According to social media platform Reddit, Pembrokeshire and Gower Peninsular are two of the most underrated staycation spots to holiday in the UK this year.
Reddit has teamed up with Airbnb, English Heritage, Rough Guides, and Trainline to help Brits discover spectacular, yet underrated, staycation spots that are just a stone’s throw away.
Reddit is where people go to dive deep into their interests, hobbies, and passions, sharing real-life thoughts and perspectives and building community along the way; and, travel tips are no exception. In fact, we’ve seen a 34% increase year-over-year in conversations about UK travel destinations and holidays across Reddit.
The community makes Reddit a go-to hub for holiday-goers to chat and share real and unfiltered recommendations. Redditors are able to engage with other like-minded staycationers and ask hard-hitting questions about their potential trips… is it dog friendly? … suitable for little ones? … travelling alone?…what’s the food scene like?
Timed with the official summer holiday season, we’ve huddled with some of the leading travel resources and platforms in the UK, including Airbnb, English Heritage, Rough Guides, and Trainline, to share the ultimate guide for underrated summer travel spots. Whether people are itching to get off the beaten path, looking for short trips, or have an upcoming unplanned bank holiday to take advantage of, Reddit has them covered.
While a foreign, exotic holiday destination may often be the dream trip, if people know where to go, a UK staycation can offer just as much beauty, adventure, and luxury. And, it can often be the more sustainable choice as people can forgo flying and instead travel by train, bus or car – keeping their carbon footprints low and avoiding the hassle and stress that an airport often brings.
From beachy vibes on the Welsh coast to a Highland hike, there’s something for everyone on our list.
Based on conversations on Reddit, here are the best underrated staycation spots this summer as judged by Redditors – with some destinations also seeing search increases according to Airbnb:
- Bedfordshire, England
- The Highlands, Scotland
- Orkney Islands, Scotland
- Pembrokeshire, Wales
- Gower Peninsula, Wales
- Yorkshire England
- Lancashire, England
Happily Bedfordshire has more to offer than £1 flights to Magaluf via. Luton Airport. This Redditor shared a few scenic snaps from Wrest Park in the quaint village of Silsoe, Bedfordshire; a magnificent 19th century French chateau style house set in an outstanding restored landscape garden originating in the 17th century.
According to their post, no matter their mood, they always feel more centred after a couple of hours wandering the grounds. Fun fact: Wrest Park’s grounds reflect three centuries of English garden design, including one of the few remaining early 18th century formal gardens.
People are starting to catch on; the number of visitors to Wrest Park has increased by 12% since 2019, according to English Heritage, with 2021 being its best ever year yet. Respectively, the latest statistics from Trainline shows that train travel to nearby Flitwick station has gone up by 174% this year. So get there quick!
‘Santina’ Shepherd’s Hut with hot tub & open views
Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
Quirky 18th Century Thatched Cottage
Perry, United Kingdom
THE HIGHLANDS, SCOTLAND
The Highlands of Scotland covers the northern two-thirds of the country and holds much of the mainland’s most spectacular unspoilt scenery. So much so that this redditor was surprised to see that the Lochniver beach they used to visit as a child looks the exact same all these years later.
The signature combination of mountains, glens, lochs and rivers, surrounded on three sides by a magnificently pitted and rugged coastline, guarantees wonderful moody views. While you’re in the Highlands there try wild camping in the region – as this redditors puts it: ‘it doesn’t get much better than this!’.
Fort William is gaining in interest — having seen almost 130% increase in Airbnb searches over the past year. In line with that, according to Trainline data, Fort William has seen a 146% in train passengers over the past year. If you’re hoping to recharge make sure to check out the Corrour Estate – this redditor describes it as the perfect spot to disconnect as a solo traveller.
Rosie the Road Workers’ Living Wagon
Roy Bridge, Inverness-Shire
ORKNEY ISLANDS, SCOTLAND
Speaking of Scotland, they also boast a set of stunning and untouched islands.The Orkney islands are a unique and fiercely independent archipelago, and features in the Rough Guides reader survey as the most beautiful places in Scotland. In fact, according to data from Airbnb searches for the Orkney Islands have increased by over 120% in the last year.
For an Orcadian, the Mainland means the largest island in Orkney rather than the rest of Scotland, and their history is inextricably linked with Scandinavia. If you’re into your ancient civilizations this redditor in particular is raring to pay a visit and explore early Christian and late Druidic sites up there.
