Summer is set to be a right royal affair. The Queen’s 90th birthday year is a special reason to get out and make the most of what makes Great Britain great. The countryside is radiant, the coastline is as rugged and benign as ever, the mountains glower serenely, castles and stately homes welcome you…our heritage is bursting with pride.
So are our 15 National Parks. All are fascinatingly different and are stunning backcloths to walking, cycling, climbing and taking to the water. For many, though, just revelling in the inspirational views is enough. Much loved children’s author, Beatrix Potter, created Peter Rabbit and his chums while under the thrall of the Lake District. This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of her birth. Arthur Ransome based one of his Swallows and Amazons classics on the Lake District as well as the East of England. Exmoor and Dartmoor also inspired some of our finest literature. Snowdonia and the Cairngorms are climbers’ paradises and the Pembrokeshire Coast offers walks of dreams. Visit www.nationalparks.gov.uk for ‘fifteen of the best of everything’.
Why not take a few days away to west Yorkshire to mark the bicentenary of author Charlotte Bronte’s birth? Or to Warwickshire to celebrate the 400-year legacy of arguably the world’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare? Or a trip to Ashdown Forest, Sussex, to wish Winnie the Pooh and his friends “happy 90th birthday”, in The Hundred Acre Wood?
We are also into scene two of the Year of the English Garden spectacular with more and more gardens and parks open to the public. Make the most of it by staying at B&Bs who belong to the National Garden Scheme or have Gardens of Special Interest. This is running alongside The Countryside is Great Campaign promoting the best of culture, food and accommodation in Britain’s ‘great outdoors’.
2016 is Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Plan a trip for yourself to see just what Scotland has given the world in these fields. In Wales, it’s the Year of Adventure. That begins when we step outside our normal lives and do something new or different. In Ireland the Wild Atlantic Way is as spectacular as ever, the ancient east has you wandering through time and the Causeway Coastal Route continues to amaze.
See our Days Out Diary for more ideas on what to see and do.
There are more than 500 B&Bs on our website. All of which have been specially selected and inspected and provide high quality accommodation. They range from country cottages to town houses, manor houses to farm houses and even a castle – all offering a warm welcome and good value. The hosts are all keen to promote their part of the country and suggest trips out and how best to get there. Visit www.holidaycottagesnationwide.co.uk for self-catering.
Happy travelling from Sue Opperman and the team at B&B Nationwide