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26 Best Places To Visit In UK In Summer (2023)


Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Nicole

The United Kingdom offers something for everyone. There is beautiful scenery, lovely charming villages and exciting cities. On a summer vacation in the UK, you can also choose from dozens and dozens of spectacular beaches on which to walk, relax and feel the warmth of the sun. If you love to hike and discover hidden lakes, mountains and untouched islands, then Great Britain also offers several national parks, country paths, and dozens of small islands a short way from shore. In fact, summer is one of the best times to visit England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Here are 26 of the best places to visit in the UK in summer.

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Best Summer Holiday Destinations In Great Britain

Here are 26 of the best summer getaways in the United Kingdom. They include spots in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each section highlights how best to reach the destination, the best things to do, expected weather, where to stay, and any special events or festivals that may be held.

best places to visit in the uk in summer
Fowey, England (Photo courtesy of Samantha from Coco Travels)

Fowey, England

Fowey is a beautiful historic port town on the south coast of Cornwall. It is nestled between Looe and Mevagissey and is pronounced “foy” to rhyme with joy. It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a natural harbour which welcomes up to 7,000 yachts each season.

There are lots of things to do in Fowey and one of the best places to visit in the UK in summertime. Take a wander around the quaint cobbled streets and pop into one of the boutiques. Be sure to stop at one of the award-winning tearooms for a Cornwall cream tea – a scone with jam and clotted cream, and a cup of tea.

If the weather is good, venture down to Ready Money Cove, a gorgeous sandy beach sheltered by the surrounding cliffs. During summer, there’s a swimming platform and the waters are also great for snorkelling.

Head to the Fowey Museum to learn more about the area’s maritime history. The museum is in one of the oldest buildings in the town and is just a single room packed full of exhibits and artefacts.

There are many annual events in Fowey throughout the year. One that can’t be missed is the Fowey Royal Regatta and Carnival Week which takes place over seven days in August each year.

Celebrating Fowey’s position on the estuary and close to the sea, the festival includes watersports, live music, gig racing and fireworks displays.


As with anywhere in the UK, the weather in Fowey can be mixed. However, in the summer you can usually expect long sunny days with highs of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You can expect around 2 inches of rain over 8 days for each summer month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Cornwall Airport in Newquay is the closest international airport to Fowey. However, this is a small airport with limited flights each day. Bristol Airport is larger with more options for flights.

From Cornwall Airport, it’s around 22 miles to Fowey and takes around 46 minutes to drive.

Best Place To Stay

Samantha from Coco Travels says, “For a stay with some beautiful views, try the Harbour Hotel Fowey. This Victorian building has been vibrantly restored to provide a boutique hotel with views over the estuary and just a short walk from the beach.

best summer vacations in uk
Skomer Island, Wales (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Skomer Island, Wales

Less than a mile off the shoreline of Pembrokeshire, Skomer Island is a haven for nature lovers in the south-west of Wales. The island comes to life in spring and summer as blooms colour the island’s centre and seabirds flock to nest. It is one of the best summer vacation destinations in the UK.

Open from April to September, wildlife lovers can make the most of the remote landscape offered by Skomer Island, which is best known as one of the UK’s best viewing places for Atlantic puffins.

Thousands of puffins return from sea to raise their pufflings on Skomer Island. Only a limited number of visitors can make the day trip over to the island to watch the families of these comical birds. Other wildlife also call Skomer Island and the surrounding waters’ home, including dolphins, seals, and razorbills.

One of the best things to do other than spot the abundance of wildlife is to enjoy nature walks across one of the island’s trails. At less than 3km squared, the 5-hour island day trip gives you plenty of time to navigate the outer island ring trail or take one of the shorter routes through the centre.

In May and June, the centre of the island is transformed into landscapes draped in pink and violet as carpets of bluebells and red campion flower.


Temperatures throughout summer on Skomer Island range from lows of 50F to average highs of 65F. Like much of the UK, Wales experiences cooler, wetter summers which means rain can be expected on average up to 8 days per month, though precipitation levels are generally lower than at other times of the year. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

The closest airport to Skomer Island is Cardiff airport, which connects Wales to a number of European destinations. For additional international flights, London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports are the most suitable.

Skomer Island is a remote destination which is best reached by car. The drive from Cardiff to Martin’s Haven takes approximately two and a half hours. Then, you need to connect to the boat service and cross to Skomer Island, which takes approximately 15 minutes.

Best Place To Stay

Bronwyn from Bronwyn Townsend says, “There is only one place to stay on Skomer Island, the Old Farm, which is equipped with a communal kitchen, lounge, and log burner.

Alternatively, more accommodation options can be found in Haverfordwest on the Pembrokeshire coast. The County Hotel offers cosy accommodation with contemporary comfort right near the heart of Haverfordwest, making it a great choice for a convenient stay.”

best summer holidays in uk
Suffolk, England (Photo courtesy of Louise from Travel With The Whitrows)

Suffolk, England

Suffolk is a coastal County in East Anglia which is situated around 100 miles to the East of London. The main towns in Suffolk are Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds.

During your visit to Suffolk, there is much to do from visiting historical sites to relaxing in one of the seaside beach towns. Summer is one of the best times to visit this beautiful part of the uk.

Head to Framlingham Castle for a glimpse into the history of Suffolk. With various activities on offer including castle building, interactive shows and nearby nature trails there is something for everyone. Walk the 12th century castle walls and become immersed in the history through the knowledgeable guides and on-site museum. 

For a slower pace, visit one of the stunning beaches dotting the Suffolk coastline, including Southwold or Lowestoft, and experience a traditional British seaside town.

If trinket shops and flashing arcades aren’t your thing, then take a walk along Dunwich Heath Beach for a more secluded and relaxed beach trip. If you prefer an active lifestyle then head to Alton Water where you can try your hand at several water sports including windsurfing, sailing and paddle boarding. 


The weather in Suffolk hugely varies throughout the year. The average temperatures in summer ranges from 55°F to 71°F throughout the year. Although it might rain around 7 days each month, there is only a total of 1.5 inches.

There’s no guarantee of the weather in the UK so it’s best to check the forecast a few days before you visit and plan accordingly.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best option for travelling to Suffolk is to fly into London Stansted and hire a car. Depending on where you’re staying in Suffolk, it will take anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours to drive from the airport. Suffolk is vast with many areas of quiet countryside so a car is recommended to easily get around.

If it’s not possible for you to drive then getting around Suffolk on public transport is doable, it just takes some extra planning. You can get the train to Ipswich from the London Liverpool Street train station and once in Ipswich you can get buses or trains throughout the County. 

