England is an incredible country to explore, with a surprising amount of diversity, culture and charm for a relatively small island. Not only that, there are heaps of the best places for a staycation in Britain dotted all across the island.

From the beautiful coastline of Pembrokeshire in Wales, driving the NC500 in the Scottish Highlands to historic Roman cities like Bath; you’re going to be spoilt for choice.

Now, with any staycation in Britain, it will require a little planning to get the most out of your holiday. So, to help you prioritise the top places to visit, I’m sharing my favourite spots in Britain you can

1.) Pembrokeshire National Park

Nestled on the southwest coastline of Wales, Pembrokeshire is an absolutely beautiful place to visit for a staycation.

Once in the area, make sure to explore the coastline from the Blue Lagoon and head down the coast towards the beautiful beaches of Barafundle Bay and Freshwater West Beach.

Both are absolutely stunning and you might even spot some of the resident seals, too.

Oh, and just shy of Pembrokeshire National Park is Tenby, a historic fishing village that’s so quaint. Be sure to stroll around the town, take a visit to nearby Caldey Island and see the ruins of nearby Carew Castle. It’s so impressive to see.

Heads up, public transport can be a little slim here, so it’s best to explore by car. That being said, you can easily hop on local buses, with a bike, and cover lots of ground. Just be sure to plan as some bus routes operate infrequently.

Read more: Best places to visit in Pembrokeshire

2.) Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands is one of my absolute favourite places for a staycation in Britain, especially if you’re already in Scotland. Now, for me, the best places in the Highlands are best explored by car. This allows you to explore some of the historic ruins, rugged coastline and local villages that are dotted across the route.

If you’re up for an adventure, drive the NC500 which is best explored over 5-7 days. We’ve done this route quite a few times and it’s so breathtaking.

Not only that, you can easily divert off the main NC500 route and explore some nearby areas, too. For instance, it’s well worth including a trip to the Isle of Skye and a drive down the Applecross Peninsular, too.

Read more: Best places to visit on the NC500

3.) Cotswolds

It might only be 60 miles, or so, from Central London, but the Cotswolds is one stunning area to visit for a staycation in Britain. You see, the whole area is filled with beautiful little villages, rolling hills and a quaint charm that’s second to none.

Once here, make sure to visit places like Bibury and Burton-on-the-Water. We love both towns and they’re filled with quaint houses, independent stores and tea houses that are perfect for scones and tea.

To make things easy, drive around the best spots in the Cotswolds. This way, you can control the pace of your trip; without any stress of timings.

That being said, don’t fret if you don’t want to drive. There are bus links within the Cotswolds between the villages and towns. 

Read more: Best places to visit in the Cotswolds

4.) Snowdonia National Park

Wales has some of the best national parks to visit, with Snowdonia being one of the best. Not only is it a vast area to explore; but it also includes the tallest mountain in England and Wales; Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa in Welsh).

Now, if you fancy, you can book a ‘Red Rover’ train ticket that acts as a hop-on-hop-off train ticket between some of the coastal towns from Machynlleth (the ancient capital of Wales) to Pwllheli. Though, a heads up, there’s sometimes only 1 train an hour (or even less). So, plan your route in advance.

Alternatively, take a car and head to places like Mount Snowdon that’s incredible for a hike. The views from up here are breathtaking. Though, if you don’t fancy the hike, there’s also a small train that will take you right to the summit. It’s well worth it.

Oh, and don’t forget about Portmeirion. It’s a quaint Italian town that’s so picturesque to visit. Yes, there is a small fee to enter but it’s well worth it for an afternoon.

Read more: Best places in Wales to visit

5.) St Andrews

Look, we’re biased! We both lived in St Andrews whilst studying but I can honestly say it’s one of my favourite towns in Scotland to visit.

Around a 1 hour drive from Edinburgh (or a train to Leuchars, then a 15-minute bus ride), it’s the perfect place to visit for a day trip or even a long weekend.

Once here, make sure to walk the beautiful West Sands Beach that stretches the whole length of the peninsular. It’s totally beautiful and you’ll get some gorgeous views of the town from here.

Alternatively, book a round of golf on the Old Course. This is where golf was invented and it’s an institution. Best of all, it’s open to all; though, green fees can be pricey at certain times.

If you’ve got a car, and after visiting St Andrews, head down the coast of the Kingdom of Fife. There are so many beautiful places in Fife that you can easily visit when following the old coastal road. We love Anstruther, a small fishing village that is so quaint.

