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My Top 10 British Staycation Destinations (Pt 1)

I was introduced to the concept of the 'staycation' at a very young age. My parents much preferred exploring the UK over travelling abroad so most of my childhood summers were spent hiding in tents from freak hailstorms, going gooey-eyed over Cornish boys working in fudge shops, and making up 101 excuses for not joining in with the on-site holiday park entertainment. And I loved it. Devon and Cornwall were our usual destinations of choice and it really opened up my eyes to the wealth of things to do and see right on our doorstep. Every summer was different and exciting - despite being in the same region.

As I got a bit older, I ventured further afield. In my college years, I became rather a coach trip fiend. Admittedly, it wasn't the most glamorous means of travel but it was affordable, meant I could stay at a hotel and get full board included (buffet breakfast wya), and - most importantly - I could see a lot of stuff without having to sell my kidneys to afford train fares and entry fees. That is when I started seeing other parts of the UK. We stayed in the Cotswolds and ate a tonne of cake in adorable surroundings. We went on a Dickens themed Christmas trip that toured Rochester and Canterbury. And we even did a Harry Potter themed London one which included the Harry Potter Studios. It was awesome and really got me wanting to explore more of the UK.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to explore a fair amount of places (but still not enough!) so I thought I would share with you my favourites so you too can get some inspo on where you want to travel to next.

The Lake District
I would go as far as saying that the Lake District is one of my favourite parts of the UK. The scenery is unlike any other part that I have visited. And the towns and villages dotted around are so quaint and old-worldy - it is like stepping back in time. 

I used to live in Ambleside so I would feel like a traitor not to recommend visiting there. Be also be sure to add Rydal Caves to your itinerary as well as taking a boat ride on Lake Windermere. Also be sure to stop in at Lucy's On A Plate if you are in Ambleside as the food is insane (and I worked there so I would know *licks lips*). 

Bath is another firm favourite of mine. It is somewhere that I have visited a handful of times but never really tire of. The architecture, for one, is absolutely stunning and it just has this quaint charm that you rarely find in a city. They also have a Jane Austen Centre which brings joy to my little English Lit grad heart and a fashion museum which is mega interesting and full of the wackiest dresses you'll ever lay eyes upon. I would also strongly advise you to go to the Fudge Kitchen there as they make the best fudge ever (ok, maybe not as good as Roley's Fudge but, yknow, still pretty incredible) and they also sell these hot chocolate fudge sachets that make the dreamiest hot chocolate ever. Damn, now I really want fudge.

Edinburgh is another one of my top UK cities that I could visit time and again without getting bored. Naturally, you have to visit Edinburgh Castle. The view over Edinburgh from up there is gorgeous and it is so interesting as the castle is one of those fancy ones like Windsor Castle - it is more of a military base so you get to see where they kept the prisoners of war back in the day and it is just mega interesting. But, of course, I was mostly swept away by two things - pretty, colourful streets and good food. For that, all you have to do is head to Victoria Street. It is a crescent shaped street full of the most beautiful, colourful buildings. It is absolutely gorgeous and oh so instagrammable. But it is also on that street that you will find my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh - Howies Restaurant. The food there is next level. They fill up quick so it is good to prebook and, back when I went, they did a really reasonably priced early bird menu which I would totally recommend. Just thinking of the food there makes me desperately want to book another trip.  

Of course, I had to put Cornwall on here. I haven't actually been to Cornwall for so long but I remember always loving the beaches. Also my dad was really into history around that time and we would always learn so much about Cornwall's Celtic routes and many of its folklores and fables. Cornwall always had quite a mystical vibe for me with its stories of mermaids and sailors lost at sea, and the shops selling crystals and dreamcatchers that you found in every town and village, and the ancient battle reenactments that we went to. I think Cornwall has so much character and it is much more than just a beach holiday destination. Particularly, I would suggest visiting Tintagel. That was our favourite destination growing up because of all the King Arthur legends surrounding it but also because the beach there is just beautiful and the town feels like it has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

So, I am going to round up Part One with maybe the most underrated city I can think of - Cardiff. As it was my uni city (and will soon be my home again!), I do have a bit of partiality towards Cardiff but, honestly, I do think it is a great place to visit. On the surface, it may just seem like an average city that is the same as any other but, when you look deeper, you notice its uniqueness. The arcades in the city centre are my favourite example of this. You could blink and miss them but these arcades running through the centre of town are full of independent shops and cafes and have a Victorian charm about them. Not only that but you have Cardiff Castle too and so many parks and places to explore. You can even take a boat from Bute Park to Cardiff Bay which is lovely on a nice day.

I hope you enjoyed part one of my favourite UK staycation destinations - be sure to keep your eyes out for part two and comment below your favourite place to visit in the UK!

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