With the coronavirus pandemic still at the top of the news schedule, it’s understandable if you’re looking for a break closer to home this year.
While Ryanair is offering breaks to Palma, Alicante, Portugal and soon Corfu, there’s a raft of fantastic UK and Channel Island destinations just begging to be explored that are a short hop from Teesside International.
So if you want a great city break, to explore the capital, or hit the beach, there’s something for everyone when travelling from your local airport.
The Granite City has far more to offer than just its links to the oil and gas industry. It also offers fantastic scenery, beaches, parks and quirky villages to discover.
If you want to take in some culture, the city’s Maritime Museum explores its links with the sea and is the perfect complement to a wander around fishing village Footdee, known locally as “Fittie”. The city’s Gordon Highlanders museum celebrates the 200-year history of the Army Regiment and Aberdeen’s recently renovated Art Gallery boasts modern art alongside classic fine art collections.
Aberdeen is a great place to base a break to Aberdeenshire, home to some of Scotland’s most celebrated town and villages. Gems include pretty harbour town Stonehaven, containing the dramatic and impressive Dunnottar Castle.
Belfast is the perfect place to stroll along fine Victorian streets, soak up the lively atmosphere, enjoy world-class attractions and indulge in a variety of top-class restaurants.
The Titanic Belfast is a must-see visitor experience which tells the tragic story of the world’s most famous ship, with original footage and interactive exhibits. If nightlife is more your thing, then expect a warm welcome and a wicked sense of humour in the dozens of traditional pubs and sleek cocktail bars throughout the city. Be sure to check out the Cathedral Quarter!
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, the historic scenery, rugged coastline and breathtaking countryside of Belfast and Northern Ireland have been used as the setting for the TV epic. Base yourself in the city for a pilgrimage to Westeros.
It’s also just over an hour from the city to the Giant’s Causeway, with guided tours running regularly. The UNESCO world heritage site of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns was said to be built by the giant Fin MacCool so he could get to Scotland to meet and fight rival Benadonner and it’s a must for any Northern Ireland trip.
Flights operate daily seven days a week with Loganair.
There’s more to this south-west city than its imposing and famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, but it’s fair to say Brunel looms large. You can also step aboard the engineer’s first great ocean liner, the SS Great Britain. But if you don’t have sea legs, take to the skies at Aerospace Bristol and learn all about the history of British aviation. While you’re exploring, check out the new murals being created especially for August’s street art festival, Upfest, running on the 25th and 26th.
The city’s teeming with animal life at Bristol Zoo Gardens, the Wild Place project, Bristol Aquarium and Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, or get out of the city with a safari visit to Longleat.
Its award-winning food and drink takes in Michelin-starred restaurants, international cuisine, vegan eats and plenty of locally made craft beers and gins.
And if that’s not enough, it’s a fantastic location from which to explore South Wales, the Cotswolds or Somerset.
Loganair fly Monday to Friday and Saturdays and you can book at www.loganair.co.uk
Okay, so we might be stretching the term “staycation” with this one but Jersey, in the Channel Islands, is too good to miss out.
The island packs a lot into its 45 square miles, with fantastic walks and golfing spots scattered throughout. If you’re into sightseeing, there’s the brilliant Jersey Zoo, the famous War Tunnels telling the life of the island during German occupation and castles and museums galore.
There are top brands, designer goods and VAT-free shopping in the Island’s capital St Helier, with charming markets and unusual antique shops always close by. The town also contains Michelin-star dining and, thanks to the island being surrounded by perfect blue waters, delicious seafood is the order of the day.
Of course, you could just spend long summer days relaxing on Jersey’s coastline, with the drastically different beaches offering everything from kayaking and safe swimming to surfing and boat trips.
Flights operate every Saturday and Sunday with Loganair.
You can get a flight only with Eastern Airways at www.easternairways.com or if you want a package, book for a flight every Saturday with Jersey Travel, Airways Holidays, Fairs-Lloyd and Premier Travel.
What’s there to say about our vibrant capital that hasn’t been said before?
There’s Michelin-starred dining in some of the country’s best restaurants, or venture to one of the street food markets, pop-ups or indie eateries around almost every corner.
Each neighbourhood is different to the last, with stylish Hoxton and Shoreditch and the up-and-coming Peckham bringing some trendy hotspots. The West End and Kensington contain the best of retail therapy, arts and nightlife.
Huge, world-renowned collections take pride of place in the Natural History Museum, V&A and Science museum over in Kensington. Art lovers can check out the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern and Tate Britain to name just a few. If you want something more unusual, there’s also a host of smaller, niche attractions like the Cartoon Museum, Pollock’s Toy Museum and Sir John Soane’s Museum all a short walk from Leicester Square.
Even with theatres currently paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s plenty to see and do in the ultimate UK citybreak.
Flights operate daily Monday to Friday and Sunday with Loganair, increasing to three flights daily from 12 July.
Newquay, in Cornwall, is a coastal town popular for those looking for a beach break and there’s no shortage of those here.
The town boasts twelve sandy beaches, including Fistral and Watergate Bay and, for those seeking something more extreme, it is also renowned as the surfing capital of England. So if you’re getting too used to the tides at Saltburn, why not bring your board here for something a bit different?
The town is a great base for exploring other areas of Cornwall like celebrity chef Rick Stein’s stomping ground of Padstow or the mythical, mysterious Tintagel Castle. The town itself contains lots to see and do, including a zoo, aquarium, and, as it remains an important Cornish finish Port, a trip to the town’s harbour is a must.
Flights operate with Loganair every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and are on sale at www.loganiar.co.uk.
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