Go glamping in the Lake District
The picturesque Quiet Site has several quirky glamping options overlooking Ullswater, including “burrows”. Rather like a Hobbit house, they are spacious and, while dug into the hillside, offer valley views. The pine-paneled interiors are simple, with a sleeping ledge, table, lights, basic cooking facilities and wash basin, as well as Wi-Fi. On site there’s a zero-waste grocery shop, a bar in a 16th-century long barn, games room and café. Glamping burrows sleep two adults and four children and cost £80 per night from 28 August.
Extend your stay in Exmouth
According to data from booking portal hotels.com, the least searched for check-in date for stays in the UK this summer is 31 August, which is reflected in hotel room rates at many hotels – and means you can often add on a couple of extra bank holiday break nights at lower rates. This is true at the Imperial Hotel in Exmouth, Devon, where you can walk down to the beach or take the ferry across the river to Starcross to explore Dawlish Warren and Dartmoor. Four nights £518 for two from 28 August.
Get packing for a party house in Lincolnshire
Sawcliffe Manor near Scunthorpe was mentioned in the Domesday Book. It has been modernised as a self-catering property. In its grounds is a herd of Exmoor ponies, a rabbit warren that’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a huge yurt, and while it’s aimed at large parties, its suites and cottages are also available individually. They’re decorated in exuberant style – bold wallpapers, patterned tiles and bright colours, and guests can book sessions at the natural spa with its wood fired hot tub and copper milk baths. Suites from £105 for four from 28 August.
Bed down with the Bard in Warwickshire
Just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, Billesley Manor is an Elizabethan manor house where Shakespeare wrote As You Like It. Recently refurbished, it’s surrounded by acres of gardens with tennis courts and its spa has a small indoor pool with children’s swim sessions. Beyond the literary attractions of Stratford, there are boat trips on the River Avon and Warwick Castle is nearby. Doubles from £135 B&B on 28 August.
A bold base for an active break in Wales
In a remote, rural location close to Aberaeron in Cardigan Bay, Parc yr-Hebog Cottages include a stone barn with views of the Cambrian mountains, colourful Welsh wool cushions, bold wallpapers and a sauna. There’s bike storage on site, walking trails nearby and surf available on Cardigan Bay, as well as boat trips to spot dolphins. Three-nights’ rental for four £491 from 27 August.
Serene cabins in Cheshire
Tattenhall Marina sits just off the Shropshire Union Canal south-east of Cheshire and is peppered with luxurious floating cabins, all of which are family-friendly and some of which welcome dogs. They have a kitchenette, bathroom, big windows overlooking the water and a deck on the pontoon and there’s a waterside café. The Sandstone Trail walking path is nearby. Pods sleeping four are £338 for four nights from 27 August.
Raise a glass to a West Country city break
The Hotel du Vin group has a summer staycation offer that includes discounts for stays of two nights or more, as well as for room upgrades. Its Cheltenham hotel is near the elegant Montpellier neighbourhood where on Sunday there’s a market of independent traders in The Suffolks. In Bristol, the Hotel du Vin occupies former sugar warehouses in the city centre. Two-night stays from £225 per double from 28 August.
Surf’s up in Cornwall
The Atlantic breaks of Mawgan Porth, near Newquay, are on the doorstep of Sun Haven Holiday Park, where there are lodges and static caravans, glamping and pitches for touring vans and campers. The site is on a hilltop next to woodland, through which a 15-minute walk delivers guests to the sea. Guests also have access to a playground, surfboard and wetsuit wash, kitchen, café and dog showers. There are discounts of up to 50 per cent on stays until 29 Aug; four nights in a three-bed holiday home £553 from 29 August.
Retreat to the wilderness in Worcestershire
Glamping portal Canopy & Stars still has bank holiday availability at many of its sites across the UK, with a discount offered at The Hatch in Worcestershire. This pair of hand-made cabins between Ludlow and Worcester is simple but cosy, with a wood burner and bucolic views. Each sleeps six and are five minutes’ walk apart, with plenty of space for a bank holiday barbecue. Two nights £400 for six people from 26 August.
Round off Manchester Pride in style
Whether you’re in Manchester for Pride or for a lively city break (the Trafford Centre is hosting Summer Daze until 4 September, with live music, outdoor film screenings, a funfair, beach and splash park), the Hampton by Hilton hotel, close to the hip Northern Quarter and Victoria Station, is a good, reasonably-priced base. Doubles from £79 with a drinks voucher for two on 29 August.
A calm corner in the Cotswolds
The Beckford Inn is a traditional Cotswold stone pub in the village of Beckford near Tewkesbury and Cheltenham. There’s hiking along the Cotswold Way nearby, as well as the pretty village of Broadway and Cotswold Farm Park – or you could just stay local and enjoy the village and its surroundings. The inn has recently refurbished dog- and family-friendly rooms as well as some that are wheelchair accessible. And if the weather is good, you can dine in the garden. August bank holiday doubles from £117 per night B&B; a summer special rate of £197 includes B&B, a bottle of Prosecco, £25pp towards a meal in the pub and late check-out.
