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UK Holidays – Five of the Best Staycations

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Who needs fancy foreign holidays when you can get the best from your breaks in good old Blighty? Here’s our guide to the top 5 staycations in the UK this year – don’t forget to book you train travel early to take advantage of our best advance deals!”

North Devon

Rolling hills, lush valleys, seaside towns stuffed with surfer dudes: no, it’s not California. It’s North Devon, home of UK surfing, pasties and cream teas. According to local lore the Cornish pasty is actually Devonian – either way, it’s a hot and tasty treat to reward the lad or lass who’s been braving the waves in a winter wetsuit! Must sees: Exmoor National Park (wild ponies, fearsome stags and miles of windswept forest), Lundy Island, and Porlock village.

The Lake District

One of the most popular UK staycations for the outdoor lover, Wordsworth’s spiritual home is filled with Middle Earth scenery, quaint stone villages and outstanding local ale. Visit the poet’s home, Dove Cottage – and make sure you take at least one of Wainwright’s legendary walks. Stop off in Kendal to get kitted out with walking gear and some of the eponymous mint cake (it’s what mountaineers use to give them instant energy). Must take: a camera, a mobile phone, and a walking GPS.

Brighton

If you like your coastal charm with a bit more metropolitan suavity, Brighton’s the place to be. One of the top short UK breaks, particularly for the nation’s six million capital dwellers, Brighton combines classic old school seaside architecture with an uber-hip attitude and some of the best Bed and Breakfasts in Britain. Get a jump on the crowds by going in the off-season (i.e. now) and remember you can book your train tickets and hotels for less by using redspottedhanky.com. Must spot: Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim.

Edinburgh

The swankiest city north of the border, Edinburgh’s no accurate reflection of the rest of Scotland – but it’s one of the best UK holidays in the book. You won’t find a more charming combination of location, culture, history and accommodation: Edinburgh’s within striking distance of the sea, is blessed with its very own castle, and has more boutique hotels than you can shake a sporran at. Grab a bite to eat at The Witchery for an evening meal with a Gothic twist, and get your whisky-drinking head on for an evening on the Royal Mile. Must try: haggis.

London

London’s top of the list in the UK for just about everything: art, culture, nightlife and eating out. Visit the South Bank for a look at the latest arty sensations. Amble out to Hammersmith and catch a black and white double bill at the Riverside Studios, complete with home cooked food and real ale. The key to a UK staycation in London is finding an area and exploring it to the full. Duck down back streets, listen to the locals, and you’ll dig up the hidden gems that make each borough unique. Must do: wander along the Thames at night.

The UK’s full of fascinating places: ancient woodlands, Stone Age burial grounds, sprawling metropolises, country villages. Book your hotels and train tickets with redspottedhanky.com and you could be getting away from it all without even having to find your passport! Let us know what your favourite home-grown holiday destinations are. Surfing and seclusion – or full-on city spectacular?

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