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National treasures and hidden gems

Our guide to unmissable England and Wales. From world-famous attractions to the less obvious, we’ve compiled a list of must-visit landmarks, landscapes and locations. And we have accommodation available a stone’s throw from all of them. So, if you’re looking for top things to do and cool places to visit this summer, look no further. Have fun!

Seven Sisters and Beachy Head

Seven Sisters and Beachy Head

Walk the undulating cliff-top classic for stunning views of the south coast’s iconic white chalk cliffs.

Stay at YHA Eastbourne, three miles away

Dolphin watching at Cardigan Bay

Happy playful wild bottlenose dolphin

Cardigan Bay has the UK’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins. Hop aboard a boat trip to go dolphin watching and look out for other wildlife including harbour porpoise, sea birds and seals.

Stay at YHA Poppit Sands, six miles away

Glastonbury Tor, folklore home to the King of the Fairies

Glastonbury Tor

Climb the 525ft conical hill for a panorama that’s pure magic. On a clear day you cans see for miles, whilst misty weather makes the view otherworldly as haze blankets the Somerset Levels below.

Stay at YHA Street, four miles away

The thundering falls of Aira Force

Falls of Aira forice

Follow the Ullswater Way along the north shore of “England’s most beautiful lake” to the magnificent 65-ft waterfall.

Stay at YHA Patterdale, pick up the route from the village

Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales

Snowdon mountain

Follow in the footsteps of famous mountaineers Mallory and Hillary and hike to the summit. Or take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top to enjoy breath-taking scenery without the huff and puff.

Stay at YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass on the mountain’s eastern slope. The Pyg Track and Miner’s Track routes start here.

Seals at Blakeney Point

Seals at Blakeney point

Take a boat trip to see England’s largest grey seal colony. The National Nature Reserve on the north Norfolk coast is made up of salt marshes and sand dunes, and home to a host of wonderful wildlife.

Stay a YHA Wells-next-the-Sea, seven miles away

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Cross the causeway at low tide to visit the magical, mystical island with its castle and priory ruins.

Stay at YHA Berwick, 13 miles away

The world-famous Roman Baths at Bath

Roman Baths in Bath

Soak in the sight of the magnificent Great Bath. With its rising steam and Bath Abbey backdrop, it makes for an ethereal spectacle.

Stay at YHA Bath, one mile away

Magical Malham Cove, famous in the wizarding world

Malham Cove

The huge curving amphitheatre-shaped cliff formation is believed to have been the inspiration for Tolkien’s Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings. The limestone pavement on top later hosted Harry and Hermione on a camping trip for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film.

Stay at YHA Malham, less than a mile away

A thousand years of history at Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

For 10 centuries Corfe Castle has dominated the Purbeck landscape. Today, a ruin and relic of the English Civil War, it’s a fascinating place to learn of treasonous plots and a nation divided.

Stay at YHA Swanage, six miles away

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Pembrokeshire Coast

Without doubt one of the finest walking routes in the UK, the 186-mile National Trail takes in wildly varied coastal scenery and passes no less than 50 beaches, 40 Iron Age forts, medieval castles and innumerable secret coves. In summer, the path is ablaze with colourful flowers.

Stay at YHA Poppit Sands, YHA Newport Pembrokeshire, YHA Pwll Deri, YHA St Davids, YHA Broad Haven or YHA Manorbier — they’re all along the route.

Illuminating days and dark skies over Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrians Wall at night

Chances are, you’ve heard of the great Barbarian blocker that is Hadrian’s Wall. The ramparts and ruins, forts and settlements make for a fascinating day out. But did you know this area is also home to the most pristine dark skies in England. Perfect for stargazing.

Stay at YHA The Sill at Hadrian’s Wall, less than a mile from the Wall

There we are. Hopefully, you’ve found plenty of inspiration to help you plan a memorable UK staycation this season. Choose from private rooms, whole hostel hire, pods, cabins, camping, Airstream and more. Enjoy a summer getaway with YHA. Book now.

Written by Sally Nutland

Sally works in YHA’s communication team, writing extensively on the charity’s development, impact and purpose. She loves holidays and history, niche pop culture references and collecting happy memories. Her favourite hostel is YHA Tintagel.

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