6 Reasons You Should Visit The Isle Of Wight

If you’re planning a UK based holiday this year, the Isle of Wight should definitely be on your shortlist! It’s known for its beautiful sandy beaches and seafront promenades, as well as for the dinosaur remains and fossils that can be found in areas like Compton Bay and Yaverland Beach. A holiday on the Isle of Wight ticks off everything that you need for the perfect getaway.

Historic Towns And Villages

The town of Newport is located on the North side of the Isle of Wight, and is home to two elegant squares and an array of Victorian and Georgian town houses.

The town has the perfect blend of historical interest and modernity. The town is populated with exclusive small shops and coffee shops and cafes so it’s perfect for a day of shopping, and there is also plenty of evening entertainment with three theatres and a cinema along with a host of pubs and restaurants.  The colonnaded Guildhall was built in 1816, and it’s clock tower was added in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee. There is also a third century Roman villa on the outskirts of the town.

Luxury Accommodation

If you fancy a change of pace from a hotel or a B&B, you could book your stay on the Isle of Wight at the Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park.

The park offers self-catering accommodation in luxury lodges, with some even having the option of a hot tub! There’s also an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, as well as a bar which offers beautiful views of the bay.

Gorgeous Beaches

The North East coast at Ryde is home to miles of sandy beaches. Check out the pier with its traditional amusements, cafes and small harbour. There’s even a children’s play park right on the beach! Head there with your family to relax for the whole day, and take a lunch break in one of the many cafes.

Adventure Parks And Zoos

If you’re looking for a family friendly day out then check out the primate rescue centre, Monkey Haven, near Newport. It’s home to gibbons, macaques, capuchins, marmosets, tamarins and squirrel monkeys, as well as a host of owls and other birds.

Steam Railway

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s locomotives and carriages have all been painstakingly restored to pristine condition and are the hallmark of this delightful railway. The oldest locomotive was built in 1876 and carriages date back to 1864!

Relax in one of the beautiful carriages and watch the countryside go by or just hop on and off to explore the towns along the train line. Keep your eyes peeled for a deer or a red squirrel scurrying away as the train passes through ancient woodland, and if you’re lucky you might even spot a kestrel looking for its prey.

Castles

Carisbrooke Castle just outside Newport was built over 800 years ago, and was once used as a royal prison for Charles I. You can take in the buildings, relax in the garden or even dress up as a soldier, experiment with armour and discover how to fire cannons.

Or if you prefer, you could check out Queen Victoria’s family home at Osborne House which is still stunning to this day.

Five must-do adventures in London

London is a fantastic city. It’s a great place to live in and work, and millions of tourists visit the UK capital every year to explore the interesting sights and the hidden gems found down the side streets that are great to explore.

What should you choose to do in London if you’re only there for a short time, though? With so many attractions available, it’s difficult to figure out what to add to your to-do list. These are just a handful of the top places to visit in London – all of which will give you a flavour of the amazingly vibrant city that you’ll want to visit again.

Explore the River Thames

This iconic waterway is the lifeblood of London and has brought industry to the capital for centuries. The River Thames is the second longest in the UK and, not only has it been a base for people to settle since prehistoric times but has been important to rulers and played its part in the World Wars.

You’ll get to see a great number of sightseeing locations on a cruise, including Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament. When booking a London cruise, you have many different options from which to pick: you can see London at night, or choose to go on a trip serving afternoon tea or a meal on board.

Seek out Shoreditch

This is one of the trendiest areas of London and is one of the hottest nightlife spots in the city. It’s also full of eateries and bars and is a perfect place to spend your day and your evening.

You can have a look at spending time at a circus-themed bar with inventive drinks to sample. Or, you can try others that have a 90s-themed blues bar that serves sticky ribs and other American staples.

Go to Baker Street

If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, then visit one of London’s top sites. Baker Street is best known as the home of Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous detective creation.

There is a Sherlock Holmes museum near the Tube station and, if you want to add another site to your list, have a look at Madame Tussauds around the corner. For a break from the crowds, you could also try a trip to nearby Regent’s Park or Primrose Hill.

Visit Buckingham Palace

If you’re in London between July and October, then have a look at the gold leaf-adorned State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. If you can, get a ticket to access the Royal Mews: this is where the coach that’s been used for every coronation since 1820 is on display. You can also go to see the Changing of the Guard for free.

