From detoxing in style to reconnecting with nature, Britain is bursting with new and inspiring ways to shake off 2020 and look forward to a brighter New Year. From cliff camping in the Lake District to diving into the world of art and literature, here are a handful of ideas for a resolution-boosting bucket list, ready and waiting for when we’re all able to travel again.
If 2020 has left you longing for a dose of adrenalin, you can dream of spending a night suspended more than 150 metres above an expansive slate mine in the Lake District, with only a luxury sleeping bag and the starry-sky above you. This unique Honister cliff-side camping experience is only accessible via a dazzling infinity bridge and a spot of abseiling, with the final destination rewarding campers with spectacular sunsets and sunrises. All that adventure is sure to work up an appetite, and you have the option of finishing off your experience with a traditional bacon sandwich breakfast. There’s even romantic champagne brunch and afternoon tea options, for those who would prefer a shorter cliff-hanger experience.
If you’re resolved to shake off the stresses of 2020 and detox in the New Year, you can dream of a stay at The Scarlet Hotel, which offers a slice of tranquillity on the rugged Cornish coast. Alongside stunning views of sea, sand and romantic cliffs, this luxury eco hotel offers private sauna sessions, a natural outdoor reed pool and indoor steam room, as well as daily yoga sessions to boost inner wellness. Having reopened under a strict new cleaning regime, The Scarlet is the adult-only break perfect for a detox à deux.
Rich pinewood forests. Gently lapping water. Vast mountains. If you’re aiming to reconnect with nature, look no further than Glen Affric. Located just 15 miles west of Loch Ness, this outdoor haven has more than 30 miles of woodland that can be mindfully explored, ideal for admiring the comings and goings of birds, otters and perhaps some majestic red deer. With an abundance of walking and hiking routes, the mix of lochs and Caledonian pinewoods provides a dream destination for those wanting a true taste of Scottish nature.
Experience the fictional world of Jane Austen on a visit to some of the real-life romantic locations featured in her works. Highlights along the literary trail include many destinations that Austen used as inspiration, while if you’re wanting to travel back to Regency Britain, you can add the city of Bath to your travel list. An important pilgrimage for many of the author’s fans, city gems include the sweeping architecture of the Royal Crescent (now a hotel and spa), the Paragon Georgian Townhouse, which is next door to the writer’s former lodgings, the Pump Room restaurant and the unmissable Jane Austen Centre.
Travelling onwards to Hampshire and the North Wessex Downs, you’ll find the picturesque manor house where the novelist wrote her beloved books. A dream day-out for many bookworms, Jane Austen’s House features a number of family objects that allow you to step back in time to explore the rooms and gardens where Austen spent the final years of her life.
Jane Austen’s House From Home also provides a 360-degree virtual tour of the house and gardens, complete with accompanying audio for those wanting to explore the period property from the comfort of the sofa.
If looking to indulge your creative side in 2021, plan a trip to the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement to discover the wonders of William Morris’ Britain. As a leading figure in the movement, Morris challenged industrialisation and championed the integrity of art and design in the Victorian era. Although he is best known for his seminal woodblock prints, his impact can be felt throughout the English Arts and Craft movement and Britain, including at his own treasured Red House, in south-east London. Home to many of his original carved wood blocks, gloriously decorated rooms and mythical stained-glass windows, if you’re longing to be London-bound you can also plan to visit the William Morris Gallery, in his birthplace of Walthamstow, east London.
If you’re a prospective culture vulture, you can let your imagination run wild as you dream of exploring the streets of Glasgow. Home to fantastic street art that forms the eclectic mural trail through the centre of the city, the walk was voted as a ‘traveller’s choice’ in the 2020 TripAdvisor awards. From hand-painted images adorning the sides of towering brick buildings to classic and contemporary art galleries, Glasgow has a lot to choose from; whether that’s planning a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art or the soon-to-be refurbished Burrell Collection, which is due to reopen next year.
If you’re a budding running enthusiast, you can plan to incorporate your new-found hobby with some of Britain’s most spectacular scenery. Wales has an abundance of unique running routes, from enjoying quaint countryside pathways to expansive National Park vistas, with highlights including Rhossili Bay in Swansea, Cardigan Bay, Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia.
If you wince at the mere mention of traditional exercise, you might find yourself tempted by a more unconventional activity. Reportedly first invented by Pembrokeshire surfers in the 1980s, Coasteering combines cliff jumping with the exploration of sea caves, shorelines and local wildlife – a dream holiday workout for 2021 if you like your exercise with a side of exhilaration!
For the chance to practice mindful exploration through undiscovered countryside, you will be hard-pushed to find anywhere as peaceful as Riggs Moor, near Harrogate in the Yorkshire Dales. Named by the British Ordnance Survey as the most remote place in England, this tranquil landscape is the furthest point away from a road in the country. If you’re planning a trip here you can look forward to uninterrupted birdsong, a gentle breeze and scenic vistas as far as the eye can see, for a truly mindful escape into nature.
Britain’s foodie scene is abound with locally-sourced dishes, as more and more restaurants bring sustainability into their kitchens. An ideal way to taste the best of Britain in a sustainable way, restaurants such as Native, on Osea Island in Essex, bring together foraged produce and organically-reared British meats, all with a focus on sustainability and zero waste.
Fancy creating a plant-based haven? Budding gardeners can look forward to gathering ideas from some of the best parks and gardens in Britain. Why not start by checking out the numerous RHS gardens that span the country? From the resplendent blooms of RHS Wisley in Surrey to North Yorkshire’s RHS Harlow Carr, there are plenty of inspiring gardens dotted up and down the country.
If you’re planning a London adventure you can also get floral inspiration from the many Royal Parks that pepper the capital, including the vast expanse of Hyde Park and the immaculate greenery of Kensington Gardens.
You are encouraged to always check individual attraction websites for the latest information, as events and details are subject to change.