Best Place To Stay

Louise from Travel With The Whitrows says, “There are plenty of hotels or B&B options in Suffolk to suit any taste or budget.

For something central check in to Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich. You’ll be close to plenty of bars and shops in the town but have incredible views over the harbour.

If you prefer a more peaceful setting then stay at The Black Lion in Long Melford. This 15th century inn is a slice of luxury in a picturesque part of Suffolk.”

best summer getaways in UK
Arisaig, Scotland (Photo courtesy of Alison from Everything Arisaig)

Arisaig, Scotland

Arisaig sits on the west coast of Scotland with beautiful views of Loch Nan Ceall, the Small Isles and Skye, and a backdrop of green, purple or orange hills, depending on when you visit. It is one of the best destinations for summer holidays in Great Britain.

Arisaig has several stunning white beaches, including Camusdarach, featured in films and a popular wedding location. They’re the perfect spots to venture out in a kayak or stand up paddle board. 

Take a boat trip to the Small Isles or remote village of Knoydart and enjoy some of their excellent fare, rent an e-bike to explore or go on a scenic hike. 

If you love walking, you’re spoiled for choice in Arisaig, with gentle strolls along white beaches or through woodlands dotted with exotic plants. If you want something a bit more strenuous, then hike along Loch Morar and across to Loch Nevis. 

Visit at the end of August to catch the Arisaig Highland Games. The day’s events include Highland Dance competitions, bagpipers, food trucks, home-baking, local craft stalls, and history and genealogy tents.

The most exciting part of the day is the Highland sports’ events, including tossing the caber (an enormous tree trunk), shot putt and hammer throw. Spectators are also allowed to participate in some of these and there are open races for adults and children. The barrel-pushing race is lots of fun! 


Scotland is known for its unpredictable weather. You may have gorgeous blue skies and temperatures in the low to mid-60s F (20s C) or rainy days, often both in one day. You can expect around 3 inches of rain over 12 days for each summer month.

But even if it’s raining, there’s plenty to keep you happy, including heritage centres, live music at the Arisaig Hotel and seafood delights. 

The occasional blend of sun and rain produces the most vibrant double rainbows. Arisaig is also known for its stunning sunsets

Best Way To Reach Destination

Inverness is the nearest airport but Glasgow is handier for most. From Glasgow, it’s about a three-hour drive but very scenic, so add time for photo stops and a walk. 

A direct train runs daily from Glasgow to Arisaig. If you plan early, you can book the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig – a big hit with Harry Potter fans. Alternatively, take an intercity coach to Fort William and change for the local bus. 

Best Place To Stay

Alison from Everything Arisaig says, “Arisaig has plenty of places to stay, but it’s a popular holiday spot, so booking ahead is recommended. Choose from the small hotel in the village, a luxury house, a cottage or caravan, a glamping pod or a good old traditional campsite. You’ll have stunning views and a holiday to remember, whichever you choose.”

best summer city breaks in the uk
London, England

London, England

For those keen on a summer vacation in the UK, a must-visit location is London. The summer months are when London has the fewest rainy days per month, and visitors can still expect a good amount of sunshine. It is one of the best city breaks in summertime in Great Britain.

Another reason to visit London is that there’s no shortage of wonderful things to do. For example, every visitor to London should make an effort to visit some of the iconic landmarks across the city, such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace. You can even witness the changing of the guard which begins at 10:45am outside the Palace. 

But, if you find yourself needing a little quiet reprieve, make your way over to Hyde Park. The massive Park is located in the Westminster borough and is filled with lots of winding trails that are perfect for a stroll, run, or bike ride.

For those visiting London in early July, you can check out the annual Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament. Here, fans of all ages can line up for cheap tickets to watch some of the world’s best tennis players compete.


During the summer, the capital city of England experiences an average high temperature of 73° F and an average low temperature of 58° F, with about 1.5 inches of rain over 7 days per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

For those interested in London, you can fly directly into one of the city’s six international airports. The two most frequented ones are London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport, both of which are accessible to the London city center by way of the Tube (subway).

Best Place To Stay

Kristin from Global Travel Escapades says, “Consider DoubleTree by Hilton London – Tower of London. It is located near the River Thames and provides an ideal home base for exploring London!”

best summer escapes in uk
Rathlin Island, Northern Irleand (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

As Northern Ireland’s northernmost point, Rathlin is also it’s only inhabited island, with a population of 141 people (as of 2021). The island is a unique experience in what Northern Ireland has to offer. You can choose to pop over just for a day trip or stay on the island for a longer visit. It is a fantastic place in Great Britain for summer getaways.

Particularly well-known for its seasonal puffin colony, Rathlin entices many visitors to make the journey across just to get a glimpse of these beautiful birds. Arriving in late March/early April, the puffins stay and raise their little pufflings until August, making summer the perfect time to visit.

Head to RSPB’s Seabird Centre (April – September) for more information on the puffins and other seabirds you may spot. There is also a viewing platform, with both telescopes and binoculars available to use. There are private bus options that take you directly to the RSPB Centre.  

If you prefer to amble through the rugged landscape instead, there are 7 walking trails all starting from the harbour. They range in both length (2km – 6.4km) and difficulty (gentle walk – rough terrain and rock faces).

Causeway Coast and Glens has further information to help you pick the trail that’s right for you, but the lush scenery will reward you with incredible views no matter which route you choose. However, do ensure you return to the harbour in time for the last ferry back to Ballycastle – you don’t want to unexpectedly be cut off from the mainland!  

Alternatively, you can attend the annual Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival between the end of May and start of June. This ten day festival celebrates the rich maritime heritage of the island. If you are spending a longer time in Northern Ireland, you can even blend Rathlin Sound with the multiple summer festivals and events held each year throughout the North Coast.  


Mid July is generally the warmest time of the year on Rathlin, with high temperatures of 62.9°F and staying around 52.4°F at lower temperatures. As with any part of Northern Ireland, Rathlin’s weather tends to be quite varied.

You can expect around 2.3 inches of rain over 10 days per summer month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Located just off the north coast, Rathlin is accessible by ferry from Ballycastle, which is only an hour’s drive from Belfast. There are also bus services from Belfast that run four times per day.

You can then board either the Spirit of Rathlin (passenger and car; 40 mins) or the Kintra II (passenger-only; 30 mins). If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot dolphins on your way over.

Best Place To Stay

Lois from Travels From A Solo Passport says, “Accommodation is limited on the island but includes self-catering, B&B’s and a set of eco-friendly glamping pods. Some of these have seasonal closures and minimum booking requirements so it’s best to do your research – the Rathlin Community website has some information to get you started.”

best summer destinations in uk
Ambleside, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Ambleside, England

Ambleside is in England’s largest National Park, the Lake District, and offers a tranquil summer escape surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. It is an amazing destination for a summer trip in Great Britain.

