The top UK holiday destinations to visit right now

uk holiday destinations
14 UK holiday destinations to visitIsle of Skye. danm

Looking for holiday ideas to explore Britain's wonderful highlights? We're here to help and have rounded up the very best UK holiday destinations to visit.

When it comes to escaping the daily grind, UK holiday destinations offer incredible sites you just won't find abroad. From our amazing railways taking you through breathtaking countryside to our quaint villages and historic cities, there's so much to explore at home.

The best UK holiday destinations are found all around Britain too, from north to south. There are the Scottish Highlands, offering wild, remote beauty, and the Cotswolds that leave you utterly mesmerised by their unspoilt scenes.

Snowdonia is an exceptional place for captivating views, while the Isles of Scilly are ideal for experiencing Caribbean-like beaches without the carbon footprint. The opportunities to see the charms of the UK are endless.

Whether you're planning on travelling as a couple, a family or solo, you'll find a variety of places in the UK for an amazing staycation this year and next.

Whatever the time of year you're travelling in, be it winter, spring, summer or autumn, these are the UK holiday destinations to consider.

1. Scottish Highlands

Scenic, remote and one of the real treasures of Britain, the Scottish Highlands offer a truly wild escape, where you can get lost among mountains, lochs and beaches. Home to Britain's largest national park, the Cairngorms, as well as the legendary Loch Ness, mighty Ben Nevis and Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands are also where you can ride the amazing Jacobite steam train, aka the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter film series.

Photo credit: RuslanKaln - Getty Images
Photo credit: RuslanKaln - Getty Images

Taking you over the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct, just like Harry and his friends, and close to Ben Nevis, Loch Morar and Loch Nevis, the Jacobite is an absolute must-do. Try it on a four-day Scottish adventure, where you'll also take in Loch Katrine and the Falkirk Wheel.

When? June and July 2023

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Alternatively, you can experience the Highlands in classic luxury as you sail around on a yacht-style cruise that takes in Fort William, Loch Linnhe and Oban.

When? April 2023

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Or you could enjoy the walks of the Highlands as you explore picturesque Fort William during a Scottish cruise to whisky and wildlife hotspots.

When? April 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN THE HIGHLANDS

2. Norfolk

With its royal attractions, wonderful wildlife and stunning natural scenery, Norfolk is a marvellous destination for your UK bucket list. Marvel at its windmills, watch the seals and their pups, and be amazed by the unspoilt countryside. There's no better way to explore Norfolk's charms than by train, with the Bittern Line, Poppy Line, Bure Valley Railway and the Mid-Norfolk Railway providing relaxing rides.

Photo credit: George W Johnson - Getty Images
Photo credit: George W Johnson - Getty Images

For something truly special, you can experience a variety of rail journeys in Norfolk during a five-day escape with historian Lucy Worsley, who will join you on a tour of the Royal Family's Sandringham Estate.

When? May, July, September 2023

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Alternatively, foodies can experience Norfolk during a tasty trip with cookery legend Delia Smith. There'll be plenty of time to explore the railways and Broads, too.

When? March and April 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN NORFOLK

3. Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is an incredibly beautiful part of south-west Wales. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, this county offers seemingly endless coastal walks with awe-inspiring views. Along the coast you will discover meandering trails leading to quaint harbours, hidden coves, and quirky towns, including Britain’s smallest city, St Davids.

Photo credit: Sebastian Wasek - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sebastian Wasek - Getty Images

One highlight of the Pembrokeshire coast is the pretty village of Fishguard. From here you can explore the ancient woodlands of the Gwaun Valley, on a walking trail that takes in the River Gwaun, the medieval Llanychllwydog Pillar Stones, and the ancient St Brynach Church.

You can visit Fishguard and the Gwaun Valley on our exclusive cruise, where you’ll also discover the wildlife, remote islands and spectacular scenery of Britain’s coastline.

When? April to August 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN PEMBROKESHIRE

4. Windsor

We’re lucky to have a vast number of fascinating historic palaces to explore in the UK. One of the most impressive is Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. The towers and battlements of the castle peer over the town of Windsor, creating a spectacular skyline.

Photo credit: Photo by Andrew Boxall - Getty Images
Photo credit: Photo by Andrew Boxall - Getty Images

You can visit Windsor on our special three-day tour this year. You’ll enjoy a private, after-hours tour of Windsor Castle and a champagne reception and will be joined by royal biographer Robert Hardman for a fascinating talk.

