UK travel guide

UK travel guide


2 MINUTE SUMMARY

As well as reading our UK travel guide, start your holiday planning in the UK by taking a trip to your favourite independent bookshop. Because so much UK literature has been inspired by journeys through the lakes of Cumbria, the snowy Scottish slopes of the Cairngorms, a love of the lochs, or the wilds of Darmoor.
Robert Macfarlane brings our ancient tracks, drove roads and coastal paths to life in his exquisite book The Old Ways. Or shares his inner thoughts evoked by remote spots such as Bardsey Island, Wales, in ‘The Wild Places’. Alfred Wainwright walked the length and breadth of the UK for his prolific and historic collections of walking guides. And Roger Deakin, in the highly acclaimed ‘Waterlog’ swims his way around lakes and rivers for fully immersed tales of our waterscapes.
Such writing reawakens a pride of place in our homelands, dusting off out hiking boots and OS maps and realizing that there is so much of it we have still to discover.
UK walking quote
The UK is...

so much more than a weekend break, but a plethora of parks and protected spaces. Islands and eye openers.
 
The UK isn't...

all populated. Go wild in Wales, seek out solitary Scotland or the elusive bits of England. And sail around Northern Ireland’s cliffs and coves.
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If you'd like to chat about the UK or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

UK map & highlights


Make the most of your time

To look at the UK with a new perspective, it helps to look back in time. To the old ways. Literally. The Victorians created the Caledonian Canal to link up the lochs so that they didn’t have to sail around the treacherous tip. It is now one of the country’s greatest places to holiday. Sail Scotland’s remote islands on a traditional wooden fishing boat to experience marine perfection. Walk the Pilgrims’ Way in Kent, where people have trodden since prehistoric times. Or paddle around Pembrokeshire to forget time altogether. So often tourism in the UK is about castles and cottages, camping and city breaks. Here are just a few of our favourites that touch on all of these too, but throw a few more secrets ingredients into the mix.
Cairngorms National Park Cotswolds Devon Edinburgh Pembrokeshire Pilgrim's Way Railway holiday in Scotland Scottish Lochs Snowdonia South Downs

Cairngorms National Park

Winter walking here is a revelation, where you discover a whole community of Cairngormers who cottoned on to this winter wonderland eons ago. Aviemore is the hub with its ski centre but the Cairngorms National Park has one of UK’s best outdoor scenes, with hiking, canoeing, climbing, white water rafting and gorge walking on offer. A must is the funicular train that takes and your bike up, and then cycle back down.

Cotswolds

As well as its chi-chi, celebrity driven ‘we’ve got a weekend place in the Cotswolds’, dahhling’, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has an unrivalled network of walking trails. It’s jigsaw pic perfection; piece together the cobbled streets in ancient villages, cross stone bridges, sup and stay at idyllic inns. Walk the Cotswold Way National Trail, cycle from cottage to cottage, or do the castle thing.

Devon

Some would call it England’s crème de la crème given its most famous local product in omnipresent cream tea outlets. It’s certainly one of UK’s most eclectic counties, landscape wise: wildness of Dartmoor, idyllic inlets, surfing strands and wooded cycle paths of the North Devon, and the coves and cliffwalks of the Jurassic Coast. And its fecund food scene is so much more than cider or scones.

Edinburgh

You don’t get many cooler capitals. Small enough to walk everywhere, but with a hefty heritage, the castle towering over the city reminds you that history of independence is never far from Scottish hearts and minds. With a superb international arts festival, top restaurants, whisky filled bars, vibrant gay and student scene, and a beach just out of town, Edinburgh – we toast you with the traditional ‘Slainte’.

Pembrokeshire

With one of the most exquisite long distance coastal walking paths in the UK, Pembrokeshire proffers headland after headland of hedonistic hiking, where having a swimsuit in your backpack is a must. Because Pembrokeshire is cove-alicious. A national park, it is also a sea kayaking hot spot. Sheltered bays, caves and sea arches, as well as deserted islands such as Skomer, make for paddling paradise.

Pilgrim's Way

The south of England’s rolling hills are made for rambling and this trail, so named after pilgrims who followed it from Winchester in to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury in Kent, has supported the feet of people since pre-historic times. Set in a natural causeway, mostly in the North and Kent Downs, this 200km trail takes you through open chalk hills, Turneresque meadows and picture perfect pubs.

