Some time in the future, and hopefully in 2021, this mess that is Covid 19 will come to an end and all will go back to normal. Although we may want to strap ourselves into an airplane seat and jet off to a tropical location, the UK is a country that can offer something to everyone. On that note, many of us either own small businesses or work in the leisure, tourism, and hospitality industries. These industries have taken a battering over the last year, and it’s up to us to help rejuvenate the economy. Perhaps we should think about taking a UK holiday after the pandemic instead?
Let’s start with the capital of the UK. Visitors could spend weeks here and still not see everything that the city has to offer.
I’d recommend a visit if you’ve never been before. Decide whether to spend your time learning at London’s famous museums and galleries- like the Natural History Museum, Tate Britain, or my personal favourites, Museum of London and the Imperial War Museum – or immersing yourself in history through the city’s landmarks. Though they are a little pricey, a visit to the Tower of London, or Cabinet War Rooms will give you a little insight into what shaped the city into what it is today.
There are also thousands of pubs, bars, and clubs where you can spend an evening. I love a night at The Comedy Store in Leicester Square. Tickets are reasonably priced, and the routines are always hilarious.
Anywhere in the Lake District will do. I fell in love with Grasmere on a trip in 2017, as it’s the quintessential Lakes village. We stayed in the Daffodil Hotel, on the lake and loved how serene the area was, but also how perfect it was for hikes.
There is a fell at each end of the village that are manageable for the beginner hiker, and should you want to go further afield, a ramble to Rydal just next door is a perfect way to spend a day. Grasmere also sports an excellent gingerbread shop called ‘The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop’ which sells the most delicious gingerbread I’ve ever tasted.
Plus, the vastness of the Lakes mean that you’ll probably be able to successfully socially distance from everyone.
Yes, this location is best known as the home of Shakespeare, but that’s only one reason to go. As well as exploring the historic homes in the town (including the church where Shakespeare is buried, and one of the oldest pubs in England) you could explore the surrounding areas.
If you’re into capital cities and have already done London, spend some time in Edinburgh. The Gothic architecture is simply magnificent, and like London, the city is full of historical landmarks to sink your teeth into.
I really enjoyed a visit to the zoo. Edinburgh Zoo has a broad selection of animals, including some extra exotic species. Or you could consider visiting during the Fringe Festival for an opportunity to see an array of fantastic performers.
Pembrokeshire in Wales is a wonderful place for a holiday. It has the perfect balance of coast and country for anyone to enjoy. Tenby is the area’s busiest town, but really, anywhere in the national park is worth seeing.
From Tenby, you could catch a boat to Caldey Island, wander through some stunning castles, or marvel at the coastline on the MOD land. If the hustle and bustle of Tenby isn’t quite your scene, the smaller village of Saundersfoot is just a 10 minute drive away.
Hawes is an ideal spot for exploring the Yorkshire Dales on a UK holiday after the pandemic is over. You would need access to a vehicle to see the whole national park, but from Hawes, you could easily spend a day in Malham, Grassington, or Ingleton.
The Dales are more exciting than you might expect. You could climb mountains, or hike through waterfall trails. You could wander through castles. You could delve into caves. The history and geology of the area are fascinating and could certainly keep you occupied for days.
Not somewhere you’d initially think of for a UK break but Sheffield is a city right on the edge of the Peak District. You could get your metropolitan kicks at Meadowhall Shopping Centre, or hit the bars for some day cocktails, then spend a few days rambling through the countryside.
If you’re feeling rather fancy, you could stop off at Chatsworth House and pretend you are the Duke or Duchess of Devonshire.
It seems unusual to suggest a whole county as a location for a UK holiday after the pandemic but Dorset has a little something for everyone.
The beaches and coastlines are dramatic, and hold remnants of prehistoric life. The castles and stately homes, like Kingston Lacy are interesting and beautiful. Or, if you wanted something a little more active, you could visit the Tank Museum or Monkey World – or both since they’re located practically opposite eachother.
Though you might not think it, Dorset is a great place for country walks too. There are a collection of country parks, Wareham Forest, and the Isle of Portland which are free to visit and fun to explore.
Another city with quality surroundings is Canterbury. Spending a day in the city to punt on the river or gaze at the cathedral is worthwhile, especially on a warm spring afternoon.
Related: Travel Diary: Visiting Canterbury
Like Dorset, there are lots of places near Canterbury where you could walk and enjoy nature, like Blean Woods or No Man’s Orchard. If Canterbury isn’t your style, Kent is the garden of England, and has an endless collection of beautiful accommodation and countryside to go with it.
The Cotswolds are a favourite location for UK holiday makers for its quintessential ‘Englishness’. Think chocolate box villages and people in tweed! Stow-on-the-Wold is a fairly central town in the Cotswolds, offering good connections to local attractions, like the Cotswold Wildlife Park, and to other key areas, like Cheltenham and Bourton on the Water.
Related: Visit: Cotswold Wildlife Park
If you are willing to drive through the entire area, Castle Combe is located at the south of the AONB. It’s a beautiful village with a great little cafe, but make sure you get there early in the morning – coachloads of visitors appear around lunch time.
Of course, these are just ten locations you could book for a UK holiday after the pandemic. Start here, and it might just ignite the same love for travel in the UK that I too have.