Whether you call it a wish list, a bucket list or a hit list, it’s safe to say that you probably have a hefty amount of places you want to visit after lockdown ends. And that couldn’t be more true of the VisitEngland team, who have been cooped up at home for what feels like an eternity.
Just like you, we’ve all been reminiscing over past holidays and dreaming about the next time we can pack up the car or book a train ticket for a weekend away (which, the government are proposing, could be as early as the 4th July) – so, in the spirit of sharing, we thought we’d give you a glimpse into our past and future travels!
From unbeatable beauty spots to quirky cafés and historic cities, we’re armed with ideas to help inspire your post-lockdown trips.
Our fondest holiday memories: Holy Island, Lindisfarne
‘My favourite holiday memory in Britain is when I walked from the mainland to the Holy Island on Lindisfarne – the path is called Pilgrim’s Way and was walked by people centuries ago. We didn’t drive along the (tide dependent) road, but instead decided to walk on the newly emerged sea bed. It was a stark landscape and the walking warranted bare feet as the sad was extremely soggy, but it was amazing when we arrived. After washing our gloop-encased feet, saw the medieval Priory, the secret walled garden and castle, before stopping for a pub lunch. The Ship Inn was amazingly quaint and the décor was at least 70% fishing paraphernalia – *chef’s kiss* fantastic. The fact that you had to know the times of the tides to know when it was possible to leave gave the trip an air of surrealism and time-travel, unlike any other place I’ve been.’ – Rebecca Read, Content Curation Executive
‘I went on a great day trip to the beautiful city of Winchester last year. It was a hot summer’s day, and we managed to see the magnificent cathedral, old castle ruins, and take a casual stroll along a lovely riverside path. It was the day Ben Stokes played his amazing innings to win the Headingly test in the Ashes, so while I was walking around I was listening to TMS as the finale unfolded!’ – Richard Nicholls, Head of Research and Forecasting
‘My favourite British holiday has to be a fairly recent trip to Brighton. It felt so good to get out of London to see the sea, sip an ice-cold beer on the beach and peek into all the quirky shops in the lanes. Also, the interiors of the Royal Pavilion are amazingly beautiful and unique – a definite must-see in my opinion.’ – Miranda Brown, Market Intelligence Consultant
‘A recent one was a short trip to Broadstairs a couple of summers ago. What I liked about Broadstairs was the large number of coves and bays along the coastline that you could walk through and explore when the tide was out. We walked between Broadstairs’ Viking Bay and Botany Bay, including Stone Bay, Kingsgate Bay and Joss Bay. The beaches were often secluded, with tall chalk cliffs on one side and the sea on the other. Each bay seemed to have its own character, too – in one there were loads of rock pools to rummage about in; another just had vast amounts of beautiful yellow sand; and the other had huge seaweed-covered rocks and boulders to climb across, which made it all the more interesting!’ – Dee, Corporate Content Editor
‘My favourite memory has to be walking alpacas in the Lake District. The sun was shining, I was walking an alpaca named Boo, it was the summer England made the World Cup semi-finals, and we had stunning views across Derwentwater Lake. Oh, and we visited Grasmere to taste their world-famous gingerbread. Delicious!’ – Emma Wilkinson, Head of England Marketing
‘Waking up under canvas tucked behind the sand dunes of the amazing Gwithian beach in Cornwall is hard to beat. It was a glorious early autumn day. The air was clear, the surf was rolling in and wild rabbits were hopping around. We picked blackberries straight from the bush for breakfast before heading off for a walk around the headland past the lighthouse to Godrevy Point, where we stumbled across the local seal population basking in the warmth on the rocks below. Heavenly.’ – Louise Ferrall, Senior PR Manager
‘My favourite memory has to be from a camping trip to the Isle of Wight where we drove to the southern coast of the island to do a surfing lesson. I can vividly remember how clear the waters were (even with the water at waist-height we could see our feet nestled in the sand) and thinking that I couldn’t possibly be in England with water this blue!’ – Mia Jones, Digital Content Executive
‘I really enjoyed visiting the Peak District last year for my daughter’s first-ever holiday in the UK. One of the highlights was a picnic in the stunningly beautiful Dovedale, topped maybe only by the ice cream we got from a traditional van afterwards. They were the largest scoops we’ve ever seen, and the chocolate and vanilla flavours definitely went down a treat – a year later and my daughter’s still talking about it!’ – Robin Kagenaar,Content & Marketing for Netherlands & Belgium
‘My favourite trip was to the Cotswolds in May last year. I had never been there before and finally understood why it’s so popular! We stayed in a lovely traditional hotel in Chipping Campden and explored nearby villages and countryside. It was very quiet and beautiful, just what you need to switch off for a few days. The countryside was blooming and a bit of rain made the experience even more magical.’ – Erica Paris, Digital Marketing Manager
‘I can’t wait to visit South Devon. I went there a lot as a child and have lovely but somewhat patchy memories of that luscious pocket of the south west and would love to see it again as an adult. Dartmouth is on the list and I’m already researching waterside bars where I can sit with a drink in hand and make a toast to old memories whilst watching sailboats glide by.’ – Katie Rowe, England Content Manager
‘Top of my list is a road trip through the North York Moors and then up into Northumberland. I want to see places like Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay as well as Alnwick Castle and Hadrian’s Wall. I’d love to do a week-long road trip through the regions stopping at a new place every day.’ – Emma Wilkinson, Head of England Marketing
Places we can't wait to visit: Black Country Living Museum
Dudley, West Midlands
‘I’m a big fan of immersive experiences, so I’d jump at the chance to go to the Black Country Living Museum in the Midlands. I’m fascinated by how Britons used to live in bygone eras, so I love the idea of being able to ride on a vintage bus, walk past period shops and step inside recreations of old-fashioned homes.’ – Mia Jones, Digital Content Executive
‘I’m partial to a city break, but funnily enough somewhere I haven’t yet visited is York. It’s the epitome of a medieval city, and I’m looking forward to walking down the narrow, cobbled streets lined with Tudor houses (with my camera at the ready!). I also really want to swing by Betty’s Tea Room to try one of their famous Fat Rascals!’ – Sam Coleman, Digital Content Executive
‘Something I’ve wanted to do for ages is head up to Norfolk to go seal-watching. It would be amazing to see the fluffy pups basking on the sand, and maybe even get a boat tour to get a glimpse of them from the sea.’ - Laura Smith, Senior Content and Planning Manager