Take three staycations: UK boltholes for Bank Holiday bliss

Forget trying to fight the city crowds or battling your way through an airport this coming bank holiday: take a staycation instead! You can away from it all and relax instead with these late summer short breaks in the UK.

From seaside escapes to hidden country cottages and your own private canal boat, we've got bank holiday boltholes covered this August.

The Lugger Hotel, Cornwall

The Lugger Hotel is built into a postcard-perfect cove in the impossibly pretty harbour of Portloe on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. Surrounded by rugged cliffs, windswept headland and encircled by the Cornish Coastal Footpath, the Lugger combines impressive outdoor pursuits with unpretentious luxury.

Wander the coastal paths, visit the nearby Eden Project and tuck into some fresh, locally-sourced seafood in the Lugger Restaurant overlooking the sea before collapsing in one of The Lugger's 22 pristine bedrooms, all decked out in crisp white linen and bleached, Portuguese wood furniture.

Classic rooms start from £150 per night and a Deluxe room with bed and breakfast over the August bank holiday will set you back £205 per night. Book online or call 01872 501322.

The Old Smithy, Breacon Beacons

Step back in time in this romantic, medieval cottage with its thick, stone walls, beams and flagstone floors. Hidden among the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park, covered in ivy and set in a beautiful cottage garden next to the River Honduu, The Old Smithy combines the great outdoors with the comfort of a luxury cottage.

The wilds of the Black Mountains and Sugar Loaf Mountain might be just on the doorstep, but back inside you'll find open fires, grand pianos and traditional antiques likes cast iron bathtubs. Explore the 12th century Priory two minutes away or take a trip to the market town of Abergavenny, which is just down the road.

The Old Smithy sleeps between two and six in three bedrooms and starts from £675 for three nights over the August bank holiday. Visit sugarandloaf.com for more details on booking and availability.

Narrowboating, Bradford-on Avon

Escape the bank hoilday crowds and take to some of the UK's prettiest waterways and canals in your very own narrowboat with oxfordshire-narrowboats.co.uk. Test out your sailing skills and hire a boat for the day, the weekend, a full week or, if the spirit of the high streams takes you, even longer.

Wend your way along the peaceful waterways of Bath and Bradford-on-Avon on the K&A Canal, which stretches from Bristol to Reading through some of the areas most rural and charming countryside. Take in the charming market town of Devizes or head to the White Horse in Wilshire before joining the River Thames at Reading.

All of the boats on offer are individually designed and range from two berths up to 12 and come with bathrooms, linen and all kitchen paraphernalia. Visit the website for quotes, booking and boat details.

Hit the beach this bank holiday and make the most of what's left of the summer with these best of British beaches, which one tops your list?

The UK's ten best beaches (according to Tripadvisor)
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Take three staycations: UK boltholes for Bank Holiday bliss

The good: "Great beach with sand dunes for shelter from the wind and a lovely gentle slope into the water. Nice clean beach."

The bad: "Not really a beach for sunbathing or swimming, but a beautiful place for a walk. Well worth a visit."

Did you know? Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton lives in Nairn.

The good: "One of the 10,0000 wonders of the world" raves one Tripadvisor reviewer, while another calls it a "sandcastle makers heaven!"
The bad: "What's all the fuss about? 60's apartments and tacky seaside galore.Did you know? Property here is notoriously pricey. In 2009 a 1,393-square-metre plot was reported to have been put up for sale for £13.5 million. Some houses going for a steal at £7,750,000!

The good: "Just watch the waves all day. Sunny but very windy day which is the best way to see Fistral Beach. Can spend hours walking around the headland then sit and have a drink whilst watching the surfers."
The bad: "Parking restrictions a nightmare."
Did you know? The British Surfing Association, Newquay Surf Life Saving Club and the Newquay Boardriders Club are all based at Fistral Beach and the Boardmasters Festival is also held there.

The good: "It's got sand, and clean sea. Enough said really."
The bad: "All the above reviews are fine - that is if you can find somewhere to sit squashed in among the hoardes."
Did you know? Weymouth was given a Royal seal of approval by King George III. He used to visit during times of illness for a restorative paddle.

The good: "My 'Safe Place'. I must have walked this beach over a hundred times in all weathers and it never fails to amaze me."
The bad: "Why does everywhere you go for a pleasant walk have to be infested with dogs and their stupid owners?"
Did you know: Longsands has its own webcam, so you can check out the weather before you head for the beach, see it here.

The good: "Beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs, large enough to never feel crowded even in peak season. A lovely beach bar on the beach which serves food all day and dog and child friendly."

The bad: "Perranporth Beach is lovely, what a pity about some dog owners who seem to think it is alright to allow their dogs to mess on the beach and then just walk away leaving it where young children are playing."

Did you know? The Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club is one of the oldest in the country and hosts an extreme triathlon event every autumn.

The good: "Hengistbury Head is one of my favourite places in the world. It's one of those spots that restores peace to your mind."
The bad: "A bit bleak and windy, not much to do except pitch and putt."
Did you know? People have been settling at Hegistbury Head since the Stone Age and it has over a million visitors per year.

The good: "Sun, Sea and a secret seal that visits the shore here most days. Family-friendly with lots locally to see and do - like dipping your toes back into 1960's seaside family holidays for the day."
The bad: "Great beach but there are so many more spectacular and less populated beaches in the St Ives area."
Did you know? It's home to the Porthminter Cafe, a multi-award winning seafood restaurant smack bang on the shoreline. 

The good: "Heaven. The nicest beach I've seen in the UK."
The bad: "Get your binoculars out...the sea is over there. The tide was out but there was a disproportionate amount of dry/wet sand (as in miles of wet and a small patch of dry) considering how far out the sea was."
Woolacombe trivia: During the Second World War, the U.S. Army based their Assault Training Centre here. Thousands of small boat crews and infantry practised amphibious landing assaults on the beach because its long flat shape was considered to be like the Omaha Beach landing area.

The good: A "gem in the crown of Gower" has "unbelievable views"; it's "clean and peaceful... "The BEST in the West."... "The most amazing sight on the lovely Gower Coast."

The bad: "It is a lovely beach, but it is more of an adult orientated one, you park your car up the top of the hill and start walking, either down to the beach, or over the cliffs, which if you have children, I would not recommend."

Did you know? Rhossili Bay is located in an area designated as the first Area of Outstanding Beauty in the UK.

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