For overseas travellers or Brits taking their first holiday in the British Isles, choosing where to stay can cause quite a headache. For a relatively small series of islands, the British Isles have a rich array of different cultures, traditions and attractions, so where you choose really does depend on your personality and taste.
To make your decision easier, we’ve come up with a whistle-stop guide to the UK to give you a better sense of the type of holiday you can enjoy in specific countries, so let’s get to it!
Best for: Beach holidays, sightseeing tours and historic daytrips
Best bits: Overseas travellers will love exploring England’s world-renowned historic cities, which include London, Liverpool, York and Chester. Sun seekers should head south during the summer, where the golden sands of Cornwall, Dorset and the Isle of Wight await.
Don’t miss: A visit to the holy island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland, North East England. Since the 6th century, this imposing tidal island has been at the centre of Celtic Christianity, and truly is a sight to behold.
Best for: Outdoor sport and historic daytrips
Best bits: Although Scotland has some wonderful cities, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, the real charm of the country comes from its dramatic scenery, which lends itself perfectly to the pursuit of outdoor sport including mountain biking, climbing and surfing.
Don’t miss: A hike in the Cairngorms. This famous mountain range is home to some of Scotland’s most beloved wildlife, including the Red Deer and the Golden Eagle, as well as Caledonian Forest, one of the UK’s oldest woodlands.
Best for: Beach holidays and outdoor sport
Best bits: Boasting 33 Blue Flag beaches, the Welsh coastline is one of the cleanest and safest in the British Isles, with highlights including Tenby and Newport in Pembrokeshire and Caswell Bay on the Gower Peninsula.
Don’t miss: A ride on Europe’s longest zip line, which stretches for over a mile across Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales. Riders will reach speeds of up to 100mph as they hurtle 500m metres above the ground, so it’s certainly not one for the fainthearted.
Best for: Beach holidays and scenic walking
Best bits: Home to the world’s longest coastal touring route, the Wild Atlantic Way, the west coast of Ireland features a wonderful blend of golden sand and dramatic seacliffs, making it a must for both beachcombing adventurers and committed sun worshippers.
Don’t miss: A blustery walk atop the Slieve League Cliffs in County Donegal. At 601m, these are some of the tallest coastal cliffs in Europe, and three times larger than the much more famou Cliffs of Moher.
Here endeth our whirlwind tour of the British Isles. If you’d like more information on where to travel in the British Isles, please visit the Sykes Cottages website, where you’ll find lots of information on the UK’s favourite holiday destinations.