The brilliant British trips to take in 2022

·8-min read
Photo credit: Norfolk. George W Johnson
Photo credit: Norfolk. George W Johnson

Going abroad is a real treat but if you plan on keeping it local and exploring the beautiful places we have right here at home in 2022, you'll want to know the best UK holidays to experience at least.

Providing you with quaint villages, sublime countryside and dramatic mountains, not to mention beautiful cities beyond London and Edinburgh, the best UK holiday destinations leave you with memories you won't make anywhere else in the world.

If you've always dreamed of taking to the Scottish Highlands and riding the legendary Jacobite train, or going on a luxurious spa break in the unsung Leicestershire countryside, you'll want to read on for inspiration to tick these holidays (and more) off your travel bucket list.

And because we don't do things by halves at Good Housekeeping, we've brought you a selection of exclusive UK breaks and hotel offers in these wonderful locations, which you can book safe in the knowledge that you'll travel with like-minded readers and with financial protection. Here are the top holidays in the UK, from the Hebrides to Norfolk.

1. Get to know Scotland's coastline on a luxurious boutique cruise

From checking into the best hotels in Scotland and swish Scottish spas, there are so many ways to explore this beautiful country and we've got a couple in this roundup. For 2022, we're excited about going beyond the cities and discovering the stunning coastline on a yacht-style cruise ship.

Photo credit: Lord of the Glens
Photo credit: Lord of the Glens

From the pretty town of Oban to the waterside ruins of Urquhart Castle, some of Scotland's wildest and most picturesque beauty spots are best seen on a boutique cruise. Taking place in autumn when you can witness the fiery hues of the season too, Good Housekeeping's luxurious sailing on the Lord of the Glens ship is the perfect way to see Scotland in style. You'll pause in front of the ruins of Urquhart Castle, get to know colourful Tobermory on foot and visit a whisky distillery in Oban.

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2. Discover the magical gardens of North Wales with Joe Swift

Home to mighty Mount Snowdon, the scenic beaches of Anglesey and fairy tale villages like Betws-y-Coed, North Wales is also a haven for garden lovers, with quirky gardens, National Trust properties and the grounds of sprawling mansions to explore. Not to mention the sub-tropical gardens you can find on the coast, such as at the Italian-like village of Portmeirion.

Photo credit: Getty/Joe Swift
Photo credit: Getty/Joe Swift

On an exclusive trip to North Wales with Gardeners' World star Joe Swift, you'll visit unique garden Plas Cadnant with the TV star and enjoy an after-dinner private talk about his experiences as a gardener with some great behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes. You'll also visit the National Trust Bodnant Garden, Portmeirion and the parklands and gardens at Bodrhyddan Hall.

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3. Head for the Scottish Highlands for a ride on the Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter fan or not, you'll be seriously impressed by the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and one of its most breathtaking attractions, the Jacobite steam train. Making its way across the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was a star in the Harry Potter movies, this magnificent railway journey takes you close to Ben Nevis, Loch Morar and Loch Nevis.

Photo credit: GAPS - Getty Images
Photo credit: GAPS - Getty Images

For the trip of a lifetime, combine the epic train journey with a magnificent Loch Katrine cruise on a steam ship and the incredible Falkirk Wheel. Our four-day Jacobite steam adventure in June and July takes you on the Scottish escape of a lifetime.

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Alternatively, you can experience the Highlands on a luxurious train ride on the Royal Scotsman in April, for a rail holiday of a lifetime.

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4. Soak up the quaint village vibe at one of our favourite hotels in the Cotswolds

Whether you're looking to escape for a weekend or week-long break, the Cotswolds won't disappoint with their honey-hued villages, quintessential country pubs and abundance of scenic walks that take you over the undulating hills to the best-loved market towns. From Bourton-on-the-Water to Broadway and Bibury to Winchcombe, you won't run out of beautiful places to visit in the Cotswolds.

Photo credit: The Slaughters Manor House
Photo credit: The Slaughters Manor House

One of our favourite villages has to be Lower Slaughter, with its cute church and 19th-century water mill. It's also home to one of Britain's best country house hotels, The Slaughters Manor House. Here, you can relax in the pink lounge, unwind in the billiards room and tuck into dinner in a stylish restaurant. When you feel like stretching your legs, there are countless walks to enjoy. Good Housekeeping has an exclusive offer for two nights of luxury at the hotel in 2022.

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5. Experience the railways and walking trails of the Yorkshire Dales

If a walking holiday takes your fancy in 2022, let it be in the mesmerising Yorkshire Dales, where epic views and charming villages await. It's also a fantastic place to experience English railways, like the heritage Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (which stops at Oakworth, made famous in The Railway Children) and the Settle-Carlisle Railway.

