Maybe we’re biased but if the weather is kind, few places in the world can match the beauty of the British countryside in the summertime. But where are the best places to spend these precious sun-drenched days? After much debate, we’ve narrowed it down to three of our favourite regions.
This ancient patchwork of rolling hills and rural market towns is one of the UK’s most popular tourist regions, and it’s easy to see why. Most of the honey-coloured limestone villages really do look like clichéd chocolate box covers, and the idyllic countryside that surrounds them is impossibly pretty. On top of all that, a dash of eccentricity gives the region a unique flavour, brought to life in events like the annual cheese rolling race and the Cotswold Olimpicks – though it’s easy to see how the area’s reputation as a modern day bolthole for stressed celebrities came about too. Gorgeous gastropubs like The Five Alls and high-end venues like Daylesford Organic do a fine line in cosmopolitan country grub, and you never know who you might bump into.
From family-friendly farmstays with daily tractor rides and animal feeding sessions, to clifftop self-catering cottages and sophisticated beach hotels overlooking the sea, Cornwall is packed with accommodation for all budgets. Young families will love to get stuck in at Higher Lank Farm in the village of St. Breward near Bodmin, or if you’re looking for a little slice of urban style by the sea, check out the cool white architecture of St. Moritz on the north coast.
The Lake District
It’s “the loveliest spot that man hath found,” said William Wordsworth about Grasmere in the Lake District, and it’s hard to disagree. This region of far northwest England is simply unbeatable in summer, whether you want to explore by car, bus, bike or lake cruiser. But one of the best ways to discover the Lake District – especially at this time of year – is on foot. England’s largest national park is criss-crossed with walking trails for all abilities, from simple lakeshore strolls to challenging hikes up some of the country’s highest peaks. There’s even a number of multi-day Ale Trails which combine stunning scenery with cosy places to stay, great local food and fine real ale.
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