The UK's top 10 holiday destinations

Accommodation, Family, New Year

Holiday destinations in the UK

Make memories this year with a UK cottage escape - whether you’re travelling with your closest friends, four-legged friend or all the family, ensure you enjoy an unforgettable holiday in one of these top destinations.

All across the UK, there are wonderful sights and exciting places that you never knew existed. From the puffins that make their home on the Northumberland Coast to the ancient strongholds set in furthest Scotland, not to mention the glistening sandy shores of Devon and Cornwall, we’re absolutely spoilt for choice!

Explore the length and breadth of our island nation with stays in wonderful holiday cottages – our range of escapes varies from big group properties perfect for all the family plus a few friends, down to cosy romantic boltholes hidden in scenic UK locations.

We’ve gathered together our top 10 holiday destinations for you to discover. Begin browsing our collection and start planning your next memorable UK getaway.

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1. North Devon

North Devon Coast

Rugged cliffs give way to sandy beaches along this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; it’s no surprise this exquisite place has appeared on our list of top UK holiday destinations.

Quaint towns and cobbled villages are set throughout the countryside and clinging to cliffs along the coast. Appledore, Bideford, Instow and Ilfracombe are a few must-visits during your time here.

North Devon surfing

When it comes to beaches, Devon is hard to beat and even boasts arguably the best beach in the UK: Woolacombe. This award-winning beach has certainly topped many ‘best beaches’ lists, becoming a wild beauty in winter and summer holiday delight during the warmer months.

Many beaches along this coastline, Woolacombe included, are favourites among surfers and water sports' enthusiasts due to the crashing waves that roll in off the Atlantic.

Build a sandcastle, go rock pooling or simply lie back and soak up the sun at Croyde, Westward Ho! or Barricane Beach during a holiday to Devon.

Discover North Devon

2. West Cornwall

West Cornwall

Cornwall’s always been a favourite travel destination, you may even have memories of your family trips to the South West from when you were younger.

St Ives and Falmouth are both creative hubs with many galleries, picturesque harbours and sandy beaches to step foot on, while the most south-westerly point in the UK can be found over at Land's End.

If you’re searching for unforgettable beaches, Cornwall’s coastline is full of them! Discover Praa Sands, Porthcurno Beach or Godrevy Beach, or walk the South West Coast Path and see which hidden gem of a beach you stumble across.

The most phenomenal of the lot has to be Marazion Beach where miles of sand offer up wonderful walking or sunbathing, and you can cross the causeway to famous St Michael’s Mount.

Picturesque natural spaces, fun attractions and ancient towns and villages bursting with cafes and boutiques provide a wonderful setting for a UK holiday.

Escape to West Cornwall

3. Lake District

Lake District holidays

From the sandy South West to the mountain tops of the north, the Lake District’s remarkable landscape has inspired artists and writers for decades.

Sail, kayak or wild swim the many lakes that adorn this national park – Windermere and Ambleside combine to provide a top travel destination with a lively culture and great access to everyone’s favourite: Lake Windermere.

The Old Man of Coniston

Coniston Water, just next door, is another excellent option with the Old Man of Coniston to climb, Grizedale Forest high ropes to attempt and Hawkshead’s Beatrix Potter Gallery to investigate.

If you prefer a middle-of-nowhere escape, try a trip to the north of the Lakes where Buttermere and Keswick offer impressive fells to walk up and warming pubs ideal for relaxing and dining as night falls.

Start exploring
the Lake District

4. Cotswolds

Cotswolds holidays

Honey-coloured, cobbled houses line the picturesque villages and towns throughout this top UK holiday destination.

From the city of Bath to the rural reaches of Cheddar, you’ll have no trouble finding a pretty holiday cottage for a countryside holiday to Somerset, Gloucestershire or any of the other four counties the beautiful Cotswolds passes through.

Cotswolds Wildlife Park

Visit the Cotswolds Water Park for fun days out splashing around in the shallows, sailing about in kayaks or even wakeboarding your way across the water – kids love it! Another great, family-friendly attraction is the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens when lions, giraffes and rhinos roam the grounds and there are shows and events to entertain everyone.

If you’d rather explore by foot further afield, the Cotswolds boasts many serene gardens including Hidcote, Batsford Arboretum and Kiftsgate Court Gardens. It also has plenty of wonderfully scenic walks through the pretty towns and villages – the easy 1-mile route from Upper to Lower Slaughter is a great place to begin.

Cotswolds holidays

5. Peak District

Peak District holidays

Now for some real walking. Grab your walking boots to hike, ramble and trek your way across the epic Peak District, taking in far-reaching views and darting wildlife as you uncover this rugged national park.

If you’d prefer to get your adrenaline pumping, the Peak District is just the place for cycling, gorge scrambling and Go Ape high ropes; children and families will love adventuring their way across the region.

Peak walking

Don’t fear, the Peak District isn’t all about the great outdoors – in fact, there are plenty of quaint and quiet villages where you can stay for relaxed holidays including pretty Bakewell, Eyam and Edale.

Pick out a cosy cottage in one of these scenic towns and spend your days dining in cafes, unwinding in the garden or snuggled up on the sofas.

