The West of England has been a popular holiday spot for generations. But there’s more than just Cornwall and Devon to discover, as our top 4 ‘staycation’ ideas for the region show.
Bath is one of the most historic UK cities, becoming a World Heritage Site in 1987. This makes it the perfect UK ‘staycation’ for anyone interested in history, culture or architecture. See the well-preserved Roman Baths which give the city its name. While they may not be fully open to visitors just yet, the exterior is hard to miss.
Visit the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and Jane Austen’s House while you’re in the city. Although the literary legend hated living in Bath, she had a pretty nice place to stay while she was there! Finish off the sightseeing tour on Little Solisbury Hill which overlooks the city. This picture-perfect perspective of the Georgian architecture is certainly Social Media worthy! You can explore Bath on your own or with a guided tour.
What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Bath?
The most notable day trip is Stonehenge in Wiltshire. This Stone Age monolith holds plenty of magic and mystery. Feel the power of the stones for yourself on your UK ‘staycation’.
Salisbury and Winchester are further away, but make for great days out. Visit Salisbury Cathedral, one of the most impressive in the country, and sample some local produce in one of the many markets. Winchester holds plenty of Arthurian magic – the Round Table sits in the Cathedral – and, as the former capital of Wessex, connections to Alfred the Great.
Round off the day with a detour through the New Forest and stop off for an ice cream or cream tea along the way. Lyndhurst, Burley and Brockenhurst are all worth seeing!
Make sure your car gets you into the West Country safely – follow our Roadmap out of Lockdown before you travel
Bristol is a fantastic ‘staycation’ idea for all you nature lovers! The main draw is the 12-acre Zoo, complete with adrenaline filled aerial ropes course. Get up close with 50 species’ of animal, including some not found elsewhere in the UK. If that isn’t enough, Wild Place Project and Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm are also nearby. Then, take a harbour tour to see the city from the water and spot some marine life.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of Britain’s greatest engineers, had strong connections with Bristol. Visit the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge during your Bristol ‘staycation’. Suspended high above a gorge, it’s sure to take your breath away.
Banksy also calls the city ‘home’. See if you can spot one of his many works while you’re in the city. Fans of ‘Sherlock’ can also solve a mystery on the streets of Bristol. Just download the ‘Official Outdoor Game’ app before you travel.
What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Bristol?
Bristol sits on the banks of the River Severn, so water activities are easy to find. It also has great road connections with Wales, Somerset and most of Western England. Head to Weston Super Mare to relax by the seaside or drive into Somerset to discover some of the finest cider breweries in the UK. Of course, please drink responsibly.
The Forest of Dean is also a great spot for a walk. It has had many roles throughout history, including a Royal hunting forest and Tudor timber source. Explore the wild and beautiful forest to your heart’s content.
The 11th Century Gothic Cathedral dominates the city centre and is one of Gloucester’s main attractions. It was used for filming in the ‘Harry Potter’ films, and is also the final resting place of King Edward II. The Cathedral is only open for quiet personal prayer at the minute, but it won’t be long before you can set foot inside. Besides, the exterior is still a fantastic sight!
Gloucester is the UK’s most inland port. The repurposed Victorian docks now hosts a range of shops and restaurants. You can even dine on the water itself with ‘Cafe on the Cut’, a narrowboat cafe! Sports fans can also see Kingsholm Stadium where Gloucester Rugby play in the Gallagher Premiership.
What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Gloucester?
Cheltenham, Bristol, Oxford and Worcester are all less than an hour and a half away. However, the real appeal is the stunning area of English countryside next door. The Cotswalds District contains a Wildlife Park & Gardens, a range of lively market towns and countless miles of rolling countryside to explore. Where will you end up?
Cornwall has always been a popular spot for a ‘staycation’, and there’s no better place than Newquay! This pretty little seaside town has won a whole host of awards, including the title of Nation’s Favourite Seaside Town (Which?) and Best Family Holiday Destination (Coast). With exceptional beaches, stunning views of the Atlantic and a Zoo with over 1,000 animals all in one place, it’s very easy to fall in love with Newquay.
What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Newquay?
Padstow, St Ives, Tintagel, Falmouth and Penzance are all less than an hour away. These charming towns and villages have both cultural and historical secrets to discover. Land’s End is just a little further, where you can stare out into the Atlantic Ocean and marvel at what lies beyond. For the best driving experience, we recommend following the Atlantic Highway (A39). It connects Somerset and Cornwall, running down the Devon and Cornish coast. You get almost constant views of the ocean and a host of picturesque locations to visit! Perfect for a driving holiday.
Shrewsbury is the perfect place to begin your adventure into an underrated Area of Natural Beauty. With the River Severn winding through the centre of the town, canoeing and pleasure boating are easy to find. Then, enjoy al-fresco dining at an exceptional local restaurant. If you’re searching for a ‘staycation’ of discovery, there’s no better place than Shrewsbury. It offers easy access to Shropshire, Central and North Wales and the West Midlands.
What else can you do during your ‘staycation’ in Shrewsbury?
Oswestry, Wrexham, Hereford, Liverpool and Chester are all between 30 minutes and 2 hours from Shrewsbury. Each is completely different and a fantastic place to explore. If you would prefer to spend your UK ‘staycation’ among nature, Shropshire has plenty to offer. Its defining feature is its beautiful rolling hills. This landscape is perfect for ramblers or experienced hill walkers.
Drew works for BookMyGarage writing blogs, website content and almost everything else in between. He works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts. When he’s not helping you save money on running your car or making your driving life easier, he can be found either with his head in a book or with a golf club in his hands (usually looking for his ball in the woods)