Discover the UK

A local's guide to...

As summer staycations become increasingly popular we decided to ask a few of our blogger friends to let us in on some of their favourite spots so that we can all uncover some hidden and not-so-hidden treasures on British soil.

The UK is brimming with vast coastlines, lush countryside, quaint shopfronts and bustling cities, making it a great place for you to plan a staycation. Staying local means you get to cut down on travel time whilst also discovering exciting new spots, sometimes even on your doorstep. Staycations are quickly becoming a favourite type of holiday so we asked a few of our blogger friends to disclose some of their favourite watering holes, walkways and everything in between to help you rediscover the beauty of the UK.

@gisforgeorgina, Edinburgh

“Edinburgh is full of beautiful places but there are some favourite spots that have a special place in my heart. I love visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens whenever I can (no matter the weather or the season!) It’s the perfect place to wander and relax. A stroll around Dean Village and the surrounding area of Stockbridge is another of my favourite haunts. Dean Village always feels like such an oasis of calm right in the city centre. Stockbridge is also home to one of my favourite independent bookshops, Golden Hare Books. I can never resist popping in to browse their shelves! Edinburgh is full to the brim of wonderful bookshops. I love Armchair Books for second hand and antique books - and it just happens to be next door to the city’s best ice-cream shop, Mary’s Milk Bar. A must visit on a sunny day!”

@nancy_straughan, Newcastle

The North East doesn’t have the reputation of being a cultured or pretty part of the country, but I can assure you there are many stunning and interesting places to explore. One of my main reasons for moving back to Newcastle (family a big one) is being able to stroll through Jesmond Dene Park, it is the place I go to for some alone time and to feel relaxed. If you want to uncover some English Heritage, of course, Hadrian's Wall is a magical place to go. Over the last few years, there has been a flourishing food scene in the North East which is great and means you are sure to find something whatever your taste. A seaside favourite of mine is Riley’s Fish Shack, with locally sourced seafood you won’t go wrong. The Cook House is a great place to hang out and taste seasonal and local produce inspired by European/Middle Eastern cultures; fresh and modern food without being too fussy.
For some wonderful finds, one of my favourite shops to visit is the lifestyle and home accessories shop RE there are so many fragrances, textures, patterns around every corner, I can’t get enough of it. As for a good vintage book haul, I love going to Barter Books in Northumberland.”

@fieldandnest, West Yorkshire

“I live in a small town called Todmorden in West Yorkshire, nestled in a picturesque valley between Manchester and Leeds. I feel so lucky to live here, especially during lockdown when I've been able to be surrounded by nature right outside my front door. One of my favourite local spots is the Bridestones, an outcrop of impressive boulders on top of a hill. I like to go here at the end of the day to watch the sunset over the valley. There are endless local walks in my area, and I'm always discovering new paths but one of my favourite easy strolls is a simple walk down the canal to Hebden Bridge, the next town. On Saturday mornings I love to pop into Baked, a small bakery that lifts its shutters to customers twice a week to sell sourdough bread and the most delicious chocolate cakes. And if like me you are a fan of Latin America inspired veggie small plates and tequila-infused cocktails, try out my favourite local restaurant, Yakamama. (**And no photos yet, but my friends acquired a bar during lockdown so I'm very excited for the opening. Nan Moors will have a canalside beer garden perfect for sipping their organic wines and signature cocktails while maintaining social distancing rules.)”

@rvk_loves, London

“For me London is home, while we live on the outskirts of London, I really have the best of both worlds. With the city only a half an hour away, we can travel in for both work and pleasure at least once a week. When it comes to food, London really has it all Franco Manca Pizza offers insanely delicious sourdough pizzas at a good price in a relaxed setting or if you are looking for a good brunch I’d recommend Bourne & Hollingsworth in Clerkenwell set amongst the greenery. The weekly Columbia Road Flower Market makes for a perfect Sunday morning for us. This is flower heaven, all at bargain prices and a really fun atmosphere (get there early to avoid the crowds or go after 2pm) Primrose Hill has spectacular views over the city and the whole area definitely has a character of it's own. From there we love walking through Primrose Hill Park & into Regent’s Park."

@hannahargyle, Northampton

"I'm very lucky with where I live, pretty much in the middle of the country, meaning I can easily get to the coast and beautiful areas such as the town of Castle Combe in the Cotswolds or the coastal town Wells-next-the-Sea.
There are also many beautiful National Trust properties like Felbrigg Hall within an hour or two. The countryside of Northamptonshire close to my home is also incredibly beautiful, especially in the summer, and I'm very lucky to live near the beautiful Abington Park where I often go to take photos. "

If you would like to read more from any of our guest bloggers check out their blogs. For even more travel adventures around the Scottish Highlands Georgina’s blog is the place to find it or if you are looking for photography tips? Hannah Argyle definitely knows her stuff. Emma’s online journal delves into all things related to slow living while Nancy loves to share her tips & tricks on styling and interior design so if you are wondering where to start, her blog is a pretty good place. Meanwhile, Rebecca’s blog is full of inspiration for all your travel needs both in the UK and abroad. 

Of course, if you have any further UK staycation suggestions do not hesitate to leave a comment below, we’d love to hear them. 

Bon voyage!