Where to go on holiday in May

Mary Novakovich
·4-min read
 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Hotel lovers and hoteliers are gearing up for 17 May when guests can finally enjoy some hospitality under a different roof. That also means activity holidays can restart, so you can look forward to walking and cycling a bit further afield. And while self-catering is as popular as ever, there are still some bargains to be had. Have a look at these ideas if you’re in search of inspiration.


Shropshire still manages to fly under the radar despite its indisputable beauty and lack of crowds. Its serene landscape of green rolling hills is also home to Norman castles and Saxon hillforts, which you can discover on self-guided walking holiday with Inntravel. Starting in Bishop’s Castle, you’ll follow ancient drovers’ routes through pastures that look as if they haven’t been touched for centuries. Save your appetite for your arrival in foodie haven Ludlow. This four-night holiday costs from £495pp for departures throughout May, and includes B&B accommodation in Bishop’s Castle Hotel and the Cliffe at Dinham, plus one dinner, luggage transfers and route notes.

Isle of Wight

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Get to know the Isle of Wight’s sleepy side by surrounding yourself with rich farmland. Mattingley Farm is only a couple of miles from Yarmouth and its sandy beach, and the nature reserves at Hampstead and Newtown are a short drive away. The farm’s old milking parlour has been turned into a cute two-bedroom cottage offered by Classic Cottages, with calming views of the countryside and, for dog lovers, the chance to let pups safely run loose in the enclosed doggie paddock. Four nights’ self-catering cost £380 from 18-22 May, and other short breaks are available.

Yorkshire Wolds

The 140-odd miles of the circular Yorkshire Wolds cycle route offer some superb cycling, taking in everything from lovely old market towns and nature reserves to the spectacular coast. Saddle Skedaddle runs a self-guided cycling holiday starting in the market town of Beverley, with its splendid Minster. Along with stops in Driffield, Pocklington and other scenic spots, you’ll be freewheeling along the coast at Flamborough Head and watching birdlife in full flow at Bempton. A six-day holiday costs £645pp from 24 May, and includes B&B accommodation, luggage transfers, route notes and maps. Bike hire is an extra £155pp.


Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Bring your bike and your hiking boots when you stay at the Swan in the tiny village of Wedmore. This 18th-century inn is in the midst of the Somerset Levels – sublime cycling territory – and within sight of the Mendip Hills. Ex-River Cottage chef Tom Blake runs the kitchen in this beautifully restored Georgian pub, so expect hearty West Country cooking. It’s fitting that in this cosy place you’ll find Victorian claw-foot baths in the attractive rooms. I-escape has a two-night break for two people from £260, including breakfast and one dinner.


You’ll have the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal right on your doorstep at Marina View, a stylish stone barn conversion near Llanfrynach in the Brecon Beacons. When you’re not hiking along the canal or the nearby Taff Trail, you can chill out in the large sun trap of a garden. It has three bedrooms (one double, two twin), two bathrooms and storage for bikes, and dogs are welcome. It’s available through Holiday Cottages, and a seven-night break from 22 May costs £655, down from £722.


Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

April marked 70 years since the Peak District became the UK’s first national park, and it remains one of the country’s most beautiful places to explore. Use Tallan Green as your base, a three-bedroom stone cottage (sleeps five) in the village of Litton. After a hike around the Litton Loop, flop on one of the cushy sofas in front of the wood-burning stove. The cottage has loads of original features, as well as a range cooker – and the village pub is right next door. Seven nights’ self-catering with Peak Cottages from 14 May costs £754, and up to two dogs cost an extra £20 each.

Mary Novakovich is editor at large at 101holidays.co.uk

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