This year more so than any other, international travel is very much up in the air and we will all be making the most of the sights and scenery a bit closer to home. One of the best parts of ABI life is having the luxury of your home away from home. You get to explore a different part of the country whenever you want without the hassle of booking in advance, airports or packing.
Although the UK is relatively small, there is an awful lot of exploring to be done and some incredible places to visit. Whether you’re planning an adrenaline-pumping adventure or a relaxing escape from reality, we’ve got plenty of suggestions for your summer bucket list whilst visiting your ABI.
There’s no better way to experience the beautiful city of Cambridge than from the water of the River Cam. Different to your traditional rowboat, a punt is flat-bottomed and propelled using a long pole pushing off the riverbed. Try your best with a self-guided experience or relax with some bubbly on a chauffeured punt.
Home to the Queen and several other royal family members, Windsor Castle is the oldest and most occupied castle in the world. Standing tall over the historic town, areas of the castle are open to visitors throughout the summer months, or you can admire it from the outside and watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
The Natural History Museum
No matter how old you are, there will be something for the whole family to enjoy at The Natural History Museum. This iconic building is free to enter, and you could easily spend an entire day here, making it a budget-friendly activity. Throughout summer, they have plenty of exciting events and exhibitions that can be found on their what’s on page. Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature is an exhibition they will be showing for the next 6 months – a combination of both Harry Potter and wildlife, which is perfect for all ages!
Game of Thrones filming locations
Even if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, these locations are not to be missed. Northern Ireland boasts some of the most stunning coastlines in the UK, with historic castles, cliffs and caves galore. Take a look at where you can visit more Game of Thrones filming locations here.
Fastest zipline in the world
This is a must for the adrenaline junkies in your life. You can experience the closest thing to flying in four different locations across Wales. Over 1.5km long and reaching speeds of up to 100mph, this is not one for the faint-hearted (but there is a viewing platform to watch!).
Surfing at Newquay
If you’ve visited Cornwall in the past, you’ll be familiar with the beautiful beaches that it boasts. Don’t be intimidated by seasoned surfers, as the UK’s surf capital, Newquay is a very popular spot for trying it out for the first time.
Bath Thermal Springs
Taking a dip in the natural thermal springs of Bath is a slightly less physically demanding water activity. These waters are renowned for their health benefits attributed to their rich mineral content. There are historic baths or ones with a more modern twist depending on your preference.
Hadrian’s Wall is another iconic marker of Britain’s historical past, built as a 73-mile-long barrier to the north-western region of the Roman Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is nestled amongst the Cumbrian and Northumbrian landscape and offers some spectacular views.
The Eden Project is another gem of Cornwall. As an educational charity, this is a great one for the whole family. At the size of 30 football pitches, you could certainly spend the day here and feel as if you’ve been transported to a tropical paradise.
Seven Sisters Cliffs
If you enjoy hiking or exploring on foot, this is not to be missed. Along these iconic chalk cliffs of the South Downs National Park, there are some of the best viewing points that the UK has to offer. Alternatively, you can relax on the beach or go paddleboarding in the shadow of these natural wonders.
If you feel as if you’ve experienced many of the best UK staycation destinations but haven’t yet been to the Cotswolds, this needs to be next on your list. Recognised as an area of outstanding beauty, the towns and villages in this region feel as if they’ve been taken straight from a fairy-tale.
The New Forest Ponies
The New Forest is renowned for being home to some of the only wild ponies in the UK. Roaming freely throughout this area of Hampshire, these ponies are recognised as native ponies of the British Isles and renowned for their strength. A visit to the New Forest would not be complete without experiencing this historic breed in its natural habitat.
Snowdonia National Park
You could spend weeks exploring this National Park and still not have exhausted the endless list of activities and experiences available to you. This North Wales region of 823 square miles of stunning natural beauty offers adrenaline-pumping activities, hiking trails, lakes, mountains and Roman ruins, to name a few.
Isle of Skye Fairy Pools
Slightly more removed from the mainland UK, the Isle of Skye is well worth the trip. The stunning turquoise colour of these fairy pools is crystal clear and surrounded by cascading waterfalls. The water is icy cold and maybe one to admire with the eyes rather than from within (unless you’re feeling brave and have a thick wetsuit).
Located on the infamous Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was formed almost 60 million years ago from a volcanic eruption. You can explore this remarkable feat of nature independently or on a guided tour for a deeper understanding of the legend of the Giant’s Causeway.
The Jurassic Coast
Stretching almost 96 miles along the southern English Channel Coast, the Jurassic Coast has been 185 million years in the making and is a ready-made road trip route. You can take in the scenery all the way from Exmouth to Dorset and explore idyllic seaside towns, go fossil hunting and find dilapidated castles along the way.
Wild camp in the Scottish Highlands
This may be a daunting concept for some, especially if you’re somewhat reliant on modern facilities, but it is definitely a bucket list experience. The breathtaking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands will make you feel like you’re the only people on earth; there could not be a more peaceful and renewing place for a staycation. Make sure to thoroughly read through the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and plan for unpredictable weather conditions. It will be well worth it!
As you can see, there is no need to travel abroad to fulfil your summer bucket list. Part of an ABI life is always having something to look forward to, and getting all the excitement of going on holiday, with the comfortable familiarity of feeling like you’re home when you get there. Although the sun may not always be guaranteed, there are hundreds of experiences on offer in the UK that you will not find elsewhere in the world.
How many of these bucket list items have you already ticked off, and which are you planning to accomplish this summer whilst visiting your ABI? Make sure to share your summer staycation plans with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.