We look at five seaside locations to wash away the winter blues and have you dreaming of summer.
We may be in the midst of winter now, but why not start planning a sunny escape? Remember it doesn’t ever have to be too far away from home.
With reports of the staycation trend tipped to continue in 2019 – Whitemead Forest Park in the Forest of Dean has reported an increase in booking – the UK has never looked so attractive for a short summer break.
If you’re not too fussed about sandy beaches, head to Portsmouth this summer. You still get all the traditional joys of the seaside, from penny arcades, to fair ground rides, to ice cream, but there’s a tonne of maritime history surrounding the location too – great means for a cultural summer trip.
Visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, closeby to the iconic Spinnaker Tower and step onboard the HMS Victory and HMS Warrior and see what life would have been like below deck, or head across to The Mary Rose Museum and discover Henry VIII’s ship, which was pulled from the depths of the ocean.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and situated on the seafront is The D-Day Story museum. With artefacts and personal possessions from soldiers, the stories from World War Two are told. Groups are welcome and coach parking is available.
Cornwall’s quaint town, Padstow (pictured above) remains a popular choice among tourists as well as groups. With seven golden beaches, your group can be sunning themselves in no time, especially as each beach is only a short drive from one another.
Besides this, Padstow is a hotspot for foodie enthusiasts, as a fishing location, you can expect to find many eateries offering local delights and freshly caught fish.
If your group members are into cycling, enjoy the Camel Cycle Trail which begins in the scenic Padstow, and ends up in Wadebridge. There’s also a museum to visit which takes you back through two centuries of Padstow’s history.
3. Isle of Wight
With 2019 marking the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s births, hop across to the Isle of Wight and visit Osborne House (pictured above) where commemorative exhibitions will be held as well as the pre-existing displays surrounding the life of the Queen and her family.
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury for your stay, Aria Resorts is opening a new luxury coastal resort on the Isle of Wight in May 2019. St Helens Coastal Resort will offer a collection of lodges and modern caravans, a laidback eatery, a pool, and easy access to the iconic beauty spots, Priory Bay beach and The Duver – watch this space!
This classic seaside location in Somerset is an ideal place for groups to relax over the sunny period and the famous Grand Pier (pictured above) offers plenty, giving you a break from strolls along the sand. Head to the new ImmotionVR, a virtual reality experience which has just opened on the pier.
A little further out, visit The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens which holds plenty of events throughout the year, or visit Weston Museum or Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.
If it’s pretty seaside towns you love, visit Salcombe (pictured above) in South Devon which sits on the banks of the Salcombe Estuary. It’s also located within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers coastal views and glorious undulating countryside.
Depending on your group’s interests, you’ll find something that hooks you, whether it’s castles (eight of them across South Devon!) or the many National Trust and English Heritage properties nearby.
When in Salcombe itself, try your hand at some water sports such as kayaking or paddle boarding, or take the sea tractor across to Burgh Island. You’ll find plenty of shops in the town as well as local art galleries and gift boutiques. Enjoy locally served fish in the restaurants too. It wouldn’t be a real holiday without sampling some of the award-winning Salcombe Gin at the local distillery either!