With the local currency in the doldrums, there’s never been a better time to visit the UK. It’s time to make your pounds go further
Wildlife-watching in Scotland’s spectacular Cairngorms National Park doesn’t come any easier – or cosier –than with Speyside Wildlife’s Summer Mammals and More trip. Based in a converted steading (farm building) in the heart of the park, you’ll be able to spot much of the local wildlife from your breakfast table.
The steading is set in stunning Glen Feshie – known locally as ‘the jewel of the Cairngorms’. It offers the facilities of a small country hotel and the informality of a ‘home away from home’. The food is excellent too, with the menu featuring the finest Highland produce to ensure you get a real taste of Scotland. It is the perfect place to unwind after wildlife-spotting on a night drive or boat trip.
Pine Martin in the Cairngorms (Dreamstime)
While the focus is on the park’s mammals – including pine martens, badgers, red squirrels and roe deer – your wildlife guides are also expert twitchers who know where to find the park’s more reclusive avian visitors. An excursion to the remote west coast is also included, offering the chance to spot minke whale, dolphins and the white-tailed sea eagle as well.
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England’s Peak District is a wonderful place to walk – a beguiling mix of rolling hills, tranquil dales, gorges and beautiful towns of honey-coloured stone. The Best of the Peak Districts ensures that you experience it all.
Ascend the rocky precipice of High Tor on wooded paths above the Derwent Gorge. Or wander through the picturesque towns of Bakewell and Ashford-in-the-Water. Take in the panoramic views from Monsal Head and encounter Britain’s industrial heritage directly at your hotel in Cromford, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, whose innovative water-powered cotton mills kickstarted the industrial revolution.
Monsal Dale (Dreamstime)
Part of the walk follows the High Peak Trail, an old railway line which closed in 1967, followed by a short steam train ride to Rowsley and a stroll through limestone country with impressive views over the Dales. Finally, visit Chatsworth, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire.
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Perched off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly enjoy a unique micro-climate that makes them quite unlike anywhere else in the UK. And with this tailor-made Isles of Scilly tour, you can enjoy the best of the archipelago’s empty white sandy beaches, turquoise seas, nature trails and ever-changing views.
Each island offers something different. St Mary’s is the largest and most vibrant of the inhabited islands. The island capital, Hugh Town, is an ideal base to enjoy mile upon mile of coastal paths and nature trails, or sample the wealth of traditional pubs and restaurants.
St Martin’s is dominated by glorious, uncrowded, endless beaches. Tresco has long silver beaches too, as well as historic sites from the 17th century Civil War and World War One.
Old Town beach in St Mary's (Dreamstime)
Or perhaps you’d prefer St Agnes, the UK’s most southwestern outpost, where a whitewashed lighthouse meets the edge of the Atlantic, with countless shipwrecks in the waters. A sandy causeway leads to Gugh, a haven for bathers and home to a seafront pub and fish restaurant.
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Wainwright’s coast-to-coast, Ramblers Worldwide Holidays
The Coast to Coast Walk is a 192-mile trail across the north of England. It was devised by Alfred Wainwright and passes through three contrasting national parks – the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park.
The walk starts in St Bees on the Cumbrian coast, with a spectacular clifftop walk before heading inland towards Ennerdale and the first of the lakes encountered on this walk and the first mountain pass beyond. The views are amongst the most spectacular in the country.
Borrowdale from Castle Crag (Dreamstime)
Before leaving the Lake District National Park you’ll have experienced some of the best high level hikes, lake shore walks and spectacular views England has to offer, before continuing across the moors, into the Dales and to the picturesque finishing point at the North Sea Coast at Robin Hood’s Bay.
Walking from inn to inn, with your baggage transported for you, you’ll tackle the whole route in two sections of seven and eight walking days. It is also possible to do the eastern and western parts separately.
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From picture-perfect English villages, with stunning glacial ribbon lakes and rugged fell mountains, to wild Scottish islands with cliffhanging castles, this Ultimate Luxury British Holiday takes you from the south of England to the Highlands of Scotland, sampling the best of what each country has to offer.
This self-drive tour offers you the best of both worlds – the independence that comes with driving your own car, as well as the security of luxury lodgings to unwind in at the end of each day. You’ll stay in manor houses in the Cotswolds and Peak District, 5-star hotels in the Lake District and Edinburgh, and a castle on the Isle of Mull.
Glengorm Castle, Isle of Mull (Dreamstime)
The specially-designed itinerary ensures you experience the very best that each region has to offer, while providing the flexibility to discover their hidden corners on your own. Fly-fishing in the Peak District … a round of golf at Gleneagles … sampling a rare single malt on Islay … It truly is a tour for the connoisseur.
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Main image: Tobermory, Isle of Mull (Dreamstime)