No-fly holidays: Places to visit that are (kind of) on your doorstep

words Al Woods

You don’t have to venture too far to experience that holiday feeling. Whether you are looking for woodland adventures, would like to discover history or relax on Blue Flag beaches; the UK is home to an exciting array of destinations just waiting to be explored. Here are some of the best places to visit in the UK for a holiday.

City breaks

You can have new experiences and see interesting sights without having to get a flight. The UK has plenty of fascinating cities to explore, all with their own characteristics. Here’s three you might like to consider:


A cultural hotspot in the North of England, Manchester makes a great city break destination.

With iconic art galleries, contemporary restaurants and a sprawling shopping district; this is a city that’s brimming with excitement.

Renowned for its music with legendary guitar bands making global success, Manchester’s nightlife is worth sticking around for. After dark, the cobbled streets are illuminated by fluorescent lights as it comes alive with raucous clubs, independent bars and world-famous DJ events. With acoustic sets taking over cafes and record shops by day, the spirit of Manchester’s music scene is alive, thriving and worth discovering.

You’ll find a wide range of Manchester hotels suitable for all budgets, making it easy for you to fully immerse yourself in the culture.


England’s bustling capital has a love for theatre, art, history and film. Explore London’s dynamic districts which are all brimming with activity. Head to Westminster to peer past the golden gates of Buckingham Palace and to marvel over the gothic architecture of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Cross Westminster Bridge into Lambeth for a range of cultural attractions and museums such as London Dungeon, the Coca-Cola London Eye and the Southbank Centre. Or, if you’re a football fan, make your way over to Fulham to experience the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.

For London’s West End theatre shows, head to Covent Garden. Mayfair and London’s famous Oxford Street are nearby for shopping too. With so much to discover, you’ll never run out of things to do in London.


Famous for its rugby tournaments, shopping choices and hypnotic nightlife; Cardiff is a captivating city and the perfect holiday destination. Discover the rich Welsh heritage through the well-preserved monuments. At the very centre is the impressive Norman Cardiff Castle. Surrounded by green parks, the Roman fort can be explored along with its medieval keep and wartime bunkers. Enjoy a great range of high street brands and restaurants before getting caught up in the magic of Cardiff’s electric nightlife.

What’s interesting about Cardiff is that it sits beside a large bay. With recent developments to its infrastructure, the Docklands is home to a large freshwater lake and picturesque harbour. Mermaid Quay has plenty of dining options and there’s a picturesque wetland reserve for a moment of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the centre.

Woodland escapes

The colourful leaves and change in weather conditions makes a woodland escape the ideal autumn break and there are plenty to choose from in the UK.

Sherwood Forest

Said to be the home of legendary Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve is great to explore. Made up of 450 acres of forestry and wildlife; discover the medieval heritage of Nottingham through the trees. Deep in the forest you can discover the remains of a historic Viking meeting place, Thynghowe and the foundations of a medieval palace.

Sherwood Forest is a great holiday destination to bring your dog as there’s plenty of long walking trails through the woods and into the open grassy plains.

Snowdonia National Park

For adventurous types and thrill seekers looking for excitement in all weather conditions, head over to Wales. Hike up one of the notorious Three Peaks in Snowdonia National Park. With an elevation of 1,085 metres, Snowdon is a challenging hiking destination with six routes to choose from. Once you reach the summit you’ll be rewarded with unbelievable views across the clouds into the green valleys.

If you’re not up to such a long hike, use your break away to explore the nature on one of the walking trails. There’s also delightful fishing opportunities and exciting watersports to get involved with down the bubbling creaks.

Loch Ness

Travel north of the island to Scotland for unbeatable scenery and indescribable nature. There are so many options if you’re looking for adventure in Scotland but one of the most interesting is Loch Ness. Travel by boat across the murky water in search of the ancient legend.

Explore the gloomy Urquhart Castle that overlooks the river banks. This 16th-century fortress is one of the largest castles in Scotland and offers panoramic views across the natural surroundings from the Grant Tower. The area is also famous for its sustainable whisky distilleries. Book a tour to learn all about the history of Scottish Whisky.

UK seaside breaks

When it’s warm in the UK the sun really shines. Make the most of the blue skies and visit one of the UK’s best seaside resorts. 


With the colourful cladded houses, delicious locally produced food and traditional harbour; Whitby is picture-perfect. No matter what the weather, the setting is one of a kind. The seaside town is famous for many things, one of which is the deeply rooted connection to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Take a tour of the famous Whitby Abbey for gothic surroundings and stunning sunsets. Explore the harbour and hike to the top of the towering East Cliff for beautiful views of the North Sea and the town below.

You can’t visit Whitby without sampling its seafood exports. Tuck into the catch of the day in one of the coastal restaurants with views out across the bay.


With its unique charm, Blue Flag beaches and retro amusement park, Margate is quickly becoming one of the UK’s best seaside resorts. There’s plenty of activities to fill your time here. Dreamland in Margate is a fantastic day out with the family. Revel in the retro atmosphere of the traditional rides and attractions such as the Ferris wheel, carousel, wooden roller coaster, chair-o-plane and roller disco.

See over 100 art installations, sculptures and paintings in the many Turner Contemporary exhibits found in the setting where the celebrated British artist used to live. Or venture underground to one of the city’s best kept secrets, the mysterious Shell Grotto. Millions of shells, designing intricate patterns cover the walls of this hidden art installation. The reason for its creation is still unknown.


On the edge of Cornwall’s stunning surroundings, Newquay is home to some of the UK’s best surfer beaches. If you want adventure, you don’t have to travel too far as Newquay has 12 golden beaches all offering something different.

The rolling waves and the west facing winds on Fistral Beach makes it a world famous surfing spot. The golden swath of sand is backed by imposing cliffs and there’s plenty of facilities and restaurants nearby. For something quieter, the horseshoe shape of Lusty Glaze offers beautiful views and soft sand to relax on.

No matter what you would like to do on your UK break, there are plenty of destinations across the UK for you to explore and enjoy.


You May Also Like


The most important things to pack when you teach English abroad

words Al Woods You’re nearly there. You’ve accepted that English teaching job in a ...

On the trail of Italy’s historic Amalfi coast

Words: Will Squires I’m standing in Piazza Municipio in Naples. To one side towers ...

Burrata cheese

Taste of Apulia: find out the best combination

words Al Woods Burrata is an artisanal cheese, which was created in 1900 (some ...

A seven-course tasting menu? Pied à Terre elevates food to art

Words: Chris Zacharia Aside from the excellence of its high end French cooking, Pied ...

covid Hotel Chains

The 10 Safest Hotel Chains to Stay At During COVID-19

woerds Alexa Wang Some essential travel plans can’t be canceled even during a pandemic. ...

Cuisine of Portugal

The Cuisine of Portugal Is Special: Where and What Locals Eat in Porto

words Alexa Wang Portugal is widely known for its excellent wines and olive oil, ...