Railway holiday, Scotland

Some of the UK’s most scenic railway lines are in Scotland and there are wonderful tailor made holidays that make the most of them. Such as the West Highland line from Glasgow to Fortwilliam across the wilds of Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. From here to the coast at Mallaig by Jacobite steam train, chugging all the way to Isle of Skye ferry. Or the Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness train, 130km of Gaelic gorgeousness.

Scottish lochs

Don’t let the Loch Ness Monster upstage all. Time to move on and also celebrate the other vast waterscapes that aren’t packed with tourists going mad over a myth. Navigate them by taking a small boat cruise up the Caledonian Canal that links loch to loch. With, confusingly, locks. An aquatic artery running through the glens from Corpach in the west to Inverness in the east, with Ness en route of course.

Snowdonia

Wales’ wildest place, with the pater of peaks, Snowdon (1,085m) at its core. Protected all around by the national park, don’t just come here to summit and leave. Treat it with the outdoors love it deserves. Combine hiking with river gorging en route. Go cycling then swap saddle for paddle as you discover Snowdonia from water level. Wild swimming fans can head to the coast, or the shores of Lake Bala.

South Downs

Close to our hearts, as our office is on its doorstep, the South Downs National Park is the breathing space of burgeoning SE England. Just an hour from London, this undulating, chalky landscape is a magnet for hikers, bikers and families wanting to escape. Hike all or part of the South Downs Way (161km), check out Transition Town of Lewes, and don’t miss our beloved Sussex Heritage Coast.
Photo credits: [Wild Red Deer: amateur photography by michel] [The Green Bridge of Wales: David Evans] [Cairngorms National Park: Aryeh Alex] [Edinburgh: Moyan Brenn] [Scottish Lochs: Abubakr Hussain] [Snowdonia: Steve Wilson] [Pembrokeshire: Phil Dolby] [Pilgrim's Way: Hywel Williams] [Devon: @sage_solar] [Cotswolds: DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0] [South Downs: Marc Berry Reid] [Tea rooms: Paul Simpson]
Written by Catherine Mack
Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

Devon eco lodge accommodation, England

Award winning lodges on a wildlife-rich Devon farm

From £250 per accommodation per week
Cumbria Way walking holiday, Lake District

Cumbria Way walking holiday, Lake District

Walking Holiday in England's Lake District The Cumbria Way

From £589 10 Days ex flights
Orkney & Shetland self drive holiday, Scotland

Orkney & Shetland self drive holiday, Scotland

Self-drive island-hopping through the Northern Isles

From £755 7 Days ex flights
Isle of Wight self catering accommodation, England

Isle of Wight self catering accommodation, England

Quiet cottage on edge of Brighstone village, Isle of Wight

From £375 per week (sleeps 2-4)
Eco self catering accommodation in Yorkshire

Eco self catering accommodation in Yorkshire

Our cabin is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the countryside

From £350 per week (sleeps 2)
Lake District family activity holiday

Lake District family activity holiday

Walk, climb, abseil and canoe around the Borrowdale Valley.

From £485 7 Days ex flights
Snowdonia self catering accommodation, Wales

Snowdonia self catering accommodation, Wales

Cottage on Lake Padarn with wonderful views of Snowdonia

From £325 per cottage per week (sleeps 4-5)
Fowey accommodation in Cornwall, sleeps 2, England

Fowey accommodation in Cornwall, sleeps 2, England

Cottages in a Cornish watermill

From £90 per cottage per night
West Highland Line railway holiday in Scotland

West Highland Line railway holiday in Scotland

Take the "The World's Best Rail Journey" to the Isle of Skye

From £520 4 Days ex flights
Pilgrims Way self guided walking tour, England

Pilgrims Way self guided walking tour, England

Discover Kent's history, its landscape and its people

From £587 6 Days ex flights
Devon self catering cottage, England

Devon self catering cottage, England

Cosy self catering cottage with woodburner in rural Devon.

From £205 per week (sleeps 4)
Sea kayaking holiday in Wales

Sea kayaking holiday in Wales

Sea kayaking explorations on the Pembrokeshire National Park coastline

From £289 2 Days ex flights
Coasteering weekend in Wales

Coasteering weekend in Wales

The ultimate coastal adventure

From £219 3 Days ex flights
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