Being a full-time student, I don’t have all the money in the world to jet off on glorious jollies. So, in this blog post I’ve listed a select few wonderful places within the UK to visit which won’t leave you short changed once the summer is over…
For many of us with bills, student loans to pay off and an endless stream of IOU’s, the looming fact that summer is rapidly approaching can be often quite intimidating. I tend to find myself thinking – Ooh, only £100 for a 3-day festival ticket– forgetting however much it costs for food, booze, camping equipment and the inevitable burst of desire to buy new clothes for the entire weekend. Which brings me on to discuss how being able to afford flights, accommodation, and the necessities when on holiday with the spare change in your pocket, won’t stretch as far as we would all hope. So, the following will be a series of places within the UK, which I think are cheaper and can be somewhat nicer than the 3* half-board resort holiday in Lanzarote.
Situated in the heart of the Lakes, Ambleside is the perfect location to access anywhere and everywhere. The Lake District consists of over 500,000 acres of land that ought to be explored sooner rather than later – Ambleside being the ideal place to rest after a long day of hiking and sight-seeing. It’s full of quaint coffee shops, independent deli’s with idyllic walks and wanders waiting to be appreciated. With being just a mere 30-minute drive to Lake Windermere, the perfect place to hire a pedel boat and watch the sunset, or grab a cone of the Lake Districts speciality ice cream; English Lakes. It’d be a missed opportunity to not go and give it a whirl as a getaway destination.
Cornwall is a dream for those who don’t mind their hair getting messed up from the salty sea air. There are endless stretches of beaches which would make you question whether you were still in England! Now, Cornwall itself is a pretty big place, so I couldn’t pinpoint just one specific destination as there are so many wonders to visit, so I’ll just name a few. St. Ives, of course, is the place which anyone who has visited Cornwall raves about, but my suggestion would be to get there early and have breakfast at Porthgwidden Café. Another spot like St. Ives is Padstow, famous for their fishing for crabs and traditional Cornish pasties. Yet if you want somewhere which leaves sand in-between your toes and sunburn on your nose, head down to Gwithian beach, it has it all – surfing, body boarding, rock pooling and of course, sunbathing. Take a walk upon the hill to sneak a glance of the sleeping seals. And finally, be sure to visit Roskilly’s farm to take a look at the jersey cows which make Cornwall’s speciality ice cream.
If a busier environment is more up your street, then Manchester is for you. Not quite as hectic as London, but will never fail to keep you thoroughly entertained. Head along to a football match – be sure to know whether you’ll be supporting red or blue of course, and fill the rest of the day strolling around the forever growing Trafford Centre to treat yourself that little bit more. Fancy skiing? Snowboarding? Nope, you don’t have to be in the Alps or the Rockies to do such a thing, Chill Factore can allude anyone into thinking they’re on a mountain. But not to mention the bustling streets of Manchester’s city centre, with the Northern Quarter being just by Piccadilly train station – the smell of coffee and freshly baked cakes will draw you in wherever you pass.
I must say, that this one is a personal favourite; Porthmadog is a tiny town situated just off the coast of Wales, minutes away from several beaches. Not to forget a 10-minute car journey away from Portmeirion, a massively popular tourist destination in the height of summer which mimics Italian architecture – Those who are fans of ‘The Prisoner’ should absolutely take a visit here. Meanwhile, there’s the opportunity to take a half an hour drive to the base of Snowdon to hike up the highest mountain in Wales (or if you don’t think you can quite manage that, take the railway instead – it’ll take you right to the top!)
This wonderful city was one that I only visited recently, and it took me entirely by surprise. I transported back to a time where I’d wander aimlessly down tiny walkways in Split, yet in Bristol, I’d turn a corner to be greeted by market stalls and beer gardens. For those seeking nightlife as well as things to do in the day, Thekla offers club nights upon a boat, situated right next to The Apple, Bristol’s famous cider bar which is coincidentally on a boat too! If you’re planning to visit in the summer, be sure to stay for the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta where thousands of people gather together to watch masses of hot air balloon float into the clouds.