We enjoy a coastal UK trip at any time of the year, and although overseas travel this summer (and possibly for the whole of this year) is looking unlikely, there may still be the chance to get away for a relaxing break within the UK. Once the UK reaches Step 3 of lockdown easing, overnight stays will be permitted and holiday accommodation is able to open. And as someone who lives in a busy city I personally cannot wait to escape to the coast, especially with all the lovely weather we’ve been having lately. But I’ll still want to be cautious, and any trip we do make will be quieter and more isolated than usual. So I’ve worked in collaboration with Hotels.com to put together this short guide on having a secluded UK break this year.
4 Great UK Coastal Destinations
When wondering where to escape to this summer, Dorset is always top of my list. It’s probably our favourite UK destination thanks to its pretty seaside towns, quiet coves and scenic walks along the Jurassic Coastline. Our personal favourite stopovers are Weymouth, Swanage and the small but idyllic Lulworth, which all have plenty of pretty hotels and cute self catering cottages to stay in, and are all worth a visit.
Of course, Dorset attractions like our favourite Monkey World may choose to remain closed for the time being or could potentially be busy, so scroll down for some tips on how to enjoy a quieter type of break in Dorset.
Devon has a lot to offer a UK holiday maker, with areas of outstandingly beautiful countryside as well as stunning coastlines. Parts of Devon are even known as the English Riviera thanks to its pretty seaside resorts and warm weather! When we visited we stayed in sunny Salcombe, and would absolutely recommend this lovely coastal town as a place to stay or visit, especially for the sandy beach at East Portlemouth (accessed from Salcombe by a small ferry).
We loved visiting various different towns in Devon, and have also paid a visit to The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. But be sure to check local advice and individual attraction websites for current opening details and guidance on visiting.
Cornwall is a popular destination for a UK break because it has so much to offer! There are pretty towns and lovely beaches everywhere, from the rugged North coast popular with surfers, to the more sheltered but still beautiful South coast.
It’s possible to avoid tourist hotspots by choosing quieter towns such as St Mawes, and having access to a car so that you can drive out to see different places. We managed find lovely beaches that we had all to ourselves in this part of Cornwall!
North Wales is a particularly great choice for anyone living in North West England because it’s so much closer than the South coast, yet just as beautiful! We stayed in a remote cottage on the island of Anglesey, and it was an extremely peaceful break.
Our favourite day out was to the beach at Rhosneigr, which was vast and sandy and we had absolutely loads of space to enjoy it. I found Anglesey to be much less touristy than the other destinations I have mentioned, which makes it perfect for a secluded getaway.
How to Enjoy a Quiet UK Break:
As popular tourist attractions may remain closed or could become quite crowded when they reopen, I recommend taking care when visiting them and would actually recommend a different kind of break altogether. We always love taking things slowly on our UK breaks, and here are some things we have enjoyed doing that could help you avoid the crowds.
Enjoy Outdoor Spaces
Take walks off the beaten track. There are plenty of walking trails to follow and you’ll be able to explore some beautiful countryside views without seeing too many other people on your travels.
Dine Al Fresco
Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine to enjoy in a quiet spot, or buy local takeaway fish and chips to eat by the sea. If you are staying in a self catered cottage with a garden, you may even be able to fire up the BBQ. There’s nothing quite like dining at leisure in the great outdoors to give you real holiday vibes!
Take in the Scenery
Now is a great time to try out or improve skills like photography, sketching and painting to capture those idyllic isolated spots. These activities are great for practising mindfulness too, and will truly help you relax on your break.
Enjoy the Sea in Peace
Hunt out quiet coves and secluded beaches such as Great Molunan & Little Molunan near St Mawes in Cornwall. If you are completely alone on the beach (as we were), take extra care in the water and make sure not to get stranded by the tides!
Change Up Your Routine
Head to the beach really early, or take evening strolls to enjoy the sunset. There will be far fewer people about at those times, and it can be really peaceful and magical.
What if it rains?
I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t experienced rainy days on our past staycations – it is the UK after all! But sometimes those holidays have been the most relaxing, with days spent curled up with a book and a pot of tea listening to the rain on the windows. Enjoy a bottle of wine or two, and don’t forget to pack some great board games to entertain you (see my post on great two player games to try).
At the moment it looks like overnight UK stays will be possible from 4th July, and we are hoping to get away sometime later in the year. Will you be booking a UK holiday this year?
Post in collaboration with Hotels.com but all views are my own.