With summer just around the corner, why not start to plan some trips away to explore some of the UK’s hidden gems? From beaches that would have you believe you were on a Caribbean island to heritage sites steeped in ancient history, the UK has an incredible array of destinations to choose from.
We’ve put together a selection of the best that Britain has to offer. So, pack a bag and plan a trip to the following places. Plus, most of our developments offer guest suites, so as a McCarthy & Stone homeowner, you can stay for just £25 a night, making planning that summer escape a breeze.
Trebah Garden, Cornwall
With rugged coastline and breath-taking beaches, it’s unsurprising that Cornwall is a popular location for holiday-makers all year round. If you’re heading here, make sure you visit Trebah Garden.
Set in the Cornish valley, close to Falmouth, Trebah offers a sub-tropical paradise with vibrant, exotic blooms. Not only can you explore the four miles of footpaths, Trebah also has its very own secluded beach. Perfect for those days when you want to avoid the crowds.
Although Bath often steals the limelight when it comes to the best UK spa towns, Buxton is a close favourite. Until recently, Buxton Crescent, which was modeled on Bath Crescent, had fallen into disrepair. However, it has now been carefully restored to become Buxton Crescent Hotel and Thermal Spa.
If this historic town captures your imagination, then take a look at our nearby development of Portland Grange in Leek. Whether you stay in our guest suite or choose to stay elsewhere Buxton is a wonderful place to base yourself to enjoy all that the Peak District has to offer.
Slapton Sands, Devon
Slapton Sands is a picturesque beach a short distance from our Pincombe development in Exmouth. Not only is it a popular seaside resort, this beach was also the site to a dramatic historical event. In 1943, the beach was taken over by the allied forces as a rehearsal area for the D-Day Landings. Sadly, poor visibility and live ammunition meant that Operation Tiger didn’t go to plan, resulting in the deaths of 749 American servicemen. To commemorate the operation, a stone monument was erected and is well worth a visit.
If you’re looking for the perfect picnic spot, then be sure to visit the New Forest. With miles of well-marked trails, you can explore the National Park by foot or bike, where you’ll be sure to encounter a variety of wildlife.
If you enjoy culture and history, then you won’t be disappointed. The New Forest is home to a wide variety of historical sites, houses and gardens, of which many are easily accessible by train and bus.
We have 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in the nearby vibrant city of Southampton at our development, The Boathouse. Perfect if you enjoy combining the convenience of city living with the tranquillity of the countryside.
For the classic British seaside experience, then head to the resort of Scarborough, staying at the guest suite in Sycamore Court. The stunning scenery and miles of sandy beaches, of the North Yorkshire town, have been drawing crowds to the town for over 400 years.
Perfect for a family trip, the traditional amusement arcades and miniature railway will entertain all ages. Be sure to take a break at Scarborough Spa, which is home to the last remaining professional seaside orchestra, as well as a variety of music and theatre performances.
Lampeter, South Wales
Lampeter is a market town in the Teifi Valley, ideally placed for exploring the nearby Cambrian Mountains and Cardigan Bay coast. In the summer months, there are two key events taking place. The Lampeter Food Festival takes place in July on the ground of the university college, offering local produce and chef demonstrations. Also taking place in July is the annual agricultural show, which has taken place every year since the 1870s.
If you’re headed to the Norfolk coast, then it would be easy to bypass Dereham, a small town dating back to the Neolithic Bronze Age. The town gets its name from the nearby deer park, which now no longer exists. Despite several fires having destroyed several ancient buildings over the years, there a few which still stand, including Bishop Bonner’s Cottage, now the Local History and Archaeology Museum. Another attraction in Dereham is the Mid Norfolk Railway, which runs steam trains along the line to Wymondham.
If you’d like to explore Dereham and everything else that Norfolk offers, then, as a McCarthy & Stone homeowner, you can stay in our guest suite at Daisy Hill Court in Norwich.
Portmeirion Village is a unique tourist village on North Wales coast, at the western edge of Snowdonia National Park. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the array of things to see and do – from the colourful buildings housing shops, restaurants and cafes and 70 acres of sub-tropical gardens, not forgetting the Dwyryd Estuary’s white sandy beaches.
If you want to enjoy the magic of Portmeirion for longer visit, there are several hotels and self-catering cottages available to stay in. To explore everything that the village offers, go here.
High Force, Durham
On a beautiful summer day, the spectacular High Force waterfall in Durham is well worth a visit. Pack a picnic and enjoy a woodland walk leading towards England’s highest uninterrupted drop of water. As the path gently descends the slope, taking twists and turns, enjoy ever-changing views until you encounter the roar of this naturally occurring sight.
If you are feeling adventurous, High Force is located on the Pennine Way, a National Trail offering a variety of different walks on 268 miles of rugged paths. The smaller Low Force Waterfall is also situated 3 miles along the trail and a lovely accessible walk.
Whitby, North Yorkshire
Known for the ruined Gothic Whitby Abbey that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Whitby is a traditional seaside town in North Yorkshire. The Blue Flag beaches, historic attractions, gardens and parks make Whitby the perfect Summer destination. Whether it is family fun or peace and tranquillity that you seek, the town has it all.
Then after a long day enjoying everything on offer, make sure you visit Quayside, which is home to the best independent fish and chip takeaway in last year’s Seafish awards.
Our guest suites within our developments provide a home away from home, ideal for spending the summer exploring everything that the UK has to offer this summer. When you choose to become a homeowner, this is just one of the many benefits you can enjoy. To book, simply speak to your house manager who will be happy to help. If you’d like to find out more about this and the many other benefits of a McCarthy & Stone retirement lifestyle, call us on 0800 201 4811.