Have you heard? We’re taking back summer 2020! It’s been a tough year, and after weeks at home, the promise of summer is growing. But the best way to keep safe whilst enjoying your summer is a motorhome holiday. You’ll be able to self-isolate in your campervan, and avoid the crowds of public transport.
Embrace a UK staycation and find out why we’re one of the top tourist destinations! There is so much beauty and incredible things to do right here in the UK, and I guarantee you haven’t seen the best of it just yet. Do you think you have? Check out our Ultimate UK Bucket List, containing the top 25 destinations in the UK, and count off how many places you’ve visited. Any missing? Add them to your UK road trip itinerary for this summer.
1. The Roman Baths
Despite being one of the smaller cities in the UK, Bath has an incredible amount of things to see and do. The true highlight, and their namesake, are the famous Roman Baths, which have been attracting visitors to their healing waters for over 2,000 years. You can no longer bathe in the original Roman Baths, but be sure to tour their incredible architecture and follow it with a soak in a nearby spa.
A village with a story! Eyam is tucked away in the Peak District, and is known as the tiny village that completely isolated itself from the rest of the world in the 1600s. This was to protect themselves from the plague, which ravaged over a third of the population. Consider themselves the inspiration for self-isolation, and drive through their quaint streets. Perfectly combined with a trip to the gorgeous Peak District.
Across the globe, thousands travel to the UK just to visit Canterbury, and it has been a must-see for pilgrims since AD 597 - over 1,500 years! Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canterbury Cathedral, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. There are plenty of sites within it, including the Miracle windows, created in the 12th century and depicting scenes of Archbishop Thomas Becket. There are plenty of museums and other sites to follow it with, the perfect day trip!
Despite growing in popularity in recent years, Inverness does not get its due. The main city of the Highlands, it is the starting point for the iconic North Coast 500 road trip. It features delights such as Inverness Castle, the Victorian Market and the Cathedral.
5. Mount Snowdon
Clamber your way up the tallest mountain in England and Wales, Mount Snowdon is located within Snowdonia National Park and is the second tallest mountain in the UK (after Ben Nevis). Climb your way to the summit and keep an eye out for fossilised seashells, as it used to be at the very bottom of the prehistoric ocean! You’ll also find plenty of sheep.
6. The Scilly Isles
The best UK destination for those of you missing a beach getaway! The Scilly Isles provide a little slice of tropical island life by the shores of Great Britain with a warm gulf stream air. You’ll find them a mere 30 miles from the coast of Cornwall, and they’ll be your sunshine and sandy summer break. You’ll also find exotic plants and wildlife that aren’t visible anywhere else in the UK.
Locals consider Glasgow to be the perfect UK destination for music, shopping and culture. It is actually the largest city in Scotland, is constantly changing and evolving. From art galleries to museums to shopping streets like Sauchiehall, Buchanan and Argyll, your city break will be filled. It’s particularly known for incredible street art. And if you fancy a hiking trail to follow, Glasgow is the start of the West Highland Way, Scotland’s most famous long-distance hiking route.
8. An English Vineyard
Since we won’t be flying off to France, Spain or Italy, all renowned for their delicious wine, we need to tempt our tastebuds a little closer to home. England is home to incredible vineyards, and you must visit at least one during your time. If you’re south-west, head to Camel Valley in Cornwall, renowned for their classic Cornwall Brut. In Sussex, you can choose between Breaky Bottom, a small scale family-run business, or Rathfinny Estate, which features the same chalk soils as the Champagne region. Gather a group of friends and head to a vineyard for an unforgettable experience - unless you drink enough!
An obvious but deserving choice for our Ultimate UK Bucket List. The nation’s capital is a must-see, as it is so unique and influential across the globe. Take a weekend to be a tourist in London, visiting the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings. Know the best of the city, so that you can recommend it to others. If you’ve done all that tourist stuff, visit London as a Londoner, check out blogs on the best local spots. You’ll find incredible cafes, unknown shops and beautiful parks hidden away.
10. The Cotswolds
Undoubtedly one of the most photographed corners of the UK, but you’re missing a photo of the Cotswolds with you in it! An easy day trip from London, Bath and Bristol, or you can make a weekend out of it. A true taste of rural England, filled with quaint villages and incredible scenery. Highlights of the Cotswolds include horseback riding, biking, visiting market towns and hiking.
11. Medieval Salisbury
While Stonehenge is steeply priced, you can drive past on your way to Salisbury, located just 10 miles south. This medieval city has been famous since 1220, and is home to an original Magna Carta. Explore the old city center and many fine churches and historic architecture.
Many of us visited Cornwall as a child, and have seen much of its beaches and seaside towns. But have you visited Polperro? One of the most picturesque villages of the region, Polperro will transport you to the pages of a fairytale. With idyllic cottages, wild flowers, cliff-side views and delicious Cornish confectionery. It’s a great campervan destination, as there are plenty of campsites to park at, right at the beach. Consider driving the London to Cornwall road trip itinerary as well!
