AberdeenHow a couple of metropolis with two medieval faculties and castles, two picturesque rivers and miles of sandy seashore?On a sunny day, Aberdeen’s granite buildings sparkle as the sunshine glints off specks of mica within the stone. Stroll or cycle beside town’s lengthy sands from the previous fishing village of Footdee to the basking seals at Donmouth nature reserve. There are a number of locations to rent bikes and 150 miles of Aberdeenshire shoreline.Aberdeen Artwork Gallery reopened after refurbishment in 2019. {Photograph}: Iain Masterton/AlamyOf the county’s 263 castles, ruined Dunnottar on its craggy peninsula within the North Sea is likely one of the most dramatic (grownup £8, baby £4). The easiest way to get there’s to stroll a few miles alongside the cliffs from the market city of Stonehaven, 20 minutes by prepare from Aberdeen. You’ll be able to stroll again to Stonehaven by means of Dunnottar Woods, previous an previous shell home and aristocratic bathing place. Afterwards, dodge the gulls as you eat award-winning fish and chips outdoors The Bay, adopted by carrot cake ice-cream or mango frozen yoghurt from Giulianotti, an Italian candy store that opened in 1899.Don’t miss the cobbled lanes around the college in Outdated Aberdeen or town’s neoclassical Artwork Gallery (free, however ebook on-line), reopened in 2019 after 4 years and a £35m restoration. Work vary from a Francis Bacon pope to James Guthrie’s goose woman, a Monet seascape to a glowing, glowering pre-Raphaelite damsel by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. And the touring British Artwork Present is right here from 10 July-10 October. The place to stayBrewdog’s Kennels is above the Castlegate barThe trendy Sandman Signature (doubles from £61 room solely), simply not far away from the artwork gallery, or the fancier Chester Lodge among the many Victorian terraces of the Rubislaw space (doubles from £99 room solely). For one thing funkier, the Kennels above Brewdog’s Castlegate bar (studio from £89 room solely), opened in late 2019. Rooms include beer fridges, room-service draft beer, bike rent, a report participant and an elective canine mattress. Brewdog’s world HQ in Ellon, 16 miles north, gives brewery excursions with tastings (£15).SheffieldPadley Gorge, Peak District nationwide park. {Photograph}: Robin Weaver/AlamyThe railway line from Sheffield to Manchester alongside the Hope valley brings nice Peak District walks inside simple attain. Rising from a tunnel quarter-hour out of Sheffield, the prepare arrives at flowery Grindleford station, whose cafe is understood for its chip butties and tea by the pint or half-pint. A rugged six-mile circuit from the station takes within the mossy woods of Padley Gorge and the heathery slopes of Hathersage Moor.Holly Hagg neighborhood farm on Sheffield’s western edge gives trekking with alpacas by means of the leafy Rivelin valley (from £35 for 2). Considered one of Sheffield’s 5 new biking routes additionally runs by means of this valley. Victorian Kenwood Corridor lodge (doubles from £59 room solely, exercise breaks from £199), a few miles from town centre close to Sharrow Vale’s indie bars and cafes, gives packages involving paddleboarding, abseiling or “weaselling” – a Peak District time period for rock scrambling. It’s near Endcliffe Park, begin of the 15-mile Sheffield Spherical Stroll, a rewarding loop alongside the wooded Porter Brook to rural Ringinglow.A rooftop bar at Kelham Island.For city buzz take Sheffield’s Supertram to Shalesmoor, a brief stroll from post-industrial Kelham Island, with 5 beer gardens and two rooftop bars. The island’s museum boasts Europe’s greatest working steam engine and is only one of Sheffield’s progressive galleries, a lot of them free. Out of doors exhibitions are popping up on the streets this summer season. Inventive company Jack Arts’ billboard-style installations have fun neighborhood in the identical vibrant colors as town’s regenerated Park Hill housing property; and 60 Berlin-style bears will kind a city-wide sculpture path from July. Town’s hilly parks make for panoramic picnics, and there’s scope for alfresco eating with well-liked venues, together with the Leadmill, increasing on to surrounding pavements.The place to stayLaunching this summer season within the Krynkl transport container complicated on Kelham Island is food-focused boutique lodge Home of Jöro (doubles from £140 with breakfast and lunch), with 4 bedrooms inside staggering distance of Michelin-listed Jöro restaurant.Ely, CambridgeshireEly Marina and the Nice Ouse River with the cathedral within the