One of Ambleside’s best attractions is its accessibility to some of the best walks in the UK. In fact, three of the top ten walks are easily reachable from Ambleside, making it a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. 

Even if you’re not up for these top-rated treks, there are many Ambleside walks that are shorter, and less difficult but still showcase the region’s natural wonders. It’s no wonder that renowned writers like Wordsworth and Potter, along with countless painters, found inspiration in these idyllic surroundings.

But Ambleside isn’t just for hikers. The town boasts an array of outdoor shops, parks, cosy pubs, boat rides on Lake Windermere, Ambleside Bridge House and has an excellent restaurant scene. 

While Ambleside’s charm extends year-round, it truly comes alive during its annual events and festivals. The town hosts various cultural and outdoor celebrations, including the Ambleside Sports Day in the summer, where you can watch the locals and visitors take part in track, hound and wrestling to name a few.


Ambleside is known for its variable weather. Expect highs ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s during the summer, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. However, be prepared for cooler temperatures and occasional rain showers even in the summer months. In total, Ambleside experiences around 2.6 inches of rain over 12 days per summer month, so packing waterproof gear is advisable no matter when you visit.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach Ambleside, you’ll typically fly into Manchester International Airport, one of the major international airports in the region. From Manchester, it’s approximately a 1 hour 40 minute hour drive to Ambleside, covering around 90 miles.

Alternatively, you can take a train or bus to Windermere, which is just a short taxi or bus ride away from Ambleside.

Best Place To Stay

Rachel and Nico from Average Lives say, “For a comfortable stay, Ambleside offers a range of options. There are charming hotels, cosy bed and breakfasts, and holiday cottages. One highly recommended option is the Ambleside Inn, known for its warm hospitality and convenient location.”

best places to visit in summer in great britain
Outer Hebrides, Scotland (Photo courtesy of Kristin from Scotland less Explored)

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The Outer Hebrides is a group of islands northwest of mainland Scotland. The reason to visit is the amazing beaches, beautiful scenery and hikes. It is the perfect destination for anyone who likes the outdoors and a spectacular summer vacation destination in the United Kingdom.

It is possible to stay on one island or do a road trip through the islands. Furthest north is Isle of Lewis. It is the largest island and has the most to see and do. One of the best known sights is the Callanish Stones. The stones somewhat resemble Stonehenge but are in fact older. Early in the morning, you might have the stones to yourself and you can walk up to and amongst them.

An hour’s drive south is the Isle of Harris. It is famous for its beaches along the west coast. To get to the next few islands, often referred to as the Uists, you have to take a ferry. These islands are less visited than Harris and Lewis but also have great scenery, hikes and beaches. The two southernmost islands on a road trip are Barra and Vatersay. Again, you have to take a ferry to get to these islands.

On Barra, view Kisimul Castle and the unique airport – it is the only tidal beach in the world which doubles as a runway. Every day planes from Glasgow land on the sand.


The best time to visit is between April and October. You can expect around 2.6 inches of rain over 11 days per summer month. Be prepared for four seasons of weather in a single day.

May and June have the highest chance of sunshine but July and August are the warmest. Temperature highs in the summer are around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The lows are 50-60 degrees.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Flying is one way of getting to the Outer Hebrides with Barra, Benbecula and Lewis all having airports. Only domestic flights fly to these airports but you can get connecting flights through Glasgow, Edinburgh or Inverness from nearly anywhere in the world.

Flying might be the quickest but the most popular way to get to the Outer Hebrides is by ferry.

Best Place To Stay

Kristin from Scotland less Explored says, “Many people stay in self catering rental cottages but it is also possible to stay in guest houses, bed and breakfasts or hotels. On Lewis stay at Uig Sands Rooms. One of the best places to stay on South Uist is Grianaig Guest House.”

best summer vacations in great britain
Whitstable, England (Photo courtesy of Aimee from Our Salt Souls)

Whitstable, England

Whitstable is a seaside town located in the Kent region 50 miles (80km) from London and the perfect place to spend the day on a summer holiday in the United Kingdom.

The coastline at Whitstable is spaced out so that you can enjoy the seaside without the crowds even on the busiest of days. If you are looking to get fish and chips, make sure to try Ossies fish bar and The Offy located next door for local beers and ciders. 

Besides spending the day at the sea, Whitstable is famous for its oyster production. When in Whitstable you must try some freshly shucked oysters from either The Oyster Shed at Harbour Market or The Forge.

Every year, Whitstable hosts the Whitstable Oyster Festival at East Quay Venue near Whitstable Harbour. This festival showcases the town’s fresh produce along with the local traders that make up the Whitstable community. 

While in Whitstable make sure to spend some time wandering along Harbour Street, the town’s high street lined with many independent stores. There is everything you need from local clothing labels, homewares, sweet shops and more.

If you’re after an ice cream, Whitstable has two outstanding ice cream shops – Bear Ice Cream and Gelateria Whitstable – to make the perfect end to your time in Whitstable. 


During the summertime, the capital city of England experiences an average high temperature of 73° F and an average low temperature of 58° F, with about 1.3 inches of rain over 6 days per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach Whitstable you can fly into any of London’s airports and then use public transport to reach either London Kings Cross or London Victoria train station. From there, the train to Whitstable is around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Best Place To Stay

Aimee from Our Salt Souls says, “If you are looking to stay in Whitstable for longer than a day, then stay at Whitstable Fisherman’s Huts. These converted fishing huts with sea views house up to 4 people in their family sized rooms.

best cities to visit in summer in great britain
Cardiff, Wales (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales which can be found on the western side of mainland Britain.

Summer is the best time to visit Cardiff. You can see the beautiful flowers while strolling in the Arboretum at Bute Park or wander amongst the champion trees in the Park.

You should also take a river cruise along the River Taff to Cardiff Bay and enjoy the restaurants and shopping around the Bay.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could also take part in the Aqua Park which pops up during the summer. With inflatable obstacles in the water, it is fun for all ages and the perfect way to cool off.

Another thing not to miss in Cardiff in summertime is Cardiff Castle. The castle is worth visiting on any trip to Cardiff but in the summer, you are more likely to get the kind of weather that makes you want to walk the castle walls. Cardiff Castle also hosts summer concerts and events on the grounds.

For a typical Welsh treat head to Bakestones in Cardiff market for the best handmade Welsh cakes in the city. Welsh cakes are a kind of flattened scone but they come in all different flavours and are delicious and cheap.


