The moment the sun starts to dance across our glorious little island in the (freezing cold) North Sea, it becomes way too easy to open up the Skyscanner app on your phone, Airbnb on your tablet and start planning your first holiday of the summer. But doesn’t it make sense to explore the place we call home while it’s hot and save the sun-seeking for the other three seasons? My boys and I certainly think so, and to prove this we’ve been busy pulling together a lost of local-ish destinations you need to visit this summer. So, without further ado, pack your car, print out this list and set aside however long you need to make this crazy roadtrip a possibility. Enjooooy.
1 Yummy Yorkshire There is a reason this place is known as “God’s Own County” and it’s because there is nowhere else on earth quite like it. It’s beauty like it used to be – like it should be. It’s one of those rare places that still feels like a Famous Five adventure with its vast landscapes, dilapidated mills, sweeping moors and thrilling dales. But the reason we call it Yummy Yorkshire is because it has more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else in the UK (except London, but who wants to go there?). Anway, for families thinking of heading this way, there is only one place to stay and that’s the Swinton Park Hotel. Lakes, games, trails, quizzes, nature centres – it has it all.
2 Edinburgh Excites It doesn’t matter which streets you decide to wander or which way you turn, you will always stumble across something In the Scottish capital designed to excite every member of your squad. Climb Edinburgh Castle, the world of illusions, the treasure trails and dungeons and museums of every kind, and that’s just the city itself. There is so much more to be discovered on outside the walls. Just make sure your base is at the Residence Inn Edinburgh, which has this incredible ability to be home-like yet slap bang in the middle of the city centre. It’s incredible.
3 Delightful Devon Once again, this place has a timeless adventure to it, the kind that would have inspired Enid Blyton everywhere she looked, from the craggy coves to the delicate tea rooms, the breaking surf to the beach picnics. But it isn’t just the staggering coastline that is worth exploring; it’s inland Devon too, which is where you will find Bovey Castle – a hotel that is complete with huge stone fireplaces, sky-high ceilings, picture-perfect panelling, feather-filled sofas, sweeping moorland views and a spa, while the kids have everything from tennis to croquet and a playground in the huuuuge grounds. It’s epic.
4 Never Miss Norfolk Norfolk’s charm is that you have to go there with intention, not because it is on the way to somewhere. It’s big skies, huge coastlines, ruined castles, medieval churches and mind-boggling museums, not to mention the flatlands make it ideal for cycling. What’s more, you have the seven Burnhams and the surrounding coast, which is well-worth your attention. In fact, we recommend you book a place at either The Hoste Arms or just down the road at the Thornham Deli. Your kids will love it there.