to southwest England can satisfy your seaside cravings. Devon is the perfect place to get some R&R and enjoy the best parts of coastal life on holiday. It’s full of gorgeous beaches with lush waters that are perfect for swimming in and even better for surfing on! Obviously no trip would be complete without trying the famous Devonshire creamed tea so get that in you (you can swim it all off, anyway).
There’s lots of beautiful scenery to explore, heaps of hikes to either challenge you or take it easy on, plus nightlife and buzz in the bigger cities of Exeter and Plymouth.
Check it out on our Surf and Yoga in Devon trip.
6. Brighton, UK
Head straight south from London and you’ll find another stunning coastal gem in Brighton. Brighton has beach vibes, a great pier, and an artsy attitude that offers lots to do and see. When you’re not by the water you can explore the epic culinary scene (fish and chips by the pier is just as satisfying as the swankier gastro pubs!), breweries, cute boutiques, and vintage shops.
If you’re looking to hit up the tourist hotspots visit these places:
- Royal Pavilion – built as a seaside pleasure palace almost 300 years ago, with Indian-designed exterior and Chinese-style interior
- i360 Viewing Tower on the seafront – for views across the whole of Brighton
- Brighton Museum & Art Gallery – you can wander the Pavilion gardens it’s located on, which are great
- Devil’s Dyke – for the best walking trails on the South Downs
Check it out on our Brighton Mini Break trip.
Ah, Wales. Nestled quietly to the west, and with so much to offer! Another great place to reconnect with nature and experience a bit of the wilderness, there are heaps of outdoor activities at every turn. From hiking, camping, glamping and wild swimming, to its beautiful coastlines and green countryside, it’s the perfect place to go off-grid.
Taste the local eats of Wales, like the Welsh Rarebit and sugary sweet Welsh cakes (delicious), enjoy the scenery and castle views.
Portugal is one of the trendiest countries in Europe right now – the food alone is enough to convince us why. From port wine and pastéis de nata to the legendary piri piri chicken and fresh seafood, its local eats are unmatched. When you’re not eating, you can spend your days surfing on the stunning coast, and beaching in Sintra and Cascais. Add in biking the medieval cities, and living your best life in the Algarve, and you’re destined to fall in love with Portugal from day one.
Portugal’s recently been removed from England’s ‘travel ban’ red list, so there’s hope that people will be able to holiday there in the coming weeks, just as soon as the British government gives the go-ahead on international travel.
Check it out on our Portugal City & Surf trip.
For almost all UK nationals, Greece remains one of the most sought-after spring and summer destinations and for good reason: plenty of sun, turquoise waters, silky sand beaches, delicious food and a multitude of islands to explore.
While travel restrictions to Greece remain in place, there’s been some exciting news: the Greek government recently announced that the country would welcome back tourists starting from May 14th. That’s regardless of whether they have a vaccine passport or not. You’ll need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before flying – but the island’s are now very much in sight!
Check it out on our Greek Island Hopping trip.
When can we travel again?
The government’s roadmap to emerge out of lockdown is, so far, going to plan. That means domestic holidays in the UK have opened up again, and as of May 17th, lots more things (like hotels) will open. June 21st is when all restrictions will lift. Hurrah!
When it comes to international travel, there’s still a bit of a way to go. England and Scotland have announced that the earliest date people can holiday abroad will be May 17th. Wales and Northern Ireland haven’t announced any official plans for foreign holidays again. But we’re on track, and fingers crossed we’ll be able to enjoy holidays in the UK (and even internationally) through summer! For all the latest guidelines head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.