The rewards of lone traveling are numerous; meeting new friends, discovering new sights, trying out the local dishes and exploring places without constraints. Questions of confidence in personal safety and navigating alone are sometimes the concerns of solo travel, but by furnishing yourself with the right accessories and/or technology, dappled with plenty of common sense, there are some stunning destinations in the UK waiting just for you. Whether you’re seeking the calm of a country escape and coastal walks, national treasures or the city buzz of street market foods, there is much to discover.
For English Countryside
The Cotswolds is the perfect, quintessentially English countryside to head to for botanical gardens and wildlife. Whilst the main attractions such as Blenheim Palace, Gloucester Cathedral, Sudeley Castle and the Roman Baths are a huge draw, there are other spots that will quench your thirst for culture; a beautiful distillery is a must for a tasting session of artisan gin and whiskey. Investigate the unusual traditions of the Cotswolds – From the mildly bonkers cheese rolling at Cooper’s Hill to the ‘Olimpick’ Games at Dover’s Hill.
For City Breaks
For a medieval city break full of the atmosphere (and ghost stories!), both Chester and York have much to offer. Steeped in history, Chester’s landmarks include the Roman Amphitheatre, Chester Zoo, and some fabulous shopping. The number of hidden gems in York is astounding and after you’ve feasted your eyes on York Minster, you’ll be ready for an irresistible afternoon tea at Betty’s Café Tea Rooms, where no visit to York is complete without!
And there’s more
England is filled with absolute treats for the solo traveler. Explore the New Forest with its ponies and horse-drawn wagons, Beaulieu National Motor Museum and wildlife park. Take a trip to Oxford for a jam-packed cultural visit, or plan a tour of the south-west to Dartmoor, Devon and Cornwall, with maybe a domestic flight to hop over to the Scilly Islands.
Walkers and Cyclists
If you’re an avid walker or cyclist and seeking the freedom of solitude, then Wales’ coastal path has some fabulous inspiration. Anglesey and Pembrokeshire have oodles of points of interest to unearth.
And what about Scotland?
Why not see if you can find the elusive Loch Ness monster during a trip to the Hebrides, coupled with a visit to the World Heritage Site of St Kilda? Or follow the Creative Trail in the Orkney Islands for spectacular beaches and dramatic cliffs. Balmoral, the Royal Family’s holiday home is open to the public during the summer months and even has holiday cottages available to stay and take in the whole experience!
Last, but not least, Ireland
Belfast has come a long way since its troubled history and is increasing in its popularity as a destination for solo travelers. Take in the Titanic Museum, the Grand Opera House for a show and explore the modern hotels, bars and restaurants.
Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford, is famous for its crystal legacy, of course. But it also oozes Viking culture and heritage (check out Reginald’s Tower) and is a great place to delve into on foot or bike, with Ireland’s longest off-road track of 29 miles.