Although small in size, the Great British Isles is BIG in its appeal. A destination synonymous with history, heritage and breathtaking scenery, it is an inspiring staycation alternative to holidays abroad. Hike through mountains, sail peacefully on tranquil lakes, find hidden coves along the rugged coast and when you feel like you are a million miles from anywhere, you can seek out a bustling metropolis or characterful village. Captivating landscapes combine with diverse activities and intriguing attractions to make the UK one of the finest destinations in the world. You won’t have to compromise on quality: a luxury house in the UK can come in many forms including an extravagant fine country manor in the Cotswolds or a beach house in Sussex.
The next big question: where is the best UK holiday destination with just the right combination of class combined with summer fun? Take a look below and let us know which one is your favourite UK staycation destination.
THE LAKE DISTRICT
Swap the magic of the French Alps for the enchanting Lake District.
“...the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.” – William Wordsworth.
And it’s not hard to see what he meant. England’s largest national park is a unique landscape of magical lakes, mysterious mountains, vast forests and fells, as well as charming towns and villages. If your summer holidays are more action and adventure than suntans and pool days, then the Lake District has just the right balance if you are planning a staycation. Although a haven for water sports lovers and thrill seekers, there are also quiet corners for peaceful contemplation too. You can see why this inspiring landscape captured the hearts of authors such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter: it’s a cultural dream. Check out our guide to the Lake District for added inspiration.
Don’t miss: Hire a canoe and head to the enchanting Derwent Island – if you visit towards the end of the summer, you may discover a second alleged and hidden, floating island only visible at this time of the year.
Where to stay: Townson Ground House
Private access to Coniston Water gives Townson Ground House an extra special appeal. Backed by the striking Coniston mountain range and enclosed by a charming dry-stone wall, it is what you would imagine a holiday in the Lake District to look like. Indulge in lazy summer lunches in the pretty garden, head to the east of the lake and explore the woodland trails of Grizedale Forest or get a feel for the local charm by strolling through Coniston village.
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Swap the laid back feel of Croatia for the relaxed coastal charm of Suffolk.
Suffolk is a county brimming in history, heritage and natural beauty – once one of the richest counties in England due to the wool trade. Take a step back in time in the Suffolk Wool Towns of Long Melford and Lavenham, where iconic medieval buildings still stand, showcasing the incredible architecture of its time. 50 miles of glorious coastline presents rolling sand dunes, golden beaches and pretty seaside towns. If it's a taste of the finer things in life which you crave, don your prettiest frock (or suit!) and biggest hat and indulge in a sophisticated day at the Newmarket races. As one of the warmest regions in the country, several vineyards thrive with English varieties of grape; vineyard tours and tastings are a fine way to spend sunny afternoons in Suffolk.
Don’t miss: The ‘sunrise coast’: a section of the Suffolk coast dotted with charming seaside resorts such as Lowestoft, with its wide sandy beach; Southwold, dotted with colourful beach huts, and Aldeburgh with its pastel-coloured buildings lining the promenade. In the height of summer, you would be forgiven for thinking you were holidaying in the Mediterranean.
Where to stay: The Wood Barn
A UK staycation doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice lavish treats such as swimming pools either. Plenty of our large houses feature outdoor swimming pools and extravagant extras like hot tubs, tennis courts and on site spa facilities. The Wood Barn, hidden away in the Suffolk countryside, is the epitome of rustic luxury, this stunning house is one of several exceptional properties set in private parkland on a 5,000-acre estate in rural Suffolk. On site, the estate has everything that a group could need, from a swimming pool, paddle boarding and rowing to tennis and clay pigeon shooting, but with the delights of the Suffolk coast just a few miles away.
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Swap the magic of a Greek island for the glistening waters of Cornwall.
Cornwall: where crystal clear azure waters give way to idyllic swathes of golden sand and charming, traditional seaside towns are interspersed with some of the most exclusive coastal resorts in the country. With some of the warmest waters in the UK, on hot summer days, the beaches will be awash with bathers cooling themselves in the glistening waters whilst expensive yachts and speedboats will pull up in the bustling harbour towns – just like a Greek island or the French Riviera. Fine diners will be spoilt for choice with the splendid array of glamorous eateries in some of the most sought-after locations in the whole of Cornwall, such as the Michelin-starred or celebrity chef restaurants such as Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and Paul Ainsworth’s No. 6, both in Padstow.