background. {Photograph}: Alan Copson/Getty ImagesSurrounded by water meadows and fenland villages, and with two historical cathedral towers to climb and loads of riverside locations to drink, Ely could be a vacation idyll, in addition to a quieter base for visiting Cambridge.Head to Market Place for fruitcake made with homegrown nuts and cherries from Covenham Home Orchard, and native apple juice from Pippin Tree Press. Then drive south to see waterlilies, wading birds and ponies among the many reedbeds at Wicken Fen, the Nationwide Belief’s oldest nature reserve (£5/£2.50 grownup/baby, reserving suggested).Wicken Fen – the Nationwide Belief’s oldest nature reserve. {Photograph}: Susie Kearley/AlamyClose to Wicken Fen is Dojima, the UK’s first Japanese-owned sake brewery opened in 2018 in Fordham Abbey, providing excursions and tastings (£30pp, reserving important). The close by village of Swaffham Prior has two church buildings, two windmills, a big-gardened pub and a seven-mile Anglo-Saxon defensive earthwork known as the Satan’s Dyke. Blocking a land route by means of the fens, it nonetheless stands 9 metres excessive in locations and makes a peaceable stroll with extensive views, chalkland flowers and butterflies.Ely Museum closed in 2019 for a £2.2m redevelopment, reopened on 21 Might 2021. It is stuffed with relics of fenland life, resembling multi-pronged eel spears and the stilts and skates folks used to cross the marshes (grownup/baby £5.50/£2.50).The cathedral (grownup £8, under-16s free) was constructed for the Benedictine order in 1083 – when Ely was an island hamlet within the fens – and is a marvel of medieval engineering. It’s value reserving a guided climb up the 170 steps of its 14th-century Octagon Tower (initially £75 for household bubbles, together with cathedral admission). There are views from the roof and into the cavernous inside by means of angel-painted panels.The place to stayAmong a rising variety of locations to remain, Metropolis Studios has three flats close to the market (from £95 an evening). Or there are rooms with a non-public deck at Swan on the River 5 miles down the Nice Ouse in Littleport (doubles from £85 B&B). You might even strive Champing (church tenting) in Georgian Saint Cyriac & Saint Julitta at Swaffham Prior (from £49pp).Newport, MonmouthshireNewport State of Thoughts, the parody of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ hit, namechecks town’s 1906 transporter bridge. {Photograph}: Alick Cotterill/AlamyWith coastal wetlands, forests and canals inside simple attain, Newport is surprisingly inexperienced. It struggles to compete for guests with close by Cardiff and Bristol, however has its personal treasures: Victorian parks resembling Belle Vue, the bracken-and-buttercup slopes of Allt-Yr-Yn nature reserve and, only a mile’s canalside stroll away below the M4, the spectacular Fourteen Locks canal flight. A brief bus experience from the centre is Roman Caerleon, house to the second Augustan legion for 2 centuries (amphitheatre open and free to enter; examine web site for reopening date of fortress and baths).It’s greater than a decade because the hilarious Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ parody Newport State of Thoughts went viral, but it surely’s nonetheless town’s high affiliation for some. The singers namecheck (and helped reopen) Newport’s 1906 transporter bridge, which carries folks over the River Usk in a gondola.Observe the Newport coast path past bridge and docks to achieve marshy meadows filled with orchids and butterflies, and degree waterside strolling close to East Usk lighthouse, with views over the Severn estuary to Somerset. Tredegar nation home. {Photograph}: Chris Godfrey/AlamyBehind the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, the gardens of the Nationwide Belief’s Tredegar Home (park free, gardens grownup £5, baby £2.50, reserving important) are an oasis aromatic with orange blossom and lavender. In 2019 a neighborhood hub opened in a renovated outbuilding, the place volunteers collect to plant vibrant borders and develop veg within the allotments. Don’t miss the towering redwood timber. The late-Seventeenth-century mansion remains to be closed, however as soon as reopened has elaborate wooden carvings and a kitchen filled with copper pots.Different wet-weather choices embody the cathedral with its Norman nave, and a free artwork gallery with work by LS Lowry and lots of of novelty teapots (e-mail to ebook). Cross the enormous footbridge close by, the most recent of Newport’s seven bridges, for espresso and selfmade pancakes in Horton’s.The place to stayAn