For many, holidays conjure up images of jetting off into the sunshine and sipping on a cocktail beside the pool, so it may surprise you to learn that an estimated 41.7 million tourists visited the UK in 2018. There is clearly plenty to love about the UK, so why not consider a ‘staycation’ for your next break? With a coastline stretching over 7,000 miles and 15 national parks covering nearly 9,000 square miles, the UK is the perfect place to get closer to nature and discover an abundance of wildlife.
The isle of Anglesey is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. Accessible via the Menai Suspension Bridge, off the coast of mainland Wales, this island is known for its beaches. In fact, in 1966, the entire coastline of Anglesey was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, protecting its varied landscape and habitats from inappropriate development. You can actually walk along the coastal path, taking in limestone escarpments and sand dunes on the south coast, with dramatic sea cliffs in the north. From Anglesey, you can also take a boat trip to the uninhabited Puffin Island, a special protection area for wildlife.
The Lake District
Home to vast lakes and magnificent mountains, the Lake District in the northwest of England is certainly deserving of its status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Of the sixteen lakes that make up the Lake District, the largest, Windermere, holds an astonishing 300 billion litres of water! The landscape here varies greatly with the seasons but, regardless of when you choose to visit, you will marvel at the natural beauty the Lake District has to offer. Cosy up in a lakeside café and sip on a hot chocolate as you peer through the mist towards the snow-capped mountains on a winter’s day. Visit in summer and enjoy a lake cruise as the sun glistens on the waters below.
With rocks that record 185 million years of the Earth’s history, this 96 mile stretch of coast from Exmouth to Dorset feels like a walk through time. The fossils and layers of sedimentary rock here can tell us a lot about prehistoric life and how the landscape was formed over time. As a result, this spectacular coastline became a World Heritage Site in 2001. There are plenty of things to do here, from coastal walks and fossil collecting to visiting the museums that delve into our natural history.
This mountain range in the north of Wales offers breathtakingly stunning views of the open landscapes and valleys below. Whether you choose to climb to the summit of Snowdon at 3060 feet or take a more relaxing journey on-board the mountain railway, you will certainly be in for a treat. Mountains are not the only feature here; Snowdonia is also home to an abundance of Lakes. The largest, Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), also has its own railway allowing you to take in its natural beauty at ease.