The definition of ‘staycation’ has shifted in recent years. Where once it meant a home-bound holiday, shifting attitudes away from international travel toward the domestic holiday have resulted in the word’s use to describe relatively local trips. London is by far and away the most popular staycation destination in the UK, and for good reason; London is a wonderful city, and a befitting capital to England. But the South has so much more to offer – which is why we’ve compiled five of the best locations to visit in the South of England.
Bristol is arguably the progressive centre of the South, home to numerous art scenes that challenge and further their form – a melting pot of talent, artistry and culture. Seated on the River Avon and mere miles from the mouth of the River Severn, Bristol has a rich maritime history, priming it for a future as a vibrant multicultural city. Come for the music, stay for exhibitions and get lost in an unconventional city.
The Cotswolds cast a wide net, straddling six counties across its near-800 square miles. Around half of the area is accounted for by the town of Cirencester, a beautiful Roman town with a rich and storied history. However, much the Cotswolds’ beauty can be found well beyond the town limits, in its quaint and calming countryside replete with rolling hills and traditional cottages. The Cotswolds were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as a result, marking them as a popular destination for campers and AirBnBers alike. For the true rural-South experience, visit Bibury: a riverside village with 14th-century cottages that still stand strong today.
Cornwall, at England’s south-western tip, is a county with a lot to show for itself. From Land’s End – the most southerly point of Britain – to the historic coastal town of St. Austell – home of the Eden Project and a stone’s throw from the picturesque Carlyon Bay – Cornwall is chock-full of historical marvels and gorgeous views. Wherever you go, you can be guaranteed good food and drink as well, with authentic Cornish pasties and delicious clotted ice cream around every corner.
Brighton is a jewel on England’s southern coastline, a seaside resort and the largest constituent district of the city Brighton and Hove. Brighton is also incredibly easy to get to, with a number of popular train routes you can take advantage of in order to spend even an afternoon drinking in the sun and sea alike. Brighton Pier’s reputation as a coastal landmark precedes itself, while Brighton’s cultural scene is unparalleled in the South-East. There’s something for everyone, from the arcades to the art exhibitions!
Cambridge is the dictionary definition of an historic city, having been home to civilisation since pre-history, and today being home to one of the oldest operating universities in the Western world. Cambridge sits on the River Cam, which was unusually named for the city rather than the city being named for the river. The Cam is of particular significance to the city’s modern appeal, being home to the regional pastime of ‘punting’ – a form of gondola travel which provides stunning views of the city from the water.