There are many reasons why more and more of us are choosing staycations over a holiday abroad. You can cut the cost of expensive flights and accommodation. It’s simpler to take children, grandparents, friends, and members of your extended family. And if you can’t take a whole week off work, it’s easier to go away for just a weekend.
Even if it’s last-minute decision, all you need to do is book a hotel with us, get in your car, and go. Featuring beaches, an intriguing but often overlooked city break and rugged natural beauty, here are three of the best weekend getaways you can enjoy with Hallmark Hotels.
Recently voted the UK’s best beach in a TripAdvisor poll, Bournemouth has become one of the top staycation destinations. With its temperate oceanic climate, the seaside town’s seven miles of golden sand is packed with things to do and see during the summer months.
Popular with tourists since the Victorian era, Bournemouth Pier is a fantastic spot to grab an ice cream, or some fish and chips, and watch the sunset. For daredevils who feel a rush of adrenalin is the best companion for a sunny day, the pier is also home to PierZip – the world’s first pier to shore zip line.
Bournemouth Air Festival is the biggest and best event of its kind in the country, taking place over the August bank holiday weekend, and it’s free! Between Boscombe and Bournemouth Pier, Red Arrows, biplanes and wingwalkers take to the sky for a packed programme of awesome aerial displays. Back on land, there’s a funfair, fireworks at night, and a variety of live entertainment.
Hallmark Hotels has two hotels in Bournemouth: Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton and Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth East Cliff. Both overlook the beach and are within walking distance of the town centre, and the best local attractions, restaurants, bars and nightlife.
Find out more about what’s on, plus ideas for kid-friendly activities, by checking out our Guide To The Perfect Weekend In Bournemouth.
Hull and its Old Town is an overlooked holiday destination for many. However, experiencing the classic cobbled streets, gorgeous Georgian and Edwardian architecture, and traditional pubs is like taking a magical step back in time.
Culture buffs will be pleased to hear that entry into all of Hull’s museums and galleries is free. Must-visits include Ferens Art Gallery, exhibiting works by European Old Masters and contemporary British artists, as well as Streetlife Museum of Transport, Hull Maritime Museum, and Hull & East Riding Museum.
Hull is also home to one of the UK’s biggest aquariums, The Deep. Marine life found at this award-winning attraction includes green sawfish, sharks, rays, and a colony of gentoo penguins. Run for conservation rather than profit, The Deep’s displays and exhibitions work hard to educate visitors on the importance of lowering our impact on the world’s oceans.
If nature’s attractions are more your cup of tea, Hull can cater for you too. East Park, the city’s biggest common, was opened by Queen Victoria in 1887 and boasts a boating lake, with swan pedalos, and an animal education centre, where you can meet alpacas, wallabies, and peacocks.
A little further afield, you will find Humber Bridge Country Park: 48 acres of woods with open meadows and wildlife ponds, the park’s three fabulous trails are its highlight. The longest and arguably most spectacular is the Cliff Trail, an area nicknamed ‘Little Switzerland’ because its chalk tipped hills used to resemble the Alps. Today, the trail winds through an ash tree wood and then up the 103 steps to High View Point, which offers striking panoramic views across the River Humber to Lincolnshire Wolds.
The venue with the view, Hallmark Hotel Hull is a gorgeous four-star hotel that overlooks the iconic Humber Bridge. Winner of Hotel of the Year at the Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards 2017, it’s the ideal base from which to explore the best the city of Hull has to offer.
The most northerly city in England, Carlisle is the site of an ancient frontier between England and Scotland. Flanked by rugged natural beauty and Roman heritage, it’s a staycation destination bursting with history and adventure.
Carlisle lies on the very edge of the Lake District, the UK’s most popular national park. With over 900 square miles of idyllic lakes, luscious landscapes and marvellous mountains, this most gorgeous of nature’s playgrounds is awash with opportunities to explore on foot or by bike.
Suitable for the whole family, Buttermere Walk is an awe-inspiring stroll around one of the country’s most magnificent lakes. For more experienced ramblers, the Scafell Pike route is an all-day hike that traverses the highest peak in England. And for cyclists, the breathtaking Eskdale Trail takes in riverside pastures, meadows and woods all the way down to the pretty village of Ravenglass on the Irish Sea.
While in Carlisle, a trip to the city’s towering centrepiece is a must. Standing tall for over nine centuries, Carlisle Castle lies on the site of an old Roman border fort and remained a working fortress for most of its history. Visit today, and there are castle rooms to explore, medieval towers to scale, and excellent exhibitions showcasing the Castle’s turbulent but intriguing history.
Bringing together 70 comfortable rooms, a brasserie, wine bar, and round the clock room service, Hallmark Hotel Carlisle offers everything you need for a day’s exploring. To make the most of the Lake District, take advantage of our two-day Walking Package and start planning a weekend getaway to remember.
Need more staycation inspiration? Then take a look at some of our other travel guides, weekend itineraries, and things to do near a Hallmark Hotel: