Forget flying! Stay put this summer & enjoy a staycation instead

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Brits are foregoing airport queues & flight delays for a jaunt around the UK...

Holbeck Ghyll, Lake District

© Holbeck Ghyll

Ibiza, New York, Clacton-on-Sea...all dream holiday destinations, according to new statistics that show Brits are increasingly looking for UK boltholes.

A report by VoucherCodesPro said that the site has witnessed a 313 per cent increase in the number of UK holiday related discount searches in the first two weeks of July, as compared with last year. We're not surprised. Nice weather, saving money on airfare, and the ease of travelling within the UK are all great reasons for a staycation. So here are our picks for the best places to explore...

1. The Lake District and Cumbria (pictured)

Looking to escape the city? Then Cumbria, with its lakes, mountain ranges and gorgeous views is perfect. Get up early and take a hike across the fells, or catch a boat across stunning Lake Windermere. If you're looking to brush up on your history, visit Hadrian's Wall, the dungeons at Carlisle Castle and the 700 year-old ruins of Furness Abbey.

If it's wet and you need an indoor activity, visit Beatrix Potter Hill Top Farm, and the museums dedicated to William Wordsworth and John Ruskin. Want to shop? The market town of Kirkby Lonsdale is great for gifts, while the 26 to 27 Gallery in Keswick is the place to pick up original paintings and sculptures.

In the evenings, take advantage of the area's Michelin-starred restaurants and twenty independent microbreweries. Probably not all in one evening. Hic!

Brighton beach

© VisitBritain/Adam Burton

Why go away to a beach when you could head to Brighton?

2. Brighton

Around eight million visitors arrive at this pretty seaside town every year, lured by the fun, liberal vibe and the old-fashioned pier. Make a beeline for the amusement stalls on the Palace Pier and visit Sea Life Brighton - the oldest aquarium in the world. Then enjoy fish and chips in the sea air and spend your afternoons exploring the quirky boutiques in The Lanes, and the bustling Kemptown area.

When it comes to nightlife, you won't be disappointed. There's a reason the town is so popular with hen parties, thanks to the vibrant Hanover area, which is rammed with pubs and the well-known Komedia venue. Meanwhile, music-lovers will appreciate the Concorde 2, the Freebutt and the Brighton Dome.

For something a bit quirky, you can jump on a bus named after one of Brighton and Hove's famous faces. Take the Sir Winston Churchill to Saltdean, the Max Miller open top bus up to Devil's Dyke, or the Dusty Springfield to Hove Lagoon.

3. Cornwall

When we think of summer holidays, we think of Cornwall. There's something so Famous Five-y about the array of beaches (over 300!), and the opportunities for surfing, fishing and coastal rambles Once you arrive, you're never more than 16 miles from the sea, and we're betting you'll want to spend as much of your time there as possible. Fistral Beach at Newquay is best for catching the waves, while Falmouth boasts some impressive wrecks for scuba divers to discover.

If you should happen to tire of the sand in your bikini bottoms, you can dry off and explore the Eden Project, Tintagel Castle (where King Arthur is alleged to have been born) and Cornwall's historic tin mines. Meanwhile, art-lovers will want to take a trip to St Ives, to soak up the local galleries and artists' workshops, plus the Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum. Then spend your evenings enjoying Cornish cuisine in Padstow (Rick Stein has four restaurants there) and take in a show at the cliff-side Minack Theatre.

4. Edinburgh

Does heading to Edinburgh count as a staycation, as technically you're in another country? Well we're leaving it on our list because it's such a cool place to visit.

Make Edinburgh Castle your first stop and see the Stone of Destiny as well as some fantastic views. Then grab an open top tour bus and explore other attractions including the National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Zoo, which is home to the famous giant pandas.

For shopping, explore the high-end fashion retailers on George Street as well as the stalls at the weekly Edinburgh Farmers' Market. Then, for a fun evening, book yourself onto the Scotch Whiskey Experience where you can learn about the whiskey making process before enjoying a delicious three course meal. Then take a stroll down the Royal Mile of Grassmarket to explore Edinburgh's nightlife.

London Eye

© Flickr/martie1swart

Have some capital fun in London

5. London

Where do you start when it comes to London? Filled to the brim with attractions, restaurants and theatres, you could spend weeks exploring the history, culture, shopping and food.

For a snapshot of the city, visit some of the free galleries, including the Tate Modern and The National Gallery. Then take a stroll though St James's Park and watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.

If you're looking to shop, give Oxford Street a miss and head for Westfield Shopping Centre, then hotfoot it back into town and enjoy a classic afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason or the Park Lane Hotel. Then, in the evening, head into Soho for the buzzy pubs and clubs, or take a spin on the London Eye and get a fantastic view of the city.



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