Orford, Suffolk, England
This small Suffolk town with its Norman castle and picturesque quayside is pretty and quaint in equal measure. Stay at the King’s Head Inn, a quality Bed & Breakfast owned by Adnams Brewery, or head to The Crown and Castle hotel for a cosy stay with castle views. Breakfast at the village’s celebrated Pump Street Bakery and get a heady dose of aphrodisiac at the Butley and Orford Oysterage – a local institution serving up the freshest oysters in an unpretentious setting.
The Isle of Skye, Scotland
Undulant and unspoilt, the rugged scenery of Skye is some of Scotland’s most captivating. The island’s hub is Portree, a picturesque town of colourful harbour buildings and a good base for those looking to explore the island. Keen wild swimmers should head for the enchanting Fairy Pools near Glen Brittle – a memorable spot for taking the plunge. And whisky fans mustn’t leave without a trip to the Talisker Distillery, where you can warm those cockles with a tasting tour.
Portree © Aeypix/Shutterstock
The Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Journey to the northeast coast of Northern Ireland to see the sun set over the horizon from atop Giant’s Causeway. A brisk walk will bring you to this remarkable natural phenomenon, created by an ancient volcanic eruption, where approximately 40,000 hexagonal columns interlock to produce an undulating ridge of basalt rock. If the symbolism of perfect natural unity isn’t enough to get you all gooey eyed, the aura of myth and legendary stories surrounding this site will surely captivate your hearts.
Elope to Scotland’s capital for an elegant weekend away and to experience the fabulous contrast of medieval and cosmopolitan. You’ll find chic bars and restaurants nestled amongst landmarks steeped in centuries of history. Book a table for dinner at The Outsider with a castle view to enjoy modern Scottish cuisine in the heart of the Old Town. A climb to the peak of Arthur’s Seat (an extinct volcano) will reward you with stunning views of the city and Edinburgh Castle.
Durdle Door, Dorset, England
For the British coastline at its most arresting, pitch up on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth. Here you’ll find campsites with far-reaching sea views and private beaches. The picture-postcard limestone arches of Durdle Door make this weather-beaten landscape a dreamy location for long cliff-top walks, fossil hunting and a blustery picnic or two. Come twilight, cuddle over a campfire and if stormy weather threatens to cloud your stay, take shelter in the nearest cheerful pub – of which there are many.