The Ultimate Staycation Summer
As everyone stays home and holidays everywhere are cancelled; it's time to plan a new summer, leave the passport at home, pack a suitcase and hit the road for the weekend, a week or even longer!
Whilst jetting half way across the globe tends to bring you new cultures, sandy beaches and unknown lands, there's more to discover here in the UK, than many of us give our home country credit for. The UK is blessed with breathtaking coastlines, gorgeous countryside and amazing cities with everything to offer, right on our doorstep. Bearing this in mind, maybe it's time to rethink the summer plans and re-visit - or visit - some of the best spots in the UK, to ensure Summer 2020 isn't completely lost!
I've been to this charming city many times and every time I visit, I re-fall in love with the etherial light this city seems to hold. Take the train up, and wander the cobbled streets, with their Scottish souvenir shops filled with tartan and whiskey and hundreds of independent cafes and shops.
The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle are a must, rich in history and legend. I personally love the Botanical Gardens and walking the old streets, where I find the architecture just stunning, the sandstone buildings hold a niche charm which will make you fall in love.
This city is amazing all year round, wether it's visiting to get a taste of theatre with the famous Fringe Festival taking place in August or a taste of Winter tradition during Christmas, with its markets, light displays and ice skating. A few personal food recommendations include Brewhemia (opposite the cities train station) for dinner and Urban Angel for brunch, lunch or a snack - amazing food and the cutest Instagramable decor. (cause who doesn't love a meal you can photograph!)
Probably my favourite coastal destination in the UK, but don't ever tell anyone as I grew up with my seaside holidays taking place on the East Yorkshire coast! A different beauty, the Southern coast has an old fashioned charm to it, Brighton being the beating heart of what makes a traditional English coastal holiday.
The Lanes are enchanting, with their community feel and friendly nature. Independent shops, bakeries, hairdressers, bars and restaurants. The Lanes transport you to a place like no other. Stop off at The Flower Pot Bakery to graze on delicious pastries, smoothies and toasties or head to the Brighton Pier for wafts of burnt sugar, glazed donuts and not forgetting a famous fish and chip lunch.
Afternoons on the pebble beach, the sounds of the merry-go-round in the background, watching paddle boarders tackle the waves, gazing at the blue water and expanses of summer sky in a deckchair - what could be better?!
A city I've actually never visited myself but is top of my list for when I can get out and about again! Famously known for punting, historical streets and the famous University grounds, Cambridge has something for everyone, come rain or shine. Pause for a chilled bit of people watching, a cup of tea and a world renowned Chelsea Bun, a recommended favourite : 'Fitzbillies'.
I've been lucky enough to visit Bath many times due to having close family living there. If you're looking for a quintessential English town getaway, with its Georgian crescents and gorgeous architecture, history soaked cobbled streets, and surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside, then look no further than Bath.
Even though the Roman Baths are now closed, don't miss out on the natural springs, just one of the reasons Bath was put on the map. You can visit Thermae Bath Spa for a thermal delight and treat yourself to a real afternoon 'off'.
Take a trip to the Royal Crescent and marvel at the ring of houses, made famous over many years of admiration from tourists. Visit the Jane Austin Museum and The Fashion Museum for an added insight to the history of Bath and its inhabitants.
Most people have done 'London'. But have you done the 'Real London?' Try visiting London either with someone who lives there or really plan/research where you want to go/see before and stay away from the tourist spots, the famous attractions and the well-known historic landmarks. Yes, granted they're amazing and have to be done sometime, but London is so much more than its 'Top 10 To Do's'.
Either snap up the street art surrounding Brick Lane, eat/drink at The Prince Pub in Hammersmith - marvel at their floral decor featuring ceilings of cascading flowers in white, lilac and pale green/pink or explore hidden gems of London, such as the ruins of St.Dunstan In-The-East - a beautiful, tranquil escape from the bustling city which has grown up and around it. A great event to plan your trip to London around is Chestertons Polo in The Park. A fun day of watching polo, drinking G&T's and socialising with friendly polo enthusiasts - something new and very English!
Wander Seven Dials and take in the colourful exteriors of independent shops or high-street favourites or take a picnic or some drinks for sunset and sit in Potters Field Park by Tower Bridge, on the South side of the river and enjoy the glorious views of the bridge, city and Thames. Another great place to watch the sunset is Frank's Cafe in Peckham, hike the many steps up the rooftop bar and soak up the sun and atmosphere, overlooking the cities sun-drenched skyline.