5 UK Countryside Destinations You Can’t Miss This Summer

Arlington Row, Bibury, Cotswolds

The UK has lots of peaceful and picturesque countryside destinations perfect for those looking to escape the noise and crowds of the big city this summer. Here are five perfect countryside getaways to explore.

The Cotswolds

Famous for its chocolate box cottages complete with thatched roofs and quaint English gardens, The Cotswolds boasts some of the most beautiful villages in England along with vast open countryside. Spanning five counties in Southwest England, The Cotswolds is home to sleepy villages, bustling market towns, cobbled streets and babbling streams. Climb up Broadway Tower for sweeping views, visit Bourton on the Water for an English version of Venice, and stroll through Lower Slaughter for those quintessential holiday snaps.

Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds
Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds

Whether you want a picnic on the village green or to see the world-famous lavender fields in bloom, The Cotswolds are a must-see summer destination. From here, you can also explore some of the region’s other attractions, such as Stonehenge or Blenheim Palace.


Perhaps most well-known for Dartmoor National Park, Devon is guaranteed to awe and inspire thanks to its rugged coastline and the wild beauty of its moorlands. Devon makes a great summer destination for those who love to get outdoors, whether you plan to hike across the moors or travel the coastline by bike.

Dart River Valley from Sharpham Wine Estate
Rolling countryside near Totnes in Devon

For those looking for a more gentle summer getaway, there are also gorgeous villages and historic castles to explore as well as plenty of indoor attractions such as art galleries and museums. Highlights of any stay in Devon include the charming town of Totnes, the beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe, as well as the coastal village of Lynmouth.

The North Yorkshire Moors National Park

Despite sounding rather wild, it’s actually really easy to reach the North Yorkshire Moors National Park on public transport. There are plenty of trains from London to York as well as from other big UK cities such as Manchester. Plus, there’s a bus link from the York train station that takes you right to the park, making it incredibly simple to explore all that the region has to offer.

Rievaulx Abbey in the North Yorkshire Moors
Rievaulx Abbey in the North Yorkshire Moors

This treasured landscape is home to many pretty villages, magnificent stately homes, dramatic land and seascapes and an abundance of wildlife. It’s the place to go if you want to get away from it all for a while and immerse yourself in the beautiful English wilderness.


Famed for its breathtaking beauty, Northumberland has something to offer everyone and summer is the perfect time to visit. With a staggering 30 miles of coastline, it’s the ideal place to try paddleboarding or windsurfing, or keep your feet dry and go pony trekking along the beach. The castles of Northumberland are well worth checking out too, with Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Alnwick at the top of the list.

Large castle on top of rocky mound
The imposing Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland

You could coincide your trip with one of the region’s many events or music festivals. Or if you want to get off the beaten track, explore Northumberland’s National Park. Meanwhile, history lovers can visit the World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall.

The Peak District

The Peak District in the heart of England offers quintessential English charm and rolling green countryside perfect for a summer staycation. The area is easy to get around either by bike or on foot, and you’re likely to see an abundance of wildlife on your travels, including grazing deer and native birds, such as curlews. For something a bit different, you can cycle along the Monsal Trail, see the Well Dressings in Tissington, or have a go at climbing up on Stanage Edge.

Tissington Well Dressings, Derbyshire
Well dressing in Tissington

There are also impressive caverns and caves to explore or for the more faint at heart, why not visit one of the Peak District’s many stately homes? Chatsworth House (perhaps better known as Pemberley to Jane Austen fans) hosts an annual Regency Ball for those looking to meet their own Mr Darcy. Or you can simply pack a picnic and enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful gardens.

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