Escape to the Country On Your Tour of the UK

The British countryside has inspired painters, writers, and many other artists throughout the centuries. Today, escaping to the countryside is the dream of many city dwellers, so in this article we have listed some of the UK’s best-rated (and less crowded) rural destinations. You are guaranteed to find a place that tickles your fancy whether you are coming from the North, the capital, or the West of the country.

Mountain Goat, Cumbria

Cumbria

Tourists flock to Cumbria to explore the Lake District National Park, which is one of the finest examples of natural beauty in the United Kingdom. The attractive towns and villages of the area offer visitors the possibility to stay in charming cottages or in rural retreats.

However, if you want to beat the crowds and enjoy the peacefulness and splendor of the Cumbrian countryside, head to the Pennines, a spectacular mountain rage that rises almost 3,000 feet above sea level. This is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty made up of valleys, moorlands, limestone caves, and a few picturesque villages, like Alston or Garrigill, where visitors can stay overnight.

Bedfordshire

Although the Home Counties might be listed as one of Britain’s top tourist destinations, the area is not short of attractions, especially for lovers of rural life and traditional English heritage. Bedfordshire is home to several outstanding market towns, such as Ampthill, Biggleswade, and Sandy. Bedford itself has been a market town for over eight centuries. Woburn Abbey is also worth stopping by, as this fine estate is surrounded by 30 acres of carefully manicured gardens and by a 3,000-acre forest and deer park.

The Luton Hoo Hotel in Bedfordshire is a good base for visitors interested in touring around the Bedfordshire countryside. This 5-star hotel, golf resort, and spa is conveniently located a few miles away from Luton, although its location amidst 1,000 acres of woodlands means that the venue is perfect to escape the pressures of everyday life.

The Black Mountains

Located right at the border between England and Wales, the Black mountains are generally overlooked by tourists. Narrow valleys, ridges, hiking and cycling trails, medieval castles and priories, and delightful villages are some of the area’s attractions. The charming market town of Hay-on-Wye is a pleasant stop for those travelling to or from the Black Mountains. The town (also known as the United Kingdom’s book capital due to its large number of bookstores) offers an interesting range of accommodation options, which includes inns, lodges, hotels, and bed and breakfasts.

Other places worth visiting in the area include the town of Talgarth, where you can go pony trekking and gliding in and above the mountains, and Crickhowell, a quaint market town half way between the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons National Park.

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The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Travelling

Travelling can be so exciting, and full of opportunities. If you want to grow as a person while you experience the word, travelling is the best way to do it. However, people tend to make some pretty big mistakes when they travel. Here are some of the biggest:

Letting Somebody Else Pack Your Bag

Letting somebody else pack your bag could be a mistake that costs you a lot of money. Even if this person is looking out for you, they might forget something important, or worse, pack something that isn’t supposed to be there. Write a list of everything you need and use it to pack your own bag.

Packing Too Much

Again, packing too much is a big mistake. Do you really want to end up with 3 different suitcases, with things you probably won’t use inside? Only take the essentials. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice anything; just be smart about what you take with you. Taking too many ‘just in case’ items will be annoying and possibly even more expensive.

[Photo courtesy of chattygd/flickr.com]

Failing To Invest In Comfort Items

Investing in comfort items for the flight help you to have a better time. Get a travel pillow, along with an eye mask and ear buds if you want them. It can be difficult to sleep on a flight, so if you want the best shut eye you can get, make sure you treat yourself.

Failing To Plan Enough Time In between Flights

Sometimes, if you have to get connecting flights, you can look online and you’ll be shown your options. However, you need to make absolutely sure you have enough time to get off one flight and onto another. It might seem as if you do, but you’ll need to factor in collecting your things and getting through security. You’ll also need to factor in any delays. Missing connecting flights could be very expensive! Just because it’s shown on a comparison site, doesn’t mean you’ll definitely make it.

Not Having Cash For Your Arrival

You’re going to need some foreign currency for your arrival. Think about it; you’ll likely hop in a taxi, or at least want a snack. You can pick some up at the airport if you didn’t get any before you left your home town.

[Photo courtesy of Philip Brewer/flickr.com]

Forgetting To Inform Banks

You might want to inform your bank that you’re travelling if you plan on using cards. If they suspect suspicious activity, they could freeze your cards. This could leave you in the lurch!

Not Having The Right Documentation

Having the right documentation is absolutely essential. If you’re travelling to America, for instance, you’ll need to make sure you look at the American ESTA website to ensure you have what you need. There are a number of other documents you may need too, from insurance documents to tickets. Have it all safe in one place.

Packing Your Itinerary Too Much

Make sure you leave yourself some free time so you don’t feel stressed out trying to cram everything in. Having an itinerary can be a great guide, but don’t be rigid with it!

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How To Save Money On Transport While Travelling

During travelling unnecessary costs can easily build up, eating into your precious budget. Transportation is one of those factors that can prove expensive if not dealt with carefully. It’s easy to call a taxi and book the first flight you see, but shopping around and choosing more cost effective options can save you a lot of money.

Travelling From One Destination To Another

The initial flight to your destination can often be costly, especially if it is long haul. There are various levels of comfort, luxury, and prices you can go for. No matter what kind of flight you book, there are always ways to make sure you’re choosing the right deal.

Buy your tickets as early as possible; the closer to the flight, the higher the prices are. Make sure you shop around and check comparison sites for the cheapest costs. They will vary depending on the date and number of tickets left. Try to be as flexible as possible, as costs can differ dramatically; Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually cheaper. Flights with connections can also work out a lot cheaper, so if you aren’t in a rush opt for these.

[Photo courtesy of unsplash.com /pexels.com]

When you do arrive at your destination, make sure you have already planned how to get to your accommodation from the airport. Check the ‘how to go here’ instructions on your hotel’s website. It will normally list the public transport and directions needed, which will give you a good idea when you arrive. Most agents will direct you towards expensive taxi’s, but always check public transport too as this is normally a fraction of the cost.

Travelling Within Your Destination

When you are settled into your location, you will want to get around and visit the sites. For places that are too far to walk, you will need to consider transport options. The best option is to ask at reception. The staff are normally very willing to help, and as they are locals they’ll have all the inside knowledge. If public transport is unreliable, consider hiring a car rather than using taxis. Low damage excess car hire can work out very cost-effective, so ask around for recommended companies and explain what kind of journeys you’ll be making.

Where To Find Information?

It can be difficult to find information when you are abroad, especially if you don’t speak the language. But in most places, you only need to simply ask! Most locals will be pleased to show you around their home, and staff tend to go out of their way to assist you. There are tourist information points in most cities, and the staff here will normally speak English to some degree.

Failing that, the internet is a wonderful place for finding information quickly. It is relatively easy to purchase plane and train tickets online, with passes saving you money if you’re going to be doing a lot of travel. Take a photo or screenshot of maps, in case you have no internet access later, and write down directions where you can.

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