Call in on St Paul’s Cathedral

This 17th Century Renaissance masterpiece is an exceptional sight set against the nearby skyscrapers in the London skyline. Make sure you go to the Whispering Gallery, the Golden Gallery, with its views over the River Thames, and the tombs of some of Britain’s best-known personalities.

The Best Golf Breaks in the UK

When you are looking to book perfect UK golf breaks or a stay and play golf weekend at a luxury resort such as Carnousite or Forest Pines or you are looking to put together your own bespoke UK golf break which factors in nightlife, Golf Holidays Direct have the best options for you. Our range of golf breaks cover all regions of England as well as Scotland and Wales too.

If you’re looking to visit and experience the beauty, all the best golf in Scotland then why not check out our golf tours in Scotland.  

Scotland is the ‘home of golf’, the perfect destination for golfers seeking breath-taking scenery, championship courses and the finest resorts and hotels. Golf breaks in Scotland provide golfers, of any skill level the chance to play on some of the world’s finest golf courses, the most iconic of these include St Andrews, Gleneagles, Muifield, Royal Troon, Carnoustie and Turnberry.

Scotland not only has world-class golf courses, but it is also home to numerous outstanding resorts and hotels. Book a golf holiday to Scotland with Golf Holidays Direct, to experience the best and finest that golf in Scotland has to offer. Our short golf breaks, weekend deals and holiday packages to Scotland are available to suit any budget and any golfer.

Scotland has over 340 amazing golf courses, located amongst some of the most beautiful scenery on earth; it’s easy to see why a UK golf break in Scotland is hard to beat. Golfers from all over the world travel to Scotland to experience its world-class championship courses, luxury resorts and hotels.

Scotland, the ‘home of golf’ has numerous outstanding golf destinations, courses, resorts and hotels, from the spectacular Highlands, to the breath-taking West Coast, and historic region of Aberdeen – Scottish golf is some of the world’s finest.

St Andrews, where some say golf began, established in 1943 is one of the oldest clubs in the world. This spectacular links course is comprised of seven incredible courses, and regularly plays host to eh British Open. Ranked as the 5th best course in the world, and home to the 5* Fairmont St Andrews a resort that encapsulates luxury, elegance and truly breath-taking surroundings, there is no better location for a golf holiday in Scotland.

If you’re seeking golfing luxury, then why not head to Gleneagles – a ‘golfer’s paradise’ that offers the perfect retreat for anyone seeking relaxation, world-class golf and spectacular beauty. Boasting a 5 star luxury hotel alongside three championship golf courses; The PGA Centenary, The Queen’s Course and The King’s Course, this beautiful 850 acre estate is a golfers paradise.

Other incredible courses in Scotland include the Royal Troon Golf Club, one of Scotland’s golfing gems. Carnoustie Golf Club situated in Angus at the mouth of the Barry Burn, home to three of the toughest and most highly regarded links courses in the world; The Championship Course, The Burnside Course and The Buddon Links Course. Muirfield, a fine links course regularly plays host to the Open Championship. The recently refurbished Turnberry course comprises of an outstanding resort built on its golfing heritage, having hosted the Open no less than four times.

Whether you’re looking for a short weekend golf break in Scotland, or a luxury golf holiday and package in Scotland, Golf Holidays Direct have the perfect Scotland golf break waiting for you.

Where Are The Happiest Places In The UK –…

There’s no denying that the UK is a small country, but it’s also a surprisingly diverse one. There are huge differences between different regions – if you’ve ever visited Cornwall and then gone to Northumberland straight after you’ll know that they are worlds apart, both in terms of landscape and in culture. There are bustling cities, quiet villages, historic towns and rural idylls all over the nation, and each spot has its own advantages and disadvantages. Everyone, no matter where they live, believes that their home town is the best. But which region of the UK really is the happiest place to live?

A Recent Survey Holds The Answers

The leading independent job board in the UK recently posed a question to the population – “are you happy on an everyday basis?” Interestingly, despite the many problems that the world is facing 24.7, almost 60% of Brits replied in the affirmative. However, the percentages were especially high in five regions of the UK. Those spots have now been designated as Britain’s happiest places to live. So, which areas deserve this accolade?

Brighton – The Happiest Place In The UK

Almost 87% of people who work in Brighton answered that the felt happy every day. This was the highest figure of any region in the UK. This has led to Brighton being designated as the happiest place in England to work and live. Of course, if you’ve ever been to Brighton you won’t be surprised. There’s a lot to enjoy in this gorgeous resort. A fashionable seaside destination since the 18th century, Brighton has a sunny spot on England’s south coastline. Over the years, it has grown into a top tourist location, renowned for a diverse community, its quirky shopping opportunities and its cultural scene. It’s also the UK’s unofficial gay capital thanks to its large LGBTQ+ population.

