If there’s one thing we’re looking forward to most when lockdown restrictions are lifted, it’s travelling locally and internationally! With vaccinations taking place, we’re hopeful that tourists will be able to start travelling again by late spring. We’ve made a short list of places to visit in the UK and Ireland when lockdown is over. None of these destinations are unknown or off the beaten track, they are simply places everyone needs to visit at least once.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye is somewhere everyone from Scotland needs to visit. During the short period of time in 2020 when we could freely travel, lots of staycationers visited Skye and we expect this trend to continue in 2021 when travel restrictions are lifted. The Isle of Skye is the largest of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, home to popular villages including Portree, the island’s capital and main town, and Dunvegan, famous for Dunvegan Castle. There is something for everyone to enjoy on the Isle of Skye; beautiful scenery, wildlife, historical treasures, hiking opportunities and simply time to relax.
As a health and holiday spa town, Cheltenham is the ideal destination to escape to for a weekend of relaxation and pamper. Although primarily famous for Cheltenham Festival, the 4-day horse racing festival held at Cheltenham Racecourse, there’s so much more to the town. The affluent neighbourhood of Montpellier is home to a stunning mix of fantastic architecture, shops and classy restaurants and bars. Montpellier is often compared to Chelsea in London due to it rows of pretty white buildings. Aside from Cheltenham Race Festival, the town also hosts several other festivals, including the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Jazz Festival, Music Festival and Cricket Festival, many of which are expected to resume in 2021.
You will forget you are in Wales when you visit the enchanting private village of Portmeirion on the north Wales coast, designed and built in the style of an Italian village by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. There is a small admission charge for adults and the village can only be visited from 9:30am until 5:30pm. There are two hotels in the village and a number of self-catering cottages too for visitors who wish to stay over. Guided tours of the village are available, including walking and buggy tours.
Nowhere else in northern England is quite like York, the ‘cathedral city’. One of the best things about York is that it’s small and its attractions are all very central. You can’t miss the town’s main landmark, York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe and most beautiful gothic cathedrals in the world. No walking tour of York is complete without a stroll down The Shambles, one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe with timber buildings that date back as far as the 13th century. It’s thought that the narrowed cobbled street is the inspiration behind Diagon Alley from Harry Potter, you’ll even find some Harry Potter themed shops here.
Galway lies on the west coast of Ireland, where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a city renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and hosting a number of festivals and events every year. Those who have travelled around Ireland would agree that Galway is the most charming city, with its cobble-stoned streets, friendly locals and traditional pubs and restaurants. Galway was named as The European Capital of Culture 2020 but, sadly, it didn’t get to celebrate like it should’ve. While events still took place online, others have been postponed until later this year when things are hopefully better.
Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
There is no better place to escape the stress of everyday life than Dumfries and Galloway in southern Scotland. Dumfries and Galloway is known for its coastline of rocky shoreline and sandy beaches, whilst inland, there are acres of forest and green spaces. Galloway Forest Park consists of 300 square miles of forest, moorland and lochs, an area that’s popular amongst campers, hikers and even bikers. The region is also associated with the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, who lived in the area. The Robert Burns House in Dumfries is where the poet used to live and is now a museum containing good collection of Burns’ memorabilia.
Best of Scotland Holidays is now accepting holiday package bookings for Spring and Sumer 2021. We advise early bookings to avoid disappointment when travel restrictions are lifted. View our experiences here or contact us directly to speak to a travel expert for advice.