The weather in Cardiff is pleasant with average temperatures ranging from 55-72F and around 2 inches of rain over 8 days per month during the summer months June-August. This means you are unlikely to need a heavy coat, but a jacket is advisable especially at night when the temperature drops cooler.

Best Way To Reach Destination

There is an international airport in Cardiff, but the city is also easy to reach from London airports in around 3 hours by car or train. You can also easily visit on a day trip to Cardiff from London.

Best Place To Stay

The Radisson Blu Hotel is located centrally and is walking distance to attractions such as Cardiff Castle, Bute Park and the many Arcades and Markets around the city.

best summer holidays in great britain
South Shields, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

South Shields, England

South Shields is an easy detour on any UK summer itinerary and one of the best places to visit in summer in the United Kingdom.

The town truly comes to life in the summer primarily due to its coastal location. For families, the Ocean Beach Pleasure Park is the top draw in the area, filled with a large number of fairground rides, arcade games, and kid-friendly activities such as laser tag.

However, there is far more to see in South Shields than first meets the eye, and there are some genuinely stunning natural attractions if you venture just slightly further away from this tourist hotspot. 

If you’re looking for the best things to do in South Shields, the coastal walk (or a section of it) is a must-do. You’ll pass the picturesque Souter Lighthouse, stunning sandy coves, and the Marsden Grotto – a historic pub that was once built straight into a cliff front – you can even stay overnight if you’re looking for some truly unique UK accommodation! 

Various peculiar Magnesium limestone rock formations jut out into the ocean, creating some truly memorable coastal views. Grabbing fish and chips from Colmans is the perfect addition to the picturesque scenery. 

If you’re more of a history buff, the Arbeia Roman Fort is a short walk from the ocean. The Beamish Living History Museum, Saltwell Park, and Tynemouth Priory are also well worth adding to your hit list.

Since South Shields isn’t a very famous location. That means many of its beaches are much quieter than some of their more famous counterparts on England’s South Coast.


The Northeast isn’t known for its heat, but it’s worth the warm but mild temperatures if you prefer to escape the crowds. Expect average highs around 65°F and average lows of 53°F. In addition, there is 1.8 inches of rain over 7.5 days each summer month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Just South of the bustling Northeast England hub of Newcastle-upon-Tyne – and only a 30-minute train from Central Station in the city centre – you’ll find the underrated seaside suburb of South Shields. Since Newcastle is well-connected by train or plane,

best summer getaways in Great Britain
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland (Photo courtesy of Victoria from Follow Me Away)

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

One of the best summer getaways in the UK is Giant’s Causeway. This amazing natural landmark is located in Bushmills and one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland. It is also a place that can be visited as part of a day trip from Belfast or even from Dublin.

Once there, enjoy the 40,000+ basalt columns that protrude from the water along the perimeter of the Antrim plateau. In fact, the sight of this place is so amazing that it inspired locals to create incredible stories about Giants using this spot to walk across the ocean to Scotland. 

During your visit, walk along a well-paved trail that is less than a mile long and take gorgeous photos among these unique columns by the sea. You could also see the iconic “wishing chair” which is a natural rock throne formation that is now smooth since so many people have sat there. 

Afterward, drive less then 30 minutes to the Dark Hedges. It is a site that was made famous by an episode of Game of Thrones and features a series of interlaced trees that form an enchanting tunnel above the road. 


Be sure to bring a light packable rain jacket since daily highs are 65 F (18 C) and daily lows are 53 F (12C) during the summer, with around 2.3 inches of rain over 10 days per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Fly into Belfast International Airport (BFS) and drive around an hour to Giant’s Causeway. The drive is beautiful, but on small country roads which can be quite narrow and curvy.

Alternatively, you could take a direct bus from Belfast Europa Bus Station to Giant’s Causeway.

Best Place To Stay

Victoria from Follow Me Away says, “You can spend the night at Aunt Rachel’s Holidays since they are known for their great location and unique wigwam and caravan-inspired accommodations.

best summer destinations in great britain
Peak District National Park, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Peak District National Park, England

Located in North West England, the Peak District is the oldest national park in the UK and an excellent summer trip destination in the UK for outdoor lovers.

There are many walks in the Peak District for beginners and experienced hikers.. The most famous one is Mam Tor. It’s located in Edale and boasts amazing views of the valley. You can also make it longer by taking the Great Ridge walk which will take you all the way to Castleton via Back Tor.

The Peak District is also known for its cute villages such as Castleton, Bakewell (where the bakewell tart was invented), Hathersage or Bamford.

There are also a lot of lakes in the Peak District where you can go for walks, fishing and in certain cases canoeing and paddle boarding. Ladybower Reservoir near Bamford is one of the most spectacular.

Finally, make sure to check out one of the numerous caves in the area such as Speedwell or Peak Cave. They are both great options on a nice and sunny day and always a hit with kids.

In terms of events, there are also a lot of things organised in summer in the Peaks.

The most notorious event is Buxton International Festival which takes place in the small town of Buxton and lasts 3 weeks in July. It’s all about opera, music and books.

Bakewell Country Festival also takes place in July and is a great day out for families. Food, dog show, horse competition… it has it all.


In July and August, average temperatures are between 52 and 65F. It’s important to remember that the Peak District is a mountainous area which means that it’s always a bit more fresh. However, when it’s sunny, it can get very hot and it’s important to put on sunscreen.

Chances of rain are under 30% in summer (2 inches of rain over 8 days per summer month) which is very good for Northern England.

Best Way To Reach Destination

You can easily get there by car or train from Manchester or Leeds. Both have international airports with public transport connections to the city centre and the Peaks.

Best Place To Stay

Pauline from Manchester Pocket Guide says, “The best place to stay is the Bulls Head. This is a pub and hotel in Castleton. It’s very well located and the food is delicious.”

best summer city breaks in Great Britain
Edinburgh, Scotland (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, the charming capital of Scotland, is a must-visit destination for a city escape in Great Britain all year round, but the city comes alive in the summer thanks to gorgeous weather that’s perfect for wandering its streets, exploring the architecture, and attending world-renowned seasonal events.

There are countless things to do in Edinburgh, from viewing iconic landmarks, strolling inviting streets, and experiencing a vibrant culture.

You must explore the Royal Mile to view Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and St. Giles Cathedral to experience medieval architecture, wander through narrow alleyways, and visit museums like the Museum of Edinburgh or the Writers’ Museum. 

To see a view of the city, head to Calton Hill and climb to the National Monument. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was inspired by the Parthenon in Athens and gives a spectacular view of Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument, and the clock tower at the Balmoral Hotel. 

