After a couple of summers of airport madness including, cancelled flights due to a lack of pilots and aircrew, mayhem at the luggage carousels and the prospect of a future of skyrocketing fuel prices, it’s hardly surprising that so many Britons are opting to avoid the mental carnage of international travel this year by looking for well-deserved rest and relaxation on good old Blighty for a change.
Nothing was more heart-breaking than seeing the tears and frustration of families turning up at the airport with all their luggage in tow, only to be told at the check in desk that their flights had been cancelled and their dreams of a couple of weeks in the sun had been dashed to pieces at the very last minute
Maybe this year it will be better, maybe it won’t. But who wants to go through all that anguish and trauma again? Well, quite a lot of people it seems, are deciding not to take the risk. Instead, more and more families are setting their sights a little lower on the horizon and are planning a holiday on home soil. After all, over 30 million overseas visitors are expected to come to the British Isles this year alone, so they must think there must be something worth seeing and doing here.
From historic castles and rambling stately homes, surf crashed beaches, mysterious moors, rolling green fields and dramatic glens and mountain ranges, the UK has a lot to offer. Walking, sailing, surfing, shopping, and sightseeing. There is something for everyone.
In the heart of Salisbury plain in Wiltshire lies Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle erected by our ancestors over 5,000 years ago and now a World Heritage Site. Under the management of English Heritage, a visitor to the neolithic monument can now benefit from a range of facilities and activities, from museum displays and exhibitions, a walk through neolithic village, to café and picnic area.
How about the beating heart of the United Kingdom. Historic London is one of the world’s most visited capitals. It offers theatres, museums, arts galleries, and shopping to match anything the world has to offer. But is has one major feature that helps it stand out from the crowd. The Royal Family, Buckingham Palace and all the associated pomp and ceremony you could wish for. From the regular changing of the palace guard to the spectacular Trooping of the Colour ceremony to celebrate the King’s birthday on 17th June, the British fighting soldiers do what they do best. Put on a dazzling display. And let us not forget, the once in a lifetime opportunity to cheer and wave a flag at the Coronation of King Charles III on May 6th at Westminster Abbey.
But if you prefer to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, the British Isles has many peaceful yet beautiful landscapes to explore. Call it walking, hiking, rambling or simply just mooching, the U.K. is the perfect place to explore on two feet, or two wheels, thanks to its ancient network of quiet country lanes, bridle ways and long-distance footpaths. You can stroll the narrow streets and secluded alleyways of the nation’s historic towns and quaint villages. Seeking out hidden gems in old antique shops and savouring the delights of old English pubs and tea shops.
If that also sounds a tad too hectic, then why not head out into the open countryside the Lake District, Exmoor, and Dartmoor?
Neil Bevan, who runs The Manor & Ashbury Resorts on the edge of Dartmoor is excited to see so many people starting to explore his beautiful part of the country. He is not alone when he extolls the virtues of the UK as a fantastic holiday destination, especially for families. So, give the airport terminals a miss this year. Fill up your boots, take the A road and stay close to home.