Plus, they have some of the best fish and chips in all of Britain at Anstruther Fish Bar.

Read more: Best things to do at St Andrews

6.) Yorkshire

A larger region in the north of England, Yorkshire is one great place to visit if you want to ramble the moorlands, see some of Britain’s largest waterfalls and explore the towns and cities. It’s got that lovely mix of everything.

Once here, make sure to visit the town of Whitby on the east coast.

It’s a lovely little town and you can even visit the ruins of Whitby Abbey whilst you’re there. Oh, and don’t forget to visit Robin Hood’s Bay whilst you explore the Yorkshire Coastline.

If you’re heading inland, follow. The hiking routes around Janet’s Foss Walk. This will get you right into the Yorkshire Moors and Dales which are breathtaking at any time of the year. However make sure to take some wellies, they can get a little wet.

Alternatively, head over to cities like Leeds which are great if you fancy a city break. Head to the Corn Exchange for the local stores and visit Kirkstall Abbey for a more chilled-out day on the fringes of Leeds. It’s one of the best places for a staycation in Britain whilst in the north of England.

Oh, and don’t forget York. It’s one of the best cities in Yorkshire that’s got heads of history.

You’ll get to walk down the Shambles, see the childhood home of Guy Fawkes and scale the likes of York Cathedral. It’s so impressive.

Read more: Best places to visit in Yorkshire

7.) Northumberland

Known as castle country, Northumberland is an area that’s perfect for a staycation whilst heading up the east coast of England. It’s a pretty large area, that’s perfect to explore by car.

Now, if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to visit as many of the castles as possible. So, plan your trip ahead and include the incredible castles of Bamburgh Castle and Dunstanburgh Castle. The history dates back centuries and you can still go inside many of the castles here.

Afterwards, head over to Holy Island. This was the first place that Vikings set food in Britain and was considered the start of the ‘Viking Age’.

Once here, you can explore the ruined abbey and visit the small town to try some honey Meade (which is delicious).

Just be sure to check the tidal times. The road to Holy Island submerges under the sea at certain times of the day. Never take a risk if signs say not to drive.

Read more: Best things to do in Northumberland

8.) Cornwall

Possibly one of the best places for a staycation in Britain, Cornwall is a pretty vast area of Southwest England that’s incredible in summer.

Heck, it’s a great time to visit at any time of the year, but the weather is much warmer in summer, which makes it a great area of England to visit if you love beaches.

Once here, you can explore the gorgeous little towns of St. Ives, or head for the lively towns of New Quay which is a surfers’ paradise. In fact, there are so many bays in Cornwall that are perfect for surfing. In fact, the beaches of Cornwall can’t be missed. We love them.

Alternatively, if that’s not your thing, head over to Port Isaac for the quaintest little town that’s so picturesque. You can easily spend a few slow hours exploring here and it’s so quaint.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit Tintagel Castle that’s a ruined castle perched on Cornwall’s northern shores. It’s like something out of Harry Potter and so incredible. Though, fret not, if you’re not in the local area; there are heaps of other castles in Cornwall to explore. 

Oh, and be sure to visit St Michael’s Mount. It’s an incredible tidal island in Cornwall that has so much history. In fact, evidence has been found that people lived here around 6,000 years ago!

Now, once you’re here, make sure to get the castle and gardens ticket. It’s around £25(ish) and well worth it.

Read more: Best places in Cornwall to visit

9.) Bath

Bath is easily one of my favourite cities in England to visit. It’s incredible and the perfect place for a staycation in Britain if you’re short on time.

You see, you can easily get around the whole city in 1-2 days and it’s incredible.

Of course, you have to visit the Roman Baths and visit Bath Cathedral, which is amazing. Oh, and be sure to grab a toasted bun from Sally Lunn’s. They’ve been making buns for hundreds of years and they’re so tasty.

Read more: Best things to do in Bath

10.) Cambridge

Another gem of a city in England to visit, Cambridge is the perfect staycation spot if you’re looking for a manageable city break. You see, you can head to cities like London and spend weeks exploring without even touching the sides. Cambridge is the opposite.

You really get a good taste of the city, even if you’re staying for a long weekend.

Once here, make sure to take a tour of Kings College and head around the historic town market which we loved.

Oh, and you have to try your hand at punting whilst in Cambridge. You’ll use a large stick to push your punt along the River Cam from the stern of the punt itself. It’s so much fun.

Honestly, Cambridge is easily one of the best places for a staycation in Britain; and it’s only 45 minutes by train from Central London.

Read more: Best things to do in Cambridge

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