Although we hate to admit it, the summer seems to be slowly slipping away and giving in to cooler temperatures and more unpredictable weather. It always feels a little sad as summer leaves but lets not forget that Autumn is a truly magical time of year here in the UK. The leaves on the trees turn beautiful shades of orange and red and the sun hangs low in the sky lighting up the countryside with gorgeous orange hues. So if you are thinking about booking an Autumn getaway then we think that its a great idea. Here are some of our favourite spots for autumn getaways in the UK.
If you are heading to Scotland for a summer break then there are so many wonderful things to get up to, but make sure to pack for all manner of weather and temperatures as the climate is a little unpredictable year round and there is no guarantee of balmy summer days, that said these days do exist this far north, much to many peoples doubt!
We’ve sought out some of the best places to visit in Scotland this summer, have a read.
Suffolk is a beautiful part of the country that many people flock to for their holidays, situated on the east coast of England you’ll find gorgeous beaches, charming medieval towns, stunning countryside and loads of pubs, restaurants and attractions to keep in busy in Suffolk.
We’ve selected some of the best, not to be missed parts of Suffolk here to help you plan your holidays.
A lot of people come to Suffolk to be beside the seaside and with Suffolk being the closest undistrubed beach to London its a popular destination for people wanting a break from city life.
Walberswick Beach: This is our favourite coastal spot in Suffolk, with a gorgeous little sand dune backed beach just across from the river Southwold, you can have a play or kick back on the sand and shingle beach or have a dip in the sea, there is also a lovely walk along the Walberswick Nature Reserve if you get bored of relaxing (not likely!)
Southwold Pier Beach:This is more of the traditional seaside resort style beach in Suffolk, with a 250m long pier, a sand and shingle beach and lots of attractions including traditional seaside arcade fun for the family, restaurants, summer punch and judy shows and an under the pier show which you must visit.
South of Claremont Pier Beach (Lowestoft): If its a sandy beach that you are craving in Suffolk then you’ll love South of Claremont Pier beach, which is a fine stretch of sand known locally as Victoria Beach. This is a popular holiday area with colourful beach huts, restaurants and cafes and is also known as the ‘sunrise coast’ so if you fancy an early start one morning during your stay in Suffolk then you can test this out for yourself and see if the sunrise is as good as they say!
ARTS & CULTURE
Arts and Culture are a big deal in Suffolk and combine new and original theatre productions, dance, festivals and lots of museums and galleries to mooch around.
Benjamin Bitten was born here in Suffolk, arguably one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and leaving a rich musical heritage to the area.
Aldeburgh Beach Lookout: Check out this tiny art temple by the sea, a magical and stimulating place for the art-minded to visit.
The Hunter Gallery, Bury St Edmonds: Here, well-known local artists exhibit paintings, sculptures and furntiure for people to view and buy. They specialise in art for the home and have some really beautiful pieces if you fancy taking home your very own little piece of Suffolk.
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmonds: The Theatre Royal in Suffolk is one of the most significant theatre buildings in Britain and the last surviving Regency playhouse. This grade 1 listed building is actually part of the National Trust property portfolio and shows a vibrant, year-round programme of drama, music, dance and comedy.
There are loads of things to do to keep the family busy in Suffolk so if you fancy a day away from the beach then check out some of these brillaint days out.
Africa Alive: This is an African themed wildlife park and is part of the Zoological Society of East Anglia. It aims are advancement and education, animal welfare and conservation and its a real treat for the family to see African animals in Suffolk.
Set in 100 acres of stunning Suffolk countryside there are some lovely walks around the park aside from getting up close and personal with the animals.
Easton Farm Park: A visit to Easton Farm Park in Suffolk is all about learning about real farm life, meeting the animals, smelling the smells and hearing the farm noises. The children can roam around freely and safely meaning parents can relax. There are often workshops going on over the summer months too.
Framlingham Castle: Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring these castle walls in Suffolk. Rich in history, exploring a castle is always an adventure for little ones and is super interetsing for bigger ones too! There are walks, exhibits and a cafe for lunch.
Pubs & Restaurants
Scutchers Restaurant, Long Melford: This tastefully decorated, lovely restaurant is a real treat with amazing food and service that is second to none.
If you fancy the food but want to relax in your pj’s then head for the Scutchers shop which sells starters, mains and puddings and wine all to be taken away.
