With the promise of continued sunshine across the country and ongoing travel disruptions for holidays abroad, we can't think of a better way to make the most of the UK summer than cooling off in the country’s most wonderful nature spots.
Ideal for the hot summer temperatures, these places by the sea, beside streams and near lochs are just the thing when you need respite from the sun.
While our friends at Hotels.com tell us that they saw a 155 per cent increase in searches for 'hotels with air conditioning' during the recent heatwave in July, we thought we'd ask them to help us select the UK's naturally cool places to escape to this summer.
With plenty of water-based activities accessible to outdoor lovers, including wild swimming, kayaking, sailing and paddle boarding, its easy to stay cool while on a staycation and these ideas for places to go ensure you'll get your fix of stunning natural views, too.
Whether you're looking for a holiday rental or a hotel, these locations from Hotels.com, Expedia and Vrbo will inspire you to retreat to nature's shaded and coolest spots as the mercury rises this August. Here's where to cool off this summer...
For fun watersports: St Ives Harbour Hotel, St. Ives
Cornwall is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, so it's no surprise that it's a popular location for sea swimming. Porthminster Beach offers fantastic swimming and a tropical feel. Located in St Ives, St Ives Harbour Hotel sits on the beachfront and offers a wide range of activities including fresh sea cliff walks, boat trips and watersports.
For river swimming: The Graduate Hotel, Cambridge
Famous for punting, Cambridge also has designated places where you can swim, between Byron's Pool and King's Mill Weir, of the upper reaches of the River Cam. A stay at The Graduate affords picturesque views of the River Cam, where you can have breakfast overlooking the riverbank. Just a five-minute drive away, you can reach Grantchester Meadows, which has over two kilometre of river for swimming. Once you have cooled off, you can sit around the grassy banks, relax and enjoy a picnic.
For wild swimming in a national park: Loch Long Hotel, Argyll and Bute
Perched on the banks of Loch Long and overlooked by the Arrochar Alps, The Loch Long Hotel is a great choice if you're looking to experience the best of Scotland’s beauty including iconic Scottish wildlife: golden eagles, red deer, otters, seals and more. Located just 15 minutes from the majestic open water of Loch Lomond in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, you'll have the chance to take a dip in one of the country’s most beautiful wild swimming spots.
For swimming in the mountains: Raven Cottage, Isle of Skye
This Glen Eynort cottage is surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery. The Allt nam Fitheach stream marks the easterly boundary of the garden and can be enjoyed from the overhanging decking. Raven cottage is perfect for families to gather after exploring the numerous wild water swimming options this part of Scotland has to offer, including the magical Fairy Pools. The crystal clear blue pools offer ice-cold water for those in need of a refreshing stop after walking from the road to Glenbrittle to the attraction.
For kayaking adventures: Luxury beach house, south coast of Cornwall
Located just a stone's throw from Looe's beach on the south coast of Cornwall, this holiday rental invites you to simply drop your bags and head straight out to the water. With direct access to the waterfront, the beach house provides complimentary use of kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, perfect for an afternoon enjoying the water. The luxurious, four bedroom rental is ideal for families or whoever you call family, and boasts breathtaking views of the open water.
For caving: Camelot Castle Hotel, north coast of Cornwall
A famous Cornish landmark overlooking the dramatic coast, Tintagel is just a 10-minute drive from St Nectan’s Kieve, a plunge pool with a spectacular waterfall that you can swim in. Camelot Castle Hotel is in an excellent position for accessing the attractions to keep cool this summer. Down the road from the hotel is Merlin’s Cave, a mysterious grotto on the beach which is accessible at low-tide and ideal for seeking shade when the sun is out.
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