A well-deserved holiday is usually the highlight of most peoples’ year, but many find themselves stuck in a bit of a holiday rut, returning year after year to the same destinations.
It can be great to re-visit places already ventured, particularly if an amazing experience has been had; however, there are thousands of new places just waiting to be explored and 2018 may be the year to tick some of those destinations off your travel bucket list.
Minds may wonder far and wide when it comes to holiday planning, but unfortunately wallets don’t always support these travel dreams. Luckily the UK is a country full of exciting and varying destinations. A staycation allows people to ensure they get a holiday in 2018 without breaking the bank.
Snowdonia is a true beauty spot in the UK, it is an area of Wales that consists of mountains, countryside and forests, making it a desirable location for adventurers and nature lovers alike.
The obvious draw of this area is Mount Snowdon. Standing at 3560ft above sea level it is the highest peak in the British Isles, outside of the Scottish Highlands. Avid rock climbers can use any of the mountain’s cliff faces to reach the summit, however those that are a little less trained in scaling mountains can also enjoy a view from the summit by taking the train.
There is more to Snowdonia than just its mountains. Thrill seekers can visit Zip World and have a go on the fastest Zip wire in the world, reaching 100mph; and after, take a trip to Bounce Below, a trampolining experience in caves underground.
Just want to take it easy? Kick back and enjoy the stretches of beautiful coastline, boat trips and a visit to any of the amazing heritage sites Snowdonia has to offer, such as the Sygun Copper Mine. There are a range of fantastic holiday parks in Wales, either in Snowdonia or the surrounding area which are great if you are planning on taking the family.
From rural Wales to urban Scotland, Edinburgh is a vibrant city where past and present day collide. Edinburgh is famous for the many festivals it hosts, namely the Edinburgh Fringe which sees a range of performers in different art forms travel to the city to put on shows, from comedy to plays, from cabaret to burlesque. Every year thousands flock to the city in order to experience any of the 53,000 shows at the festival, famous for celebrating culture.
If the bustling festival isn’t a draw, then maybe the great Edinburgh castle is. This 11th century castle and barracks is the home to the Crown Jewels as well as Scotland’s National War Museum, allowing history buffs to get a double dose of history in one location.
A great family day out can include visiting Edinburgh Zoo to see the hundreds of different species. Edinburgh Zoo is one of Europe’s leading centres of conservation, meaning that they make an effort to ensure the survival of endangered species. It is also the only place in the UK that you can visit Giant Pandas.
From independent shops to unique eateries, Edinburgh has a lot of offer whether you stay for a week or just a weekend.
The Big Destinations Abroad
The UK is great in a lot of ways, but for somethings you need to leave the isles and travel a little further. These locations may involve a lengthy plane ride and a little more than loose change but the destinations are worth the hassle.
Visiting Tokyo, Japan, is like visiting a different planet. Those visiting from the UK are sure to experience a culture shock as soon as they step off the plane. This city offers the best of urban life with a fantastic range of shops, arcades, bars and restaurants. The restaurants vary from cheap but delicious ramen pit stops to Michelin star establishments of all cuisines to a Robot Restaurant.
Nestled amongst the skyscrapers and towering buildings you will find traditional aspects of Japanese culture, such as cemeteries and temples, specifically the Sensō-ji Temple. An ancient Buddhist temple, the oldest in Tokyo, located in the Asakusa district.
Once the city itself has been explored, tourists can venture outside of the city to experience more that Japan has to offer. Take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to visit Mount Fuji or Yamanakako Onsen, a traditional hot spring.
Those nervous about the language barrier will be happy to learn that within the city many speak at least basic English, many restaurants have English menus and ticket machines at train stations and such have English options to make getting around easy.
Families can enjoy visiting Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea, as well as the Studio Ghibli museum, the only one in the world.
Unlike a lot of cities where you can spend a weekend and see a lot of what it has to offer, Tokyo is a longer break destination so be prepared to set aside upwards of 10 days to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
For those that wish to escape the busy city life may opt for somewhere with expansive landscapes and an abundance of natural beauty. New Zealand is a stark contrast to the UK and Japan, although similar in size it only has a population of four million meaning it is greatly underpopulated.
Take in the beautiful views whilst hiking or walking along the coast. People who are searching for adventure can enjoy any one of the many thrilling activities the island has to offer, such as bungee jumping, caving, off road driving and more.
Lord of the Rings/ Hobbit enthusiasts will associate New Zealand with being the home of Middle-earth from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films and can even visit the locations and some of the set such as Bilbo Baggins’ house.
Like Japan, it is a lengthy journey to reach the island, but when you breathe in the fresh air, dive into the crystal clear waters and witness the stunning views it will make the time on a stuffy plane worth it.