Lovers of whisky will definitely want to try some of Scotland’s national drink while in Edinburgh. The Amber Whisky Bar at the Scotch Whisky Experience has over 500 whiskies, great Scottish cuisine, and is the perfect atmosphere to taste whisky to your heart’s content.

Summer in Edinburgh is filled with many festivals and events that cater to various tastes. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest performance arts festival, takes place throughout August and showcases over 3,000 performances like comedy shows, theater productions, dance performances, and music concerts across genres. 

Also in August is The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Held at the iconic Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, this alluring event features hundreds of performers and combines military precision with a breathtaking display of music and dance from around the world. 

As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, thanks to its vast literary history, the Edinburgh Book Festival is a must-visit event that takes place every August. The festival celebrates the written word, literature, and ideas. You can sit in on readings by favorite authors, join discussions about literature and craft, or meet other literary-minded friends. 


During summer, Edinburgh experiences moderate temperatures with an average range of 51°F – 68°F. You can expect around 2.2 inches of rain over 9 days each month. This makes it extremely comfortable to explore the city’s historical landmarks, picturesque parks, and exciting festivals without feeling overwhelmed by the scorching heat.

Best Way To Reach Destination

If you’re traveling to Edinburgh from abroad or distant parts of the UK, Edinburgh Airport is the most convenient option. Located just 8 miles west of the city center, this international airport offers direct flights from major cities worldwide. From there, you can easily reach central Edinburgh via various transport options. The cheapest option is the Airlink 100 Express Bus.

Another convenient way to get to Edinburgh is by train via Waverley Station in central Edinburgh.

Best Place To Stay

Mackenzie from A Wandering Scribbler says, “Most people will want to stay in the Grassmarket or Old Town area for its views of Edinburgh Castle and the lively winding streets. New Town and the West End Village are also great options.

The Balmoral Hotel is truly an iconic place to stay, directly outside the Waverley Train Station, down the street from the Scott Monument, and within walking distance from Edinburgh Castle. This luxury hotel is designed in the Victorian style and is where J.K. Rowling lived for six months while she finished the last Harry Potter book.

For a more budget option, try the ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge-Royal Mile. You’ll find comfortable rooms within walking distance of all must-see sights.

By far the cheapest option is Kick Ass Greyfriars hostel. Located just outside the famous Greyfriars Kirkyard, Kick Ass Greyfriars offers plenty of communal space to meet other travelers without breaking the bank.

best places to visit in summer in the United Kingdom
Brighton Beach, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Brighton, England

Brighton is a seaside resort found in the county of East Sussex, England. With it’s quirky shopping areas, vibrant nightlife and pebbled beach, Brighton is the perfect place to visit in summertime in Great Britain if you’re after a day or two by the sea.

Built in the 1820s as a seaside getaway for King George IV, the Royal Pavilion is one of Brighton’s most mesmerising attractions. Admire its eastern-influenced architecture from the surrounding grounds or take a tour of it’s exquisite interior and museum.

After a fantastic view across Brighton? Located along the seafront is the British Airways i360 observation tower. This glass pod takes you 450 feet (138 meters) up into the sky, offering views across the city and South Downs National Park. If you’re lucky with the weather you may even get the chance to see the Isle of Wight!

Known as the LQBTQ+ capital of the UK, Brighton hosts the UK’s biggest Pride Festival every August. Each year Brighton draws hundreds of thousands of people to partake in the festivities, enjoying live music, engaging in workshops and more.

And of course, don’t forget to go shopping in the lanes or enjoy some fish and chips on the pier when you visit!


In Brighton, summertime is warm but it is windy and partly cloudy year round. Expect average highs of 67 degrees Fahrenheit with only 1.3 inches of rain over 6 days per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Brighton City Airport is a 50 minute bus ride from Brighton’s city centre via the 700 Coastliner. However, Brighton City Airport offers very few flights everyday.

Most international travellers will arrive via London which is only an hour long train ride from London Victoria or London Bridge Station. Being so close, Brighton it the perfect add-on to a London trip, even if you can not commit to an overnight stay.

Best Place To Stay

Emma from The Travelling Teacher says, “If you are looking to stay in Brighton, I recommend Hotel Pelirocco , featuring nineteen pop-culture inspired rooms, each with a different theme, including nods to Dolly Parton, David Bowie, and Bettie Page.”

best summer vacations in the United Kingdom in summer
Snowdonia National Park, Wales (Photo courtesy of Amy and Dan from The Sunrise Dreamers)

Snowdonia National Park, Wales

If you’re not from the UK, there’s a high chance you haven’t heard of Snowdonia (also known as Eryri National Park). However, it’s one of the most underrated places to go on a summer vacation in Great Britain.

Snowdonia is located in North Wales with a beautiful mountain range and several beaches surrounding the area. Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) is the highest peak in Wales and also one of the highest mountains in the UK. When planning your visit, there are many towns and villages to stay in, such as Betws-y-Coed and Llanberis.

Climbing Snowdon is the biggest reason locals flock to Snowdonia. Pen-y-Pass is the most popular trailhead along with the Llanberis Trail which is usually the busiest.

If you’re interested in climbing Snowdon from Pen-y-Pass, it’s best to take the Pyg Track up and the Miners Track down. This is one of the most beautiful routes to take offering you views of the incredible lakes nestled between the mountains.


Summer and Spring are the best times to visit Snowdonia when there’s a lower chance of rainfall and a foggy summit. The temperature is usually around 60°F – 70°F during the months of July and August, although not guaranteed. There will also be around 2.5 inches of rain over 10 days for each month.

The weather in the UK is very unpredictable and it’s essential to always be prepared for any type of weather, even during the summertime.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport are the best airports if you’re planning a visit to Snowdonia, however, London is also an option. There are direct trains from London to Bangor and then, a few connections to get to Betws-y-Coed. 

Best Place To Stay

Amy and Dan from The Sunrise Dreamers say, “Betws-y-Coed is a lovely village to base yourself in if you’re spending more than a day in the National Park. Glamping at Cwmlanerch Campsite and Cottages or staying at Church Hill House are great options for an overnight stay.

A little river runs through the cosy village with a handful of small local shops and delicious restaurants. It’s also one of the best places from which to climb Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa).”

best summer holidays in the United Kingdom
Bath, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Bath, England

One of the loveliest cities you can visit in summer in Great Britain is Bath. This gorgeous, historic city is among the oldest cities in England and its history and architecture will surely sweep you off your feet.

Bath has several interesting landmarks. The Roman Baths are Bath’s most popular tourist destination. They were built around natural hot springs in the city and are one of the oldest and best-preserved ancient baths in the world.

