Simon Calder’s UK holiday hotspots for a stylish staycation – away from the busy beaches of Devon and Cornwall

Potentially avoid quarantine with a beautiful break here in Blighty!
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  • Saturday’s announcement that anyone returning from mainland Spain would need to quarantine for 14 days is yet another blow for the travel industry. No wonder more and more of us are ditching plans to head abroad, and instead looking for UK holiday hotspots. Especially those ‘less discovered’ but beautiful parts of the country that won’t be teaming with tourists.

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    ‘It’s going to be an amazing summer for the UK tourist industry,’ says travel expert Simon Calder, who was on the This Morning sofa today to share a few of his favourite UK resorts. He’s been hearing that most campsites on the South Coast are booked up until October, while ‘prices for some properties in Cornwall have doubled.’ Yikes!

    ‘What I’ve been trying to do is find places where there are likely to be a fair amount of hotel rooms, so they may not be in the most “celebrated” of spots,’ explains Simon, who has picked out some real gems to discover.

    Simon Calder’s UK holiday hotspots 2020

    1. Folkestone, Kent


    Image credit: Laurie Noble/Getty

    ‘It’s an absolutely lovely town, a Victorian resort, beautifully located with a wonderful promenade along the cliffs,’ says Simon. ‘There’s lots of art to see – they’ve really pumped a lot of money into it, and there are lots of good places to stay.’

    Stay at: The Grand Burstin Hotel, rooms from £37 per night

    2. Scarborough, North Yorkshire


    Image credit: Michal Sleczek/Getty Images

    ‘My goodness me, if you haven’t been there for a while, it’s so exciting,’ enthuses Simon. ‘They’ve got a lovely beach, a fishing port – it’s such a wonderful location. The Grand Hotel is, I think, the most magnificent old relic – present company excepted – that I’ve seen around the coast of Britain!’

    Stay at: The Grand Hotel, £39 per night for a standard double

    3. Llandudno, Wales


    Image credit: Alexander Spatari/Getty

    ‘You have to say Llandudno. You’ve got the wonderful Great Orme – a huge outcrop – waiting there. The Great Orme tramway isn’t running at the moment but Wales is gradually opening up now.’

    Stay at: St George’s Hotel, rooms from £120 per night

    4. North Berwick, Scotland


    Image credit: Roy James Shakespeare/Getty

    ‘It’s difficult to pick one hotspot out in Scotland, as there are so many resorts, but North Berwick, on the brink of the Firth of Forth, is my choice. It’s absolutely lovely.’ Simon highlights local attractions such as the Scottish Sea Bird Centre and its numerous golf courses.

    Stay at: Marine Hotel & Spa, £150 per night for a double room

    5. Ballycastle, Northern Ireland


    Image credit: Stephen Barnes/Getty Images

    Related: Enjoy the stunning views from a cool eco-cottage in County Kerry – and you can stay the night!

    ‘Such a beautiful place, wonder setting and nice and handy for the Ginat’s Causeway. Just great beaches along that whole stretch of coast – and some trendy places to stay, such as The Salt House. It’s very chic and there are some great places to eat and drink.’

    Stay at: The Salthouse Hotel, rooms from £200 per night

    We’re off to request some annual leave… see you at the seaside!

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