With Brits up and down the UK confined to their homes and the government advising us to only leave the house when absolutely necessary, we may not be able to take that dream trip just yet, but it’s perfectly okay to start planning!
We have compiled a list of the top UK destinations that people are currently searching for and there is a clear trend in a desire for wide-open spaces and being out in the Great British countryside. When it is safe to do so, it clearly looks as though there will be a greater appreciation for our isles and all of the amazing spaces within them.
It is not just the countryside that people are longing for, with cities such as London and Edinburgh also making the list, showing that people are also missing being able to watch musicals, visit art galleries and take part in a variety of classic touristy activities – such as taking a selfie next to Donald Trump (wax Donald at Madame Tussauds, of course).
Check out our top 15 bucket list trips below:
1. Scottish Highlands
With vast open spaces, the Highlands are the perfect place to stretch your wings after months of being cooped up. Explore endless and unspoilt landscapes with only the wildlife for company.
Highlight: Ben Nevis, the tallest peak in the British Isles can be found in the Highlands for travellers who like a challenge.
This mountainous region in North Wales is home to some of Britain’s tallest peaks, most picturesque lakes and has over 200 miles of coastline. Snowdonia has it all.
Highlight: Swim through, canoe over or walk around Bala Lake (or Llyn Tegid), the largest natural lake in Wales.
3. Yorkshire Dales
Amongst the 840 square miles of limestone valleys and rolling hills, the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the north of England is peppered with picture postcard villages and historic castles.
Highlight: Ingleborough, frequently climbed as part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, this flat topped mountain has the ruins of a fortress at its summit and panoramic views over the dales.
Home to some of the best beaches in Britain, Cornwall is the place to go if you are itching to get back into the water or put your feet up and relax beneath blue skies on a golden beach.
Highlight: Porthcurno beach, a smooth white sand beach in a turquoise bay sheltered by dramatic cliffs.
5. Lake District
Located within the county of Cumbria and home to 12 of the largest lakes in England, this region has captured the imagination of poets and writers for centuries and it is easy to see why.
Highlight: Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England is 10.5 miles long and is a great place to start a walk among the fells.
6. Peak District
Within easy reach of Manchester and found in the southernmost hills of the Pennines is the Peak District National Park, a landscape littered with rocky outcrops, limestone dales, lakes and moorland.
Highlight: Dovedale, head to this green valley in the south of the park to discover the iconic stepping stones.
In the south east of England, Kent has over 350 miles of coastline to explore with more Blue Flag beaches than any other county in England.
Highlight: The White Cliffs of Dover, this world-famous stretch of chalk coastline has signalled home to returning Britons for centuries.
Some Brits who are self-isolating at the moment are clearly craving the hustle and bustle of city life and can’t wait for a chance to walk along the banks of the Thames to catch glimpses of iconic landmarks such as Big Ben and the London Eye.
Highlight: Head to the West End to catch world-class musicals at a selection of legendary theatres.
9. Brecon Beacons
In the heart of Wales, Brecon Beacons National Park was awarded Dark Sky status in 2012 and is the perfect place to escape from the rest of the world and marvel at the Milky Way above.
Highlight: Waterfall Country, head to this spot in the south of the Beacons to enjoy walks through steep gorges dotted with waterfalls.
10. County Antrim
Recently shooting to popularity with its starring role in Game of Thrones, County Antrim in the north east of Ireland has a rugged landscape of coastlines and hills easily reached from Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast.
Highlight: The Giant’s Causeway, this UNESCO World Heritage site of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns is a natural wonder and has to be seen to be believed.
The second most popular city to visit in the UK after London, Edinburgh is a vibrant city, steeped in history with festivals running throughout the year.
Highlight: Edinburgh Castle, this fortress overlooks the rest of Edniburgh and has been standing proud on Castle Rock for hundreds of years.
12. The Gower
The Gower Peninsula in south Wales was designated the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with sandy beaches around every corner and a coastal path to connect them.
Highlight: Rhosilli Bay, this three-mile stretch of golden sand regularly features in lists of the best beaches in the world.
Experience a rich culture in this historical English city, immerse in an exciting collection of museums and galleries or simply walk the streets admiring honey-coloured Georgian architecture.
Highlight: The Roman Baths that give the city its name are world famous and are the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain that you can bathe in.
Home to independent boutiques, lively cafes and stunning architecture, Brighton is just 50 minutes by train from Victoria Station and the perfect seaside escape for Londoners.
Highlight: Brighton Pier, having stood strong for over a century, the pier entertains millions with its famous fairground rides, arcades, chippys and ice cream.
15. Shetland Islands
Definitely the most remote option to make the top 15, the Shetland Islands can be found to the north of Scotland and are truly one of the last untamed corners of the UK.
Highlight: Sumburgh Head, this RSPB reserve is one of the best seabird colonies on the island and there is a good chance to spot puffins, razorbills and shags flying and nesting among the cliffs.
We noted a 30% rise in searches for holidays for 2021, since the government advised people to stay at home in March. When we asked members of the British public where they most longed to visit, 45% of Brits said they would like to go to the beach or somewhere along the coast, 28% want to visit the countryside and 17% want a city break.
Matt Fox, CEO and co-founder of Snaptrip.com, said,
“It is a tough time for the travel industry at the moment, with the majority of the British public avoiding making concrete plans until there is more reassurance and stability moving forward. However, we have definitely noticed an increased interest over the last couple of weeks towards certain destinations, and we can only surmise that Brits are eagerly planning dream trips to take around the UK when it is safe to do so.
“We are confident that the British tourism industry will bounce back, and it is looking as though there will be a greater appreciation for the amazing spaces that Britain has to offer and a desire to visit some of the more remote and wild locations within the British Isles once we have put this episode behind us.”