imposing stone constructing on Excessive Road, beforehand a wine bar and night time membership, has been well transformed into the Silurian Lodge (doubles from £55 room solely, household room for 4 from £75). Over the highway the Tiny Insurgent Bar does beer and burgers (Korean-style hen with kimchi or selfmade seitan with crispy onions).CarlisleRoman collectible figurines and new costume galleries function at Tullie Home museum. {Photograph}: Travelbild Excl/AlamyThis historical border metropolis, now county city of Cumbria, stands on the course of Hadrian’s Wall, on the confluence of two rivers and several other spectacular railways.The previous Scottish ballad in regards to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond was written by prisoners in red-sandstone Carlisle Citadel, the UK’s most besieged fortress (grownup £12.60, baby £7.60). It has nice views from the towers and mysterious carvings on the partitions of the hold.Over the highway, Tullie Home museum (grownup £10, kids free) has Roman collectible figurines, Jacobean stairways and two new costume galleries with embroidered Victorian clothes and a 2020 nurse’s scrubs from Cumberland infirmary.The closest inexperienced idylls are Bitts and Rickerby, each on the banks of the Eden River and providing a waterside panorama of gardens and grazing cows, elegant bridges and memorials. The 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall Path runs by means of each parks then on west to the gorse-fringed, sunset-facing sands of Bowness-on-Solway (or east to Birdoswald Roman fort, and – ultimately – Newcastle).Print Yard is ideal for beer and fried hen.Twenty minutes’ drive east of town is Gelt Woods, with waterfalls, foxgloves, ferns and beech timber. The Romans quarried rock for the wall right here, and you may nonetheless see chisel marks within the sandstone. Close by Talkin Tarn has boats to rent and outside theatre in summer season, whereas a climb up cairn-topped Talkin Fell rewards hikers with glimpses of the northern lakes and borders.Again within the metropolis, a brand new glass-walled cafe within the cathedral serves scones or Cumberland sausage baps till 3pm. And, in a cobbled alley not far away, Print Yard has chilly beers and cocktails with avenue meals resembling triple-dipped fried hen and banoffee waffles.The place to stayA couple of minutes’ stroll away, in a historic sq. by the spectacular railway station, the previous, light Hallmark Lodge reopened this week because the Carlisle Station Lodge (doubles from £50 room solely). For one thing extra rural, Cardewlees campsite (insulated picket pods sleep 2 or 3 from £63, pitch with electrical hook-up £23), quarter-hour’ drive out of town, opened in 2019 on a farm with views of the fells.SalisburySalisbury’s spectacular cathedral dominates town. {Photograph}: Gavin Hellier/Getty ImagesFirst cease: Salisbury’s Constitution Market (Tues and Sat) held usually since 1227. Armed with pork pies and conventional lardy cake from Shelley’s Bakery, head for the iron age hillfort and Norman ruins at Outdated Sarum (grownup £6.50, baby £3.90, reserving important) to take pleasure in large views throughout Salisbury and the plains. You’ll be able to stroll from city alongside the River Avon then stick with it for a few miles upriver to the Devenish, a nature reserve with harebells on the chalky slopes and buzzards overhead.Even earlier than Covid, Salisbury’s vacationer trade had suffered, with guests staying away after the 2018 poisonings. However the Russian suspects’ risible TV interview did remind us that Salisbury cathedral is “well-known for its 123-metre spire”. It’s the tallest in Britain, the truth is, and has the UK’s greatest cathedral cloisters, the world’s oldest working mechanical clock, and the best-preserved of 4 surviving copies of Magna Carta.Admire the spire from a number of angles as you stroll by means of the Queen Elizabeth Gardens, with free afternoon live shows in July, and alongside the City Path by means of the water meadows, for a view that John Constable painted. The Outdated Mill lodge, on the far finish of the trail, serves selfmade charcoal-cooked burgers in its riverside backyard).The place to stayThe parlour at Caboose B&B.Inside a 20-minute drive of Salisbury is Stonehenge Campsite (pitch from £17.50, pod for 2 from £65), close to the celebrated stone circle. There’s additionally a classic caravan and – new this yr – a transformed double-decker bus. To remain within the metropolis, strive the timber-framed Rose and Crown inn (doubles from £72 room solely), for pub grub by the water and beamed, oak-panelled