Cornwall – brace yourself.
The places Britons are most desperate to visit once No10 lifts the lockdown have been revealed, and Cornwall is top of the pile.
The ranking has been compiled by Big 7 Travel, which took suggestions from its team of travel experts and its 409,000 Instagram followers on the best destinations for a post-lockdown staycation. It then asked 80,000 readers of its sister website EnjoyTravel.com to vote for the top 10 places.
Cornwall’s position will not surprise too many people, but London coming 15th might.
It has been beaten in the survey vote by the Lake District (second), the Yorkshire Dales (third), Edinburgh (fourth), Loch Lomond (fifth) and Manchester (10th).
Scroll down for glorious pictures of the places in the ranking, listed in reverse order. The further you scroll, the hotter the destinations become…
25. OXFORD: Described by Big 7 Travel as the ‘cradle of academia’, Oxford is ‘steeped in rich history with a kaleidoscope of culture and elegant architecture that makes it hard to resist’. The website adds: ‘Given the city’s admiration for knowledge, it should come as no surprise that there’s a museum for nearly everything here.’ Pictured is the city’s All Souls College
24. DERRY: ‘With most opting to head for Belfast’s Titanic shipyard or the Unesco-listed Giant’s Causeway, Derry is truly a hidden gem,’ writes Big 7 Travel. It explains: ‘This walled city is one of the best-preserved in Europe and is famous for its Gothic and Tudor architecture.’ Pictured is the city’s Peace Bridge
23. CARDIFF: According to Big 7 Travel, this Welsh destination is a perfect staycation option for those who want to ‘indulge in some delicious food, lively culture and rich Welsh heritage’. It says: ‘Whether you spend the day walking the city and popping into the countless cosy Welsh pubs complete with roaring fires or prefer to explore the National Museum, which houses one of the finest collections of impressionist works outside Paris, Cardiff has you in mind’
22. INVERNESS: This city, pictured, is the ‘ideal staycation location for exploring the highlands and islands of Scotland’, says Big 7 Travel. It adds: ‘Not only is it overflowing with gorgeous scenery, it also has countless ancient sites perfect for nature and history lovers. Of course, no visit is complete without a search for the infamous Nessie in the depths of Loch Ness’
21. NORWICH: A city that has ‘a lot to brag about’ is how Big 7 Travel describes Norwich. It explains: ‘For starters, it’s the most complete medieval city in the UK; and is the only city in the country inside a national park, the Norfolk Broads; and was also England’s first Unesco City of Literature’
20. ISLE OF SKYE: The ‘crown jewel in the Scottish Highlands’, the Isle of Skye is ‘loaded with sleepy fishing villages, intensely rugged scenery with enchanting fairy pools, craggy sea cliffs and verdant glens that can only be described as poetry in land form’, says Big 7 Travel. It adds: ‘In addition to breathtaking scenery, the island is peppered with quaint Scottish pubs perfect for recovering in after a long day of exploring’
19. BRIGHTON: This town has ‘seaside charm, excellent food and classic fun’ and is ‘famous for its family-fun pier’, writes Big 7 Travel. It adds: ‘Not only that, but Brighton also boasts one of the best food scenes in the UK and is home to incredible museums such as the Royal Pavilion and the Brighton Art Gallery’
18. ORKNEY ISLANDS: ‘Something out of a dream’ is Big 7 Travel’s description of the Orkney Islands – some 70 islands off the northeast tip of Scotland. It boasts four Unesco World Heritage Sites including Skara Brae, pictured, which is ‘often called the “Scottish Pompeii” and is one of the most pristine Neolithic settlements in the world, long predating both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids’
17. PEMBROKESHIRE COAST: Located in Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coast, pictured, is ‘one of Britain’s most idyllic and breathtaking coastal areas’. Big 7 Travel explains: ‘Its sweeping expanse of cliffs, islands, rugged shores and abundant wildlife provide endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and get away from it all’
16. NORTH YORK MOORS: ‘Unbelievably pretty villages, storied abbeys, wonderful museums and fabulous food are just a few things you’ll find in the North Yorkshire Moors,’ says Big 7 Travel. It adds: ‘Whether you go for the charming market towns like Hutton le Hole or Goathland; or to get lost in the magic of North York Moors National Park’s walking trails, you’re covered.’ Pictured is the view between Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay
15. LONDON: The UK capital needs no introduction, says Big 7 Travel, as it is ‘one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world for its vibrant culture and arts scene, infinite historical attractions and abundance of world-class museums’. The website suggests: ‘Spend your day dining on some of Great Britain’s best food, stroll the endless halls of the National Gallery or the National History Museum, or catch a play and get to know London’s vibrant theatre scene.’ All this enthusiasm from Big 7 Travel begs the question – just why did it come 15th? Answers on a postcard…