Doehouse Cottage, Sandwick, Orkney
North Walls Kirk
‘Who needs holidays abroad when Wales exists?’ exclaims one redditor. The southern zigzag of the Pembrokeshire coast darts west from Tenby (one of the best holiday destinations in the UK according to this redditor) is a strange mix of caravan parks, Ministry of Defence shooting ranges, spectacularly beautiful bays and gull-covered cliffs. Insight from Trainline shows travel to the resort town has shot up by more than 50%.
From Tenby, the coastal road passes through Penally, with its wonderful beach, and continues past idyllic coves, the lily ponds at Bosherston and the remarkable and ancient St Govan’s Chapel, squeezed into a rock cleft above the crashing waves.
The ancient town of Pembroke really only warrants a visit to its impressive castle and the fine Bishop’s Palace in neighbouring Lamphey.
GOWER PENINSULA, WALES
A fifteen-mile-long finger of undulating sandstone and limestone, Gower (Gŵyr) is a world of its own, pointing into the Bristol Channel to the west of Swansea. The winding lanes afford wonderful opportunities for exploration – in fact, not only will you find the most beautiful beaches in the world here, according to one redditor, but you’ll also find an up and coming to-die-for gastro scene; with a mix of traditional pubs and modern bars too.
[Airbnb listing in Gower]
The entire peninsula is fringed by sweeping yellow bays and precipitous cliffs, with caves and blowholes to the south, and wide, flat marshes and cockle beds to the north. Bracken heaths dotted with prehistoric remains and tiny villages lie between, and there are numerous castle ruins and curious churches lurking about.
Hidden Gem – Cosy, Modern Cottage w/Log fire
It’s easy to be glib about Yorkshire – to outsiders it’s the archetypal “up North” with all the clichés that implies, from flat caps to grim factories. For their part, many Yorkshire locals are happy to play up to these prejudices, while nursing a secret conviction that there really is no better place in the world to live.
In some respects, it’s a world apart, its most distinctive characteristics – from the broad dialect to the breathtaking landscapes – derived from a long history of settlement, invention and independence. Make your way to the rural market town of Otley, just north of Leeds; the perfect spot for amazing views, dog friendly walking trails and pubs according to one redditor.
If you find yourself in the south of the county stop by Roche Abbey – a 12th century now-ruined abbey situated in a valley landscaped by renowned gardener and landscape architect, ‘Capability Brown’ in the 18th century. The site has one of the most complete ground plans of any English monastery and the Gothic transepts still remain to their original height.
One redditor was sizing up the location for an upcoming race, and was pleased he brought his camera along to capture the beautiful site… and they’re not the only ones! The abbey has seen somewhat of a resurgence this past year, reaching its highest levels of popularity since 2005 according to English Heritage. The closest train station is Conisborough, where the number of passengers has grown by 74% since 2021.
As for Yorkshire’s other boasts (the beer’s better, the air’s cleaner, the people are friendlier) – anyone who spends any time here will find it hard to argue with those.
Robin Hood’s Bay Coastguard’s Cottage with a View
North Yorkshire, England
The historical county of Lancashire reached industrial prominence in the nineteenth century primarily due to the cotton-mill towns around Manchester and the thriving port of Liverpool.
Today, neither city is part of the county, and Lancashire’s oldest town, and major commercial and administrative centre, is Preston, though tourists are perhaps more inclined to linger in the charming towns and villages of the nearby Ribble Valley.
Along the coast to the west and north of the major cities stretches a line of resorts – from Southport to Morecambe – which once formed the mainstay of the northern British holiday. Only Blackpool is really worth visiting for its own sake, a rip-roaring resort which has stayed at the top of its game by supplying undemanding entertainment with more panache than its neighbours.
If you’re after a super non-obvious place these two redditors are gushing over the town of Ormskirk, for being the perfect central location to anywhere in the North West. Data from Trainline shows that the number of passengers travelling to the town have increased by 127% in the last year.
Charming Garden Pod Couple/family with Hot tub
If you’re looking for more recommendations, travel conversations most frequently take place in the following subreddits:
… or people can easily search directly on Reddit. You can try some of these easy-to-use search templates to find the best Reddit travel suggestions:
- “Yorkshire” and “travel”
- “Gower Peninsula” and “holiday”
- “UK” and “staycation”
- “Scotland” and “camping”
- “England” and “beach”
- “UK” and “solo travel”
- “Wales” and “trip”
- “Yorkshire” and “break”
Gower Walking Festival returns with a celebration
The award-winning Gower Walking Festival returns in early September.
