I think we’re quite lucky in Britain that there are so many amazing places to visit on such a small island. And they’re all so different – from the hills and heather of the Highlands to the bustle of London, Bristol or Newcastle. I actually find it impossible to pick where I like best. But luckily for me, some lovely fellow bloggers have got in touch with their favourite places to visit in the UK. And don’t they all look beautiful? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go and update my ‘to visit’ list…
The Cotswolds – Victoria from The Girl On The Move
Spreading some hundred miles or so through Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds are renowned for their beauty and the soft-hued, honey-coloured stonework which is synonymous with the region. The widespread use of this building material is key to why people flock to the area, the homogeneity of appearance of the towns, villages, churches and manor houses adds to the charm. Often tucked away in gentle valleys, gurgling streams and meandering rivers these little gems satisfy some inner desire to recapture a lost way of life, to develop an inner calm and to step away from the hustle and bustle of 21st century life.
There are few large towns in the Cotswolds. Cirencester claims the title of the region’s capital (not surprising when in the Roman times it was second only to London) but you also have Chipping Campden, Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh and Burford whose picture-book High Street slopes down through the town to the banks of the River Windrush below. However, it is often the villages who manage to upstage their bigger, better-known neighbours. Settlements such as Bibury, the Slaughters, the Rissingtons and Lechlade, which nestle on the banks of the infant Thames, take the breath away and provide a real sense of oases of tranquillity, untouched by modern development and free from the hectic urban life of today.
Dotted in amongst the ‘Wolds’ are great manor houses such as Chastleton House, Sudeley Castle, Snowshill Manor and the unique Sezincote with its ‘Indian-style’ architecture. Little wonder that the area has attracted the rich and powerful throughout the ages, as the various wonders offered by this beautiful area of England are too numerous to mention. If you want to escape the rat-race (if only for an hour or two) head to the Cotswolds, find yourself a nice village pub in one of these gloriously appointed villages, order a glass (or two) of the local brew and allow your mind to drift, reconnecting with the natural world and your inner-self. Lose yourself for a few minutes; what could be better!!
Sennen Cove and Lands End – Claire from Claire’s Itchy Feet
Follow the A30 or take the stunning coastal train down to the tip of England and there you will find the un-spoilt stunning coastal village of Sennen Cove. From there take the three mile coastal walk to Lands’ End where you can’t help but stand at the top of 200ft high granite rocks and stare out to sea in awe across the Atlantic ocean.
Sennen is a surfers haven with one of the most stunning beaches in England, making it the perfect weekend beach break. Accommodation is varied from camping to holiday home rental. And if you have time, be sure to visit the Minack Theatre and Porthcurno Cove.
Cambridge – Rachael from Imperfectly Free
The beautiful River Cam flows through Cambridge city centre and goes right through the university. Punting, Cambridge’s version of a gondola trip, is a wonderful, chilled way to see the city – especially the university grounds and the Bridge of Sighs. You have the option of getting a punting tour with a guide and punter or renting a self-punt. I’d definitely recommend getting a group of friends and bottle of Prosecco and punting yourselves. It’s so fun and you’re free to choose where you go and what you do.
There’s something quintessentially English about Cambridge and I think it’s a wonderful way to get a taste of English life, without the hustle and bustle of London. I recommend exploring Cambridge city on foot, wandering around and taking in all of the pretty sites without rhyme or reason.
You’ll stumble upon some fabulous spots such as King’s College Chapel and the Corpus Clock just by walking aimlessly. The paved streets of Cambridge give it a very small town feel (even though it’s home to about 150,000 people) which makes the centre quite walkable. I’d also recommend getting out of the city to see the rural parts of Cambridgeshire. The countryside is truly beautiful and there are some stunning scenes you can set your eyes on. All in all, it’s a beautiful city that allows a travelling tourist really soak up English culture.
Bakewell – Erin Reki
Bakewell in my opinion is a cute, quaint, charming little village with some distinctive shops and tasty treats. It holds precious memories from days out with dad to dates with the boyfriend. I hope you make time for this little village and find it just as enchanting as I do, even after 20 years!
Let’s start with the most important thing – the food. Bakewell tarts. These sweet little things can be found in many of the patisseries and it’s what Bakewell is famous for. Next is the homity pie, made of potato and herbs topped with cheese in pastry, served warm. Simple, but insanely delicious.
The chocolate soup from Naughty and Nice should also be mentioned – it’s divine. You’ll need a good walk to burn off the calories but you’ll feel like royalty whilst sipping what is essentially a big cup of melted chocolate. Get the chilli-flavoured one for extra kick!
There’s also lots of lovely gift shops selling bespoke jewellery and unique vintage-inspired trinkets. And you love the great outdoors, Bakewell has an abundance of camping and hiking shops with many nearby trails to explore.
You can see most of the village in 30 minutes depending on how slow you walk, how many shops you browse and how many coffees/teas you drink. If you’re thirsty for more, Chatsworth House is a short bus ride away. There is an entrance fee but I find it just as nice to walk around the grounds, go deer spotting and walk off all those extra calories from that amazing food.