School’s out for the summer. Where will you be going this year?
It’s that time of year again. The schools have closed their doors, the kids need entertaining, and everyone is packing up for a trip to somewhere special. Thankfully the weather has been great so far this summer, which means lots more of us will chance our arm at a UK based holiday. And why not? The UK has some remarkable places to see. From the wilderness of the Outer Hebrides to the simple joys of a traditional bucket and spade day on the beach at Margate, we are spoiled for choice on these little islands.
So where would you go in the UK if you could go anywhere? We asked our team to tell us what would float their boat when it comes to taking a break in the UK. Naturally Cornwall came up a few times but also London featured well, along with York, Edinburgh and Torquay.
However. Don’t forget that you still need holiday insurance if you book a holiday in the UK. Yes, your medical expenses are taken care of thanks to the NHS, but what happens if you have to cancel or come home early? A booking at a hotel, holiday cottage, camp site or holiday park is still a contract and, if the worst comes to the worst and you can’t go, you’ll still be out of pocket. That’s when we’d recommend our great value UK holiday policies from Hotelsure and Guest First. There are no upper age limits for Hotelsure policy holders – something that’s perfect for people who can’t get cover to travel abroad due to health problems. And you can insure a holiday from as little as £15.
Here’s what we’d recommend….
Martin Rothwell – Managing Director
I grew up in Penzance so it would have to be West Cornwall. It’s perfect for its pasties (www.philpspasties.co.uk are best), surf (see our recent blog post for surfing in West Cornwall) and, of course, the coastline. My favourite beach is Gwenver but Porthcurno comes a close second because there is nowhere like it. Where else would you find a theatre carved out of stone right next to the sea? www.minack.com
Melanie Mahoney – Customer Services Administrator
My favourite place is Edinburgh. I love to spend the day visiting the Castle, taking a walking tour of the city or visiting one of the museums (of which there are many www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk ). Edinburgh Zoo, the only zoo in the UK where they let the penguins out to walk around, is just on the outskirts of the city. In the evening Edinburgh comes alive with many pubs, clubs and restaurants. One of my favourites is McKirdy’s Steak House. (www.mckirdyssteakhouse.co.uk).
Colin Cuppleditch – Customer Services Administrator
For me, the hustle and bustle of our nation’s capital offers the ultimate in high-end UK holidays. If I could I’d go palatial and posh with a suite at The Lanesborough, a 5 star hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge which boasts a butler service and Chauffeur Driven Rolls Royce – a snip at £18,000 per night! After that it’d be shopping on New Bond Street, Saville Row and Dover Street Market followed by a swanky dinner out – with amazing views - at Aqua Shard, an eaterie in the UK’s tallest building.
If I’ve got any energy left I’d head into the West End for brand new musical ‘Charlie and the Chocolate factory’ ( www.charlieandthechocolatefactory.com ). Day 2 would be a lot simpler, with a free visit to the Tate Modern ( www.tate.org.uk ) followed by burgers and chips and cocktails at Meat Liquour. www.meatliquor.com .
Jemma Marsh – Operations Manager / PA to MD
Every year my family and I head to Harlyn Bay near Padstow, Cornwall for our annual Easter break. It’s a great destination that takes me back to my childhood and one that will hopefully provide many happy and inspiring memories for my children. My Mum rents a house on the beach, usually either Newlands or Stepper, (www.crwholidays.co.uk/ and www.raintreehouseholidays.co.uk) . On the first day we usually shovel down fish and chips from Rick Stein’s in Padstow (www.rickstein.com) before renting wetsuits from www.harlynsurfschool.co.uk and hitting the beach.
The scenery at Harlyn is stunning with never ending walks in either direction along the coast and the beaches, Boobies Bay, Constantine, Trevose, and Treyarnon provide endless entertainment for all ages. There is rock pooling, surfing, boogie boarding and sand castle building. If you time the tide right, there are limitless amounts of large, juicy mussels to be gathered for supper and enjoyed with a large glass of wine.
Shushanah Tolley – Senior Customer Services Supervisor
My favourite UK holiday destination is York, for the simple reason that I am a history, museum and supernatural freak! And York, funnily enough, encompasses all of these.
My favourite York Museum is York Castle Museum , closely followed by The Jorvik Centre which is built around an actual archaeological site and even includes a ride historical smells!
If you are interested in ghosts, you can also take part in a sufficiently spooky ghost tour which travels through an amazing little street called The Shambles which also, quite handily contains a lot of lovely little eateries and places to wet your whistle (another interest of mine).
There are also a number of gorgeous hotels to stay in. I personally love The Royal Hotel but, there are plenty of lower budget options too. Some might even be haunted. Just make sure you leave the light on!
Andy Price – Creative Director
I love camping and travelling unassisted and have done several hiking and cycling trips and wild camped overnight as part of those but I’d love to do something involving water. I recently read an interview on our blog with The Guy Rope Gourmet, who was about to visit The Great Glen. I looked it up and immediately began planning my own cycling trip along this fabulous natural rift across Scotland. The idea of travelling completely self-powered from one side of the country to the other through beautiful countryside really floats my boat!
Tristan Rothwell – Social Media Manager
If I am going to take a break in the UK then I head for London. I'll hit some of the main shopping spots - although not to shop. I like street photography and places like Soho or Bond Street are perfect for it. It’s like an urban safari.
Then it’s on to Berwick Street for some record shopping. This really is my spiritual home - who needs a beach when you can be searching out some obscure bit of Vinyl. After that it’s Denmark Street to ogle some guitars that I probably can’t afford
If I get the cultural urge I will head for Leake Street tunnel, a hot bed for quality graffiti, and then wander the South Bank towards The Tate Modern. The Bookshop underneath the Tate is one of my favourite shops in London and I always spend too much there. No Trip to the South Bank would be complete without a quick wiz round on the London Eye. In the evenings I'll catch up with a few old mates from my days working in the City - maybe hitting the Bars of Canary Wharf. After that it’s a gentle train ride back to the West.
Martin Dorey – Content Writer
I love Britain so it’s hard to choose. But if I could go anywhere I think I’d like to go to the Orkneys or Shetland Isles, where it’s truly wild, in search of waves and good pubs. That would do it. When I’m there I’d also like to do a bit of fishing, spot wild birds and animals and perhaps even climb a mountain, dive in clear waters or camp right next to the sea. I’d also like to visit Cape Wrath, on the extreme north western tip of Scotland. It’s wild and beautiful and empty. Yes, that would do it.
Sophie Williams – Customer Services Administrator
My favourite place to holiday in the UK is Torquay. Great harbour on a sunny day to enjoy a glass of wine & a boogie at The Venue. With 2-4-1 on Spirits and a great hotel to crash in just a short walk from the city centre ( www.rainbow-hotel.co.uk ) it’s IDEAL!