Queen’s Head, Blyford: A beautiful 500 year old thatched pub close to Southwold and Halesworth in Suffolk, this is a fine example of a traditional English pub complete wih a gorgeous beer garden for those warmer days.
Here they specialise in local meats but also have an array of speciality nights throughout the week including curry, pie and italian nights.
Morston Hall: Morston Hall in Suffolk boasts a Michelin star and the restaurant is located in the gorgeous country house hotel.
Expect beautifully presented, imaginative food that will get your tastebuds tingling.
Just because you are a family with young children doesn’t mean you can’t travel and it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you choose your destination wisely and do some good planning then the whole family will have a fun filled break away. Check out these family friendly destinations before you book your next family adventure.
Portugal has been a firm favourite for a family friendly holiday for a long while now. On top of the endless golden beaches, gorgeous sunny climate and the abundance of nice places to eat and sleep you’ll find extremely friendly locals and many great opportunities for little ones to explore and discover.
Choose a family friendly hotel complete with toddler pools, water slides and fun and games for the kids if you want ultimate peace of mind that your whole family will get some chill time. Aside from that the kids will love splashing around in the rock pools, jumping in the waves at the beach, hitting the awesome water parks, searching for dolphins on a boat trip and making friends with the many other children who head this way for a holiday.
You will have undoubtedly heard about the insane theme parks in Florida including Universal Studios, Disney Land’s Magical Kingdom and Seaworld and if you do make a trip to them you are going to have some seriously excited children!
Aside from the obvious attraction of these pretty magical places you’ll find Florida amazing for beautiful beaches, buzzing cities and so much to explore.
With great family friendly facilities and hotels geared up for families it will be an amazing and stress free break.
If you are a family of explorers then Sri Lanka could be an excellent option for you. Sri Lanka has grown and grown as a holiday destination over the past few years and is a really great, family friendly option.
The beaches are really special, the beautiful mountains, the tea plantations, the many giant Buddha’s and the gorgeous and very interesting towns and villages.
A highlight for families has to be the safari experiences where you’ll see all kinds of beautiful animals from elephants to giraffes and leopards.
Mexico itself is such a beautiful place with the white sandy beaches that the Caribbean is famed for, simply delicious food and so much sunshine.
Children can play safely and freely on the beaches and the abundance of great hotels have so many facilities for children that they probably won’t even want to leave the site that you choose to stay on!
Cancun is a fantastic part of Mexico for families, with the American influence in this area all bases have been covered to make holidays really easy for those with little ones.
There are some amazing historic Aztec sites to visit such as Chichen Itza and once you’ve finished exploring then why not head to Wet n Wild water park for some serious fun!
Ireland is a great choice for a family friendly holiday if you love getting out into nature and getting some beautiufl fresh air into your lungs.
Ok so you may not get the sunshine (you could get lucky but definitely don’t rely on it!) but your children can run wild and free in the beautiful countryside or on the gorgeous beaches and you can even head for the vibrant cities when you’ve had your outdoor fill.
There are also loads of brilliant family friendly pubs with outdoor space for the kids to play whilst you enjoy a nice pint.
The lure of foreign shores can be tempting, with television adverts promising of balmy beach days and endless sunshine it is easy to get sucked in, but if you make the decision to stay on UK soil you may find you have an even better time than you’d have imagined. Check out our top reasons for staying put and booking your holiday in the UK.
The biggest and most obvious difference between having a holiday in the UK and jetting off abroad is the cost. With no flights, airport transfers and new summer clothes to have to fork out for you’ll save yourself a lot of money that you can spend on you holiday in the UK. Why not put it towards upgrading your hotel or having an extra long holiday and reap the benefits of being in the UK.
If you do your research and choose wisely then you will find some extremely beautiful beaches right here in the UK. Golden sand and clear blue water gently lapping the shore. Up and down the UK coast you’ll find some absolute gems, from rocky, cove beaches to wide sandy bays and the classic English seaside beach complete with rides and arcade games.
You certainly don’t need to go overseas to find your ideal hotel, the UK has every type of hotel you could dream of for every single budget. Be it a countryside boutique style hotel to a sky rise city hotel with a view, you’ll find it all.
