The world is a different place at the moment while we adjust to social distancing and the non-mixing of households where possible, but that doesn’t mean we can’t treat ourselves to a short break. Tourism and out-of-town visitors are the lifeblood of many picturesque villages in the UK, from the coasts of Cornwall to the woods of the New Forest. Without a keen interest from visitors that bring plenty of cash flow, these places run the risk of becoming unmaintained or protected.
To pique your interest in spoiling yourself with a short weekend away, we’ve put together some fab destinations to meet all budgets that have an extra attraction for you to attend or visit on your trip.
London is a popular location for people coming from all over the world but Whitechapel is easy to overlook as simply somewhere to get a tasty curry. Curry Mile aside (which is definitely worth a browse if you love Eastern delights). It is also an area full of exceptional street art that changes regularly throughout the year and moreover, is the historic stomping ground of the elusive Jack the Ripper. One of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries, the identity of dear old Jack is still unknown to this day but if you have an eye for true crime, you can try and solve the mystery yourself on a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour around the East End.
Whitby, North Yorkshire
A picturesque fishing town based in the North of England, Whitby at first glance doesn’t seem to be a place of gothic romance and mystery but in fact, it was in Whitby that novelist Bram Stoker found the inspiration for many elements of his famous Dracula story. From the name of Dracula’s first victim (Swales) taken from the crumbling gravestones in the grounds of the ancient parish church of St Mary. To the placement of the story itself when Dracula comes to ground from the sea under the appearance of a ‘large dog’. Fast forward to modern-day and Whitby celebrates its gothic connections with a world-famous, bi-annual Goth Festival and regular ghost tours around the iconic Whitby Abbey.
Glastonbury is considered one of the most magical destinations in England, steeped in history, legend and with spiritual connections to both the pagans and Christians. Jesus is said to have come to Glastonbury with his uncle and it is the centre of Arthurian legend, one of England’s most loved stories. Glastonbury Tor, in particular, is a popular destination, thought to hide the entrance to the fairy realm and be the resting place of the Cauldron of Rebirth, the Holy Grail and even King Arthur himself. The hill itself is an incredible place to get spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding area and Glastonbury is easily an area you will be keen to return to year after year.
Glencoe, Scottish Highlands
A place of untouched beauty, roaming wildlife and dramatic landscapes, Glencoe also harbours a dark secret – it was the location of the MacDonald clan massacre on 13 February 1692. Upwards of 30 people (including women and children) lost their lives here and to this day, it is thought you can hear their voices calling as the wind blows. A spooky location no doubt but one that is supported by wondrous scenery and has inspired a number of famous poets and writers to this day. Including Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin who himself credits the MacDonald massacre as inspiration for the horrifying ‘Red Wedding’ chapter.
These are just a few of the interesting, macabre and mysterious locations to visit around the UK but there are so many more to discover. If you have an interest in the different and unusual, start compiling your list of short break locations today, there are so many to choose from, you could fill years with fantastic destinations to visit!