UK and Ireland Discussion Forum

Discussions regarding holidays in the UK and Ireland.
We went through quite a few years where we just got into our car and headed off with no idea where we would end up! My favourite part of Britain is actually the west coast of Scotland- stunning scenery and lots of places to visit. Every time we have gone there, it has been beautiful weather- far better than the east coast.
Nearer to me- a must see is Balmoral Castle. The grounds are pretty spectacular and you wander off on walks along the riverside or up into the hills. My father played for Balmoral cricket club and I have many fun memories when he played there. The Queen even came by one afternoon.
My favourite cities that I have visited would be York and Chester.
I'm guilty of not seeing the beauties of the UK and always running off to the Middle East etc.

I went to Salcombe in Devon two years ago before we had our first little man and was completely blown away. I would love to know if there is anyone out there who could recommend some other places in Devon....
Where to start, Lance? The beaches on the south coast as you've already discovered are lovely but the north coast is probably the place to go for dramatic coastal scenary - places like Hartland Point are beautiful. I read 'Tarka the Otter' as a child and when I realised on a family holiday based in Barnstaple that many of the places referred to in the book were real places along the north Devonshire coastline, I badgered my parents to take me to see them. Not an easy thing to do as we didn't have a car but when the husband of our landlady heard me going on about this he offered to take us on a personal 'Tarka' tour! He was a postman but it was a book he loved as well and was so taken with this Scouse kid's almost obssession with the book that he gave up one of his afternoons off to drive us around all the places mentioned in the book!

Inland both Exmoor and Dartmoor are worth the effort of going to visit - Exmoor is not quite as bleak as Dartmoor. Plus almost any one of the market towns is worth a look see but Exeter probably has the most to offer the visitor - anybody who likes York and Chester ( ;-) Fiona!) would probably like Exeter too.
Love your Tarka Tour story SMa.

Britain I'm guilty of not seeing enough of even though, as mentioned in the other thread, I'd love to tour more.

We live near the Yorkshire Moors & Dales so they are a day out to us along with Whitby, Scarborough, York. Skipton we visit occasionally, it's a bit further for us as a couple of hours on the county roads but I love that run.

My husband's job takes him away from home Mon-Fri & occasionally I've visited him when it's been difficult for him to get home on a weekend. I've been to see him in Inverness, Edinburgh & Jersey. I loved the journey up to Edinburgh as followed the Northumberland coastline.

Years ago I worked in the Lake District, Glenridding, plus we used to go fell walking, backpacking around the Lakes most weekends so have covered that area. Also been to Chester.

Went to Devon & Cornwall as a teenager, lived in London in my late twenties. I've never been to Wales so would like to visit there. Also the Cotswolds would be on my list.

Although I love the sea & my dream would be to have a house facing the sea my heart is more countryside. I love the peace & rolling green hills.
Fiona, I know Glenridding well! We frequently stayed at the youth hostel - Joe Boothroyd was the warden in those days and I've been for many a drink in both the White Lion from memory as well as the public bar at the Glenridding Hotel, though I hear that the latter has gone much more upmarket since those days! Where did you work? Before moving up to the East coast of Scotland I lived in Chester and once had to intevene in a row that had turned physically violent between 2 elderly American tourists outside of the Grosvenor Hotel on Eastgate. They had come to blows about the Yorvik centre and I had to point out to them that they were in the wrong city and the wife exploded telling her husband that she'd said all along that they should have gone the day before. I found myself trying to convince them that there were lots of of older Roman remains in Chester that they could go and visit instead! The wife was not mollified!

As for where I live now, I love the fact that I live less than 10 minutes walk from the sea and could watch the dolphins and seals while waiting for the train each morning on my daily commute to work but that I can also be up in the Angus Glens on the southern edge of the Cairngorm national park in well under an hour. The best of both worlds on my doorstep :-)

It was me SMa not Fiona lol.

I worked in Patterdale Hall, it was a sort of outward bound holiday place for schoolchildren. The original owner had left, in his will, that it was to be for deprived children to have a holiday. Times moved on & when I was there it was just groups of school kids & their teachers.

We had a laugh though. They was one group of mischievous kids came so my friend & I crept in their dormatry with a sheet on a broom handle....Lol.

