The South Coast of England is a beautiful part of the UK, and the perfect place for a 'staycation' this year. Here are our top 4 ideas for this region.
Bognor Regis (Sussex)
This beautiful seaside town gets the most sunshine hours in the UK. What better place to maximise your first UK staycation this year? While the nearby Butlins resort is a major attraction on its own, Bognor Regis has plenty more to offer. The town centre includes shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, mostly within the West End. Nature also plays a big part. Explore the award winning, family friendly beaches and various parks and gardens around Bognor Regis. With so many choices, there are plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs and relax in the sun.
What else can you do on your 'staycation' in Bognor Regis?
For those who want a more adventurous hike, the South Downs national park is a 15 minute drive away. You should also visit the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Chichester to explore how our ancestors lived. It has detailed replicas of building dating all the way back to the 10th Century AD! You're also within an hour's drive of Portsmouth, Brighton and Hayling Island, which makes Bognor Regis the perfect base to explore the South Coast.
Follow your Roadmap out of Lockdown before you travel to arrive safely
Often considered the unofficial capital of the Isle of Wight, Newport is an ideal UK 'staycation'. Nearby Monkey Haven and Butterfly World are perfect days out for the kids, while they can also explore over 1,000 years of history at Carisbrooke Castle. With a local farmer's market and plenty of independent shops, Newport is the perfect spot to get away from the mainland and relax.
What else can you do on your 'staycation' in Newport?
There's plenty more to see and do on the Isle of Wight. Visit the popular coastal spot of Sandown Beach or see Osborne House grounds and gardens in full bloom. You can also take a pleasure cruise out into the Solent to see the Needles from afar. With so much beauty and opportunity, you should definitely consider the Isle of Wight for your next UK 'staycation'.
Reading is a town steeped in culture and history, both modern and ancient. Travel back in time at Silchester Roman Walls and Amphitheatre (free entry) and 12th Century, Grade 1 listed Reading Abbey. For something more modern, take a trip to Basildon Park. This charming manor house served as a Prisoner of War camp in WW2 (among other things) before falling into disrepair. It was saved from demolition and restored in the 1950s to become the great attraction it is today.
There's also plenty of fresh air to enjoy in and around Reading. Visit Forbery Gardens or Wellington Country Park for a picnic and to soak up some sun. You can also stroll along the canal or visit Beale Wildlife Park. This is set over 142 acres of land and includes landscaped gardens, exotic animal habitats and a zoo.
What else can you do during your 'staycation' in Reading?
There's easy access to London via train and road to explore the various sights and attractions of the capital. Thorpe Park Resort, home to the UK's faster roller coaster, is just a 50 minute drive away from Reading. You can also turn a day trip into a mini-break with self-contained accommodation onsite.
If you're looking for something a bit quieter, drive into the Chiltern Hills. It's a challenging walk for any hiker - but the exquisite views from atop the hills more than make up for it!
This is the jewel in Dorset's crown. Weymouth has been consistently recognised as one of the top 10 beach destinations in Europe and it's not hard to see why. Take in the Georgian beach huts and picturesque seafront as you stroll down Chesil Beach. This World Heritage Site is one of only three shingle beaches in Britain and is very important, both naturally and historically. With plenty of attractions and amusement arcades in Weymouth as well, it's the perfect place for a proper seaside holiday this year.
What else can you do during your 'staycation' in Weymouth?
Portland, Dorchester, Bournemouth and Poole are all great local destinations for shopping while there are plenty more sandy beaches along the Dorset coast if you want some more sunbathing. Of course, the main attraction is the Jurassic Coast. Dorset is synonymous with Dinosaurs, and no visit is complete without visiting Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Make sure you search for fossils along the way!
The Swanage Railway is a heritage steam railway which has remained relatively unchanged since 1885. Parents of young children will also want to check when the next Thomas the Tank Engine themed events is! Board a train and head to Corfe Castle, a 1,000 year old ruin which has played many roles throughout history. Once you've had your fill of history, finish off with some Purbeck ice cream. It's considered one of the best in the UK!