Some of the most incredible UK travel destinations you can visit this summer are the beautiful watery landscapes of Snowdonia (Wales), Cornwall’s beaches, Scotland’s lochs and the tranquil lakes of the Lake District.
Travel to Cornwall and hit the beaches – from sandy to rocky – and spend a relaxing day or experience the thrill of the outdoors e.g. riding a tremendous wave. In Snowdonia, you can hike, witness the river rush past you as you embark on your walk, experience the wondrous waterfalls and even view the sea from Snowdonia’s summit.
In the Lake District, soak in the lovely views of serene lakes like Windermere and view the many beautiful tiny islands sprinkled around its edge. Finally in Scotland, seek out the great mythical monster of the deep ‘Nessie’, see the gorgeous gorges and waterfalls of Ben Nevis and soak in the spectacular views of the North Sea from Ben Nevis’s summit. Here’s the ultimate guide to UK travel destinations to help you plan a memorable trip:
Head to Cornwall for the beaches
The Smooth Sands of St. Ives
If sandy golden beaches are your thing, then the best place to go is St. Ives which has plenty of them all with their own unique character. Beaches such as Porthminster boast spectacular coastal views and greenery coupled with shimmering turquoise waters which make it a great alternative to any dream Caribbean island your budget sadly may not be able to accommodate.
You can also catch the iconic sighting of Man’s Head which obviously, well, features a rock shaped like a head. You can also observe the rugged sublime rocky landscape around you overlooking the rest of the surrounding green island as well as experience the foamy thrill of the crashing white waves. This is also a great location for night time as it provides a great vantage point for witnessing a sublime sunset and magnificent postcard-worthy hues of radiant sundown bliss.
Surfing at St. Ives
Whilst St. Ives obviously provides you with a relaxing travel holiday that involves sitting peacefully by the mesmerising sea, it also promises a lot of adventure. The many beaches scattered across Cornwall lend it a great rep for being a surfer’s resort. And St. Ives is certainly no exception. This is because St. Ives Surf School is located within close proximity to Porthmoer beach. You can also try paddle boarding and explore the rugged coastline.
Swanpool is a sandy cove and boasts an ideal beach environment for swimming and just enjoying the waterside in general. It has a Watersport centre which provides travel and adventure lovers the opportunity to kayak, dinghy sail, canoe, and windsurf. You can hire equipment and even take lessons.
It is also flanked by the Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve (a Site of Special Scientific Research) which contains a central salt and freshwater lake, home to over 100 bird species such as the Mallard and Tufted Ducks. You can even catch the bright blue streak of the kingfisher amongst the alder wood. It also has abundant plant life within the wetter areas of the wood such as the yellow flag iris, Cornish moneywort and Lady’s smock.
Maenporth Beach, like most other beaches, is perfect for sunbathing. But what gives it the edge is the fact that its natural landscape boasts good conditions for rock pools to emerge. You would also have the opportunity to embark upon boat cruises and have the opportunity to take in the awesome views of the architectural beauty which is Pendennis castle and the lighthouse on St. Anthony Head.
If you want to escape the balmy inertia of this beach, you can also embark upon a walk along the South West Coast Path which runs along the beach and if you’re lucky enough you can spot the odd dolphin or basking shark.
The must-see destination in Wales – Snowdonia
There are plenty of things to enjoy in Snowdonia – waterfalls, lakes and of course, Snowdonia’s highest peak. Here are a few spectacular attractions you should definitely be on the lookout for:
First and foremost, travel to Snowdon Mountain which many an intrepid and adventurous explorer has a desire to conquer. However if you’re a laid-back travel lover, you can avoid the arduous hike towards the summit and still get to have that all-consuming view of the mountains Tryfan and Glyderau in Ogwen valley which provide a delicate trail for you to walk along by the river instead of a treacherous climb.
Most importantly during your walk you will have the unique experience of seeing your reflection within the lake-like glacier formations of the Nant Ffrancon valley, gradually built up by compressed ice many thousands of years ago.
