7 of the best UK holiday ideas for 2020

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As lockdown eases, it may yet be possible to enjoy a post-lockdown break. With international air travel still returning to normal, it may be a ‘staycation’ that’s your choice for summer 2020. To help you, here are seven of the best UK holiday ideas for this summer.

1. The Isle of Wight

Ferries from Portsmouth and Southampton continue to operate and travelling across the Solent to the Isle of Wight is about the nearest thing to a ‘foreign’ holiday experience.

There’s something for all the family to do, from attractions such as Robin Hill Country Park and Blackgang Chine to Godshill Model Village and the terrific Amazon World Zoo Park.

The east side of the island has plenty of old-school seaside attractions while the Victorian town of Ventnor boasts impressive botanical gardens and excellent beaches.

2. Knaresborough, North Yorkshire

Perched high above the River Nidd, Knaresborough is a more interesting town than its more famous neighbour, Harrogate.

The town itself features cobbled alleys and ancient walkways packed full of independent shops, as well as a once royal castle and a magnificent viaduct with breathtaking views. Knaresborough is also home to Mother Shipton’s Cave – the oldest tourist attraction in England dating all the way back to 1630.

There’s plenty of history and heritage to explore, and if the weather is good you can take a long and relaxing walk (or rowing boat) along the River Nidd.

3. Portmeirion, Wales

Situated on the west coast of Wales, the village of Portmeirion was designed and built between 1925 and 1975 using the Italian town of Portofino as its inspiration.

You can therefore enjoy great architecture and a vibrant atmosphere, and on a sunny day, you can genuinely believe you are in the Mediterranean.

The village welcomes more than 200,000 visitors every year and visitors can enjoy complimentary guided walking tours with one of the friendly local tour guides.

There’s a four-mile sandy beach a short distance away, and the village is also located just at the bottom of a valley leading into Snowdonia National Park.

4. The Isles of Scilly

Just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, these tiny islands are great if you want to enjoy a slower pace of life.

There are five inhabited islands – St. Mary’s, Tresco, St. Martin’s, Bryher and St. Agnes – plus countless uninhabited ones to explore.

The islands boast an incredible ancient history and archaeology, alongside sweeping sea views and rugged undeveloped coasts. For nature lovers, St Martin’s shores are also frequented by grey seals.

And, after a day of walking and exploring, enjoy some of the exceptional local fare, including lobster, tender island-reared beef, fresh vegetables and melt-in-the-mouth ice-creams.

5. The West Highland Way, Scotland

2020 sees the West Highland Way route celebrate its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Wilderness Scotland is offering guided and self-guided options to trace its iconic trail from Milngavie on the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William.

Stretching for 96 miles, the route takes in a huge variety of scenery, from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains.

Itineraries vary, but you should comfortably complete the route in a week, walking between nine and 19 miles a day. It’s the perfect escape from months in lockdown!

6. The Stourport Ring, West Midlands

The best UK holiday ideas don’t necessarily mean staying on dry land. A holiday aboard a canal boat can transport you lazily through some of the finest countryside England has to offer.

The Stourport Ring is a connected series of canals forming an 84-mile circuit around Worcestershire, The Black Country and Birmingham. You’ll pass through 116 locks as you spend 56 hours cruising around the Midlands cities of Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Worcester.

You’ll see sights including Worcester Cathedral and glorious views of the countryside around the River Severn on a leisurely two-week cruise.

7. Barnard Castle, County Durham

This historic County Durham market town takes its name from the castle around which it grew. The castle was named after its 12th Century founder, Bernard de Balliol, and was later developed by Richard III, whose boar emblem is carved above a window in the inner ward.

Featured in The Guardian’s ‘10 of the best UK small towns’ Barnard Castle is also popular with canoeists, anglers and for riverside walks along the Teesdale Way, Deepdale and Flatts Wood.

Visit the town’s many independent shops, with many products made locally, while locally produced food can be found in the independent butchers, greengrocers, bakers and specialist shops and at the monthly farmers’ market which is held on ‘the cobbles’ in the Market Place.

Keen walkers are guaranteed a warm welcome too, with the town nationally recognised as a Walkers are Welcome town in 2017.