During the long, cold, grey months between November and February, British people can be forgiven for getting the holiday brochures out in search of a bit of tropical island sunshine – and many of them do just that. But once spring and summer come around, there is really no need to travel so far to get away from it all.
Okay, so the UK isn’t exactly full of palm tree-lined beaches to relax on or tropical forests to explore. But for scenic beauty on the coast and inland, few places can rival the rugged appeal of some of Britain’s best bits.
Perhaps the most spectacular and most popular of all Britain’s hotspots is the Lake District. Nestled in England’s peaceful North West, the Lake District National Park is a region of lakes, hills, meadows and mountains that connects the North West coastline with the Yorkshire Dales, and other areas of great open walking country further inland.
In spring, the vast expanse of water that is Lake Windermere offers visitors sailing, canoeing, water skiing, jet skiing and rowing with panoramic views of the region’s notoriously dramatic mountain landscapes. Accommodation in the area is always steeped in Cumbrian traditions, with many visitors choosing Ambleside cottages and country homes in the likes of nearby Grasmere and Bowness from which to explore the tranquil splendour of ‘The Lakes’.
Travelling south-east from the Lake District, tourists in the UK can find a unique area of natural beauty in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Stretching from Sedbergh in the north-west and Richmond in the north-east, all the way down to Skipton in the south, the National Park includes some of England’s finest natural wonders.
Malham Cove was once one of the world’s highest waterfalls and, though no water flows over it now, it remains a sight to behold, with its vast rocky face showing the fault line where the geology in the hills changed over time. Equally popular with walkers are ‘The Three Peaks’ – Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside, the summit of the latter being the highest peak in the National Park. A walk around the waterfalls, caves and meadows of Ingleton on a sunny summer’s day can compare with anything a tropical island might have to offer in terms of sheer beauty, and the village boasts some of the finest accommodation Yorkshire has to offer.
South of the Yorkshire Dales, connecting South Yorkshire with Derbyshire, is the Peak District. Visitors to the UK flock to the country’s first ever National Park to enjoy Peak District holidays all year round. With major cities like Derby and Sheffield close at hand with all the facilities holidaymakers could ever wish for, visitors can explore the rolling hills and scenic woodland of the limestone dales and wild moorland at their leisure.
After a tour of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District in springtime, anyone still hankering for an expensive holiday abroad probably needs to have their head examined!