Staycations are becoming more popular in the UK – Visit England has revealed that the number of trips to foreign climes by Brits have dropped by 16% since the recession, while the number of breaks and holidays taken at home rose by 12% between 2008 and 2013.
It means more of us are discovering new places closer to home. But instead of dashing off on the motorway to your final destination, how about stopping off and enjoying some of those well-loved – but perhaps not always as well-known – places en route?
We’ve picked some of our favourite attractions to head to:
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If you’re going from London to Cornwall:
1. It’s a good hike from the capital to Kernow, so there are inevitably lots of interesting stop-offs for you to stretch your legs. If you’re heading there via the M3 and A303 it feels like the journey could last forever, so a pit-stop at the pretty town of Yeovil is always nice. If you have some time to kill, we love the Fleet Air Arm Museum, which is just outside of the town and houses Europe’s largest naval aviation collection.
If you’re driving from Manchester to Alnwick:
2. If you’re taking the M62/ M1/ A1(M), why not take a 30-minute or so detour when you reach Leeming and discover the Forbidden Corner, in Tupgill Gardens in the Yorkshire Dales. It began as a private folly and has developed into a wonderland of sculptures, underground caverns, grottos, and carved boulders. Fab for all ages.
If you’re heading to North Wales:
3. A popular destination in its own right, Portmeirion is a fantastic tourist village in North Gwynedd, less than two miles south east of Porthmadog. Designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village, it is a unique and fascinating place to visit. There’s also a great coastal walk nearby.
If you’re heading from Sheffield to Cromer, Norfolk:
4. A stop-off at Spalding is a good halfway place to stretch your legs and we really recommend the Moulton Windmill in the High Street at Moulton. The tallest windmill in the country – standing at 100 ft high – it’s owned and run by locals as a charity venture. There’s also a tea room where you can enjoy a nice cuppa and a piece of cake.
If you’re heading from Carlisle to the Island of Mull:
5. You’ll be driving alongside Loch Lochmond, taking in the magnificent scenery. But before you get swept away by the majesty of it all, stop off at Balloch and visit the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre. Not only will you stretch your legs, you’ll also see more than 30 birds, including a Golden Eagle.
Do you have some favourite stop-offs on your way to your holiday destination? Let us know on our Facebook page.