Don’t miss: Seek out the Hidden Hut, tucked away along the coast path near Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula. As well as opening each day for coffee, cake and lunches, there are unique, themed Big Breakfasts and Feast Nights that take place during the summer months – allowing for huge social gatherings where you and fellow guests sit together in one big picnic.
Where to stay: Regency House
This impressive 19th-century property boasts decadence and grandeur, complete with antiques and elegant décor. It is a place where you can escape with your family and feel as though you are the only people around, yet the traditional seaside resort of Newquay is just 5 miles away. Set in approximately 22 acres of its own private gardens, Regency House is an enchanting base if you are planning a UK holiday. Open lawns give way to manicured gardens, an ornamental lake and a pretty walled garden which are ideal for making you feel like lord or lady of the manor. When the cravings for beach fun set in, head to Lusty Glaze or Fistral Beach.
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Swap the intrigue of the Loire Valley for the colourful villages of the Cotswolds.
Known for its old-world charm, honey-coloured villages and thatched chocolate-box cottages, the Cotswolds exudes a quintessentially British feel. Peaceful meadows, meandering rivers and gentle hills give way to famed villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Camden, where ancient buildings house quirky shops, quaint tea rooms, galleries and intriguing attractions. An artistic buzz of food, festivals, culture and archaic architecture can be found in the illustrious towns of Cirencester, Stroud and Cheltenham – the latter famed for its racecourse, while the jewel in the Cotswold’s crown, Bath, provides shopping at its very best, glamorous restaurants, vibrant nightlife and indulgent spa visits.
Don’t miss: The Cotswold Way: Over 100 miles long from Chipping Campden to Bath, this walking route will take you through the very best of the Cotswolds. We aren’t suggesting you tackle the entire route (unless you are a hardcore hiker) but choose smaller sections or short circular walks.
Where to stay: Cotswold Country Manor
Embrace Cotswolds life in an authentic manor house. Cotswold Country Manor is a Jacobean manor house with a big wow factor. Set in 2 acres of beautifully maintained formal gardens and with a banqueting hall for 24 guests, it has that lavish appeal you crave on your big summer holiday in the UK. Located in the beautiful Vale of Evesham in the tiny village of Middle Littleton, you can soak up the peaceful countryside or explore pretty towns and villages such as Stratford-Upon-Avon – most famously recognised as Shakespeare’s birthplace.
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Swap the rugged Amalfi coast for the vibrant Sussex seaside.
Steeped in history, Sussex is famed for being the site of the iconic Battle of Hastings 1066 – one of the most important locations in England’s history. A dramatic coastline attracts visitors who marvel at the iconic chalky white cliffs: a backdrop to long golden beaches and cosmopolitan cities. A mix of old-world charm and the hustle and bustle of modern life means that Sussex is a county of variety, from the history and heritage apparent in Hastings to the unique and eclectic appeal of Brighton and Hove. Relish the fantastic retail therapy opportunities in the Brighton lanes; witness the regal beauty of Brighton's Royal Pavilion; or embrace the traditional seaside holiday with ice creams and fish and chips on the pier in Eastbourne. If it's a slower pace of life which you seek, retreat from the vibrant seaside atmosphere to the unique landscape of the South Downs National Park, which encompasses majestic chalky cliffs, ancient burial mounds and vast forests.
Don’t miss: A trip to Beachy Head cliffs. As the UK’s highest chalk sea cliff, it’s not surprising that at 530 feet high, it offers some of the most incredible views over Eastbourne and the English Channel.
Where to stay: The Pevensey Bay Beach House
Located directly on the beach, The Pevensey Bay Beach House is the ultimate beach staycation. Throw open the bi-folding doors and enjoy your morning coffee to the sound of waves lapping against the shore before the rest of the house stir and the family spill out directly onto the beach. There’s nothing like a bit of fresh sea air to raise spirits and relax souls. Sandwiched between Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings, you won’t have to travel far for a lively seaside feel to complete your staycation.
Explore our full collection of large houses in Sussex.
Which top UK holiday destination will you choose for your big summer staycation? Search our full collection of large houses in the UK.
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