All is not lost if you can’t fly this summer: Travel firms that normally take British travellers to exotic foreign lands have been working hard to find hidden gems in the UK
- Riviera Travel is offering its first British trips, including a Royal Sandringham And The Broads tour of Norfolk
- Art-lovers can enjoy a great British summer with Saga – it has launched a Liverpool’s Art Collections tour
- Exodus has new UK tours including a five-night Walking In Cornwall trip across wild beaches and Celtic sites
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: World-beating holidays in the UK.
If you’re not able to fly abroad this summer, all is not lost – travel firms that normally take British travellers to the world’s most exotic locations have been working hard to find hidden gems here.
For nearly three decades, Riviera Travel has arranged small group tours across Europe, America, the Far East and even the Arctic Circle. This year it’s offering its first British trips, including a Royal Sandringham And The Broads tour of Norfolk.
Queen’s favourite: Riviera Travel is offering its first British trips, including a Royal Sandringham And The Broads tour of Norfolk. Pictured are the stunning gardens of Sandringham House
Guests stay amid Jacobean splendour in what is said to be the oldest hotel in the country, the oak-panelled Maids Head Hotel in Norwich. The four-night, fully guided tour takes you into the Queen’s favourite Royal residence and around its gardens. Expect cream teas, Cromer crab, a vintage train trip and a boat ride where you look for otters, butterflies and kingfishers. From £499pp (rivieratravel.co.uk).
Upmarket travel firm Abercrombie & Kent is normally associated with African safaris and exotic shores. This summer it brings luxury home with holidays including A Classic Par – Scottish Whisky And Golf tour of Scotland. The first few nights are spent at Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel, where the bar offers some 400 whiskies. Later, golfers can recreate Ryder Cup moments on the Old Course in St Andrews and the Gleneagles Resort, where the seven-night tour ends. From £4,869pp (abercrombiekent.co.uk).
Art-lovers can enjoy a great British summer with Saga. Alongside its range of far-flung holidays is a new Liverpool’s Art Collections tour. Expert guides take guests to the Walker, Lady Lever and Tate art galleries and to the Antony Gormley sculptures on Crosby Beach.
Even the hotel is an Art Deco joy: the Crowne Plaza is part of a converted 1930s air terminal. Four nights from £499pp (saga.co.uk).
Great Rail Journeys has added extra British trips to its international roster. The five-night Railways And Castles Of Wales tour includes Snowdon Mountain Railway (above)
Travellers looking for a bit of adventure turn to firms such as Exodus, which began life offering Himalayan tours 45 years ago. Its new UK tours include a five-night Walking In Cornwall trip where expert guides lead guests across wild beaches and to a series of ancient Celtic sites.
Other highlights of the small group trip, which costs from £999pp, include the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Rick Stein’s Fish & Chips in Padstow (exodus.co.uk).
Another imaginative travel firm is coach-tour specialist Lucketts. Canterbury, Castles And Call The Midwife is one of its top UK ideas for 2021. While the BBC show is set in London’s East End, it’s mainly filmed in Kent’s Chatham Dockyard. A guide explains all while showing props and costumes.
Coach-tour specialist Lucketts have listed Canterbury, Castles And Call The Midwife as one of its top UK ideas for 2021. The trip includes a guided tour of Leeds Castle (pictured)
The four-night itinerary, from £529pp, also includes guided tours of Leeds Castle and Canterbury Cathedral (lucketts.co.uk).
Prefer to let the train take the strain? Great Rail Journeys has added extra British trips to its international roster. The five-night Railways And Castles Of Wales tour includes Snowdon Mountain Railway, Conwy and Caernarfon castles and Portmeirion. There’s also a Taste Of Wales gala dinner on the final night. From £645pp (greatrail.com).
Looking ahead, fans of Europe’s Christmas markets should try the three-night York Christmas Market And Grassington Dickensian Festival tour from Leger Holidays. It includes trips to Grassington (home of the new All Creatures Great And Small) and markets across Yorkshire where Bavarian stallholders offer festive gifts galore. From £269pp (leger.co.uk).
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