There is plenty packed onto this small island off the coast of Wales. It features the elusive red squirrel, an endangered species that you likely won’t find elsewhere thanks to the larger grey squirrels. It also has the largest aquarium in Wales, the Holyhead Mountain with a view that stretches to Ireland on a clear day, the longest place name in Europe (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch) and the best street food in all of Wales (Simply Street Bar & Grill). Do you really need any more reasons to go to Anglesey?
14. Isle of Wight
A sight to behold, just off the shore, camping on the Isle of Wight is a traditional summer getaway for many. With chalky white stacks, secluded sandy beaches, and timeless villages, it’s the postcard perfect holiday. Catch a show at the Shanklin Theatre, stroll through the Ventnor Botanic Gardens and stick your nose in a good book on one of their countless beaches.
Many forget Derry in their haste to visit Belfast, but it really should be given time during your Northern Irish holiday due to its history, stunning skyline, architecture and hip festivals. People consider it to be the best place to gain an authentic slice of Northern Irish life. You can stroll along the 17th century walls, visit the Tower Museum, the Museum of Free Derry and cross The Peace Bridge - easily considered to be the most beautiful bridge in Northern Ireland.
16. Blenheim Palace
A monumental country house buried deep in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, this is the ideal summer day trip. Fun fact: it is the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England that holds the title of palace. Explore the baroque architecture, enjoy a picnic on the grounds, and then continue your English road trip through Oxfordshire.
17. St. Andrews
Whilst in Scotland, let’s not forget St Andrews! This seaside town in northeast Edinburgh is known primarily for its many golf courses. Go out for a round and then learn more about your favourite sport in the British Golf Museum. Anyone who celebrate St Andrew's Day should visit his hometown. Not convinced yet? Then give the medieval bottle dungeon a try, and find out what that actually entails...
We all know at least one person who’s studied here. A renowned student city, don’t be too quick to write off this destination. It’s actually a fascinating historic town, dating back to the Roman era, of which you can still explore the Exeter City Walls. You can visit their Norman landmark, Exeter Castle, or Victorian enthusiasts can visit the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery to view fine art and costumes. There are also underground passages snaking beneath the city, waiting to be explored.
19. Giant’s Causeway
Honestly one of the most unique sights in the entirety of the UK, Giant’s Causeway contains an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. It is the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption, although others will claim witchcraft was involved. Located in County Atrim, you can take a guide tour and then stay in the nearby town of Bushmills, well combined with exploring Northern Ireland in a motorhome.
The vibrant capital city of Wales is also known as the City of Arcades. It features the biggest concentration of Edwardian, Victorian and modern-day indoor shopping arcades in all of Britain. Definitely a holiday destination for those looking to shop the day away. Aside from this, enjoy the various sporting events, pop-up dining and intimate music gigs present in Cardiff. Begin your Wales road trip with haste!
21. Brighton Pier
A classic! Have you really summer staycationed in the UK if you haven’t visited Brighton Pier? The answer is no, certainly not! The Brighton Palace Pier is a 1,722ft long Victorian pier and holds wonders such as a famous fish and chip restaurant, hot food and drink concessions, two arcades, Brighton’s biggest indoor soft play area and fairground attractions. Release your inner child after a day at the beach by spending an evening at Brighton pier, maybe you’ll even win something!
22. New Forest
Whilst we’re in the south, let’s not forget a visit to the New Forest. Camping in the New Forest will allow you to lose yourself in nature, resting after some stressful weeks. You can go pony trekking, hiking, cycling or wild swimming.
If you’re a fan of The Beatles and haven’t made the trek north to Liverpool, you need to change that with a trip this summer. Liverpool is also a famous maritime city, where the River Mersey meets the Irish Sea. You can take a ferry cruise along the coastline, tour the incredible architecture and enjoy the markets.
A resort town within Argyll and Bute, it is often overlooked for its small size. It is actually the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William, and has plenty to see! Explore the Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds, as well as McCaig’s Tower. Oban is also renowned for its distilleries, so be sure to park close one night and take a tour - there will be samples!
And finally, we reach Edinburgh. This bustling capital is renowned as a centre of culture and the arts. From Edinburgh Fringe Festival to countless music gigs to an incredible high street. It’s cheaper to visit than London, and easy to get around by foot. Consider making a road trip out of it, such as out London to Edinburgh route, or the Edinburgh to Inverness route.
How many can you tick off your bucket list? Design your summer holiday in a motorhome to include as many as possible, and take this staycation as an opportunity to explore more of the UK! And don’t forget that you might not have to take your trip during summer, you could delay to autumn or winter to try something new and avoid the crowds - check out when is the best time for your road trip!