It’s a firm favourite in the tourism calendar, attracting participants from near and far.
This year, the Festival is offering 33 spectacular walks over nine days and celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Wales Coast Path.
The opening weekend will include two long distance walks that take you around the entire Gower coast, from Penclawdd to Mumbles.
Sarah Samuel, Chair of the organising committee, said: “I am delighted that again our fantastic group of volunteers, from walk leaders to committee members, have made this year’s festival possible. The week has walks for all to enjoy, from short strolls around Mumbles, to long hikes across Gower’s peaks. And we’d like to say a huge thanks to our sponsors.”
The Gower Walking Festival is a place for nature lovers to explore the beauty of Gower, along with its culture, history, and flora and fauna. This brings locals and tourists from all over the UK together, to Swansea Bay to dive into the mesmerising views and waters of Gower.
Last year, Sunday Times Travel Editor Liz Edwards previewed the Festival and was delighted to enjoy the walks less trodden in the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
As in past years, participants can enter the Festival’s photography competition with their photos taken during the walks.
Jodie, a new committee member and sponsor, says, “The team behind the Festival are all passionate about Gower and I am so excited to be joining them. Walkers will get to experience the spectacular scenery we have on our doorstep, learn about Gower’s rich history, and soak in the beautiful surroundings. Gower is such a magnificent place and it’s lovely to share and celebrate it in this way.”
The Gower Walking Festival will run from 3 to 11 September and features walks and events for all abilities.
Full details of the walks are on gowerwalkingfestival.uk and the Gower Walking Festival’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. All walks should be booked online.
(Lead images: Gower Walking Festival)
Open air theatre returns to Oystermouth Castle – starting with classic fairytale
Families are being invited to pack a picnic and head to Oystermouth Castle for an afternoon of live theatre fun for all ages.
Those who attend this Friday’s show will be able to escape into the open-air with fairytale Rapunzel, the story of a girl’s longing to break free from her imposed lockdown and explore the world outside.
With wicked witches, lovable trolls, a fairytale prince and miles of golden hair, the show will feature slapstick humour, puppetry and much more.
It’s being presented at the Swansea Council-run venue by theatre company IKP.
Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “This should be a lovely, fun and exciting event for everybody.
“We’d encourage all those attending the event to bring a camping chair, blanket and picnic or snacks, then sit back, relax and enjoy the show in the castle grounds.”
Rapunzel is the first of two exciting performances in Oystermouth castle, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream following on August 25 at 7:30pm and which promises an evening of delightful entertainment.
For Rapunzel this Friday, doors open at 1pm with the show starting at 2pm.
(Lead image: Swansea Council)
New Caswell beach charter sets to assure activities run to highest standard
A new initiative has been launched so people know leisure operators using a Gower Beach have the skills and experience to provide safe fun activities delivered to the highest standard.
Swansea Council has joined up with the RNLI and the Welsh Surfing Federation to launch the Caswell Beach Operators Charter.
It aims to ensure safe and sustainable use of one of Gower’s most popular beaches for activities while being mindful of the many thousands of casual beach users who visit each year.
The other founding members are Surfability UK CIC, Progress Surf School, Gower Surf Academy, Mumbles Lifeguard Club and Gower Activity Centres.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, Robert Francis -Davies, said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to join together as partnership to launch this charter and I’d like to thank all those involved.
“This charter allows people to know they are using an authorised locally-based operator with the qualifications and experience to deliver safe activities while being mindful of the environment and other beach users.
“Swansea has more than 40 miles of coastline so water safety and sustainability is vitally important.
“This is one of the first initiatives of its kind in Wales and something we hope to extend to some of our other spectacular beaches.”
The charter is designed to be flexible and will be reviewed regularly with operators updated within the confines of the sustainable use of the beach.
All organisations that sign up to the charter must be able to demonstrate that they have the skills and experience to offer licensed beach activities.
They also give a commitment to avoid any damage to the site and leave it in the condition they found it, to minimise any disturbance to wildlife, fellow beach users and the local community and to promote sustainable beach use to all who use their services.
Signs have been put up around the beach promoting the charter and its members.
A spokesperson for the Welsh Surfing Federation said: “We have worked with partner agencies to achieve what is a first for the country and something that we hope will be adopted by other landowners and local authorities to give an industry standard, promoting the safest possible environment for the public who engage in lessons and coaching from surfing and SUP organisations that are affiliated to the WSF.”
(Lead image: Swansea Council)
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