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On your marks, get set… 2020!

A new year, a new decade, a map full of possibilities. 2020 is shaping up to be a special one for both England and Wales – and don’t just take our word for it. Lonely Planet recently named England the world’s second best tourist destination for the year ahead, while Wales is about to embark on a dedicated Year of the Outdoors. All the more reason to get a few trips marked on your calendar…

England

When Lonely Planet selected England in second place on its annual Best In Travel list for 2020 (it was pipped to the post by Bhutan), its experts praised “the timeless treasures that England is famous for: the historic castles and cathedrals, the quaint villages and rolling countryside, and of course, the seaside.”

England

They also made special mention of the England Coast Path, which continues to unveil new sections. Once finished, the walking path will spool around the entire country, measuring close to 3,000 miles. A fitting trail for a nation which packs in enough landscapes, cultures and adventures to keep travellers on their toes for years. Here are five ideas for your 2020 plans.

Thread your way onto the fells to reach the Langdale Pikes, one of the most spectacular day-walks in England’s rampantly beautiful Lake District National Park.

Stay at: YHA Langdale

Celebrate 60 years of the Fab Four with a Beatles pilgrimage to Merseyside, sparing time for a visit to the superb modern art exhibits at Tate Liverpool.

Stay at: YHA Liverpool Central

Feel the weight of history among the cobbles and colleges of Cambridge, where tradition goes hand in hand with some top museums and a lively nightlife scene.

Stay at: YHA Cambridge

Spend time in Whitby for fish and chips, smugglers’ pubs, a ruined abbey and vampirical literary connections, then enjoy the dramatic Yorkshire coastline.

Stay at: YHA Whitby

Visit Tintagel Castle, the reputed stronghold of King Arthur, among the cliffs and coves of the North Cornwall Coast, where hikers and outdoor-lovers will be in their element.

Stay at: YHA Tintagel

Wales

With Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons and the ravishing Pembrokeshire coastline among its many assets, every year in Wales is a Year of the Outdoors. But 2020 sees the title being used on an official basis, as the national tourist board looks to highlight what walkers, climbers and cyclists already know: that when it comes to the outdoors, there’s nowhere quite like Wales.

Wales

Nothing beats the wind-in-your-face high of crossing a Snowdonia ridgeline, the island views from the Marloes Peninsula or the giddy downhill thrill of one of the country’s many mountain bike trails. And if you’re looking for further ideas for your Welsh escapes in the year ahead, you can try the following five adventures.

Take the kids on an outdoor adventure they’ll remember for years at Zip World Fforest, where the six activities include a forest roller-coaster, treetop nets and a zip safari.

Stay at: YHA Betws-y-Coed

Give the crowds a swerve and climb Snowdon along the lesser-walked Ranger Trail, which Victorian tourists once used to reach the summit.

Stay at: YHA Snowdon Ranger

Dive into Cardiff’s lively cultural scene on a visit to the Welsh capital. Coincide your visit with a rugby match at the Principality Stadium for the full atmosphere.

Stay at: YHA Cardiff Central

Visit the glorious Gower Peninsula, Britain’s first ever AONB, where you’ll find dozens of beaches and more than 30 miles of coastal walking.

Stay at: YHA Port Eynon

Follow the lead of local Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas on a cycling break in the Brecon Beacons, one of the UK’s best-loved national parks and a first-rate outdoor playground.

Stay at: YHA Brecon Beacons

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