Pulteney bridge is one of the prettiest bridges in the world. Similar to some Italian bridges, Pulteney has two rows of shops that line both sides of the bridge. The bridge can be found in the center of the old town, crossing the river Avon. The bridge is pretty magical with its’ Georgian architecture and the bridge’s unique design.

The Bath Abbey is a must-visit in Bath. The history of this church goes back all the way to 7th century, but the most interesting part is the interior, which you can explore in a tour. During this tour you’ll climb many, many steps, visit the clock tower, and see the massive bells of the church. In the end, you’ll get the best view of Bath from its top.


The weather in summer is quite nice. You can expect average highs of 69F and average lows of 55F. There is only 1.5 inches of rain over 7 days per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Bath is only an hour and a half train ride from London, and you can combine it with Bristol into a weekend getaway.

Best Place To Stay

Karla from says, “We’ve stayed in Bristol at the incredible Clayton Hotel, and took a 10-minute train ride to Bath.”

best summer getaways in the United Kingdom
Isle of Skye, Scotland (Photo courtesy of Jessica from The Uprooted Traveler)

Isle of Skye, Scotland

If you’re looking for the rugged beauty that Scotland is known for, there’s perhaps no place better to explore than the Isle of Skye. Found along the northwestern coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye offers some of the United Kingdom’s most dramatic scenery, with rolling green mountains, rushing waterfalls, and wild coastline. It is one of the best summer holiday destinations in Great Britain.

The best way to enjoy the landscape of the island is to get out on some of its stellar hiking trails. For example, the Quiraing Walk is a moderately challenging hike that leads you past countless fluffy sheep and along a ridge, overlooking the ocean and otherworldly looking basalt formations. It looks like something straight out of Game of Thrones! 

For something a bit less active, consider taking a wildlife boat tour from Skye’s biggest city, Portree. Its waters are teeming with marine life, from seals and dolphins to even whales, and its coastline is an excellent spot to birds, like puffins or eagles.

The Isle of Skye Highland Games has happened annually, usually in August, since 1877. At the Games, you can watch competitors duke it out at bag piping, Highland dancing, and track and field events, like putting the stone (similar to shot put).


With its location on the coast, Skye generally is pretty cool, even in the summertime. You can expect highs in the low 60s and lows in the upper 40s—so bring some warm and cozy layers.

It’s also helpful to have a rain jacket—while summer is one of the island’s driest seasons, it still rains around 3 inches over 19 days of every month!

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach the Isle of Skye, you can fly into either Glasgow, which is a four hour and 20 minute drive from Skye, or alternatively, Edinburgh, which is a four hour and 45 minute drive.  You’ll need to rent a car for this one—there’s not an easy way to get from either city to the island via public transport. 

Best Place To Stay

Jessica from The Uprooted Traveler says, “Use the Cuillins Hills Hotel in Portree as your homebase. Not only are the rooms incredibly comfy, with ocean views, but the onsite lounge is world-class, offering a whopping 130 malt whiskies!”

best summer escapes in the United Kingdom
St. Ives, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

St. Ives, England

Located in Cornwall in the country’s southwest, St. Ives is a popular British seaside town known for fishing, the art scene, and having the “first and last house in England.” It offers fantastic summer getaways in the UK.

British residents flock to St. Ives in summer to enjoy its beautiful beaches, tranquil lifestyle, and famous Cornish Pasties. While the pasties originated from Cornwall, the savory treats are available elsewhere. However, they don’t taste quite as good as the freshly made ones in St. Ives.

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Tate St. Ives make a lovely outing if you’re into the arts. The Tate St. Ives showcases the artworks of British and local artists in a white contemporary building on Porthmeor Beach. If you’re familiar with local artist Barbara Hepworth, you should browse her museum too.

During your visit, take some time to explore the quaint shops. You’ll find a mix of beachfront cafes, galleries, and one-of-a-kind boutiques. There are no large chains or brand names here.

Stop for a mouth-watering Cornish Pasty or a Walls ice cream with chocolate flake when you need a break. However, beware of the cheeky seagulls who attempt to steal your treat.

St. Ives has grown in popularity, but its town has retained its village feel, with narrow streets and, in some areas, no sidewalks. When visiting, parking up on the hill and taking a shuttle down is recommended.

Alternatively, you can use the St. Erth Park and Ride. The St. Erth railway costs a few pounds and offers a scenic ride along the waterfront.

Lastly, if you want to stand on England’s most westerly point, the “first and last house” is a must-visit. It can often get blustery here on the cliffs of Land’s End. This historic white abode sells small gifts, souvenirs, and Cornish Ice Cream.


In summer, you can expect highs of 66F and lows of 55F, with scattered showers of around 1.8 inches over 7 days a month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

If you’re flying, Bristol serves as the nearest large airport, and it’s a 3-hour drive from there or much longer by train.

Best Place To Stay

Karen from Forever Karen says, “The Beachside Holiday Park in Hayle, offers chalets that can accommodate families of two to six. Complete with kitchens and living areas, they are more affordable than a hotel or cottage stay.”

best cities to visit in the United Kingdom
Belfast, Northern Ireland (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. The city has a rich history and is well-known for many things including shipbuilding, being the birthplace of many famous writers and poets and its political history. It is one of the best cities to visit in the summer in the UK.

Belfast rose to stardom with the construction of the Titanic. While we all know the end of the story for the cruiseliner, there is a saying in Belfast that goes, “She was fine when she left here!”

Titanic and the shipbuilding industry are centrepieces for the tourism industry in the city and you can’t visit Belfast without taking a trip to the Titanic Museum, located in the shipyard where the famous ship was constructed. 

Belfast is the homeplace of some of the UK’s most famous writers and poets and literature is a focal point of many attractions in the city. C.S. Lewis Square is a great place to visit if you have read ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’. There are seven bronze statues on display of the characters and the square is just a short distance from the city centre.

You won’t get far in Belfast without stumbling upon a mural or flag representative of Belfast’s troubled past. ‘The Troubles’ was a civil war that affected the entirety of Northern Ireland and indeed other parts of the UK for over 30 years.

Rather than forgetting that it happened, Belfast has moved into a period of remembrance and acceptance, but many locals remain wary. Taking a tour around the city with a local guide, who can give you insight into what life was like during a time of civil war is a really great experience in Belfast.


Be sure to bring a light packable rain jacket since daily highs are 65 F (18 C) and daily lows are 53 F (12C) during the summer, with around 2.3 inches of rain over 10 days per month.

Best Way To Reach Destination

Most airlines will land at Belfast International Airport – a 30-minute drive from the city centre but if you’re lucky enough to catch a flight to Belfast City Airport then you’re just 10 minutes away.