The Second Happiest Place – Leamington Spa

Rightmove, a leading estate agent in the UK, voted Leamington Spa as one of the happiest places to live in the UK thanks to its gorgeous open spaces and country gardens. The town has the beautiful River Leam running through it, and this is said to be a major factor in making its residents even happier.

The Wirral – Britain’s Third Happiest Spot

Let’s head further north and west now to the Wirral, the third happiest place according to Rightmove estate agents. In 2017, The Wirral was also voted as the North West’s happiest place, so it’s clear that those who live and work here are big fans of the location. It could be its coastal location that makes it such a popular place to spend time. Just over the river from the centre of Liverpool, it enjoys a fantastic location within easy reach of the city but without the stress, hustle and bustle of city living. This area also has many beautiful open spaces and parks, 25 of which were recently award the Green Flag award.

Harrogate – A Lovely Yorkshire Destination

North Yorkshire offers plenty of glorious scenery and lots of lovely towns, but of all of them Harrogate is arguably the finest. It may be a town, but it has the feel of a quaint village, with a strong community spirit. In fact, it’s been voted as one of the UK’s top ten safe places to live, so you can wander around here knowing that you won’t be at risk. Harrogate is a famous spa town which first became popular as a tourist spot during the 19th century when people came here to take the waters. Even today, it has plenty of water to enjoy including Turkish Baths, the Valley Gardens and the mineral springs, and the town’s wonderfully refreshing properties are mentioned regularly by residents as one of the main attractions of living here.

A Regal Joy – Royal Tunbridge Wells

The fifth spot on this list has been awarded to Royal Tunbridge Wells, a beautiful town in the heart of rural Kent. Queen Victoria herself was an enormous fan of this town and would come here whenever she felt the need to relax and destress. It’s no wonder, either. There is gorgeous countryside surrounding the town, while in its heart, its spa waters and artisan high streets attract celebrities to come and live in its splendour. It’s no surprise that this place has made it into the top five list.

The UK – A Wonderful Place To Be

Of course, there are plenty of other contenders for spots in this top five list. Most people in the UK think their home town deserves to be showcased in this way, and if you think your home town should be in the top five, you aren’t alone. There’s nothing quite like the British community spirit, and with so many differences across the nation, who needs to go anywhere else?

Most popular leisure activities in the UK

British traitsThe British public has less leisure time than ever before according to recent surveys which have shown that working hours in the UK are getting longer.

Nevertheless, when Brits come home after a hard day in the workplace, they have a few favourite pastimes that they just can’t get enough of!

So, just how does the average British man or woman enjoy themselves?

Bingo – More Popular Than the UK’s Favourite Sports!

For generations, bingo has been a game that has been synonymous with Brits, and with the rise of new online bingo sites the numbers of players are only increasing with time. Today, there is such a huge selection of UK bingo operators for players to choose from that it’s no wonder that the game is so popular.

Around 2 million people across the nation play on a regular basis, with many of them now choosing the play from their laptops or even smartphones rather than actually heading out to a real-world bingo hall. It’s easy to see why when you look at the enormous selection of games available – everything from standard 90 ball bingo to speed games where are perfect for filling in a few moments while waiting for the bus or standing in line at the Post Office!

Many sites now even offer a chat function, so players can socialise and make friends just as they would have done in a bricks-and-mortar hall. Websites like topnewbingosites.co.uk are helping those who want to try bingo for the first time, or even just want to widen their experience, to find the best operators out there today.

A Nation of TV Addicts

According to recent research, the UK public’s most popular leisure activity is watching TV. The average person watches around 25 hours of programming every week, and virtually every household in the country has a TV set. Many have them in almost every room of their home.

Reality TV is an ever-popular genre with celebrity competition programmes like “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” and “Strictly Come Dancing” attracting exceptionally high viewing figures every year.

Recently, a TV debate between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition party was cancelled allegedly due to a dispute about missing episodes of these two shows – just going to show how beloved they are!

Football – A British Institution

Although Brits are passionate about several sports, none more so than football (or soccer, as it’s known around the world). Football has an enormous following, with 11 million people playing the game themselves and around 19 million preferring to watch matches on their TVs.

Although traditionally associated with boys, more girls are getting involved, with the number of female players set to hit a million in the near future. Some of the UK’s best-known teams are famous around the world, with Manchester United, in particular, holding iconic status.

