10 UK Destinations to Bookmark For 2023

10 UK Destinations to Bookmark For 2023

Keep it in the country with our pick of 2023’s most enticing UK staycation destinations. Among them, a hot-and-happening London neighbourhood, under-the-radar Shropshire and North stars Manchester and Liverpool

we’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s that what
we so often jump on a plane to seek – escapism, cultural newness
and broadened horizons – can also be found in our own backyard. Our
pick of 2023’s best UK destinations to visit takes us on a trip all
the way from Kent’s Blue Flag beaches to the craggy coastline of
Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, with pit stops at
handsome new hotel openings, innovative cultural events and
jaw-dropping natural landscapes along the way. Pembrokeshire’s golden sands offer some
barefoot escapism (and maybe some sunshine, too), and there can
surely be few bigger cultural adventures worldwide than a Liverpool
Eurovision party, when the all-singing, all-dancing show rolls into
town in May. All that awe found in alpine peaks and Tokyo streets?
It’s here, too – and just a train ride (or ferry) away. Here’s
where your next staycation should be.

The best UK destinations to visit in 2023

A lilac house in Notting Hill, London

Notting Hill

London, England

Wondering why Hackney seems so empty? Everyone who’s anyone is
heading out west this year, including us. In fact, we’re so
enamoured by W11’s renaissance that the neighbourhood made it onto
our definitive list of 2023’s hottest global destinations. After years spent
skulking in the shadows of its compass opposite, London’s west wing
is stepping into the light. First, there are the hot new tables in
town: Straker’s, on Golborne Road, is the new restaurant
from FoodTok’s favourite chef, while Dorian, a
few streets over, is the latest launch from the man behind Notting
Hill Fish Shop. Then, there are the parties going down at Caia, a wine bar with a
well-tuned sound system. If you want to make a night of it, take a
room at the newly opened Hoxton in nearby Shepherd’s Bush. Hackney?
Never heard of it.

Hills in Northumberland, UK



Calling all type two fun fiends (that’s those seeking challenge
and adventure on their hols, rather than sunbathing and
sangria-swigging): England’s wildest corner is an unspoilt outback that’s
set to be the centre of the country’s soft adventure boom when its
section of the England Coastal Path is completed this year. But
hiking heath-cloaked moors, romping rugged coastlines and exploring
hills inhabited by wild goats is only half the story in the North
East. Alongside rambunctious landscapes, you’ll find quirky shops
(like Barter Books, tucked inside an old train station), a
sea-sprayed tidal island that’s home to a contemporary coffee
, plus some top-notch Michelin-starred restaurants, like
country pub-housed Hjem. Oh, and there’s plenty of history to
discover up here, too – including Hadrian’s Wall, which marks its
1,900th anniversary this year.

No.42 Guesthouse, Margate
No.42 GuestHouse, Margate



It’s hardly newsworthy to say that Kent is having a moment.
Margate and Deal have been welcoming London escapees in their
droves for some years now. But, following a bumper 2022 of exciting
openings, and plenty more planned for 2023, we’re happy to report
that the southeastern county’s reign as our staycation spot of
choice continues to go from strength to strength.

Fort Road
has already flung open its doors – a derelict boarding
house restored and revived into a grown-up, mid-century-infused
Margate stay. Later this year, the artsy seaside town will also see
the sleek No.42 GuestHouse unveiled, while in endearing
Littlestone-on-Sea, just along the coast, a second hotel from the
team behind Sussex’s The Gallivant is on the cards. Book a table
over in Deal while you’re in the area – the just-opened Updown
, a restaurant with rooms (or rather cottages) tucked
into well-tended gardens, is the restaurant that everyone’s raving

A street in Manchester, UK



All eyes on Manchester: in June, Factory
is opening – a vast arts space set to put the
North of England at the heart of the country’s creative offering.
Ignore the offbeat October opening event (we’re withholding
judgement on the Matrix-themed Danny Boyle multi-media performance
until we’ve seen it) and stop by in June instead, for a pre-opening
programme from Yayoi Kusama. The Japanese artist’s polka
dot-covered inflatable sculptures – some hitting 10m in height –
will fill the main warehouse on the old Granada Studios site. Then,
November ushers in “The Welcome” – a nine-day programme of cultural
events developed in tandem with local residents.

Elsewhere in the city, everything is turning a little bit green.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on news about the soon-to-open
biophilia-focused Treehouse Hotel Manchester (and its sustainable
restaurant and rooftop bar), and we’re planning a summer stroll
through the new shoots of Mayfield Park, the first public green
space to open in the city in more than a century.

