It hasn't been the greatest summer on record for the UK in terms of weather so far - but it's not unusual for things to perk up a bit early in September – which also has the advantage for a lot of people that the kids are back at school and prices are much cheaper. Here are some of our favourite spots for a late summer break in the UK...
With dramatic mountain scenery, glorious sandy beaches and a host of tourist attractions, North Wales really does have it all – apart from reliable weather of course. If it's raining you can still enjoy a challenging walk in Snowdonia National Park, perhaps even up Snowdon itself, and you'll feel even better for having conquered the elements as well as the hill. When the sun does come out, there are a variety of beaches from Barmouth to Abersoch to Llandudno – along with many more smaller and quieter sands. Accommodation wise there's everything from camping or static caravans to cottage rentals or a good old-fashioned B&B.
Dorset marks the beginning of South West England, at least on the south coast, and for many visitors it's also the bit where they start to feel as though they're on holiday. With its world-famous "Jurassic Coast", the bustling seaside town of Bournemouth, the Purbeck Hills and a good choice of attractions, the county offers everything you could want from a Great British seaside holiday. And its relative proximity to London and the South Midlands mean it's a realistic weekend destination for a lot of people.
Some people want to get further away from it all though – and if beaches are your thing then Cornwall is pretty tough to beat in the UK. Sometimes the whole county feels like one big traffic jam in the summer holidays, but go just slightly out of season and it can be a much more pleasant experience. From the jaw dropping beaches at Kynance Cove and Bedruthan Steps to the bracing coastal walks and the charming traditional towns and villages – it can be absolutely picture postcard perfect.
If you like your seaside holidays traditional then Suffolk is the place for you. With impossibly quaint seaside towns like Southwold and Aldeburgh, a selection of coastal nature reserves, some wonderful pubs and more than its share of Anglo Saxon remnants, the county is gloriously old-fashioned without ever being twee. And being on the east coast, it sees less rain than many other higher-profile destinations. Just don't go there if you're after hills.
Staying on the east side of England, Northumberland is considered by many to be one of the country's best-kept secrets, with dramatic castles, wide sandy beaches perfect for dog walking and a sparsely populated feel that adds to the appeal. Head inland and you can tramp across the rolling hills of the Northumberland National Park, perhaps checking out Hadrian's Wall on the way. And how about a pot of local shrimps washed down by a pint of local ale after a busy day doing not a lot?
Are you planning a late summer break? Leave a comment below...