After we’ve all had a few Summers of battening down the hatches and not travelling abroad over recent years, it’s unsurprising that there has been a boom in sightseers opting for staycations, with more holidaymakers looking to stay on British shores for their holidays every year.
And why not stay on home turf? The British Isles have stunning spots to explore, with rugged landscapes and staggering natural wildlife right on our doorstep – and with the chance to explore these sights on cruises, railway excursions or on foot, it’s hardly surprising we’re all staying put!
Whether you’re wanting to explore the islands of Scotland in the company of proud Scotswoman and weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, or want to be witness to panoramic views over Snowdonia National Park on a mountain railway, we share our best coastal holidays around the British Isles this year.
Witness the arrival of spring before anyone else – marked with the bloom of magnificent magnolia trees, you could witness these world-class beauties for yourself on an unforgettable, expert-led escape for five nights visiting six of Cornwall’s Great Gardens. Admire them in all their spring glory at gardens considered some of the finest in the UK, including Trebah, Trewidden, Caerhays, Heligan, Tregothnan and Trewithen.
With special guest appearances throughout the trip, get an exclusive experience and spend two days with the former Thorny Problems columnist for The Telegraph, Helen Yemm. The trip closes with the chance to get wined and dined in luxury, with a final visit to the majestic Caerhays Estate, where the castle’s owner will host an elegant champagne reception and dinner for guests.
This spectacular 11-day cruise around the Scottish islands will take you to the dramatic lochs and lofty mountains of the wild beauty of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. This trip lets you hop from isle to isle, with the chance to see varied birds and local wildlife on its shores – perhaps you’ll even get to see minke whales swimming nearby on the uninhabited Hirta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Don’t miss your chance to get a taste of what it’s like to live on the Atlantic Ocean archipelago this Spring.
Famous for their stunning scenery, botanic gardens and powder-soft beaches, the Isles of Scilly is considered to be the UK’s most idyllic cluster of islands. This six-day tour will take you to many of the islands’ most unforgettable locations, including the sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Garden, the rugged coastlines of Bryher and the quaint harbours of St Martin’s.
Discover the range of wildlife the Isles of Scilly has to offer that can’t be seen anywhere else in the UK, including native porpoises, dolphins, seals, and countless species of birds. You’ll also enjoy delicious local cuisine on your stay, and try seasonal dishes at The Atlantic on the isle of St Mary’s, with views over the harbour.
Packed with charming port towns and traditional villages, the British coast is one of the most rugged and beautiful in the world. See the land’s history unfold before you, as tales of our island nation are told as you sail through its magnificent scenery, past cliffs and castles, and to the magical and remote islands scattered along the shores of the British Isles.
This 13-day action-packed trip will take you around the very best of our natural landscapes and local heritage. With a brilliant array of onshore excursions included, you’ll get the chance to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, explore uninhabited islands home to thousands of seabirds and visit the famed Tresco Abbey Gardens in all their glory – home to 20,000 plants!
If that’s not enough, you’ll also get the chance to brush up on your wildlife photography skills during your trip, as a professional photographer will be on board to offer tips and tricks on capturing the best landscape photographs.
This is no cruise – this is a seven-night private yacht experience. Travelling in the company of proud Scotswoman and weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, you’ll be taken on a journey through the Caledonian Canal, encountering the hidden sea lochs and astonishing islands of Scotland’s western shore.
With touches to make this trip a personal one, including a private talk and Q&A session with Carol herself, and with just 27 cabins for guests, there is sure no finer way to complete your bucket list of British breaks!
Take a step back in time and relive the Golden Age of steam engineering on the iconic Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog Railways on this classic four-night trip. You’ll embark on a one-of-a-kind journey through the stunning glacial backdrop of Lake Padarn, and witness panoramic views over Snowdonia National Park on two of the most picturesque railways in the world.
You’ll also visit the quirky Italianate village of Portmeirion, an enchanting pastel-coloured townlet, and have the chance to walk around Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia National Park’s principal village known for its outdoor pursuits.
Book now for your chance to experience this unique rail journey to the highest mountain in England and Wales, and ride the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway this Summer.
Live seven nights of pure luxury on this charmingly compact ship, taking you through the remote islands, fairy-tale castles and delightful port towns of Scotland’s highlands. With the choice between two itineraries of excursions, you’ll explore the stuff of legends at Loch Ness, Loch Nevis, the Sound of Mull, Iona, Skye and Fort Augustus (and you might even get the chance to see Atlantic seals and dolphins on a trip to Eigg!).
Offering a deluxe, intimate voyage with just 27 cabins, you’ll be sure to feel the royal treatment here, with superb cuisine and panoramic views of the Atlantic while on-board. You truly will be spoilt for choice!
On this unique five-day trip, you could discover the gems of one of the most blissful, natural places in Britain. With two heritage railway journeys and an island tour by coach, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view sensational panoramas over England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales at 2,000 feet above sea-level – weather permitting, of course!
Whether you spend your days here exploring the idyllic landmarks of the island, coast the sandy beaches or have a walk around the charming Victorian heritage of the island, this is a trip of pure leisure!
Looking for more holiday inspiration? Read our pick of some life-enriching getaways. you could try out this year.
Disclaimer: Coast may earn a small commission on some of the holiday or trip partnerships featured in this article.