bedrooms. Perfect for car-free guests is Caboose B&B (doubles from £80 B&B), by the station, which gives domestically sourced drinks, immaculate rooms, afternoon teas and a free cocktail whenever you ebook direct.HullSpurn Level and its lighthouse. {Photograph}: abzee/Getty ImagesThe 80-mile Yorkshire Wolds Means has all the advantages of being a Nationwide Path: clear waymarks, nice landscapes, properly maintained, but it surely’s far much less crowded than extra well-known walks just like the Thames Path or Pennine Means. It begins from Hessle, simply outdoors Hull, and runs below the monumental Humber Bridge and west alongside the mud-shored estuary, earlier than turning north by means of sycamore woods, grassy valleys and sloping fields of poppies.Summer season brings little terns, red-veined darter dragonflies and even porpoises to the ever-shifting sands of Spurn Level, 20 miles east of Hull. This wild, wide-skied peninsula is lower off at excessive tide and grazed by Hebridean sheep and longhorn cattle.Hull was UK Metropolis of Tradition in 2017, attracting 5 million folks at 1000’s of occasions. The mural-splashed, marina-side Fruit Market, with its massive outside stage, is typical of town’s inventive regeneration. The realm gives indie retailers and galleries (chocolate, jewelry, artwork) and cafes like the brand new Hygge bar, opened in April, with beers and bespoke cocktails. Tuck into crab rarebit crumpets at Humber Fish Co or fried cauliflower outdoors vibrant Butler Whites in a former fruit and veg warehouse.Humber Road hyperlinks the River Hull and the Humber Dock Marina. {Photograph}: Neil HolmesThe metropolis has made extra of its waterfront in current many years. The angular Deep aquarium (grownup £16.50, baby £13), constructed partly beneath town’s rivers, opened in 2002. The neighbouring Museums Quarter gives different rainy-day choices, together with Hotham’s Gin College (Saturdays from 5 June, £150 for 2, with tastings, three G&Ts and a bottle of your personal gin). The fabulous Maritime Museum (free) is closed for redevelopment as a part of a significant city-wide challenge.A brief stroll away, previous the minster, the listed, just lately renovated Trinity indoor market has ’grammable rhubarb and ginger pastries from Tart Me Up or pizza cones from Cone Queen.The place to remain Subsequent door to the market, Hideout Condo Lodge, opened in 2017, gives dog-friendly flats with underfloor heating and personal patios (doubles from £90).NorwichThe Norfolk Broads begin solely a ship experience, stroll or cycle away from Norwich. {Photograph}: Graham Custance Images/GettyEngland’s solely metropolis that’s really inside a nationwide park has the River Wensum and Norfolk Broads inside strolling, biking and even canoeing distance (kayaks from £20 for 2 hours from thecanoeman.com). Strive windsurfing or paddle boarding simply outdoors town at Whitlingham nation park (from £12 an hour), which additionally gives tenting by the water (see beneath).A single-track railway generally known as the Wherry Strains carries guests by means of the watery panorama from Norwich to the coast (tickets from £3.90 single). Two trains cease every Sunday at distant Berney Arms station, which reopened in February 2020, and has no roads, merely miles of grass, reeds, water and remoted windmills. You’ll be able to observe a riverside route into Nice Yarmouth or discover a wilderness of geese, galloping hares and muntjac deer.Town’s museum is re-medievalising its fort hold (it’s attributable to re-emerge triumphantly in late 2022), however the artwork gallery part remains to be open at a less expensive charge (twilight ticket £2) with an exhibition by John Crome, one of many Norwich College of panorama painters, who died 200 years in the past final month). A 15-minute stroll, by means of the market and previous the Catholic cathedral, brings you to the Victorian Plantation Backyard (£2 grownup, under-16s free) in an previous chalk quarry, which is operating Sunday teas, weekend performs and reside music this summer season. It’s a hidden dell of flowers and fountains amongst Italianate terraces and winding wooded paths.The place to stayThe Meeting HouseWhitlingham Broad Campsite (pitch from £9.50 grownup, den for 4 from £150) has tent pitches plus a yurt, a transformed prepare carriage and (new for 2021) treehouse-style dens on stilts with firepits and hammocks.On the town, the Maid’s Head lodge (doubles from £105 room solely), close to the spectacular cathedral, is launching an Edwardian boat for cruises on the Wensum from June. Town’s Georgian brick Meeting Home, reverse the