Ahh, England. We love you for your unpredictable summers, crisp and cosy winters and let’s not forget all that pub grub. As much as we adore discovering new travel destinations all over the world, sometimes the very best places are waiting for us right on our proverbial doorstep, which is perfect for the times we find ourselves in right now. Our UK bookings are rising – currently making up 75% of all bookings, so it’s safe to say 2021 will likely continue to ride that staycation wave.
But we know how difficult it can be to think up exciting, new places to explore when it comes to keeping it domestic. But don’t fret! Here at Oliver’s Travels HQ, we’ve asked our team of travel fanatics to let us in on the best places to visit in England, so you can make the most of your time off.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend staycation, a day trip with the family, or a longer holiday, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best hidden gems in England.
- “When I was a kid, I used to absolutely love a place in the Yorkshire Dales called Forbidden Corner but most people outside of the North don’t really seem to know it. It’s like a labyrinth full of enchanting tunnels, chambers and statues that the kids will go crazy for! When all that running around has tired them out, grab an award-winning pie at the Corner Café! – Rachael, Marketing
- “Blakeney in Norfolk offers exciting seal trips and the best crabbing on that part of the coast which kids will love! It’s perfect if you’re looking for a bit of adventure in the open air!” – David, Product
- “Have you tried Shere, in Surrey? There are loads of beautiful walks, ponds, cafes and a couple of traditional pubs for a great day out. Take a stop at Silent Pool and visit the famous gin distillery or book a tour in advance for some delightful gin tasting! It has a rather spooky history… After that, go to the Dabbling Duck Tearooms for a spot of lunch.” – Evie, Weddings
- “Not too long ago I went to Margate and discovered you can walk all along the sea from village to village. They call it the Viking Coastal Trail. I went from Margate to Ramsgate, passing by Broadstairs. It makes for a good few hours of leisurely walking by the sea and you can go even further if you fancy. Broadstairs was my highlight – it’s a very small village but full of ice cream places and quaint bars by the beach. You can get to Margate from London in 1.5 hours by train so it’s an easy day trip for Londoners.” – Cristina, Marketing
- “I recommend visiting the village where I grew up called Bosham, in West Sussex. It’s a harbour village in the Chichester Harbour AONB and isn’t far from the South Downs National Park. If you’re a budding historian, definitely read about the tragedy of King Canute’s daughter before your visit! During the summer there’s a lovely ice-cream man who has been there as long as I can remember and a nice tearoom and pub too! – Maddie, Sales
- “I used to absolutely love going to the National Children’s Museum called Eureka in Halifax. My favourite part was the Living and Working Together area. They have a pretend bank where kids can withdraw their own Eureka money, a post office where they can go around the pretend town and deliver the post, a garage where they can fill up a car with pretend petrol and a supermarket where they can do some pretend shopping. There is also the Piece Hall nearby for adults to enjoy after a kid-focused day, which has had an overhaul in recent years and offers an array of independent shops and restaurants.” – Jenny, Product
- “Burghley House Garden of Surprises is a great summer trip with the kids. It’s one of the largest and grandest houses of the first Elizabethan Age and has over 100 lavish rooms to explore. It also has a water garden where kids can cool down in the summer months.” – David, Product
- “Falling Foss Tea Garden is tucked away in a hidden glade near Whitby and is a place where time has stood still. It’s a magical wonderland beside a stunningly beautiful waterfall and an 18th-century cottage. If you’re looking for a relaxing day out, this is the one for you!” – Tom, Marketing
- “The seaside town of Whitstable is a perfect day trip from London! You can get a quick train and be by the beach in no time! Enjoy the handmade goodies in the independent shops and tapas at Jojos is a must! – Britta, Sales
- “Seatown Beach in Dorset is a great family day out and will have you hunting for fossils along the Jurassic coastal beaches before going for lunch at the Anchor Inn!” – David, Product
- “When I was a kid, I used to absolutely love Groombridge Place near Tunbridge Wells, Kent. It’s a magical country estate with a fairytale forest adventure garden and has some giant swings hidden in the woods. If you’re staying the night, another good place nearby is Leeds Castle. It has a fun maze and a pretty grotto and it’s only an hours drive from Groombridge Place.” – Zoe, Product
- “If you’re looking for some peace and quiet and some tasty pub grub, Mason Arms village in Branscombe, East Devon, is a small and sleepy coastal village with a great country pub!” – Maria, Marketing
- “For all you foodies out there, Southrop in the Cotswolds has a cosy restaurant called The Swan which is utterly delicious. Every morning the chef’s pick the freshest vegetables from the farm at Thyme to create their dishes. We always make sure we visit when we’re in the area!” – Letti, Photography
- “Here’s one for the dog-lovers among us! It can be hard to find a pooch-friendly day out but Daymer Bay in North Cornwall has a vast expanse of beach opposite Padstow which allows dogs to run free all year round. Why not get in the water and have a go at some surfing!” – David, Product
Best Places to Visit in England – Hidden Gems from Locals:
Now that you’ve had a glimpse at some of our best hidden gems in England, we bet you’re raring to go! There are so many magical spots to discover all over England so why not extend your trip and make it a staycation? We have a quirky collection of luxurious holiday homes in England and some picturesque cottages to give your stay that extra special feel. No time to look for your perfect holiday home? That’s fine because our helpful concierge team can do all that fiddly stuff for you! Give us a ring and we’ll be happy to help! Happy adventuring x