Get Away in the UK

Feature Image by Alexa Price & Foreword by Kat Mallett

The clocks go forward this weekend and we are beginning to see the first signs of summer, as we can almost taste those longer evenings and brighter mornings. Along with such glorious prospects comes the dreams of a summer holiday abroad in the Mediterranean, cocktail in hand. Although the foreign holiday forecast is looking hazy, the chance of getting away in the UK is looking increasingly appealing, so here are some of our top choices…

Gower Peninsula

Words by Alexa Price

Having lived in South Wales my whole life, you could argue that my total awe of the Gower Peninsula is completely biased…until you’ve seen it. With its gorgeous scenery and endless beaches, the Gower is just a half hour drive from Swansea, and is the perfect place to create all of your hot girl summer memories this year. Whether you’re in search of somewhere to relax, hike, have a romantic meal, or just to explore, the Gower Peninsula truly has it all.

With beaches from the beautiful Langland and Caswell, to those a bit further out like Port Eynon, and Rhossili Bay, the Gower is a certified successful beach day, no matter your age. Whilst you rest in the golden sands and swim in the clearest of seas, you’ll find yourself wondering why you ever thought of paying all that money to travel to Greece the minute lockdown lifted this summer, when you have access to the same scenes in beautiful South Wales? Let’s face it, those plane tickets are going to be hard to get our hands on following the turbulence of the past year. As far as I’m concerned, a road trip is definitely the way to go!

As well as the sunny beaches, the Gower Peninsula has many scenic tourist attractions for those who do enjoy adventure. In the first lockdown, I made many amazing memories at the Gower. From taking in the breathtaking views from Pennard Castle, to avoiding a herd of cattle on our way to Pwlldu beach, (side note: we didn’t make it, but the beach looked nice from the top of the hill at least!). There is also the extremely popular – and rightfully so – sunflower field at Rhossilli. This beautiful tourist attraction is protected by the National Trust, and so is guaranteed to be stunning all summer!

With so much to see, I’d personally argue that the Gower is just as good as the likes of Cornwall and is definitely worth your petrol money this summer!

West Wittering

Words by Dominic Bramley-Carr

I had heard a lot of hype about West Wittering, being a rare sandy beach just a couple hours from London. Despite my initial apprehension surrounding English beaches, I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it really was. 

It is one of the first beaches I have seen outside of the Cornwall/Devon area that can make you feel like you are abroad; with its stretching sandy coast, rolling dunes and quaint colorful beach huts. The village itself, tucked a little further inland, is a classic countryside village with a pretty parish church. As well as the beach, which has a fantastic café complex with a range of different food and drink options, West Wittering is home to some gorgeous rustic pubs. The Lamb Inn, with a wood-fired pizza oven and spacious heated beer garden- which they claim is the best in the county – is just half an hour walk from the centre. Just 15 minutes from the beach is The Old House at Home, which offers a delightful cocktail menu and a picnic table packed garden, as well as three beautiful bedrooms available to stay in. 

There are a range of B&Bs and hotels in West Wittering, but they can be a bit pricey given how nice the area is, so if you’re on a budget, take a look at some of the beautiful campsites dotted around the area. Scotts Farm Camping Site, located only 2 miles from the beach, has plenty of reasonably priced pitches, perfect for a group holiday. If you’re looking to splurge there are some charming holiday cottages to be found on Airbnb as well as the more traditional accommodation options. If you do start to crave a bit more action, the city of Chichester is only a 20-minute drive away and perfect for a quick day trip, so that you are back in time to watch the sun go down over the dunes. For an easily accessible UK beach holiday, that’ll make you feel as if you’re on the French coast (if a bit colder), make sure to book yourself in at West Wittering. 

Lyme Regis

Words by Meg Davies

Situated along the Jurassic coast, Lyme Regis is a beautiful seaside town in West Dorset. Great for both history and leisure, the town is a popular spot for tourists and British nationals alike. 

Just an hour’s drive from the beautiful Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, Lyme Regis is an accessible town to visit various seaside landmarks along the south coast of England. The sea glistens a beautiful bright blue and the beaches glow golden. Whether you visit in the summer or winter, the scenery is breath-taking.

Lyme Regis is a fantastic spot for independent local shops. From books to fudge, the shops are full of interesting souvenirs or gifts, and the shopkeepers serve everyone with a friendly smile. Moreover, the food is simply to die for. Whether you find a café, restaurant or pub, you are served breakfast, lunch or dinner to the highest standard. We cannot forget the fish and chips of course. When next to the sea, it would be mad not to sample the local catch alongside some delightful chips, drenched in salt and vinegar. 

Additionally, Lyme Regis is full of history. Along the beaches, it is easy to encounter multiple fossils a day. People flock from all over the country to find their own fossils to take home. It is amazing to think that the fossils are millions of years old but live on on the beaches, available for us all to see. 

The Dorset town is an escape from the corporate lifestyle most of the UK has adopted. There are few big businesses in the area, as local shops dominate. There is a sense of authenticity in Lyme Regis, it is like you have escaped to a foreign country, despite only driving a few hours down the motorway instead. 

Lyme Regis is truly a special town in the UK, free from the modern businesses and distracting skyscrapers plaguing the sky. It is safe to say they don’t call the town the ‘Pearl of Dorset’ for nothing.