If your legs are not strong enough to take you up to the summit, never fear – for the Snowdon railway express is here. This train will assist your 1085m climb to the summit of Yr Wyddfa and your journey will give you spectacular views of the beautiful natural landscapes. A few prime examples will have to be; the Afon Hwch river where the Ceunant Mawr waterfall descends into the gorge beneath and the Rocky Valley which is a rock-littered landscape with spectacular views of the valleys below. Once you get to the summit, you can witness the panoramic views from the cairn on a clear day and across a deep blue sea to the shores of craggy coastal Ireland.
Other unique water features in Snowdonia resort are also the exhilarating waterfalls which are best visited after a significant downpour. The first waterfall going for special mention is the Swallow Falls which is located along the river Llugwy and the longest continuous waterfall in Wales.
The second is Conwy Falls which can be defined by its fish pass to help the sea trout and salmon swim upstream to their breeding grounds. Both falls are majestic and contain wildlife such as ducklings, dippers, wagtails, otters and salmon.
The serene Lake District
‘Ten Lakes Spectacular’ boat tour
You can go on the ‘Ten Lakes Spectacular’ tour which enables the adventurous traveller to visit the ten most famous lakes in the district. This tour involves a scenic route cutting across Windermere, Rydal Water, Grasmere, Thirlmere, Derwent Water, Buttermere, Crummock Water, Bassenthwaite, Ullswater and Brothers Water. Staying with the theme of nature you can also go on to the lake cruise on a traditional steamboat and take in the lovely atmosphere of the tranquil lakes as well as uninterrupted views of the deep green Lakeland fells.
The most popular lake you can visit has to be Windermere which crosses through Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside, giving the traveller breathtaking views of the mountain scenery, secluded bays and the many wooded islands.
There are 18 islands on Windermere, the largest being Belle Isle which contains an 18th century Italianate mansion, while the smallest is Maiden Holme which is one small concentrated bit of land with a solitary tree planted in the centre. Windermere also offers plenty of activities including boating, sailing and scuba diving. You can also visit Orrest Head which is situated on the northern edge of Windermere and take a tread along its hilly landscape which will provide you views into the heart of the fells and of course, the beautiful lake.
Scottish ‘Ben Nevis’ and ‘The Loch Ness’
At 4406 feet, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles and because of its sublime and gigantic proportions, it is definitely a must-see location. The mountain itself is composed of several high, rugged interlocked rocks. The ascent starts from almost sea level and is a highly strenuous hike – even for the most advanced walker – however is still worth the effort. Although this route does not go towards the summit, it does climb up to the highest point which is the north face, arguably the most impressive aspect of the Ben where you can view all the beautiful watery valleys and even look out upon the North Sea.
At ground level, you can embark on a two-mile walk through the Nevis Gorge which has plenty of beautiful scenery. Lining the slopes of the gorge are a variety of tree species such as alder, ash, birch, elm, aspen and Scots pine cloak. This verdant green and dense forest is also home to wildlife such as willow warblers, finches and tree pipits which you can be on the look-out for.
You will also get to experience the magnetic and invigorating rush of the roaring waters of River Nevis below you rip through the gorge as well as the foamy white waterfalls cascading down in perpetual refreshing bursts. Along this walk, you will get to witness the stunning Steadall Falls -AKA ‘White Spout’ – whose thunderous and violent visuals/sounds dominate the landscape. The Steadall waterfall itself (Britain’s second highest) stands at 120m starting from the slopes of an Gearanach and descending into the river below with striking scale and force.
Finally, travel to Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, one of the largest lakes in Britain, which is fed by eight rivers and 60 sizeable streams. Loch Ness is technically a gorge filled with dark placid water and is marvellously contrasted to the bright soft light of Scotland’s sky.
You will be enthralled by the mist and clouds swirling and swelling above the water – which stimulate the imagination. Think of the magnificent Loch Ness creature! Loch Ness is associated with impenetrable darkness and a lack of visibility due to close by rivers and streams washing peat particles into it from the local mountains.
Nevertheless, it is still bursting with life such as; sea trout, brown trout, salmon, arctic char, eels and pike – not to mention the reported rare sightings of creatures like sturgeon and dolphins. Above the Loch you can also sight ‘The Great Glen’ which is a flight path for migrating sea birds such as; buzzards, eagles and osprey and whilst on the shore you can spot the siskins and fieldfares. You can also appreciate the ancient architecture of forts and castles which sit on the rocky promontory jutting out into the Loch.
We hope your UK travel plans include some of these magnificent destinations!