Best Place To Stay

Charlotte from The Geo Room says, “One of the best and most in-demand places to stay in Belfast is the Titanic Hotel. The hotel is actually located in the converted Harland & Wolff shipbuilding offices that were used in the design process of the Titanic.”

best summertime destinations in the UK
Yorkshire Dales National Park, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Yorkshire Dales, England

Spectacular North Yorkshire in Northern England is the UK’s largest county by area and the only one to have two national parks within its borders. It is a spectacular spot in the United Kingdom for a summer break.

While the famous Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors draw visitors year-round, they are especially popular in the summertime, with visitors keen to walk, hike, cycle or relax with a spot of good old Yorkshire hospitality. Many also visit the Yorkshire Dales to see the countryside made famous by James Herriott in his recently televised “All Creatures Great and Small” stories.

Other visitors are drawn to historic York, the county’s only city, which oozes Roman and Viking history and boasts the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

Visitors also flock to the stunning, rugged North Yorkshire coast to enjoy everything from the bustling resorts of Scarborough, Whitby and Bridlington to quaint little fishing villages, including Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay and Ravenscar. And many visitors are keen to explore North Yorkshire’s historic castles and ruined abbeys, like Fountains Abbey and Whitby Abbey.

One of the oddest and most fun events in North Yorkshire in the summer is the exceptionally popular Knaresborough Bed Race in the scenic market town of Knaresborough.

However, the most significant event in the county’s summer schedule is the magnificent 4-day Yorkshire Show in the elegant spa town of Harrogate.


Yorkshire’s weather is famously unpredictable, with highs of 68°F (19°C) and lows of 53°F (11°C). You can expect around 1.8 inches of rain over 7 days. Visitors should always pack layers and be prepared for rain!

Best Way To Reach Destination

North Yorkshire’s main towns and the city of York are well connected by public transport, with a journey time of just over 2 hours from London to York by train. Alternatively, driving will take at least 4 hours, but it can take much longer! The nearest international airports are Manchester and Edinburgh, which are also on good train lines to York.

Best Place To Stay

Coralie from Grey Globe Trotters says, “Many visitors choose York as their base when exploring North Yorkshire, with the centrally located Grand Hotel a popular choice, as it faces the city’s medieval city walls.”

best summertime vacation destinations in Great Britain
Pembrokeshire, Wales (Photo courtesy of Sinead from Map Made Memories)

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Summer in the U.K is all about being outdoors and one of the best summer getaways in the United Kingdom to enjoy the great outdoors is the Pembrokeshire Coast in southwest Wales. Most of the coastline is incorporated into the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Arfordir Penfro), the only National Park in the U.K made up of mostly coastal landscapes. 

You can expect everything in this National Park including sandy beaches, sea caves, sea stacks, moorlands and rugged cliffs. It is an outdoor lover’s paradise.  

Hikers can attempt all, or sections of, The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a 185 miles (299 km) long cliff-top path. The scenic, undulating route starts at Amroth and ends at Poppit Sands and St. Dogmaels. If you don’t have a head for heights and prefer flatter paths, go for a moorland walk in the Preseli Hills. 

Visitors can join a coasteering trip around St. David’s, learn to surf at Broad Haven, build sandcastles at Poppit Sands, or go paddleboarding and kayaking at Saundersfoot.

Slightly inland you can visit historic sites such as Pembroke Castle, Manorbier Castle or the impressive Carew Castle. Visit St. David’s Cathedral or explore the charming Victorian seaside town of Tenby. 

Alternatively, join a dolphin spotting boat trip or take a trip to Ramsey Island, a protected bird sanctuary. 

If you love seafood, visit during the lively Pembrokeshire Fish Week in June where you can join guided coastal walks, foraging and cooking workshops as well as indulging in tasting sessions. 


Summer in Pembrokeshire can bring mixed, changeable weather but you should expect warm sunny days with an average temperature of 19 C or 66 F. Be prepared for some rain as July and August receive around 2.4 inches of rain over 8 days each month. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

To reach the Pembrokeshire Coast you will need to fly into Cardiff Airport. It is a two-hour drive or a four-hour train journey to reach the coast. 

Best Place To Stay

Sinead from Map Made Memories says, “Wherever you stay in Pembrokeshire, try to stay on or as close as possible to the beaches and coastline that this area is famous for.

For some of the best coastal views, stay at the clifftop Gwbert Hotel near Cardigan which overlooks Poppit Sands and Pembrokeshire National Park.”

summer is best time to visit great britain
Saddleworth, England (Photo courtesy of Helen from Helen On Her Holidays)

Saddleworth, England

Saddleworth is a hidden gem in the north of England, not far from Manchester and on the northern edge of the Peak District National Park. The area’s quaint stone villages are full of pretty cottages nestled into the hillsides. In the countryside, in between the villages, there’s a wealth of beautiful spots to enjoy on scenic walks. It makes for a lovely summer holiday in Great Britain.

The most popular village in Saddleworth to visit is Uppermill. In Uppermill you’ll find lots of cafés, restaurants and pubs. There’s a village museum celebrating Saddleworth’s rich history, stepping stones which are always popular with families and a lovely walk along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Further up the canal you’ll find the village of Diggle and the western end of Standedge Tunnel, Britain’s longest, highest, deepest canal tunnel, which runs through the Pennines to Marsden in West Yorkshire.

One of the best reasons to visit Saddleworth in summer is the wonderful events. The highlight of the year is the Whit Friday Brass Band contests, which have been described as the “greatest free show on Earth”. Each Saddleworth village hosts its own contest, which sees brass bands from all over the UK (and across the world) compete in front of a judge who scores them without knowing who they are.

The Whit Friday band contests take place in May or June, and they’re followed in late August by Rushcart weekend, when the local Morris men pull a tall, beautifully decorated rushcart around the villages, staging dance-offs in each one. The rushcart’s final destination is Saddleworth’s parish church, where the weekend ends with gurning, wrestling and bad singing competitions – and plenty of locally-brewed beer. 


The weather in Saddleworth can be unpredictable, but summer tends to see temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and mostly sunny skies. June, July and August are some of the driest months, with an average of 70mm (2.5 inches) of rain over 8 days each month. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

To get to Uppermill, fly into Manchester Airport and either drive 30 minutes or take a train to Greenfield, which is just a mile from Uppermill village centre.

Best Place To Stay

Helen from Helen On Her Holidays says, “One of the prettiest places to stay in Saddleworth is Dovestone Holiday Park, where you can relax surrounded by some of Saddleworth’s most beautiful landscapes and within easy reach of village pubs in both Greenfield and Uppermill.”

best summertime vacation spots in the UK
Orkney Islands, Scotland (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Orkney, Scotland

Nestled in the far north of Scotland, the Orkney Islands are perfect for a summer visit. Situated just off the north-eastern coast, this archipelago boasts a rich tapestry of history, stunning landscapes, and unique cultural sites.

