The possibility of going abroad this summer has been more and more uncertain in recent months as the British don’t know whether we can go abroad or not.
But that shouldn’t stop us from making the most of the UK and all of the beautiful travel destinations it has to offer on our doorstep without the need for a passport.
To help you get the most of this summer, we’ve put together a list of those luxury destinations that will make you feel like you’ve escaped to a foreign land.
Let’s keep enjoying the UK summer vacation and much-needed break we all deserve.
1. Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales
Traveling to Wales is perhaps the next thing we can do by sea this year and with Portmeirion, Gwynedd it can get you to Italy in an instant.
On a sunny day, the buildings show off their Italian-style architecture, colors fill the small village, and quirky cobblestone streets create an Italian vibe.
Snowdonia is also just a 40-minute drive from this pretty village, another stunning UK destination that you can climb to a whopping 3,560 feet.
A challenge that is definitely worth it once you have reached the top and enjoy the spectacular view. Alternatively, you can take the train to the top if you prefer to take it easy!
2. Royal Pavilion, Brighton
The beautiful Royal Pavilion in central Brighton takes you to South Asia without a long haul flight.
The historic pavilion was originally an 18th century inn that was later converted into an Indian-style home for George IV in 1823.
The pavilion was also used as a hospital for Indian soldiers during the First World War. This pavilion is full of Indian, Chinese, Victorian and Mughal architectural influences and can be admired as if visiting the Taj Mahal.
The pavilion can be admired from the outside, or you can buy a ticket and explore the interior and decor, including the banquet room, large kitchen, and music room.
3. St. Michaels Mount, Cornwall
Cornwall is always a popular summer destination for many, and St. Michaels Mount brings us right into a taste of France.
Much like Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, both include an island surrounded by a tidal sea that, at low tide, gives way to a path and a single steep hill on the island.
Small boats are available to transport people from the mainland to the mountain, or if you’re lucky if you’re at low tide you can go the trail.
But be careful not to cross at low tide or you will swim halfway!
4. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
Hike the Mendip Hills, admire Britain’s largest limestone canyons and explore the Cheddar Caves. New Zealand suddenly feels a lot closer to home.
Keep an eye out for a herd of feral goats, take long walks to take in the quarry views, and discover the 150-meter-high cliffs on a cliff walk.
Alternatively, you can walk along the bottom of the canyon for a relaxing walk to the cliffs and admire the scenery around you. Cheddar Gorge also has shops where you can taste the locally made cheese and pair it with a locally brewed beer.
5. Kyoto and Fukushima Gardens, London
The gardens are located in Holland Park, with 22 acres of traditional Japanese-inspired surroundings, serene waterfalls, peaceful ponds, stone lanterns, maple trees and the occasional peacock wandering the gardens.
The gardens also include an open-air theater, cafe, restaurant, and sports facilities that serve as a large park for many locals and visitors.
It originally opened in 1991 and was a gift from Kyoto, Japan to honor and celebrate the friendship between Japan and Great Britain.
6. Chinatown, Liverpool
With the oldest and largest Chinese community in the UK, Liverpool has made history and Chinatown is no exception.
The 13.5 meter high traditional Chinese arch, the largest in Europe, celebrates the sister city of Liverpool and Shanghai. It was imported from Shanghai and built by skilled Chinese artisans.
Across Chinatown, you’ll find a variety of delicious traditional Chinese dishes that will keep your taste buds tingling for more.
7. Little Venice, London
The canals, narrowboats and bridges in West London will get you instantly to Venice or even Amsterdam.
Stroll the canal where the Grand Union Canal meets Regent’s Canal and explore unique cafes, restaurants, local pubs and other floating shops, including a floating hotel.
Little Venice has its own independent theaters for some entertainment, so you can enjoy the Canal Cafe Theater or a puppet show at the Puppet Theater Barge. You will definitely not feel like you are in London anymore!
8. Minack Theater, Cornwall
Cornwall’s famous open air theater is beautifully carved into the rock and overlooks Porthcurno Bay.
In the summer months from May to September, theater performances with plays, musicals and operas take place in a spectacular setting.
The theater features an architecture similar to the famous Dionysus Theater and on a clear, sunny day with the blue sea in front of you, it’s hard to believe that you are actually in Greece!
9. Little Switzerland, Devon
The picturesque landscape in and around Lynton and Lynmouth in Devon is also called Little Switzerland because of its resemblance to an Alpine paradise.
In the early 1800s, when the Napoleonic Wars made travel to mainland Europe impossible, vacationing in Little Switzerland became very popular with upper-class British people.
Today visitors can explore independent shops, narrow streets, coastal paths and the pretty village of Lynmouth at sea level. Follow rivers, coastal paths, alleys, hills and the beach, this is every hiker’s dream.
Bath, the largest city in County Somerset, has the famous Roman baths, Georgian townhouses, large parks and the famous Pulteney Bridge.
Spend your days shopping around town, sampling food at independent restaurants or cafes, relaxing in the thermal baths, or opting for an open roof bus tour.
There is a lot to discover around the vibrant city of Bath, which is surrounded by history.
11. Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall
Another Cornwall destination, but one that will take you to Sydney, Australia.
The pool is located directly on the beach of Summerleaze Beach and is partly artificial and natural and offers swimming in the lido between the rocks of Summerleaze.
The pool is overcrowded and refreshed every day by the tide and is free to use every day of the year. The perfect spot on a sunny day when visiting Cornwall to make the most of the beach and lido.
12. Isle of Skye, Scotland
The iconic landscape of Scotland is the largest in the Inner Hebrides and features outstanding scenery, wildlife, villages and medieval castles.
The Isle of Skye is known for the famous Fairy Pools – crystal clear pools of water set in rocks and waterfalls, a tempting spot for a swim.
In some parts of the Isle of Skye, you can even experience the Northern Lights, a magical spectacle that appears in different colors in the sky.
The breathtaking landscape takes you straight to Iceland.