Travelzoo's favourite UK beauty spots
Here at Travelzoo, we love to get out and explore. And since the end of 2019, like everyone else, we've been spending more time in UK destinations, revisiting some of our old favourites. If you're planning a staycation this year, here are some of our Travelzoo staff's favourite spots.
Ceri: Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
Why do you love it? It is a National Trust park in West Yorkshire that feels really secluded but is only a short walk from the centre of Hebden Bridge. There are loads of routes you can take through the 19th-century wooded valley, which has Hebden Water running through it.
When did you go? More or less every weekend of lockdown!
Any tips for people visiting? If you're driving, get there early as the spaces fill up very quickly. You can walk from Hebden Bridge train station in approximately 30 minutes. Follow up your walk with a bit of grub from Hebden Bridge’s many street food stalls. The onion bhajis from The Dosa are amazing!
Anything else you’d like to mention? There’s a café in the mill that’s in the centre of the Crags. It serves snacks and drinks.
Cat: Kingswear, Devon
Why do you love it? There’s a great walk along the coast where the views are amazing. It's like you're somewhere in Greece, but then you come across several old castles, a battery, and wild ponies!
When did you go? Easter, 2021.
Any tips for people visiting? Bring your swimmers! There's a secluded cove just off the path that's perfect for a dip. And park at the Brownstone National Trust.
Anything else you'd like to mention? You can also head to Rockfish across the river in gorgeous Dartmouth for fish and chips.
James: Edinburgh, Scotland
Why do you love it? Edinburgh has so much variety — it's a destination you could visit again and again. It has so much history, from the famous Edinburgh Castle to the secret Real Mary Kings Close, which conceals the Edinburgh of old before a new city was built upon it. What I enjoy the most about Edinburgh is that it is a city set amongst the backdrop of rolling hills and wild Scottish landscapes.
When did you go? December, 2019.
Any tips for people visiting? Portobello is one of Edinburgh’s best beaches. It's usually not too busy in the shoulder and low seasons, and it's great for a long walk along the promenade. Head there in the morning and half-way through your walk, pick up a filled breakfast roll with lorne sausage and a fried egg.
Anything else you’d like to mention? Edinburgh is the home of great locally sourced food, in particular fresh fish. Go off the beaten track and visit the Fishmarket in Newhaven — world class!
Aurora: Tarn Hows, Lake District
Why do you love it? Because it’s a lovely circular walk, and it was owned by Beatrix Potter, so it feels a bit like you’re walking in Peter Rabbit land!
When did you go? February, 2018.
Any tips for people visiting? Go in the winter — it’s gorgeous in the snow and it’s quieter.
Anything else you’d like to mention? It’s only a short 1.5-mile walk, and is flat enough for pushchairs, so it’d be suitable for families.
Rob: Parkland Walk, London
Why do you love it? It’s a lovely oasis of quiet and calm in North London that follows a former railway line. It’s also chock-a-block full of history, with plenty of old station buildings, tunnels, and two old platforms in situ.
When did you go? I last visited a few years ago.
Any tips for people visiting? Start from Finsbury Park as there are some great cafes in Muswell Hill, and a great view from Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) at the other end.
Anything else you’d like to mention? It’s split in two halves with Highgate Wood in the second half, which is a great place to spend a bit of extra time exploring. Also, look out for the art trail along the way.
Emma: Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
Why do you love it? It's a stunning walking route right on the South West Coast Path, which stretches across the whole of Dorset. You can pick different sections and go for a walk each day, stopping off in beautiful towns, beaches, and coves along the way, and taking in the stunning coastline. Plus, if you go in spring, you'll see plenty of flowers starting to bloom.
When did you go? May, 2021. Cold weather, but beautiful sunny skies with spring flowers — gorgeous!
Any tips for people visiting? The food in Cornwall is second to none, whether you have a traditional Cornish pasty in a local bakery, a Cornish ice cream (they have dog friendly, too!), or fresh fish, you will not be disappointed for food. You don’t need to plan in advance — the best places I found were the ones I stumbled across on a walk!
Kryssy: Skirrid Fawr, Wales
Why do you love it? I grew up in Wales and I love exploring all the castles, woodland walks, and coastal paths, then stopping off at a country pub for a hearty lunch.
When did you go? I go back regularly to top up on fresh air and a bit of RNR!
Any tips for people visiting? There’s a car park at the bottom (it’s free for National Trust members) and it’s quite a steep climb through woodlands, but then you get to the top to see amazing views. It takes about two hours top to bottom. Take a picnic or stop off at the Walnut Tree for lunch!
Amy: Portstewart, Northern Ireland
Why do you love it? It's got an iconic ice cream shop called Morelli’s on the promenade that's been there for over 100 years, and a breathtaking, 2-mile-long beach called Portstewart Strand.
When did you go? September, 2019.
Any tips for people visiting? You're allowed to drive your car right onto the sand, and on a clear day, views stretch right across to Scotland.
Anne-Sophie: Rye, Kent
Why do you love it? Rye is such a cute village with Medieval houses and very nice streets, and it's only an hour away by train from London.
When did you go? Between the two lockdowns in September, 2020.
Any tips for people visiting? From Rye, you can walk down to Camber Sands, which is a lovely hour-long walk that finishes on a sandy beach. You can also get the 102 bus from the railway station in about half an hour if you don't fancy walking all the way (or all the way back).
Jen: Filey, North Yorkshire
Why do you love it? I was skeptical about changing our relaxing beach holiday to a North Yorkshire holiday village but it was lovely! We had a fab time and the place we stayed at was brilliant (and a Travelzoo deal!). Although it wasn’t the sunny, cocktail-infused holiday we were hoping for, we did explore some amazing places and we met some great people. We definitely plan to go back!
When did you go? September, 2020.
Any tips for people visiting? Definitely travel around the area and visit the different beaches, like Whitby Abbey or Flamborough Head. You can also rent a beach hut for the day in Scarborough, where there are loads of good pubs and seafood restaurants. Go to the local fishmongers in Filey, they have the BEST dressed crab I have ever had!