Orkney has a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Heart of Neolithic Orkney and includes the world-famous Skara Brae. This prehistoric village, preserved beneath sand dunes for centuries, offers a glimpse into the lives of Neolithic settlers. The village includes a few round houses with fireplaces, beds, and dressers still in place. The Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar, ancient stone circles are nearby. The sites are all a thousand years older than Stonehenge.

Tucked away on Lamb Holm, the Italian Chapel was created during World War II. Crafted by Italian prisoners of war, this small chapel is adorned with intricate paintings transforming a Nissen hut into a place of worship making it a poignant and unique place to visit.

Orkney’s coastline has several large windswept beaches. From the golden sands of Scapa Beach to the rugged beauty of Yesnaby’s cliffs with its sea stacks, there is a beach whatever the weather. In the north, Birsay Beach has a causeway that takes you to a small tidal island with a tiny lighthouse and chance to see puffins.


Orkney’s summer weather is relatively mild, with highs averaging around 60-65°F (15-18°C). However, rain showers are frequent, with a chance of rain on approximately 11 days per month. Even in the summer months, storms can blow in so planning around the weather is essential.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The nearest international airport to Orkney is Edinburgh. From Edinburgh, you can take a domestic flight to Kirkwall Airport on Orkney Mainland. Flight times are approximately 1 hour. Flights are also available from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Inverness.   

Alternatively, you can drive from Edinburgh to Scrabster (about 5 hours), followed by a ferry to Stromness, which takes approximately 90 minutes. It is possible to do the journey by bus or train, but journey times are even longer.

Best Place To Stay

Suzanne from Meandering Wild says, “Orkney has many options for accommodation. However, if you want to stay in the centre of the neolithic sites, then the Standing Stones Hotel at Stenness is the perfect base. This small hotel is on the edge of the loch with views towards the Ring of Brodgar.”

best summer beach holidays in the uk
Exmouth, England (Photo courtesy of Claire from Go South West England)

Exmouth, England

Situated along the (relatively!) sunny South Coast of England in the county of Devon is Exmouth, a real hidden gem.

It’s a medium-sized town, quite residential compared to others in Devon, but it has a two mile long beach that’s sandwiched between the Jurassic Coast (England’s only natural UNESCO site) and the vibrant Exe Estuary. 

It’s unsurprising that Exmouth’s beach is one of the best things to do in the area and one of the best beach holiday destinations in Great Britain. Think golden sand, plenty of amenities and calm waters that are ideal for a range of different watersports (it’s particularly famous for windsurfing). 

But there are also plenty of hikes, including the walk from Exmouth to the next town, Budleigh Salterton, along the South West Coast Path and the Exe Estuary Trail which is a hiking and cycling path. 

If you can pull yourself away from the beach, learn a little about the town’s history on a walking tour or by visiting the town’s museum. It may be a beautiful beach town, but there’s plenty of history involving smuggling, piracy and how it became Devon’s first resort town! 

Festivals take place frequently throughout the summer, generally held in Manor Gardens which is close to the beach. These are typically run by local restaurant owners or the town council and have a line up of local bands. They’re nearly always free to enter, too!


Being by the sea, Exmouth doesn’t usually have the same oppressive heatwaves that London can have. It generally stays a constant 68°F – 77°F throughout the summer. You can expect around 1.8 inches of rain over 7 days per month. It usually passes quickly. 

Best Way To Reach Destination

Exmouth’s only a half hour drive from the city of Exeter (also well worth visiting!) and there is a small international airport here, along with a train station that connects to London, Bristol and other UK cities. However, Bristol’s the closest airport with decent connections. 

Best Place To Stay

Claire from Go South West England says, “Exmouth’s home to one of the biggest Haven parks in the country, Devon Cliffs, but in town you’ll find The Beacon Hotel, a glorious period-decorated hotel with wonderful views out to the sea.”

best summertime beach trips in the United Kingdom
Rye, England (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Rye, England

One of the best beach vacations in the UK during the summer is in Rye, East Sussex. It is a charming town where you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a child’s fairy tale.

This medieval village dates back to the 12th century and is full of history, quaint shops, adorable tearooms, cozy places to stay, and awe-inspiring architecture. Wonky half timbered homes and cobblestones line a labyrinth of alleyways throughout this ancient town.

Some of the best things to do in Rye include climbing up to the top of St Mary’s Cathedral for beautiful 360 degree views of Rye and beyond, all the way over the Winchelsea and the English Channel. 

For those wanting to learn more about Rye’s history, a visit to Ypres Castle is a must. Once a fortress, Ypres also served as a prison, private dwelling, and court hall – and is now a museum. Touring the walls of the castle will give you an indication of how life was back in the 1200s!

Rye’s rich history can also be told by visiting the Rye Model – a scale model of the town with a historic light and sound presentation spanning 700 years of history in 15 minutes. Check out the vintage penny arcade upstairs afterwards.

Summer is one of the best times to visit Rye since its most famous festival occurs in August. Spanning four days, the Rye Bay Jazz & Blues Festival attracts thousands of people across the UK and Europe featuring World-Class headline concerts and an array of international music talent. 


Temperatures during the summer reach a comfortable high of 69°F/low of 58°F (21°C/low of 15°C) with an average 1.4 inches of rain over 6-7 days per month. It’s quite warm when the sun comes out, but it’s advisable to pack an umbrella and light sweater for cloudy days and the evening.

Best Way To Reach Destination

The best airport to fly into to reach Rye is London Gatwick. From here, Rye is a 1.5 hour drive south east. Alternatively, if you want to do some exploring in central London first, Rye is reachable by train in just over an hour.

Best Place To Stay

Sarah from In Search of Sarah says, “No visit to Rye would be complete without visiting or staying at the Mermaid Inn. This pub and hotel was rebuilt in 1420! Cozy up for a drink next to the Giant’s Fireplace, or head to the restaurant for a fantastic farm-to-table meal. Numerous celebrities have frequented the Mermaid Inn, but be forewarned, it’s reported to be haunted!”

Last Word

The United Kingdom offers many wonderful summer destination. You get the best of both worlds. Whether you want to visit charming small villages, hike along country paths or in mountains, feel the sand between your toes, discover ancient castles and cathedrals, or find exciting museums, shopping and a great night life, you will not be disappointed with the fantastic summer vacation destinations in Great Britain.

the authorNicole
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