A reaction against the tourism boom of the seventies is currently being experienced throughout the UK: the seventies saw an absolute necessity in heading out for Ibiza or the Canaries to come home with a splendid tan to excite neighbourly angst. Nowadays, many people in the UK are coming to realise that they have some of the world’s most beautiful and interesting attractions right on their own doorsteps.
Londoners are particularly fortunate in that they have a wealth of museums, galleries and stately homes, not to mention world-class restaurants and entertainments, within ridiculously easy reach. If they want to take their kids on the Harry Potter Tour or to Buckingham Palace, or explore the galleries of Bankside, they have only to hop on the tube to be there within minutes.
It is not only the capital’s residents who have a world of attractions at their fingertips though: in the Northwest of England they’re also blest in this respect with the world-class cities of Manchester and Liverpool easily accessible and North Wales in close proximity too. North Wales is renowned for its wide range of fun, diverse and beautiful attractions, from stately homes and castles to family parks, craft centres, museums and art galleries, and in less than an hour they could be on a steam train winding its way through the legendary Welsh hills.
For Geordies, there’s no need to head for the Croatian or Italian lakes when the stunning English Lake District in Cumbria is just two hours away by road to the west. The North Lakes and Keswick are famous for their breathtakingly scenic landscape and wealth of outdoor activities. Keswick and the surrounding areas have many parks, visitor centres and numerous attractions to enjoy, for all age groups.
The Castlerigg Stone Circle just to the north of Keswick is four thousand years old and is one of the most impressive remains of prehistoric Britain. At the other extreme, the Cumberland Pencil Museum has exhibits on Cumbria’s unique pencil making history, with a replica of Seathwaite Mine, where 350 years ago graphite was first discovered.
The great thing about the Lake District is that all the attractions, from quaint old towns like Keswick and Ambleside to the lakes themselves are all within a convenient distance from one another. Whether visitors want to see more of the Wildlife Park, Newlands Adventure Centre, Derwent Water Marina or explore some of the famous fell walks, they can reach them easily from wherever they’re based.
The cost of holidays is frequently prohibitive for a family with several children, especially when flight and hotel prices rocket during school holidays; however, as we live in a country with such a rich heritage, that millions of visitors come to experience every year, there’s no reason to head abroad. There’s a wealth of opportunities on our very doorsteps, from vibrant urban environments to some of the most beautiful countryside vistas to be found anywhere in the world, all often at just a short distance away.