Grace ad Savour restaurant, near Solihull, UK
Grace & Savour



We’re calling it: 2023 will be the year of the suburban
staycation, and there are few better city fringes to explore than
the ever-expanding Birmingham’s. The Midlands’ behemoth has been
making a lot of noise in the kitchen; (relatively) new names like
laid-back neighbourhood stop Tropea have joined old favourites including
Chakana in the city’s extremes. Head to the leafy
streets of Stirchley to check out the up-and-coming craft brewing
scene (or try some cocktails at acclaimed neighbourhood bar
Couch), then
hotfoot it over to Harborne for a dinner of tender cod over
girolles and sea purslane and sharp kohlrabi tartare at Harborne

Make a weekend of it with a stay much further out, at Solihull’s
Grace & Savour (opened last year), a
gastronomic guesthouse bringing a touch of Scandinavian cool to the
city’s (very) rural outskirts.

Orkney, Scotland, UK

Orkney Islands


You’re more likely to rub shoulders with fantastical folklore
creatures and ghosts of centuries past than people in the Orkney
isles, a collection of more than 70 mostly uninhabited islands just
off Scotland’s northeastern tip. Dotted with age-old Neolithic
sites, First World War shipwrecks and Viking-founded villages, the
archipelago’s rugged landscapes and sandstone-cliffed shorelines
sing with its storied past. This year, the Ness of
excavation site, which has seen a groundbreaking
archaeological investigation into a huge complex of centuries-old
buildings, is opening to the public for the first time from 5 July
to 17 August. News that, from April, you’ll be able to fly twice
weekly to the largest town in the archipelago, Kirkwall, from
London City makes this island escape all the more enticing.

Houses in Aldeburgh, Suffolk



Blustery beaches. Pastel-hued terraces. Independent stores.
Artisan bakeries. The new jewel in Suffolk’s rural crown is the
breezy coastal enclave of Aldeburgh. Thanks in part to the opening of
restaurateur and hotelier George Pell’s reimagined 17th-century
inn, The
, last August, this sea-facing stretch of England is
making waves. Check into a curio-filled room at the new hotel, fuel
up on crullers at farm café Pinch, then stomp your way along the shore on the
Suffolk Coast Path. If you have time, head to Snape Maltings for cultural performances and a snoop
around the antiques centre.

Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire, Wales



We’ve felt the call of the wild more times than we can count
this year – and the closest we’ve got to escaping it all? Not
counting a pit stop at an isolated Mozambique nature reserve, the stretching
sands, and craggy cliffs of Pembrokeshire provided all the open
space and raw beauty we needed. Low-profile Pembrokshire is often
outshone by its topographical twin, Cornwall, but the Welsh
county’s coastal beauty rivals the likes of Kynance Cove and even,
we’d venture, Bondi, on a summer’s day. Make a pilgrimage down
Wales’ southern coast when the weather improves in 2023 to stroll
across Barafundle Bay’s golden sands and hike the rugged, raw
geography of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Still not sold? The
area is in the midst of a culinary renaissance. Try farm-to-table eating at forager Matt Powell’s
Annwn restaurant, and seasonal sharing plates at
Paternoster Farm, fuel up on boxfuls of ruby-red crab
claws from beachside food truck Cŵlbox, in Saundersfoot, or tuck into a tasting menu
inspired by the region’s natural larder while enjoying sea views at
nearby Coast.

Shropshire, UK



We’ve already been romping through Shropshire on frosted
winter walks in the new year, but our love
affair with the county is set to be a year-long fling, thanks to a
brace of new countryside stays cropping up between the region’s
rolling hills. Make your base the folksy Bear Inn at
Hodnet (a late 2022 contender for Britain’s best pub with rooms),
or the fairytale-like self-catering cottages of Bradford Estates, then head out for explorations of
the elegant Wollerton Old Hall gardens. For dinner, make
tracks to Whitchurch for a terroir-led tasting experience at
, a micro-seasonal restaurant with a menu informed by
what’s growing outside.



We didn’t need the excuse of Eurovision’s imminent arrival (in a
shower of sequins) on the city waterfront to put Liverpool on our must-visit list for 2023. Proud,
independent and resilient, this North West destination has always
had a welcoming character, but a long-fought-for rejuvenation is
finally putting the best of Scouse hospitality into the spotlight.
And the controversial loss of its Unesco World Heritage status last
year hasn’t held the city back one bit. A home-grown explosion of
neighbourhood restaurants has made this one of the most exciting
food scenes outside of the capital: Maray, Belzan, Madre and
Lerpwl are
all nipping at the heels of stalwart gastronomic greats Röski and
Art School
. Then, there’s the culture. From pulsating beats in
the Baltic Triangle (try 24 Kitchen Street) to esoteric art-and-music
nights at the North Dock’s Invisible
Wind Factory
, by way of orchestral concerts the art deco
Philharmonic, the city’s musical heritage lives on in
ever-changing and innovative formats. Eurovision just adds to the

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