We used to walk to the pub on a night but can't for the life of me remember the name. I do remember the hotel though. Did you see on the news it suffered during the floods?

One lovely episode that will always stay with me was during a heavy snowfall. Some of the farmers lambs were caught in the blizzard & were lost. We went out with sticks prodding by the Drystone walls, as if the stick went straight through easily chances are a lamb had taken shelter & got covered in snow. I found a lamb & it made my day! It also made us late for work & we got told off...Lol.
Oops! My brain has barely engaged all day - sorry :-)

I live near Glasgow and our norm for a summer holiday is to pack up the car and head straight for Portsmouth to catch a ferry to France. The first time we did it, we had such a horrific journey (13 hours driving) that we decided to break the journey the next year both ways and managed a half day seeing the waterfront in Portsmouth on the way out and a half day in Stratford on the way back. The following year, the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry started up and we used it for years so we didn't even touch England on our way to Europe.

One year we decided to stay in Scotland in the summer because we were going to New York in the October and we took a house on the Moray Firth. We went there by the scenic route, taking in Loch Lomond, Glen Coe, Fort William, the Great Glen, Urquhart Castle, a Nessie spotting boat trip, Inverness, Culloden and Fort George on the way (all with a child suffering from heatstroke in the back of the car). We managed to explore a lot of the Moray Firth area and have photos of the kids in the sea which could have been taken in the Med.

As a small child, holidays were taken in Galloway, Arran, Rothesay and the Kyles of Bute. We then had a few years of going to France before we returned to holidaying in the UK - York, Chester, the north-east of Scotland, London, and Cornwall via Cheddar and Weston-Super-Mare. In my teens and 20s I got to Edinburgh (my now hubby had the use of a family flat during the festival), Fife, Cairngorms, Perthshire, East Lothian, West Highland Way, the Lake District, North Wales, Brecon Beacons, Hastings, Eastbourne, Northern Ireland and the Norfolk Broads.

Since the children came along we have mainly used the in-laws' place in the East Neuk other than in the summer, although we have taken them to York, London, Warwick on the way home from France (twice as the car got broken into overnight the first time so we didn't actually get to Warwick Castle as it took a day to get the car repaired), North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Leicester, Blackpool, Alton Towers, Centre Parcs (my dad paid!), Aviemore (again my dad paid), Perthshire, and 3 weeks ago, the Scottish Borders. I also managed a girls' weekend in Ballater on Royal Deeside a few months before my friend's house was devastated by the floods at the end of 2015.
  • Edited by elaine80 2017-03-05 21:38:16
We have been "put off" exploring much of the UK on holiday by our experiences with our kids ~ 25 years ago - one holiday in North Devon when the weather was so bad that the tent blew down and we ended up spending the week with the MIL , another in a caravan in Cornwall when the rain was so heavy that nobody could sleep at nights and the farmer had to get his tractor to pull our car free from the mud, a (planned) fortnight in West Wales that was abandoned after 5 days because everything we had we soaked thru and the kids were SO miserable! If I'm paying for a holiday I want a (reasonable) chance of warmth and sun -not possible in the UK!
As a child our summer holidays involved Butlins in different locations. I have many happy memories. I can't remember rain but we must have had some! There were always lots of things to do indoors.
I do agree that I want sun during the year. Also I can have a cheaper holiday abroad compared to same standard of accommodation at home.
I'm always shocked tbh at the price of accommodation here. Maybe I'm just tight .....

Weather of course is a issue, but I remember as a child during the 6 weeks holiday it always seemed to be hot! I used to get a lolly stick & play with the melted tar on the roads. (Sounds really bad that, playing on the roads, but I was sat on the kerb...Lol)
If you are flexible, go the tourist office late afternoon and they will give last minute prices as hotels or guest houses try to sell all their rooms. Can be quite a saving.
Woolacombe has a lovely 3 mile beach, but it is prone to being rather windy, hence why it attracts the surfers and kite flying enthusiasts.
We got rained off a few times, so just decided that enough was enough in this country.
As a child my holiday consisted of several days out on a steam train to Cleethorpes or a coach trip to Scarborough, Bridlington or Whitby.

