At Vacay Weather, we love exploring the UK – the beauty we have right here on our doorstep is surprisingly diverse. While vast parts of England and Wales are quintessentially British, there are pockets of home that could easily double for exotic places abroad.
If you’ve decided to cancel your trip to a French vineyard this summer, then we know a fantastic winery in England that you could visit instead. Or if you’re missing the feel of warm sand beneath your feet, we can tell you where to find Caribbean-style beaches without the 9-hour flight. These are the best England and Wales holidays to give you overseas vibes this August.
White-sand beaches: Swap the Caribbean for the Isles of Scilly
Turquoise waters? Check. Gleaming white sands? Check. Mouth-watering fresh seafood? Check. 9-hour flight? Not so. Welcome to the idyllic islands of the ‘Cornish Caribbean’, where it’s all about eating, drinking, walking and soaking up the sun (it’s Britain’s sunniest region, after all). If you don’t fancy the short flight, you can catch the Scillonian passenger ferry from Penzance, which takes just under three hours. That way you can even bring the dog.
Pretty lakeside towns: Swap Portofino for Portmeirion
It’s no coincidence that the fairy-tale village of Portmeirion, located just outside Snowdonia National Park, looks like it could have been plucked straight out of Italy. This Italianate village was built between 1925 and 1976 by architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis with the aim of capturing the warm Mediterranean atmosphere. Today, it’s one of Wales’s most popular tourist attractions, with guests falling for its classic colourful buildings, landscaped gardens and waterside views.
Mountain adventures: Swap Queenstown for the Lake District
England’s largest national park is home to its highest mountain and deepest lake – big claims that wouldn’t be out of place in New Zealand’s outdoor ‘adventure capital of the world’, Queenstown. Hike up Scafell Pike, where on a clear day the views rival those that are half the world away, or choose from adventure activities including abseiling, gorge walking, kayaking and mountain biking.
Mythological sites: Swap Crete for Cornwall
Crete is said to be the birthplace of Greek god-of-gods, Zeus, and home of the legendary site where Theseus killed the Minotaur. Closer to home in Cornwall, you’ll find equally fascinating (and a little more recent) mythology. 1500-year-old Tintagel Castle is the mythical home of King Arthur – one of the top names in English folklore. The ruins here are spectacularly beautiful, as are the views out over the bright blue sea.
Wild waterfalls: Swap Bali for the Brecon Beacons
Instead of waterfall chasing in Bali, head to ‘waterfall country’ in Wales’s Brecon Beacons. Sure, the weather might not always lend itself to swimming in waterfall pools, but there’s something magical about being able to walk behind cascading falls and you can do just that at Sgwd Yr Eira – which literally means ‘fall of snow’.
Rolling vineyards: Swap Champagne for the Surrey Hills
The Surrey Hills has the same geology as the Champagne region of France, which makes for excellent wine – and sparkling wine in particular. There are five world-class vineyards here, so it’s perfect for winery-hopping. Then there’s the added bonus that you’re doing your bit to support the English wine industry, simply by drinking wine. Overlooking beautiful Box Hill, Denbies is a family-owned vineyard that offers a charming outdoor ‘wine train’ tour (it’s a Land Rover with carriages) that takes guests around the estate and up to a spectacular viewpoint.