Park yourself on the beach of east Norfolk
Richardson’s Holiday Park is a classic site of caravans and lodges, with activities that range from a climbing wall to balance bike sessions and sea scooters. But the highlight has to be the sandy strand of Hemsby Beach, backed by grassy sand dunes and, further afield, Winterton where you might spot seals on the beach. Three-night break for six £515 from 26 August.
Water play near Windsor
You can soak up views of the Thames from the outdoor hot tub of the riverside Runnymede hotel, or book a paddleboarding session or boat trip on the river. On land there is a children’s play area, orchard and herb garden, as well as a large outdoor pool, and the River Hideout restaurant serves pizzas until early evening. Doubles from £123 B&B on 26 August.
Cosy up in Herefordshire
Cwtch Cabins & Camping is a collection of playful timber huts and old-fashioned camping pitches on an off-grid site in Herefordshire, near Ledbury. The cabins are cosy and come with fire pits for outdoor cooking, and within two miles you’ll find a trio of welcoming pubs and several cider makers. Three nights £245 for four from 26 August.
Cruise the Great Glen
From the wheel of a two-cabin cruiser, you can navigate the waterways of the Great Glen from Laggan towards Fort William or Loch Ness. There are also plenty of opportunities to moor up and explore the Highland scenery on land, or to step up the pace with some white-water rafting. Three nights £597 for six from 26 August.
Cumbrian ‘couples’ break
The Hiking Hut in Threlkeld is a retreat that’s perfect for solo travellers – and their dog. With just a single bed on a mezzanine level, and compact kitchen, sitting room and shower room, it’s a dog-friendly base for exploring the Lakeland scenery outside, from Keswick to Derwent water. Three nights £206 from 27 August.
Hut property in east Yorkshire
Close to Hornsea on the Yorkshire coast, with the North York Moors a little further afield, Octi Lodge Mini is part of the Green Meadows Park, on which cabins all have a private patio and overlook parkland, with a fishing lake nearby. The octagonal timber lodges sleep two and pack in all you need for a short stay, including a barbecue. Three nights £425 for two from 26 August.
Reach peak condition in Derbyshire
Ensana Buxton Crescent hotel has revived the spa traditions of Buxton that date back to Roman times. The Georgian crescent hotel is an elegant destination with extensive spa that includes an indoor and outdoor pool and the town’s renowned thermal mineral waters that emerge from St Anne’s Well at 27°C and originated from rainwater some 5,000 years ago. Doubles from £155 B&B on 29 August.
Go free range at the end of England
On Cornwall’s Penwith peninsula, Treganhoe is a working farm with chicken, sheep, pigs and livestock – and a collection of safari-style tents that come with campfire pits and a communal pizza oven. The tents are spacious and have beds, a kitchen, shower room and sofa (plus a log burner if the nights get chilly). Nearby are the idyllic beaches of Lamorna Cove, Pedn Vounder and Sennen Cove, while Penzance is also nearby. Three nights £790 for six from 26 August.
Whisk yourself off to Spain, via Cardiff
Parador 44 opened this summer, bringing an Iberian flavour to Cardiff via its golden colours and Asador 44 grill restaurant, which serves northern Spanish cuisine. There are nine stylish bedrooms and a courtyard where you can sip a sherry (the family bottles its own Manzanilla and Galician white wine). Doubles £145 B&B.
Idyllic camping in north Wales
A globetrotting family has made the Llyn Peninsula home, which they now share with campers as part of Bert’s Kitchen Garden. Guests can roam the beautiful site, book yoga classes in the meadow or venture further for paddleboarding and kayaking – or a simple swim in the Irish Sea. The restaurant serves pizza some nights, inventive dinners on others. Meadow camping pitches are around the kitchen garden. £22ppn, £10 children, under-fives free.
Beach-hopping on the Isle of Lewis
The two Marabhat Lodges near Borve offer a remote retreat on the Isle of Lewis, with west coast views of Harris. They’re spacious and well appointed, though not especially design-focused, providing a comfortable base for touring the Western Isles – nearby you’ll find the turquoise waters of Tolsta beach and golden sands of Eoropie. Four nights £481 for two from 27 August.
Stop on the NC500
On the Sutherland shores of Brora, the Royal Marine Hotel is on the NC500 touring route but is also a destination in its own right. Look out for seals on the beach, hire a paddleboard (and wetsuit), join a bike ride or set up a trout or salmon fishing trip. The newly refurbished rooms are spacious and stylish, and there’s also a spa, restaurant and whisky bar to indulge in. Doubles £155 B&B.
Sink your toes into the sand in East Sussex
Within walking distance of the dune-backed Camber Sands – and a short drive from the pretty town of Rye – Salt Bay is a seaside-themed one-bedroom apartment with a sofa bed in the sitting room. Across the River Rother you’ll find Rye Harbour Nature Reserve with several bird hides – and if you’re lucky you might sea seals. Three nights £618 for four from 27 August.
Escape the crowds in Northumberland
A stay at Riverside Park near Wooler puts you within reach of spectacular walks in Northumberland National Park and miles of golden sand on the coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The riverside park’s caravans and lodges have use of a heated pool, play park and restaurant, too. Three nights £399 for four from 26 August.
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