As my parents got a bit richer and I was a teenager, we used to go to Blackpool staying in a boarding house for Ledger was the first week in September, when all the local collieries closed down to coincide with St Ledger horse racing meeting at Doncaster racecourse.

I can't remember going anywhere else as a child.

In contrast, my youngest had been abroad at least twice a year before he started full-time school.

Sanji x
We always used to go to Woolacombe for our 2 week family holiday , used to love it there as a child , we used to rent the flat above Woolacombe Weavers which was a wool ( I think ) shop on a corner overlooking the beach , I do remember us now always having a windbreak ! And sometimes we would rent a beach hut there too . In the evenings we would go out to visit nearby places ( I'm guessing our parents were trying to broaden our horizons ) we would visit Ilfracombe , and used to enjoy the 10p outdoor motor cars on a track , my 10p worth seem to last longer than my brothers and as I used to go past him he would cry !! Things don't really change even when you get older !! Lol , we would visit Coombe Martin , Lynton and Lynmouth . It is a very nice area and I would recommend it to Lance to try ,
I was brought up around the Lake District and still live only an hour down the M6 so spent plenty of time exploring up there, and also been a regular visitor to North Wales - particularly Anglesey and then the mainland area around Porthmadog/Pwllheli. That's largely down to not wanting to go abroad with the kids when they were too small and some decent holiday parks in that area (albeit not the cheapest as others have mentioned).

As someone who has worked in motorsport in the past, I've also travelled around the country from Kent up to Fife to watch cars go round in a circles which has provided the chance to see quite a few places that I'd like to visit if I had the chance. There's a lot more to staying in the UK than people realise sometimes.
When I was a child the family usually went to Blackpool for a week at the end of July, though I do remember going to the Isle of Man when I was about 9yrs old another time going to Bournemouth, travelling usually by train or coach. When my parents bought their first car we started going to places like Cornwall and Devon, a two day journey as this was pre-motorways and we would usually have to stay somewhere overnight on the journey. I remember staying in boarding houses where you had to leave after breakfast and not be allowed to return until early evening, even if the weather was foul. I do remember the misery of finding somewhere to go on rainy days.
Few families went abroad during my childhood, package holidays to the continent didn't really start until the early 60's when I was already an adult and I remember the pleasure of almost 100% guaranteed sunshine on my week in the sun with a girlfriend.
Although I've lived abroad for over 40 years I seem to have visited lots of different areas in the UK, usually tagging a short holiday to somewhere of interest on to visits to parents over the years. One year we decided to spend the majority of our annual leave in the UK and drove to England stopping first at in laws in Essex up to Nottingham to my parents then to Yorkshire to relatives then up to Scotland across to the west and Skye down through the Lakes then into Wales down to Devon, Cornwall up to see SIL in Hampshire then back to Essex to in laws before driving back to Germany . Quite a trip, not something I would attempt now, though I would still like to visit some areas we didn't see or return to some that we liked. Though I'm no longer a sun worshipper I am put off by day after day of heavy rain showers which is unfortunately often a possibility in the UK.
  • Edited by Judith 2017-03-07 11:05:31
Think it would be easier to list the bits I havent visited.
Bizarrely, living in Scotland I've never been North or Aberdeen / Inverness!! I would like to rectify this by doing the North Coast 500 though, and having been to Lands End last year I need to do the other end :D

I'm not a city break person, but I do enjoy Liverpool and York (small cities), but we are quite partial to the English Lakes (Grasmere, Keswick/Ambleside, etc) for a nice weekend break

I'd also recommend the Causeway coast in NI, worth a trip

I've never been to Wales, had my first trip to Cornwall last year (loved it) and I'm doing the Cotswolds this year ... so looking forward to that too

On a more serious note, with the current constitutional issues in the UK and having a Scottish accent, I feel quite uncomfortable from the midlands down to the south / south east coast, so sadly not places I'm looking to visit ... I feel comfortable in Kernow as it's a celtic nation ;)
Also ...
Not strictly UK, but have been going to the Channel Islands the last few years, to Guernsey ... couldn't recommend it enough, what a great little relaxed holiday, and have also popped across to visit Sark and Herm, part of the Bailiwick

Still to go to Jersey though
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