Travelling abroad is overrated. While this incendiary statement is bound to ruffle more than a few feathers, there remains a shred of truth to it, even if only due to the astonishing price of international travel nowadays. Besides, there is much more to discover on home soil; indeed, the domestic holiday is a phenomenal opportunity to see beautiful things and reconnect with national identity for a fraction of the price of the average package deal. But where are the hidden gems off the beaten track and perfect for your road trip?
Ross Back Sands
Northumberland is never really at the top of the list when it comes to seaside getaways. At the tippy top of England’s East Coast, sharing its shoreline with Scotland along with the horrendous winds of the North Sea, this blustery county is not for the faint-hearted traveller.
But those that give Northumberland a miss are missing out on some of the most breathtaking landscape scenes in the entirety of the British Isles, one of which is Ross Back Sands. Ross Back Sands is a stunning beach, with brilliant dunes and practically no manmade sights in sight.
On the opposite end of the East Coast, you’ll find Norfolk and another well-kept coastal secret in the form of Hunstanton. Hunstanton (locally, Hunston) is a small Norfolk Town with some imposing cliffs and gorgeous sands beneath. This makes for a truly breathtaking visit, and the local seafood is the final piece of the puzzle.
The Strawberry Line
The Strawberry Line is an unassuming cycle route in the depths of Somerset, but one of the best-kept secrets in the whole of the country. Somerset is a county well worth visiting on its own merits, but routes like the Strawberry Line absolutely cannot be missed whether you are an avid trek cyclist or looking for a scenic day out with the family.
Getting down to Strawberry Line’s starting point – Yatton, in North Somerset – is pretty straightforward. Rail users can arrive at Bristol and then use local rail to travel down. Drivers can make an easy road trip of it too; all you’d need is to book an MOT online first to ensure your car is up to the task, and of course make sure your bike rack is big enough for everyone.
The Kyoto Garden is not, as the name would suggest, some 6,000 miles from here; rather, it is situated practically at the heart of our proud nation’s capital, in none other than West London. Kyoto Garden is 22 hectares of peaceful, well-kept public garden space and part of Holland Park, and was a gift from Japan to us thanks to our longstanding diplomatic relationship. While not necessarily worth the trip to London on its own, Kyoto Garden is an extremely underrated place for relaxation that you should work into your London travel plans.