There’s nothing like local knowledge when it comes to sniffing out the highlights of a new destination. For those unfamiliar with Britain and its neighbouring regions, the huge array of guidebooks and websites can seem a little daunting.
What’s needed is some friendly local advice on the very best holiday spots around Britain. Thanks to some trusted advisors and good friends on Twitter, here we reveal a few of the country’s hidden gems and proven family favourites. From wild seal colonies and surfing beaches to quaint harbour towns and stunning coastal treks, these local insights should get the creative juices flowing when planning your next trip to the British Isles…
Donna Nook – Lincolnshire
Recommended by Hannah Coleman (@dreamwalls):
“I love visiting Donna Nook in North East Lincolnshire, for its wild remote coast and most of all its colony of Seals when in season.”
Donna Nook is a salt marsh area and nature reserve which is also using for bombing practice by the Royal Air Force! The wildlife thrives regardless, most notably a colony of Grey Seals which breed in the area between October and December every year. Visitors can get right up close to the newborn seal pups, although a wooden fence keeps them at a safe distance.
Brimham Rocks – North Yorkshire
Recommended by Mark and Jane Lloyd (@caterFor):
“Not far from York in miles but an eternity away from the hustle and bustle of the town is Brimham Rocks. A clump of strangely shaped rock formations sculpted by nature rest higgledy-piggledy in an area of rugged beauty.
“It is quite humbling to see the mighty rocks and the views across the verdant countryside surrounding them. The other great thing is that although it is owned by the National Trust and has some visitor facilities, there is still space to escape from people and find a quiet and contemplative space to enjoy the wildness of it all. Great for walking, bird watching and relaxation.”
Mousehole – Cornwall
Recommended by @NordicKay:
“The exquisite hamlet of Mousehole with its winding narrow streets, quaint shops, pastel coloured houses and cosy cottages huddled together in a picture postcard setting. I remember when my children were small, they played happily for hours dancing in clear blue sea, digging on the small sandy beach, fishing with eager anticipation on sunny days before trudging home full of fish and chips and happy memories.”
Cornish seaside towns have always been a favourite among Brits for fun, cheap holidays for all the family. The beaches and coastal walks provide hours of entertainment for all, and if (/when!) the weather takes a turn for the worst, English tea houses, cafes, pubs and seafood restaurants all provide a warm and friendly welcome!
Dodman Point – Cornwall
Recommended by Dawn (@dbbstubbs):
“Dodman Point is a headland reaching out into the sea in South Cornwall. It is a scenic and unspoiled area where the cliffs and sea views are in abundance and can be enjoyed within the tranquil fold of its mysterious past. The Dodman fortress is a majestic place with a history of lives lost and ships wrecked in the dark waters below its jagged cliffs.
“There is also a concrete cross which was erected by a local rector in the late 19th century. It was erected to act as an aid to prevent navigational error, but was struck by a lightning bolt and had to be restored. It still stands proud of the surrounding grassland today and is a focal point within this beautiful headland. The wildlife and far reaching views are spectacular and can be enjoyed by walkers of all levels. Dodman Point has to be experienced to imagine the history and truly feel the unique magic of the area.”
Eyemouth – Berwickshire, Scotland
Recommended by @eye_sleep_over:
“Eyemouth sits in a stunning coastal location on Scotland’s eastern seaboard, offering fantastic opportunities for beach, water and land based activity. A small fishing town, Eyemouth’s pubs and restaurants present the freshest of seafood, landed on the harbourside in the town’s centre.”
Woolacombe – North Devon
Recommended by Faye Hartley (@fazeypie):
“I very much enjoy visiting Woolacombe in North Devon as it has one of the most beautiful golden beaches in the UK. The surrounding area has activities for families and couples of all ages and to suit all budgets, whether it be visiting Shaun Ellis and his wolf pack at Combe Martin Zoo or going for a coastal walk around Morte Point. There is also no shortage of good quality eating establishments, many of which are family-friendly.”
Beer – Devon
Recommended by Craig Desjardins (@manchego_photo):
“A lovely, charming old fishing port in south Devon – Beer is the perfect base for exploring the ‘Jurassic Coast’ and to enjoy its namesake! Part of its character is the historical association with smuggling, due to the many coves and caves nearby and the local stone has been used in some of Britain’s most famous cathedrals and abbeys.”
If you would like to see more of Paul Steele’s ramblings both in Britain and around the world you can follow him on Twitter @paul_steele, his Blog BaldHiker, Huffington Post and more VisitBritain posts