Top 10 UK Countryside Holidays
Rolling hills, acres of green grass, picturesque walks and pretty villages are all part of the unique UK scenery. Boasting acres upon acres of countryside, you will be spoilt for choice if you are deciding to make an escape to the country. Here are our top 10 UK countryside breaks :
With beautiful countryside, spectacular coastline and warm beaches, Dorset is the perfect getaway to enjoy all England has to offer. Dorset it home to quaint towns full of colourful harbours and seaside fun, where you can enjoy a pint in the local pub or walk along barefoot with an ice cream at hand whilst you make the most of the Jurassic coastline. Sherbourne is without doubt one of the most beautiful towns in England. Medieval and mellow stoned this Dorset gem has a magnificent abbey, two castles and reputation for art, antiques and unique shopping centers.
2. The Yorkshire Dales
The Dales are ideal for visiting all year around, with the varying landscape taking ownership of whatever the weather throws at them. Enjoy long winter walks on the moors, with the wind in your hair a la Cathy and Heathcliff or enjoy a brisk climb up the high peaks during spring. At Christmas, the Grassington Dickensian markets are a must. Villages are laced with traditional English pubs, tearooms, antiques rooms and gift shops, so you can happily spend a week just wandering from one place to the next. Hotels and restaurants are mainly small and independent, meaning you may pay a little over the odds but you will certainly find quality.
3. Forest of Bowland
Located in a remote part of Lancashire, the Bowland Fells, as they are also known, offer a truly tranquil getaway from life in the city. Indulge in the 312 acres of beautiful countryside this area of outstanding beauty has, with long walks across the Ribble Valley, Pony Trekking at Beacon Fell Country Park or picnicking by the River Wyre. Visit Clitheroe Museum then stay at The Spread Eagle hotel for affordable luxury. If you want a more traditional stay, you can hire a country farm house and cook up an old fashioned Lancashire Hotpot.
4. The Peak District
With a plethora of contrasting natural beauty, with moors and dales, rivers and springs, The Peak District attracts thousands of visitors each year to enjoy its stunning landscapes. The highlight is a trip to the National Park, where you can camp out under the stars at night and enjoy long family works by day. Visit Lyme Park and Chatsworth House to experience what it would be like to be Lord or Lady of the manor and visit the town of Bakewell to try the traditional tart of the same name.
5. The Lake District
With more than 3,500 kilometres of rights of way, you can walk, cycleand ride around the countryside to your heart’s content. Visit Keswick in the north and Ambleside in the south for a chance to experience ancient stone circles, Roman forts, copper mines and traditional farmers markets. Boating and kayaking on Lake Windermere is a must as is a trip to its Michelin star restaurant Holbeck Ghyll. There are 14 camping barns across the Lake District, all an ideal base to explore the area at your own pace. Tarn Flatt, near St Bee’s is particularly good but if luxury is more your thing then why not rent a countryside cottage.
Explore the timeless beauty of rural Somerset. With some dramatic features such as Cheddar Gorge or Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor you will find everything you hoped for in a countryside getaway. Sheltered beneath the Mendip Hills, Wells is countryside at its best with scatterings of some of the best medieval architecture in England. Glastonbury is more than just home to a music festival, take a walk to the top of The Tor for spectacular views of the area. With many National Trust houses and gardens, Somerset is full of hundreds of things to do and plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets.
7. The Shropshire Hills
If you browse images of the English countryside you are bound to come across the beautiful Shropshire Hills. The hills, rolling farmland, woods and river valleys of this varied and special landscape are rich in geology and wildlife and ingrained with heritage. The area is great for fell walking and horse riding, due to its multi-terrain landscape and is home to many walking and cycling challenges. Whilst the area can be enjoyed all year round, during winter many places close for the season so a self-catering holiday may be more suitable.
8. Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire
Wild moorland, heath and grassland make up the landscape of this Welsh getaway. Situated in beautiful Pembrokeshire, the hills are steeped in history. Apart from stunning views, there are prehistoric ruins, burial cairns, Iron Age hill forts and the Bedd Arthur stones, said to be the resting place of King Arthur. With many museums and galleries, this is a great choice for a family holiday, with many self-catering cottages and camping sites to suit large groups.
9. Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads is the UK’s largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway. It has National Park status. The broad, shallow lakes are man-made rather than natural. They began as pits dug for peat to provide fuel during medieval times. Over the centuries water levels rose, the peat diggings became flooded and by the 14th century they were abandoned. Boating, angling and bird watching are all popular activities here, as you would expect with so much water. Boating holidays are available in the area, where you can eat, sleep and travel the wetlands.
10. The Isle of Skye
Voted the 4th best island in the world by National Geographic is home to some of the most breathtaking landscape in the UK. Perfect for a visit any time of the year, but extra special in winter, Skye has a rich tradition of crofting which you can learn all about at The Skye Museum of Life. Acres of unspoilt land is dotted with small holiday cottages and traditional thatched cottages all of which make up picture perfect views. Challenge yourself with mountain climbs or play safe with a brisk coastal walk, either way you will want to spend as much time outdoors as possible.