Photo credit: Alexander W Helin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alexander W Helin - Getty Images

Wildlife fans can enjoy walking along the Bolton Abbey River Loop, while exploring the world of Wuthering Heights at Haworth and on a Bronte-themed walk across Yorkshire's wild moors is another must-do. You can experience the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales on an exclusive five-day staycation in April, August or October.

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6. See the beauty of Norfolk with Delia Smith, Jennie Bond or Lucy Worsley

With its royal connections, wildlife spotting opportunities and lovely river scenes, Norfolk is an absolute must-see - and there's no better way to experience it than with a celebrity expert and we have three terrific holidays for you in 2022: one with former royal correspondent Jennie Bond, another with historian Lucy Worsley and a cooking break with the legendary Delia Smith. On some of these trips, you'll visit the Sandringham Estate, the Norfolk Broads and gorgeous villages like Wroxham and Horning.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Jennie Bond/Delia Smith/Lucy Worsley
Photo credit: Shutterstock/Jennie Bond/Delia Smith/Lucy Worsley

You can drink in the amazing landscapes - from unspoilt countryside dotted with windmills to pretty market towns - with relaxing train rides on the Bittern Line, Poppy Line, Bure Valley Railway and the Mid-Norfolk Railway. Or simply get to know the city of Norwich as you dine in the restaurants and try your hand at cooking with a star.

Experience royal Norfolk during a five-day break in the company of Jennie Bond in July or August.

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Or join Lucy Worsley on a five-day escape in August.

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Alternatively, you can taste the flavours of Norfolk on a five-day staycation with Delia Smith in April, or a shorter three-night city break in Norwich in February.

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7. Explore Scotland's untouched islands

Who needs Greece for island hopping when we've got the breathtaking Hebrides in Scotland which are waiting to be discovered? With their sandy beaches, spectacular wildlife and array of castles, the Hebrides will show you why some of the best UK holidays take place in Scotland.

Photo credit: Andrea Ricordi, Italy - Getty Images
Photo credit: Andrea Ricordi, Italy - Getty Images

There are hundreds of islands that make up the archipelago, which is divided into the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Islay, Mull, Skye and Harris are some of the most famous isles, where you can sip quality whisky, spot puffins and experience stargazing like nothing else. Island hopping on a cruise is a top way to see the Hebrides in one go and our exclusive trip in May 2022 will show you the best bits.

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8. Take in RHS Garden Bridgewater with Tom Stuart-Smith

Nestled in Greater Manchester, RHS Garden Bridgewater is one of the newest gardens to visit in the UK, after it opened in May 2021. The 154-acre space is a year-round delight, home to the Weston Walled Garden, Paradise Garden, Kitchen Garden and more. Landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith was involved in bringing one of Britain's most exciting new attractions to us and is joining Good Housekeeping for an exclusive tour, where he can answer all your horticultural questions.

Photo credit: Tom Stuart-Smith
Photo credit: Tom Stuart-Smith

During the four-day trip in July, you'll get to know RHS Garden Bridgewater, along with other highlights of the North West. You'll visit Ness Botanic Gardens, Dunham Massey and Tatton Park. There'll also be afternoon tea at RHS Garden Bridgewater to complete the experience.

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9. Sail around the Isles of Scilly, Fishguard, Dartmouth and more

Want to see the British Isles' best bits in one go? You'll find a cruise for that! Whether you want to sink your toes in the heavenly sands of the Isles of Scilly, feel a world away from the stresses of daily life in the charming fishing village of Fishguard or visit Northern Ireland's largest seabird colony on Rathlin Island, you can tick off a selection of bucket list experiences on our amazing cruise around the UK.

Photo credit: LauraPerrett1 - Getty Images
Photo credit: LauraPerrett1 - Getty Images

Taking place over 13 days, you'll start from Dover and take in the likes of Pembrokeshire, County Antrim, St Kilda, the Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly and pretty Dartmouth. An excellent range of excursions are included so you can make the most of your time in every location and you'll stay on Hurtigruten's expedition ship MS Maud, so you can feel like a true explorer.

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10. Be inspired by the Isle of Wight's gardens on a tour with Christine Walkden

Think the Isle of Wight and you probably picture white cliffs, sandy beaches and dinosaur history, but the sunniest place in the UK is also home to some magnificent gardens, including those at Queen Victoria's spectacular former summer home, Osborne House.

Photo credit: Osborne House/Christine Walkden
Photo credit: Osborne House/Christine Walkden

On an exclusive UK holiday in the Isle of Wight in May you'll join The One Show's expert gardener Christine Walkden as you explore the delightful gardens of the former royal estate Osborne House and ask her questions about perfecting the look of your own garden. You'll also visit Ventnor Botanic Garden, the gardens of Nunwell House and Mottistone Manor on this wonderful spring-time tour.

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