Culture Call: Five Lesser-Known UK Destinations We Love

One of the upshots of self-isolation is the time it frees up for planning your next getaway. Don't rush it. While some are dreaming of packing their rucksacks and going full-throttle on the adventure front, for others a no-holds-barred getaway might be a physical and psychological leap too far. Our solution? Leave your passport at home, hop on the train and make for a "microgap" - an eco-friendly weekend of unbridled self-indulgence that will neatly round off this zany interval and help reset your travel compass.

Great Britain, here we come.

Five weekend staycations to book when lockdown ends


Northern Ireland

Why we can't wait to visit again: Belfast? Too obvious. We're heading for Northern Ireland's second city - specifically for its modern-trad restaurants which serve trussed up bounty from the neighbouring countryside and meaty fish plucked straight from the Irish Sea.

Where we're staying: Bishop's Gate Hotel

Before you go: Watch Derry Girls. It's a coming-of-age sitcom which follows a handful of young women as they navigate the final years of The Troubles. If you haven't ploughed through both seasons on Netflix yet (how?), add it to your watchlist.


Yorkshire Dales

Why we can't wait to visit again: This town is about as quintessentially English as a bone-china cup of tea served with a soggy rich tea biscuit. Craggy open landscapes, sliced and diced by drystone walls and teeming with bumbling livestock: the Dales are the stuff of quarantine wet dreams.

Where we're staying: Stow House

Before you go: Watch God's Own Country. It's a steamy, romantic film documenting the relationship between a born-and-raised Yorkshire farmer and an immigrant farmhand. Think Wuthering Heights meets Countryfile and you're halfway there.



Why we can't wait to visit again: What we wouldn't give to spend a weekend lazing about its charming ceramic galleries, picking up things we didn't know we needed from its exquisite boutiques and languishing in the sun-soaked gardens at Hauser & Wirth.

Where we're staying: At The Chapel

Before you go: Read Planting the Oudolf Gardens at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. We're leafing (sorry) through this book by Piet Oudolf, the green-fingered guru behind the architectural yet frothy delightfulness that surrounds the gallery.


Outer Hebrides

Why we can't wait to visit again: How better to celebrate the relaxation of travel restrictions than by making tracks for the islands speckled around Britain's northernmost tip? Stornoway is the biggest settlement in the Outer Hebrides - just the place for mountain bikers and hikers to dispel all that pent up quarantine verve.

Where we're staying: Lews Castle

Before you go: Check out The Mission House Studio. It's the love project of Beka and Nickolai Globe - a photographer and ceramicist, respectively speaking, based in the nearby Isle of Harris.


Wales, United Kingdom

Why we can't wait to visit again: While we've enjoyed gorging on juicy digital content, nothing beats good old-fashioned hardback reading material. Although the Hay Festival is sadly cancelled for 2020, you'll still find us hobnobbing with the knowledgeable local booksellers and rifling through their stashes of antique tomes. Catch us legging it over the Brecon Beacons afterwards.

Where we're staying: Westbrook Court

Before you go: Brush up on Sex Education. Those sweeping, epic landscapes? That's the Wye Valley. Much of the series was filmed in nearby Llandogo.

The Lowdown

Polperro from the sea
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