Football matches in London

Going to The Pub

Although there are bars all over the world, the concept of the British pub holds a very special status. The idea of the “local” where everyone knows each other and where families come together to drink and enjoy themselves may be an idyllic one, yet for 53% of Brits, the pub is the first place they head during their leisure time.

Unfortunately, due to the rising costs of alcohol, more people are choosing to indulge at home, and pubs are closing at the rate of around 18 a week. So, who knows how long this activity will stay on our list of top British leisure pursuits?

Video Gaming – The Young Person’s Choice

In common with young people around the world, teens and young adults in the UK are obsessed with video gaming. About 30% of leisure time among those under the age of 25 is spent playing on gaming consoles, with the Xbox and PlayStation being among the most popular devices.

Young people are also spending more time using their smartphones, and whether they are playing games, accessing apps or messaging their friends, it’s rare to see a group of British youngers without at least one of them having their mobile in their hand!

Watch this short video on UK video games companies. There’s some really big names here that might surprise you!

Heading Out for The Day

90% of British people choose to spend their leisure time with their friends and family members, however, the types of activities that they indulge in vary between individuals. Shopping is always a popular choice, with shopping malls and out-of-town retail centres proving to be extremely well frequented.

Many people enjoy making a day of it, by including a meal and a trip to the cinema to their day out, since most shopping centres today have a range of leisure options as well as stores.

Green Fingered Brits

Around half of people in Britain enjoy spending time in their gardens. Gardening is an especially common pastime among the older generation, and 27 million people nationwide confess to spending their leisure time tending their plants.

With TV and radio programmes like Gardener’s World and Gardener’s Question Time as popular as ever in 2018, it’s clear that green fingers are widespread among the British public.

Check out Kew Gardens in London. Definitely worth a visit!

Of course, there are lots of other popular hobbies enjoyed by Brits. From reading and knitting to swimming and tennis, the nation has eclectic tastes and passions. However, as the amount of leisure time that the average man or woman on the street can enjoy reduces, it’s clear that these top pastimes are the go-to options for time-poor citizens.

Places to visit in England

UK travel myths debunked

Whether you are local or arriving from abroad, it would be fair to say there is a certain charm about traveling in the UK.

At the same time, there are various myths. Some are completely legislated; for example, the notion that it always rains isn’t far from the truth! However, others are slightly more exaggerated, and it can paint an incorrect picture of what vacations in the UK have to offer.

Today’s article will look to level out a few truths, as we look to debunk the biggest misconceptions that relate to UK travel.

Myth #1 – London is the only option available

Places to visit in EnglandLet’s kick the biggest myth doing the rounds into touch to start with. There’s no doubt that London is one of the premier destinations in the world, but there really is more to UK tourism if you look a bit further afield.

For example, let’s take a look at Bristol. This is located a reasonable distance from London, has countless attractions nearby and the hotels are much better value. Ultimately, if your time allows, it’s cities like this which should really grab your attention. You are able to sample “real” UK life, rather than what life as a tourist presents to you.

Myth #2 – Attractions are expensive

As already alluded to, there are plenty of attractions in the UK. Unfortunately, if you were going to go off the first price of these, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are grossly expensive.

Travel in england myths

However, there are countless ways to avoid this first price. Let’s not forget that museums in the UK are free to enter, while very few tourists will ever pay the full price for attraction tickets as 2-4-1 deals are so easily accessible. Not only that, but you can even obtain passes which will provide a heavy discount for entering all of the historic sites dotted around the country.

Myth #3 – You should always grab the metro

If you have taken the decision to visit London, don’t always assume that the underground is your best method of transport. It might be one of the best of its kind in the world, but it can get incredibly busy. Not only that, but some studies have found that it’s actually quicker to walk between stations rather than take the underground. As well as obviously saving you money, this is also an easy way to see more of the city.

Myth #4 – Everything functions just like the rest of Europe

best picnic area in the Uk

If you venture to the likes of Spain, you’ll know all about the siestas. Granted, most people won’t expect these in the UK where the temperatures don’t necessarily reach that Mediterranean level, but there can be a few raised eyebrows about other elements of British culture.

For example, in some popular tourist parts of Europe it’s common for the stores to stay open well into the night. Well, unless you are heading around the festive season, this is unlikely to happen. In most cities, the stores are open for business hours, while restaurants will close for last orders at 11pm. When this is compared to the rest of the continent, where some people won’t even head out to a restaurant until the late hours, this is a stark contrast.