Escape to…the great outdoors

From the rolling hills of the Cotswolds to the soaring peaks of the Cairngorms, Britain’s outdoor landscapes are packed with opportunities to escape the everyday. You can look forward to adrenaline-fueled zip-wire experiences and captivating hiking routes, striking garden displays and miles of coastal paths, jam-packed with places you’ve dreamt of.

National Parks and starry skies

Sunrise on Catbells Mountain, The Lake District, Cumbria, England. Hiker walking along a path on the mountain ridge.

Discover why Britain’s National Parks have inspired artists, writers and poets alike as you take in Dove Cottage and Hill Top in the Lake District. Once you’ve explored the former homes of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, clamber aboard a Windermere steamer for stunning views of the picturesque landscapes. Or head north-east for the Northumberland Coast and its plethora of imposing fortresses which stand guard over stretches of golden sands and rugged cliffs. Alternatively, let night fall in the International Dark Sky Park and gaze at the stars from the Kielder Observatory, set within the largest area of protected night sky in Europe.

Playful puffins and pirate hideaways

Rear view of woman sitting on bench near Coastguard Cottages, with white cliffs in the background, Seaford, East Sussex.

You could opt to wander parts of the coastal path, soon to be the longest continuous route of its kind in the world. From smuggler’s coves and sandy bays in Cornwall to discovering millions of years of history at your fingertips along the Jurassic Coast, each stretch of path will leave you with a wealth of stories to share. Pass below the white cliffs at Seven Sisters in Sussex, take in the picturesque fishing villages of the North York Moors, or go puffin spotting around Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire Coast. These are the places you’ve dreamt of, just waiting to be discovered.

Soaring peaks and gentle dales

Sunset over The Great Ridge, Derbyshire, England.

For a dose of quintessential Britain, head to the Cotswolds for chocolate-box villages, miles of dry stone walls and an abundance of cosy traditional pubs where you can spend evenings sampling a local ale in front of a roaring fire. Bibury houses some of the most photographed houses in the country, while the historic Roman town of Cirencester is packed with independent shops and cafes. If you’re looking for epic walking trails to suit all abilities, head for the heart of the Peak District. Follow the Monsal Trail for an accessible traffic-free route through the region’s spectacular limestone dales, while Stanage Edge provides incredible views and is a haven for climbers.

Grand gardens and ecological feats

The staircase in the Palm House, at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, London, England.

Green-fingered garden lovers can explore the world-leading Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Home to more than 50,000 living plants from an array of climates, it’s one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth. Bristol, Edinburgh and Cambridge have their own eye-catching botanical gardens and there’s even a remarkable new garden to explore for 2021 at RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, a 154-acre collection of formal gardens and wooded areas in the transformed grounds of Worsley New Hall.

Legendary landscapes and mysterious beasts

Dunnottar Castle, Scotland.

Head up to Scotland for a chance to see dolphins in the Moray Firth, with Chanonry Point a particularly popular spot. Wander the eerie ruins of Dunnottar Castle, or explore the mountain paths of Glen Coe and Glen Etive, filming locations for James Bond, Harry Potter and Braveheart. Head to the Highlands and Inverness to take on the North Coast 500, a touring route brimming with coastal scenery, fairy-tale castles and historical ruins. Be on the lookout for Nessie around the mysterious shores of Loch Ness or take on the epic Loch Ness 360 trail, an 80-mile circuit around the vast body of water.

Outdoor sports and wild waves

View of ivy-covered building, Tu Hwnt i'r Bont Tea Rooms with river and stone bridge in foreground, LLanwrst, Wales.

Looking for action? Skip up to Snowdonia for unforgettable views, mountain railways and adventure sports. Zoom over Penrhyn Quarry at speeds of more than 100mph aboard the world’s fastest zip line, or head to Adventure Parc Snowdonia to try out the waves of the world-first inland surf lagoon. You could even choose to explore Britain’s great outdoors on two wheels, as the National Cycle Network criss-crosses the country. From flat routes to challenging long-distance trails through the heart of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s an alternative way to see Britain in all its glory.

 

 

Restrictions on travel to and around Britain are in place due to Covid-19. You are encouraged to always check individual websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change.

16 Nov 2021(last updated)

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