From bustling cities packed with foodie gems, great art and rich history, to beach escapes and beautiful rural scenery, there are adventures for everyone closer to home in the UK. Whether you're travelling by car or train, solo, with your family in tow, or from abroad, there's no better time than now to explore Britain and unleash your wanderlust.
To help inspire your next staycation, IHG® Rewards Club, the loyalty programme of InterContinental Hotels Group®, has launched 'The Wanderlust Series', a collection of themed journeys around Britain created by three YouTube vloggers. Check out the highlights of their trips above.
Where should foodies head first?
In a word, Bristol. This culinary hotspot is a melting pot of creativity and its innovative food scene bubbles with imagination, diversity and plenty of freshly grown produce. Pop into the Pear Café for a homemade butterscotch brownie or eat homegrown seasonal dishes cultivated from the walled garden at the Ethicurean. Don't miss Small St. Espresso or the Playground Coffee Shop (yes, you can actually sip your latte on a swing). You can also take the 15-minute train journey from Bristol to Bath for Sally Lunn's buns, they're delicious. In the south east, London's Camden Lock is jam-packed with street food you can buy and enjoy while wandering along the banks of Regent's Canal.
Steeped in history with their dreaming spires, York and Oxford are packed with hidden gems tucked away down their cobbled streets. When in York, visit the 300-year old Treasurer's House, which sits right behind the York Minster and keep your eyes peeled for the small cat statues that are dotted all over the city (a tradition that's been going for over a century). Step back in time in Oxford at one of the oldest libraries in Europe, the Duke Humfrey's reading room at the University of Oxford.
What's new on the culture front?
Come 2017, Hull will be crowned as the UK's City of Culture and it has plenty going on to celebrate from theatre and dance productions to film retrospectives. The Look Up campaign will feature artworks in public spaces to get you to experience the city in a different way. Manchester also ranks highly on the culture front, with the Whitworth Art Gallery and contemporary art and cinema centre HOME.
The great escape: best outdoor adventures
With rolling bucolic hillsides from Cornwall to the Highlands via the Cotswolds and the Yorkshire Dales, the UK's scenery is quite spectacular and ripe for exploring. Go horse riding on the granite moorlands of Cornwall's Bodmin Moor, jump in for some wild swimming in the Lake District at Wastwater (not only is it Britain's deepest lake, it also sits under its highest mountain) or set off on a cycle route through the New Forest. Leisurely afternoons can be filled by taking long walks on the limestone cliffs of the Seven Sisters in Sussex or discovering Britain's epic history through its ancient castles.
Welcome to the shopper's paradise
When it comes to shopping, Edinburgh is a city packed with tonnes of unique boutiques. On Thistle Street, retailer A.L.C is on hand to kit you out in your dream pair of jeans, Homer does what it says on the tin, and you will covet every one of their beautiful home wares, while Brotique is a great find for menswear. Put the Grassmarkets in the Old Town on your shopping list for its eclectic mix of antique and vintage shops. For high end and quirky finds London is one of the best shopping destinations. East London's designers beat to their own drum and sell original works in Shoreditch's Box Park, while Bond Street and all its coveted labels are on hand for a real treat.
Enjoy a British adventure with the help of IHG Rewards Club's Wanderlust Series created by Helen Anderson, The Michalaks and Steve Brooker. Check out their easy-to-follow trips by visiting www.blog.ihg.com/wanderlust.
Join IHG Rewards Club for free to get the most out of your holiday by earning points with every stay to redeem on Reward Nights in any of IHG's hotels worldwide – it's the perfect travel companion.