If you’re travelling with a family then Airbnb can be a great option since you can rent a whole house/apartment which includes a kitchen area, always an easier choice when travelling with little ones who don’t necessarily want to eat at the same time as you or even the same food.
If you are travelling on a budget then have a look at YHA properties which have dorms or private rooms and usually have a kitchen and communal area to cook and meet other like minded travellers.
As with hotels, the UK has some of the best pubs and restaurants in the world with world famous chefs, Michelin stared restaurants and beautiful places to eat and drink in just about each and every part. From amazing street food stalls to fancy restaurants and everything in between, the UK has got it covered.
The UK has a rich history and often because you are from a country you find you don’t know all that much about it. Spend time visiting awe-inspiring castles rich with stories and gruesome tales of the past. Visit ancient sites and discover what went on right here on home soil many, many years ago.
Lets face it,the thought of going abroad is wonderful but in realisty the travelling means a lot of time waiting around, being cramped into a plane, possible jet lag depending on your destination and much more added stress. The language barier, different foods, different rules and so on can make things far more difficult than having a holiday in the UK, and if you have kids then you’ll half your stress levels by staying in this country.
Having your holiday in the UK means that you can take your own means of transport, which in turn means no luggage allowance restrictions so you are able to pack all your home comforts, again if you are travelling with children this is going to make life an awful lot easier, anyone with kids knows how much ‘stuff’ there is to cart along!
Driving your own car or camper van means you can take snacks and food, drinks and fun activities to make the journey pass more quickly. Book onto a flight and you can’t even take your drink onboard. This freedom can make for a much easier break.
Lastly it is also important to talk about the environmental impact your choice of holiday has. Think about this; just one return flight from London to New York produces a greater carbon footprint than a whole year's personal allowance needed to keep the climate safe, quite incredible when you put it like that.
If you are frequent holiday maker and like to jet off around the world, each time you are doing an awful lot of damage to our truly amazing planet, an irony in itself when all we want to do is go and explore its beauty.
Perhaps thinking about taking your next holiday in the UK could be a step in the right direction and could also be a surprisingly fun and stress free trip.
The spring is an excellent time to go away in Britain and Ireland because temperatures are warming up, flowers and trees are bursting to life and people have a spring in their step as they say goodbye to the winter.
If you’ve not visited the Norfolk Broads National Park before then this spring could be just the time to do it.
The Broads themselves are man-made and consist of over 125 miles of navigable, lock free waterways that meander through the beautiful countryside and gorgeous towns and villages. Locals like to think of it as the Venice of the East!
The Broads and Rivers
The Broads can be split up into the Northern and Southern side, both offering beautiful scenery and many places to explore.
If you are planning to visit the Norfolk Broads this spring then you are likely going to try your hand at boating and there are many places that will teach you how and what to do. The Broads are a great place to learn and you’ll find a lot of first timers, with no locks and easy to navigate rivers and waterways it makes for hassle free boating.
The River Bude in the Northern Broads is said to be one of the prettiest in the area, starting from the gorgeous village of Coltishall this river flows through the hustle and bustle of Wroxham, cruises on into Horning (which has loads of great riverside pubs should you fancy a little break or a spot of lunch) and on into Great Yarmouth.
Another favourite in the Northern Broads is the River Ant and Barton Broad which is a much more picturesque route that still has some beautiful towns along the way.
Heading down to the Southern Broads you’ll find the River Yare and Breydon Water, the biggest of the rivers in the Broads.
This is a tranquil and beautiful route travelling through the gorgeous countryside and eventually coming out onto the vast but shallow expanse of water at Breydon Water.
The least typical of all of the rivers is the River Waveney and Oulton Broad. Take this route and you’ll cross the Norfolk/Suffolk border and head through Olaves and Somerleyton and onto the lovely market town of Beccles where you could hop off and have a mooch.
Towns and City
The Norfolk Broads is actually the only National Park that contains a city as well as many lovely towns and villages so if you do visit the Norfolk Broads this spring you can take your pick and go and explore.
Norwich is the city that you’ll find in the Norfolk Broads and is an attractive, University city, but if you’ve come away to get your countryside fix you’ll probably avoid the city and head for the many gorgeous towns and villages that the Norfolk Broads have to offer.
The town of Potter Heigham is a great place to hire your boat and so may well mark the start of your journey, it is home to a bridge that is one of the most difficult to navigate under in the Broads, if you aren’t experienced on a boat then we’d probably suggest avoiding this one but it is fun to go and watch the other sailors navigate it!