14. ANGLESEY: This Welsh island is a ‘prime destination’ for a staycation and is ‘famous for its pristine beaches and plethora of ancient sites’, says Big 7 Travel. Pictured is Anglesey’s stunning Twr Mawr lighthouse
13. ISLES OF SCILLY: Located 36 miles off the coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly consists of around 140 islands and according to Big 7 Travel boasts ‘turquoise waters, abundant wildlife and charming local culture’. It adds: ‘These isles also hold the title for the most southern and westerly points of England meaning their isolation truly provides a world of its own.’ Pictured is Old Town Bay on the island of St Mary’s
12. SNOWDONIA: ‘Few things wow to the degree of Wales’ spectacular Snowdonia,’ says Big Travel 7. It writes: ‘Spend your days exploring the rugged mountain scenery full of dense forests, peaceful valleys and breathtaking waterfalls and lakes.’ Pictured is the evening light on Mount Tryfan above Llyn Ogwen
11. COTSWOLDS: ‘This picturesque string of villages in the heart of the English countryside is the epitome of all things romance and charm with its honey-coloured cottages and rolling green hills,’ says Big 7 Travel. It explains: ‘Whether you opt for Bourton-on-the-Water, Castle Combe [pictured] or Chipping Campden, each village is sure to leave you reeling long after your staycation ends’
10. MANCHESTER: This northern city is ‘bursting with character from its buzzing nightlife to its quirky local neighbourhoods and thriving, diverse food scene’, according to Big 7 Travel. ‘Not only that, but Manchester’s art scene rivals that of London with its countless independent expos, delightful street art and award-winning Whitworth Gallery,’ it adds. Pictured is the city’s Piccadilly Gardens
9. BALLYCASTLE: This Northern Irish destination is located next to the Sea of Moyle, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Irish Sea. Big 7 Travel says: ‘This harbour town is known for its thriving foodie atmosphere, vibrant art scene and outdoor activities. Spend your afternoon kayaking along the granite shores or walk the surrounding fairytale woods of Ballycastle Forest’
8. BATH: According to Big 7 Travel, Bath is ‘one of those cities you just can’t help but fall in love with’. It writes: ‘It’s affectionately coined as one of the most beautiful cities in England, and it isn’t hard to see why. Loads of Georgian architecture, top-notch museums, world-class thermal spas and a rich Roman history… the city has been wowing for more than 2,000 years’
7. NORFOLK BROADS: ‘This sprawling network of rivers spread across Norfolk and Suffolk make for the perfect getaway,’ says Big 7 Travel. ‘Long forgotten abbeys, charming riverside pubs, Roman ruins and sleepy towns will leave you with loads of activities to fill up the day’
6. ISLE OF WIGHT: From its stunning sandy beaches to its vibrant local culture and rich pre-historic beaches, the Isle of Wight is famous for many things, says Big 7 Travel. It continues: ‘One of the island’s biggest claims to fame is its plethora of fossils that have led to the discovery of more than 25 different dinosaurs that called the Isle of Wight home in their day.’ Pictured is the beautiful Freshwater Bay
5. LOCH LOMOND: This Scottish destination is the ‘ultimate getaway for some R&R’, declares Big 7 Travel. It adds: ‘In Loch Lomond and The Trossachs national park alone, you’ll find 720 square miles (1,865 square kilometres) of glistening lochs, verdant mountains and dense forests that come together to make Scotland’s top destination for nature and wildlife’
4. EDINBURGH: The top-ranked Scottish destination, Edinburgh, is ‘bursting at the seams with the charm, history and romance perfect for a memorable staycation’. Big 7 Travel explains: ‘From the mighty Edinburgh Castle standing proud over the Royal Mile to the countless pubs and eateries that make for a foodies dream, you can’t go wrong’
3. YORKSHIRE DALES: ‘Breathtaking scenery complete with untouched countryside and vibrant cultural heritage are what you can expect to find in Yorkshire Dales,’ says Big 7 Travel. It suggests: ‘Spend the day wandering the Yorkshire Dales National Park where you’ll find an endless expanse of moors, valleys, hills and quiet villages.’ Pictured is the sun setting over the Winskill Stones, a limestone pavement near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
2. LAKE DISTRICT: ‘One of the most picturesque areas in England’ is how Big 7 Travel describes the Lake District. It points out: ‘Home to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England [3,210ft/978m], plus 16 crystal clear lakes and countless hiking trails, it’s the ideal destination, whether you’re looking for adventure or just want to relax in the great outdoors.’ Above – autumn fog lingering over Loughrigg Tarn
1. CORNWALL: ‘If rugged, cliff-studded beaches and character-loaded villages are your thing, then Cornwall is the perfect staycation,’ writes Big 7 Travel. It explains: ‘Charming fishing harbours, sweeping coastal views and a stellar food scene are just a few of the things you’ll find here.’ Pictured is the beautiful Porthmeor Cove between Land’s End and St Ives