6 UK staycation ideas to tick off in summer 2021
1. Eat ice creams on the beach in Bournemouth
If you’re after the quintessential British seaside experience this summer (and let’s face it, who isn’t?!) Bournemouth is here for you. This south coast hotspot lines up Blue Flag beaches all the way to next-door Poole, so you've got plenty of options when it comes to sunbathing on the sand. When you fancy exploring, race your mates across PierZip - the world's first pier-to-shore zipline - on buzzy Bournemouth beach. Or take a wander along the pristine stretch of coastline at Sandbanks, home to a street so expensive it's been nicknamed Millionaire's Row. And as for food, take your pick from swanky seafood restaurants and classic fish and chip shops - not forgetting that all-important 99 with a Flake on the beach.
2. Set sail on a gin cruise in Bristol
If a city break is on the cards this summer, put Bristol on your shortlist. It's got fantastic nightlife, a great live music scene, and independent shops coming out of its ears. Once you've seen all that by foot, you've absolutely got to explore the city by water - you get a totally different perspective on this former trading port when you set sail on the waterbus. Bristol Ferries run harbour tours, boat parties and shuttles around the docks, but we've got our eye on their gin cruise. It sets off in the evening so you can watch the sun set as you sip your drink, but book fast – it’s bound to be popular.
3. Walk along York city walls
There’s so much history to soak up in York that you're going to need some comfy shoes for this one. Take a coach here and you can climb the 275 steps to the top of York Minster's tower, wander through ancient alleyways like The Shambles - which is thought to be the oldest shopping street in Europe - and pound the pavement of Coney Street for a spot of retail therapy. But whatever you do, save some energy to walk York's ancient defensive walls, which circle around the city and give the best views around. When you're done walking, rest your legs in peaceful les jardins du York Museum.
4. Sip a cocktail at a rooftop bar in Manchester
Balmy summer nights were made for rooftop drinks, and there’s no shortage of places to go in Manchester. Terrace NQ is a great place to start - it's in the Northern Quarter, which is full of independent bars and live music venues - and it's got several rustic rooftop bar areas where you can savour a proper pint and a pizza. If cocktails are on the menu and you're in the mood for something more sophisticated, head to somewhere like Dakota. It doesn’t matter whether the weather is playing ball, because this elegant hotel has a heated al fresco terrace with a fully retractable roof, as well as a seriously stylish cocktail bar indoors.
5. Take a punt down the river in Oxford
Gliding along the river Cherwell in a punt is just one of those things you’ve got to do while you’re in Oxford, isn’t it? So get some friends together and get onboard at Magdalen Bridge – you can hire a punt for five people for £25 an hour with Oxford Punting. If you fancy following that up with something just as genteel, book in to visit Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum or take a guided walking tour of The University of Oxford’s many (many) colleges.
6. Tuck into foot-long doughnuts in Weston Super Mare
That’s right. If you’re a doughnut fan, get yourself down to Hills Bakers in Weston Super Mare. This family-run bakery on St James Street has hit the headlines recently thanks to its foot-long doughnuts, which are going down a treat with visitors to the Somerset seaside town. And the great news is, it's not the only place you can tuck into sweet treats in Weston - because there's more in the way of foodie favourites on the town's Grand Pier. Head here for fish and chips at Boardwalk Café, candy floss from the kiosk, and – yes, you guessed it – even more doughnuts at The Grand Donut Factory.
Ready to book? Get to any of these destinations with megabus this summer – just use our journey planner at the top of this page to get started.