When? October 2022

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN WINDSOR

5. Cotswolds

One of the most picturesque regions you'll find in all of Britain, the Cotswolds are home to chocolate box villages, miles of rolling countryside and grand stately homes. Covering 800 square miles of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, you can only imagine how much there is to explore - from 'England's prettiest village' Castle Combe to the gardens of King Charles' country retreat Highgrove House.

Photo credit: Carausius - Getty Images
Photo credit: Carausius - Getty Images

You can explore the Cotswolds' gorgeous gardens on an exclusive . There will also be visits to other beautiful gardens, castles and farms on an exclusive tour with Countryfile's Adam Henson. He'll meet you at his farm and throughout the trip, you'll explore impressive Sezincote, Sudeley Castle and Batsford Arboretum.

When? April, May and September 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN THE COTSWOLDS

6. Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales offer spectacular rural scenery where you can truly soak up the beauty of England in the north of the country. This is a land of rolling hills, scenic rail journeys, quaint market towns and bracing walks. Travelling by heritage railway is one of the best ways to explore the gorgeous Dales, and the Pennine Bridleway offers fabulous routes for taking in the scenery by foot.

Photo credit: JayKay57 - Getty Images
Photo credit: JayKay57 - Getty Images

Walking is an excellent way to take in the Yorkshire Dales’ beautiful views and charming villages. You’ll also want to hop aboard the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway, and steam through the landscapes that inspired the Brontë sisters. You can experience them all during a five-day rail and waking break with Country Living.

When? October 2022, and April, August and October 2023

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7. Hebrides

The wildlife, white sand beaches and ample walking opportunities, Scotland's Inner and Outer Hebrides are an utter delight. The more than 50 inhabited islands off the west coast of the country offer island hopping at its finest - because who needs Greece and Croatia when we have the islands of Islay, Mull, Harris and Lewis?

Photo credit: Mike Cave / 500px - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Cave / 500px - Getty Images

It's here that you can truly immerse yourself in Britain's natural beauty by spotting puffins, eagles and deer. There are enchanting castles to discover too, such as Duart Castle on Mull and Dunvegan Castle on Skye, plus there's whisky to try and dark skies for stargazing.

Experience the ultimate island hopping cruise around the Hebrides with Country Living in spring.

When? April and May 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN THE HEBRIDES

8. Peak District

We can't think of a better place to experience the great outdoors than the Peak District, where you can make the most of the great open spaces and soak up the views of England's wild beauty. It's also a fabulous spot to marvel at sprawling stately homes and do some antiques shopping, with Chatsworth House and Chesterfield Flea Market being two of the top places you'll want to visit.

Photo credit: john finney photography - Getty Images
Photo credit: john finney photography - Getty Images

From quaint farm houses to country inns and blissful holiday cottages, the Peak District has an array of places to call home during your break. It's an excellent place for walkers to get about and explore the national park on foot, too. Country Living has an exclusive four-day trip with The Great Auction Showdown's Paul Martin, who will give you tips for shopping for antiques in the Peak District. You'll also stay at one of England's oldest hotels.

When? April 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN THE PEAK DISTRICT

9. Belfast

Britain's most underrated capital city, Belfast is compact but packed with delights, from its Botanical Gardens, which are free for everyone to visit, to its maritime history, which you can get to know at the architecturally-stunning Titanic Belfast. For more history, you'll want to stroll in front of City Hall and stop for a pint at one of the most beautiful British pubs around, the National Trust-owned Crown Liquor Saloon.

Photo credit: Chiara Salvadori - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chiara Salvadori - Getty Images

The best thing about Belfast? It's a city that nature-loving active travellers will appreciate. Due to its size and location, you're just a few minutes from beaches and scenic Strangford Lough. This is the place to get up close to wildlife by kayaking the calm waters (try an experience with Mobile Team Adventure), where you'll spot seals and make your way to the lough's deserted isles.

Another way to experience Belfast this year is with former BBC correspondent Kate Adie, when you'll hear her fascinating insights about the Troubles, visit Titanic Belfast and see the Giant's Causeway.

When? October 2022

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Alternatively, you can take to the Irish Sea on a magnificent seven-day adventure cruise as you explore the likes of Belfast, Portrush, the Isle of Man, Fishguard and Dublin.

