Culture Call: Five Lesser-Known UK Destinations We Love

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


Londonderry

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.


Leyburn

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.


Bruton

Somerset

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.


Stornoway

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.


Hay-on-Wye

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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