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Desperate for a holiday but strapped for cash? Need some inspiration for summer 2010? Check out what’s on offer from some of the most beautiful parts of the UK and make the most of beautiful Britain!
18th June: Keane in the forest, Gloucestershire
The 600-acre Westonbirt Arboretum, home to some of the oldest and tallest trees in Britain, is the third of six spectacular woodland concert venues for Keane in June. Tickets cost £32 (01842 814612, www.forestry.gov.uk/music)
5th July: Romeo and Juliet on the cliff, Cornwall
Clinging to the Porthcurno cliffs, four miles southeast of Land’s End, the Minack Theatre is one of the planet’s most spectacular stages — an epic romantic backdrop for Romeo and Juliet, especially in the evening, with the sun breaking through yonder window before plunging into the crimson Channel. Performances run until July 9, (01736 810181, www.minack.com).
12th-15th August: The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol
Held just two miles from the city centre, the route to the host parkland of the Ashton Court Estate crosses the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, giving spectators a fabulous view of the dawn or dusk (6am or 6pm) launches of up to 100-balloons at once.(www.bristolballonfiesta.co.uk)
11th-13th June: the Isle of Wight Festival
Come to the Isle of White to surf, hike and bike the post festival hangover away! After a few days partying with the likes of The Strokes, Paul McCartney and Jay Z, you’ll be ready to pack up the tent and head to the wild west coast, where great surfing beaches, excellent cycle tracks and well signed hiking trails provide the best type of nature-powered detox.
Bristol and Bath
Split a week between Bristol’s cool bars, uber trendy art galleries and live music, with Bath’s Roman-era sophistication and cute shops. Bristol’s modern art scene and unapologetically-loud nightlife make the city one of England’s most vibrant, fun, and happening places to be. In contrast, nearby Bath is the perfect stopover for those with a cultural bent – or a hangover, come to that. This UNESCO World Heritage City boasts the beautiful Royal Crescent, world-class theatre shows, stunning Georgian architecture at every turn and the fabulous and newly-refurbished Roman Baths among its treasures. (www.visitbristol.co.uk www.visitbath.co.uk)
Archery is perhaps a mandatory activity to be undertaken in Sherwood Forest. And, with more than 100 other outdoor and indoor pursuits available at Centre Parcs, not even the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham can stop your fun here. Be it a morning in the subtropical swimming paradise, a lazy afternoon in the Aqua Sana Spa or a relaxed evening stroll through the beautiful forest, this place has it all, and then some more.
Yurt life in the Lake District
Squint a little as you step outside your Mongolian yurt and you might almost be on the Asian steppe. That is until the smell of eggs and bacon, rather than mutton and mare’s milk, reminds you that you’re actually in the wilds of the Lake District. Staying in a yurt in Wordsworth’s back yard, with earshot of Rydal Beck, is certainly a novel way of experiencing England’s lakes and it is proving to be one of the most popular. Packed full of rugs, and with a wood burner, comfy beds and solar powered fairy lights, they’re certainly the cosiest spot in the Lakes.
Sailing through the Norfolk Broads
Visiting the Broads for the first time is something of an otherworldly experience. This vast area of protected wetland, the country’s largest, is a vast natural panorama in which the pace of life is a few notches slower.Birdwatchers, anglers and other nature-loving pleasure boaters will easily sink into the routine here, where the only real dilemma is which of the area’s picture postcard villages or market towns you’ll cast off from the next morning.
Walk the 73-mile World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall, in the footsteps made by the Roman legions almost 2000 years ago. Built in only six years to keep out the ‘barbarians’ of the north, the original structure had 30 forts, 80 (Roman) milecastles and 160 turrets along its length.Bestride the wall today, and even 2000 years later it is easy to imagine standing firm atop this mighty bulwark as those woad-painted hordes tumbled down from the north.