When? April 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN BELFAST

10. Kent

A haven for gardeners, Kent is a superb county for seeing England at its very best. Here, you can stroll through writer Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Castle Garden, take in impossibly pretty manor house Ightham Mote and sip delicious wine at Chapel Down.

Photo credit: White Garden. National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
Photo credit: White Garden. National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

There's plenty to explore in Kent, from gorgeous gardens to vineyards and castles. A great place for a couples' escape, there's romance all around and if you're after a quintessential British country getaway, there's miles of it to discover on two feet - or two wheels!

Kent has a huge range of hotels, cottages and cosy inns for a mini-break, but for a special trip in the summer, join garden designer Sarah Raven on an exclusive tour of Kent and Sussex's gardens. You'll also have a private tour of Sissinghurst and lunch at Sarah's garden at Perch Hill.

When? June 2023

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN KENT

11. Jurassic Coast

A place so beautiful it often features on posters for British tourism, the Jurassic Coast is a UK holiday destination everyone should visit at least once. It was England's first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site and if you like beaches, you'll find a whopping 95 miles of dramatic coastline to discover.

Photo credit: joe daniel price - Getty Images
Photo credit: joe daniel price - Getty Images

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are its most iconic spots, while the pretty seaside towns of Swanage, Lyme Regis and West Bay are worth adding to your list. This spectacular region in Dorset has plenty of history, too - we're talking dinosaur history! Famous around the world as one of the richest heritage sites for prehistoric remains, the Jurassic Coast is the place to join a fossil hunting walk.

Around 20 minutes from Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door lies The Bear Hotel in Wareham, a quirky boutique hotel, combining 18th century charm with modern day luxury. Or get to know the Jurassic Coast on Country Living's five-day rail tour...

When? September 2022

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BROWSE MORE PLACES TO STAY ON THE JURASSIC COAST

12. Isles of Scilly

Sitting 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, these idyllic islands are the UK's answer to the Caribbean. The heavenly white sands, turquoise waters and slightly milder climate make the Isles of Scilly a UK holiday destination everyone should have on their bucket list. Five of the 140 isles are inhabited (St Mary's, Tresco, St Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes) and boast some of Britain's most outstanding attractions, including Tresco Abbey Garden.

Photo credit: Ashley Cooper - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ashley Cooper - Getty Images

There are dark skies for stargazing, wildlife that thrives (including puffins and Atlantic grey seals), plus the laidback lifestyle that's high on most island holiday wish lists.

You'll find a range of hotels, cottages and B&Bs to book in the Isles of Scilly, such as St Mary's Hall Hotel in Hugh Town, St Mary's, but for an unforgettable tour of the islands, join Country Living's exclusive trip with wildlife and nature experts in autumn, when you can really get to know the destination.

When? October 2022

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BROWSE PLACES TO STAY IN ISLES OF SCILLY

13. Conwy

The Conwy Valley is a peaceful area of North Wales, with the picturesque medieval walled town of Conwy at its heart. Here you’ll find the mysterious and elegant Gwydir Castle, an ancient Welsh house situated in the foothills of Snowdonia.

Photo credit: Alexander Spatari - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alexander Spatari - Getty Images

The National Trust’s Bodnant Garden are another must-see attraction for any visitors to Conwy. This horticultural gem is full of botanical wonders from around the world, like the Blue Poppy of the Himalayas and the Fire Bush of the Andes.

You can visit both on our five-day trip to North Wales, which also includes unforgettable trips on the Snowdon Mountain and Welsh Highland Railways.

When? April and October 2023

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14. The Trossachs

Visit the Trossachs National Park in Scotland and you’ll discover an enchanting landscape of forests, hills and locks to the east of the calm waters of Loch Lomond. This national park is easy to explore on foot, with gentle walking routes skirting the edges of the water and some more challenging hikes up into the hills, where you’ll be treated to exceptional views of the surrounding countryside.

Photo credit: Sky View Video (Scotland), Professional Aerial Imaging - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sky View Video (Scotland), Professional Aerial Imaging - Getty Images

You can join Country Living on a series of inspiring craft escapes at Gartmore House, an 18th-century, traditional Scottish manor house, near the Trossachs. Choose from watercolour painting, upcycling, lacemaking and aromatherapy candle making for a relaxing UK break.

When? Multiple dates available

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