There’s nothing quite like the British Isles in the summer. The evenings stretch out until 10pm, the countryside is green and bucolic and the ice cream vans are plentiful. Plum Guide has such an extensive collection of homes all over the UK that it can be difficult to pick just one, so we’ve helpfully put together a list of some of our most beautiful properties in places where it would be not just a pleasure but a delight to spend some time next summer. Here’s our choice of where to go for your summer holidays in the UK.
Is it even summer if you don’t spend some time in Cornwall? This classic British location is a favourite for a reason – it’s beautiful, relatively accessible (if you don’t mind a longish drive - bribe the kids with iPads) and rich in history, culture, delicious fish and breathtaking beaches.
Highlights of Cornwall include St Ives for an artistic, bohemian vibe (feel cultured by visiting the outpost of the Tate that can be found here), the cute town of Padstow for cobbled streets, crab fishing off the harbour and some of the best fish and chips around thanks to the unwavering presence of celebrity chef Rick Stein (get there early to queue, because it will feel as though the entirety of the home counties is there queueing alongside you) and Port Isaac, a quaint fishing village with water so blue that it looks as though it belong in Italy, not Cornwall.
For a holiday so stately that it could be right out of Pride and Prejudice, this Regency period manor can host up to 30 lucky guests. You and your lucky closest friends and family can spend your Cornish days perfecting your doubles match on the tennis courts, enjoying tea and scones on the terrace and playing music on the antique record player.
Isle of Wight
If you’re the kind of person who needs to be surrounded by water to truly relax, forget Caribbean islands - the Isle of Wight is where it’s at. Just a half hour ferry ride from Portsmouth, this island is as British as they come, and it comes alive in the summer months. Small enough to feel like you’re truly away from it all, there are beaches aplenty and you can even learn to surf here. The towns have a slightly retro charm and the green fields and quirky entertainment (a yearly garlic festival, anyone?) will make you feel young again.
The Isle of Wight coastal path
This home in Shanklin, one of the island’s bigger towns, has such a gorgeous view of the sea that you’ll want to spend every moment staring at it (you’ll also want to stick a photo of it up on your work desk so you can be reminded of the good times when you’re chained to the monthly spreadsheets). Light, bright and airy with stained glass windows and old-school wooden panels, it’s a true crowd pleaser.
The Brecon Beacons
There’s a lot more to summer holidays in the UK than England. Wales might not have a reputation for sun (although it might just surprise you - it doesn’t rain all the time, you know) but it makes up for that with verdant green landscapes, a true feeling of escaping from the hustle and bustle, and welshcakes (you’ll leave addicted to them). Assuming of course that you don’t already live in Wales, there’s just something about the road signs being in a different language that screams vacation.
Trees on a misty day at Brecon Beacons, UK
Wales as a country has innumerable attractions and a rich seam of history and culture runs through it, but one of the highlights has to be the Brecon Beacons. A national park encompassing a mountain range, it has stunning landscapes that stretch right across the horizon, and everything from deep caves to hilly peaks to explore.
If you want room for the whole family to spread out, this farmhouse is located within the national park itself and even has a hot tub where you can enjoy a soak under the stars. Little ones will love the games room and playground, while parents can curl up in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine. Wooden beamed ceilings and a views of the endless green from the window complete the picture.
The South Coast
For a picture-perfect summer holiday in the UK, you can’t beat the south coast of England. The restorative sea air of Sussex has been providing bracing walks and restorative energy to visitors for years, and it’s about time you partook in its splendours. Plus, being a favourite day trip from London it’s only a short distance from the capital, so if work calls it’s easy to dash back groaning.
Beach Head, Seven Sisters, Sussex, England
The South Downs national park means rolling green hills and gorgeous landscapes are always nearby, and of course it’s only a short drive to the beach.
This comfortable house is perfect for a family summer holiday in the UK, and the view over fields and woods as you make your morning coffee will take your breath away. Luckily, there are plenty of squashy sofas to flop onto to recover yourself while you plan what to have for breakfast (we recommend pancakes, in case you’re in need of ideas).