Get a spring in your step! Make the most of summer in the UK with a trip to the coast or countryside. From Suffolk to Pembrokeshire, we explore some of the best places to book a long weekend away…
Known for its rolling hills, unspoilt beaches, rugged moorland and ancient landmarks, Northumberland is a place of natural beauty. At this time of year, it really comes to life.
At more than 400 square miles, Northumberland National Park includes the Cheviot Hills and Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and is the perfect place for long walks. Full of waterfalls, valleys and meadows, the North pennies is a must-visit and is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are plenty of gardens and parks to explore too, like The Alnwick Garden and Craigside House.
With more than 30 miles of beaches, Northumberland’s coastline is breathtaking. Some of the best include Bamburgh Castle Beach and Cresswell Beach. You can also visit traditional seaside towns like Seahouses and Newton-by-the-Sea, or hit the waves for kite and wind surfing.
Characterised by golden sands and towering clifftops, Pembrokeshire has an outstanding coastline and is mostly surrounded by the sea. It’s no surprise that many of its beaches are award-winning, offering plenty of watersports like diving, kayaking and sailing.
If you want to see Pembrokeshire in all its beauty, then the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a must. There’s 186 miles of coastline from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south but you can walk in short bursts. The trail passes sandstone bays, valleys, harbours and beaches. There are 52 beaches in total, including Freshwater West and Barafundle bay both backed by sand dunes.
In spring, Pembrokeshire’s gardens are in full bloom. Colby Woodland Garden near Amroth has bluebells and daffodils in abundance, while Hilton Court Gardens near Roch covers 12 acres of woodland. For anyone interested in history and architecture, then a visit to Pembroke Castle and Carew Castle are essential.
Located in the southwest, Dorset packs in plenty of family attractions, remote countryside and vast beaches. There are plenty of beautiful green spaces, like the child-friendly Moors Valley Country Park and Forest and Bennetts Water Gardens that’s vibrant with water lilies.
Take in the sights and historic landmarks too, such as Lulworth Castle & Park on the Lulworth Estate and the 15th century Sherborne Abbey built of Ham stone. Dorset even has an old steam train that runs from April to October in Swanage.
Along the coast, you’ll find a playground of different beaches. From the beautiful white pebble beach of Lulworth Cove which has azure waters and rockpools, to Durdle Door’s shingle beach with a natural limestone arch.
Bordered by 50 miles of immaculate coastline, Suffolk is a beautiful part of East Anglia. Charming medieval towns, interesting museums and galleries, hundreds of cycling routes, a variety of golf courses and peaceful nature reserves are just a handful of the things you can immerse yourself in.
One of the most common things to do in Suffolk is go bird watching which has boomed in popularity, and you can do this at Walberswick Nature Reserve. But if you prefer active sports, then you can take your pick of wild swimming, canoeing and surfing across the many rivers and beaches.
Walkers will love Thetford Forest in The Brecks– a dry and wild landscape full of pine trees, wildlife and largely untouched woodland. Southwold Pier is a great place to take the family, where you can spend hours playing arcade games, enjoying the sandy beach and pretty beach huts (that you can rent by day). If you fancy exploring more of Dorset’s coastline, the popular Aldeburgh Beach and Walberswick Beach are accessible and spacious.