Retreat to the
Peak District

6. Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast

This ancient coast and World Heritage Site down in the south of the UK offers up brilliant beaches, wonderful walking and exciting attractions – and it spans two beautiful counties.

Stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, you’ve got a wealth of places to visit and stay along the Jurassic Coast, from the bustling seaside town of Weymouth to the quaint and quiet village of West Bay.

Down by the sea

Fossil hunting is a popular local activity - ammonites and belemnites can be found after rock falls from the towering cliffs, although visitors are just as likely to be found sunbathing, swimming in the sea or dining out in the beach cafes.

Adventure is rife; go coasteering, kayaking or enjoy a cruise, or ramble along the South West Coast Path with the dog by your side to take in far-reaching views of the magnificent cliffs peppering this coastline.

Holiday on the
Jurassic Coast

7. Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons holidays

Another top choice for anyone seeking adventure, the Brecon Beacons' mountain range provides some wonderful walks – ranging from easy, short rambles to long, challenging hikes.

True adrenaline junkies can go canyoning, gorge scrambling, climbing or canoeing through this epic national park while caves, waterfalls and castles wait to be discovered throughout the region.

Kayking in Wales

From the heights of the village of Brecon to the quirky nature of Hay-on-Wye, there are plenty of towns and villages hidden between the magnificent mountains where you could stay for a fantastic holiday experience.

With the colossal number of walkers and explorers that pass through this stunning setting each year, the Brecon Beacons are well prepared with lots of warm and welcoming pubs and restaurants where you can rest and refuel after days of adventure.

Brecon Beacons hideaways

8. North Norfolk

North Norfolk holidays

Often, the southern Broads and sailing both come to mind when considering a trip to Norfolk, but North Norfolk should not be discounted too quickly. This hugely underrated part of the UK offers wonderful inlets and harbours where you could set sail from, but it also boasts nature reserves, unique beaches and impressive country homes.

Visit Norfolk Lavender in Heacham during summer to see the purple flowers in bloom or hop aboard a boat during the colder months to spot seal pups at Blakeney.

Seals on the Norfolk Coast

Birdwatching is particularly popular with the many reserves making wonderful sites for migrating and seafaring birdlife, including Titchwell, Cley, Holkham, Blakeney, Snettisham and Welney.

The curious world of family-friendly BeWILDerwood Adventure Park is great fun for kids with slippery slopes, a scaaaary lake, and tricky tunnels for children to explore.

The tiny Wells Harbour Railway is an unusual way to reach the fantastic pine-tree-backed Wells Beach – another great one for kids – while Cromer, Mundesley and Sheringham are a few other beautiful beaches to explore along this coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Discover Norfolk

9. Northumberland Coast

Northumberland holidays

Known for its castles and sandy beaches, during a trip to the Northumberland Coast you’ll discover wonderful outdoor spaces, stunning country houses and plenty of things to do for the whole family.

Venture along Hadrian’s Wall or uncover Housesteads Roman Fort, walk the corridors of Bamburgh Castle or take in the scenery from Dunstanburgh Castle, see the stars at the Kielder Observatory or discover a wealth of history at Woodhorn Museum.

Farne Island puffins

If you’re a nature lover, a trip out to the Farne Islands to see the puffins is a must, while by simply walking the coast you’ll come across critters and creatures that make this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty their home.

When not walking the remarkable coastline, flying and gliding, quad biking, climbing and coasteering can all be enjoyed too.

For anyone seeking out a true seaside retreat, piers, penny arcades and fish and chips can be found in the retro-chic holiday resorts dotted along the coastline like Seahouses, Blyth and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Escape to Northumberland

10. Perth and Kinross

Scotland holidays

The exquisite, extensive district of Perth and Kinross is a wonderful place to see the best of Scotland. It’s home to a magnificent loch, awe-inspiring Munros, and beautiful old towns and villages where you can hide out during your holiday. 

If you’re travelling as a family, get the children outside and exploring at the Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre where you can meet exotic wildlife and farm animals, play mini-golf or race around the tractor circuit, or let the youngsters loose in the indoor play barn on a rainy day.

Drummond Castle

Adult groups may prefer to tour The Scottish Crannog Centre, investigate the Perth Museum and Art Gallery or try a tipple or two at one of the local distilleries. White water rafting is also a fantastic way to see Perth and Kinross while atmospheric Scottish pubs can be found around every corner.

When you’re done exploring the castles and epic natural spaces that abound, your warm and cosy holiday cottage will be a welcome sight. Start browsing our collection of boltholes and find your perfect cottage in Scotland.

Explore Perth & Kinross

 

Wherever it is that you venture to this year on your UK holidays, ensure its somewhere special and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Visit magnificent heritage sites, take in impressive natural views and enjoy exciting days full of fun and adventure.

These top 10 holiday destinations in the UK offer entertainment for big kids and little ones too, plenty of things to do for adults on a big group getaway and for couples seeking a romantic escape for two. Across these regions, we have a wide selection of holiday cottages for you to peruse ensuring you’ll soon find the perfect place for your next break.

Where will you go on holiday this year? Browse our full range of holiday cottages across the UK and find the ideal escape.

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Posted by Kate W on 17th December 2019