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Why not swap the med for Scotland or the Italian Lakes for Lakeland...
Irrespective of which Brexit camp you fall into – either a BOB (Bored of Brexit) or lapping up every detail in the Government debates – the uncertainty has led to more of us shying away from overseas travel in favour of booking a staycation this year.
So we thought we’d inspire you with five great British alternatives to popular European destinations that will leave you kicking into touch any thoughts of venturing overseas.
The Mediterranean – West coast of Scotland
It might be hard to believe but you can actually find azure blue sea, shimmering white
sand and even the sun in the West coast of Scotland. We’ve been venturing up to Highlands and islands for many years now and can recount many occasions when we’ve had to remind our guests to don suntan cream and sunglasses in the face of a Scottish spell of fantastic weather.
When that sun does shine, it makes the west coast a very special place to be and we know just the spots, from deserted beaches through to bars with fine sunset views – to make the most of being there. Okay so you won’t find olive trees or ouzo but who needs them when you’ve got whisky and wild heather-clad scenery!
Provence – Helmsley
Here’s one for all you Francophiles who like nothing more than exploring Medieval Provençal villages before sitting down at a pavement café to watch the world go by. Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park (yes you heard right) also has a fair bit of French flair about it. With English Heritage’s Rievaulx Abbey a delightful 2.5-mile walk from the town together with Helmsley Castle on the doorstep, there’s plenty of scope for discovering the delights of ancient monuments.
Afterwards the genteel market town has a host of places offering enticing food including the modern Bistro-style Mannions & Co, the tiny bakery Cinnamon Twist which does exquisite lemon curd tarts, Hunters delicatessen selling locally-made chocolate and the delightful surroundings of the Vine café in Helmsley’s Walled Garden.
Italian Lakes – The Lakes
For us this is an easy swap as The Lake District is one of our favourite locations at any time of year. Head to Coniston instead of Como or Grasmere instead of Garda and lap up the beautiful sight of tranquil water overlooked by the majestic peaks of the surrounding fells.
After a day’s walking we can even help you find some suitable shore-side cafés such as The Bluebird at Coniston where you can just simply sit and marvel at the scenery.
Barcelona – Edinburgh
Edinburgh might not have Barcelona’s Gaudi architecture but it does have historic buildings in spades and cobbled streets brimming with great shops, cafés and restaurants.
The Royal Mile, Princes Street, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat and plenty of gin bars…we could go on. However not only is Edinburgh a great replacement for Barcelona but you can get there easily by train along a route that, if you’re coming from the south, will offer great views across the Northumberland coast.
Coast of Northern Spain – Cornish Coast
Forget the fishing ports, rugged cliffs and sandy beaches of Northern Spain, Cornwall can offer all those, and more. Head to the northern Cornish village of Tintagel and find a wild bit of coastline swirling in myths and legends.
From castle ruins to Neolithic monuments together with walking trails aplenty that snake their way along the coast and you can imagine you’re in a different country.
After a day’s exploring, you’ll find devouring fresh crab, lobster or a Cornish cream tea will knock spots off any Spanish tapas.
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