Woodbastwick comes highly recommended for a visit, this quieter and more tranquil of places has twice won the ‘Best Kept Village’ award and is a beautiful place with a medieval, thatched church. It is also home to Woodforde’s Brewery and The Fur and Feather so you can’t go far wrong if you like a nice pub lunch and a pint.
Aylsham is another lovely spot, this charming market town in the upper reaches of the beautiful River Bure has the northern terminus of the Bure Valley Railway close by which runs to Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall, for the train enthusiasts amongst you.
Come to the Norfolk Broads this spring and expect an abundance of wildlife, it really is a great spot to see English nature at its finest.
Many people come to the area for bird watching alone, with spring and autumn bringing hosts of migrant birds to the area.
You can also expect to see 25 species of freshwater fish, otters, butterflies, dragonflies and so much more wildlife in abundance.
Sometimes Ireland can get a little over looked. If you are planning a trip away you might lean towards sunnier climes and far off destinations and all but forget about lovely Ireland. I for one am more than guilty of this, with family over there and with it always being on my ‘must go back soon’ list, I definitely haven’t made it to Ireland nearly often enough. If ever I’ve had the time and money for a break away I’ve chosen hot and sunny countries that are a million miles away from the motherland, the rainy UK.
However once you delve into Ireland’s stunning and varied landscapes, buzzing cities, amazing history and culture, you’ll wonder why you never visited before. 1.The Great Outdoors
If you love being outside in the elements, feeling the sun on your skin or the wind in your hair then Ireland may be perfect for you. With rugged countryside to explore, hiking and walking spots in abundance, opportunities to go surfing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, caving and mountain biking, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice.
If you want to be outside everyday then there will be something new waiting for you each morning when you visit Ireland.
Dublin is the most obvious city to mention here, it is vibrant and buzzing, friendly and welcoming, you’ll struggle not to fall in love with Dublin and if you visit Ireland you must make a point of stopping here.
Ireland’s other cities are full of personality, from the colourful, arty, harbour city of Galway to the medieval Waterford city, the oldest in Ireland.
Whichever of the eleven cities you pick to visit you’ll have a very warm welcome from the locals who will happily share their stories with you over a pint of Guinness.
Irish food might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you are choosing to visit Ireland, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Traditional Irish dishes like irish stew, soda bread and colcannon can still very much be found, but there is definitely a new era of eating now. Think fresh, locally grown produce and catch of the day in the coastal locations including wild atlantic salmon, poached lobster and Dublin bay prawns. Seafood heaven!
If history is your thing then you absolutely must visit Ireland to see the castles; gothic, stately or haunted, there are dozens to view.
Blarney Castle in southern Ireland is a favourite for many and gives you an opportunity to climb the ten storeys and kiss the Blarney stone at the top to get the ‘gift of the gab’ as the legend goes.
Doe Castle in County Donegal is a must see also simply because of its beautiful architecture and positioning right on a peninsula that has been completely surrounded by water via a moat cleaved into the rockside.
If anyone knows how to have a knees up and good time, its the Irish, and their festivals prove that. If you visit Ireland when a festival is taking place then grab tickets and go along, we assure you it will be fun.
From the famous St Patrick’s day celebrations to Galway Arts Festival and Cork Sailing Festival, there is something for everyone spread across all genres; music, food, film, comedy and literature.
The pub are the coroner stone of Irish community, you’ll find bustling city pubs, upmarket gastro-pubs and cute and cosy village pubs, all as welcoming as each other and all with a fantastic range of stouts and lagers.
There really is nothing quite like an old-fashioned pub, sink into a big armchair in front of an open fire and forget the time, just enjoy the moment.
You may now be thinking we’ve gone a little mad, Ireland, beautiful beaches? Yes, yes and yes. Ok we can’t guarantee you the sunshine but you will love them all the same.
Banna Strand beach in County Kerry is probably our favourite, think beautiful sand dunes for its entire 7 mile length, the Atlantic Ocean and amazing views out to the mountainous Dingle Peninsula.
Strandhill beach in county Sligo is another fine example of Irish beaches. This is a great beach for surfing but not as good for swimming. The area is really beautiful and has panoramic views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. There are some great walks around here too.