Theatre Royal, is now a cookery college, lodge and cafe, serving elegant afternoon teas. For a pricey-but-tasteful keep (in each sense), the bedrooms (they’ve simply added three extra) have 4 posters, curved ceilings or personal terraces (doubles from £162 B&B, with some all-inclusive offers for summer season).PerthSome of one of the best views on the town are available by the ruins of Kinnoull Hill Tower overlooking the River Tay. {Photograph}: Simon Value/AlamySurrounded by wild glens, forests and braes, walkable Perth is simply the place to construct up an urge for food and has gathered a number of foodie accolades. Sit right down to a three-course lunch at North Port for fish from Scrabster and Strathmore strawberries, or choose up a picnic from Provender Brown deli: wild fireside sourdough, ham from Puddledub farm in Fife or nutty Lanark White cheese, constructed from uncooked ewes’ milk. Then stroll by the River Tay, previous the Black Watch museum (£9 grownup, £6.90, baby) or go to terraced Branklyn Backyard (grownup £7.50, baby £6), with its fiery maples and azaleas, uncommon lilies and blue poppies, and climb neighbouring tower-topped Kinnoull Hill for 360-degree views.There’s post-industrial stuff to discover at Stanley Mills, about eight miles north, together with one of many world’s oldest surviving factories (£6 grownup, £3.60 baby). The newly wed Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley stayed at crow-stepped Huntingtower, simply outdoors Perth. You cross it on the way in which to the market city of Crieff, half-hour’ drive or bus experience west by means of some nice countryside. Cease off at Gordon & Durward on Crieff Excessive Road for oh-so-sweet Scottish pill, made in conventional copper boilers.The Perth riverfront. {Photograph}: walencienne/Getty ImagesA couple of minutes outdoors the city, a fairytale avenue of beech timber with views over lochs and hills results in the elegantly geometric formal gardens at Drummond Citadel, open on summer season afternoons and weekends (grownup £10, baby £4).Scotland’s latest metropolis acquired its standing in 2012, however Perth was as soon as the Scottish capital, with monarchs topped at Scone Palace (from grownup £10, baby £6.50) for hundreds of years – as talked about within the final line of Macbeth. A principally digital Perth Arts pageant (till 25 Might) options drive-in cinema within the palace grounds, with crowd-pleasers resembling Grease and Star Wars. In August, the Charlatans and Kaiser Chiefs are headlining town’s large Social gathering on the Park, with greater than 50 reside bands.The place to stayThe upmarket Townhouse (doubles from £105 B&B) is in a sublime Georgian terrace, or there’s glamping close to Scone Palace (from £27 an evening) till late September.Chelmsford, EssexLeigh-on-Sea is a half-hour’s drive from Chelmsford. {Photograph}: Picturebank/AlamyThis could seem an unlikely vacation vacation spot, and town itself might not detain you lengthy, however there are seashores, historical woodland, marshes, spectacular gardens and the barges and battle histories of Maldon inside half an hour’s drive (or a barely longer bus experience). The Saffron Path, among the best long-distance paths throughout a county wealthy in them, follows a inexperienced, riverside hall by means of Chelmsford on its technique to Saffron Walden. The opening miles, in Southend, run alongside cliffs above the world’s longest pleasure pier and thru seafront gardens.Detour for lunch into Leigh-on-Sea, the place Osborne’s Seafood Kitchen serves cockles, samphire and seaweed-salted fries (£5) to eat on estuary-side tables (no reserving). Close by Two Tree Island is the place to identify wading birds, saltmarsh vegetation and a wrecked fishing boat/art-installation. There’s extra artwork within the woods round Danbury, considered one of a number of picturesque villages close to Chelmsford. Infinity Forest, a tall kaleidoscope of mirrors surrounding a Scots pine sapling opened this April in Danbury nation park. Don’t miss hilly, bluebell-carpeted (in April-Might) Blakes Wooden, down the highway, and the gorse and heather-bright Danbury Commons.Hylands Property is free to enter. {Photograph}: Aaron Crowe PhotographyRHS Hyde Corridor backyard can also be a straightforward journey from Chelmsford, with scented roses and a dry backyard blazing with orange poppies, yellow-green spurges and red-hot pokers (£12.15 grownup, £6.75 baby). At close by Hanningfield reservoir, 1000’s of swifts, swallows and martins come swooping over the water from Might to July. Cease off on the way in which again at Galleywood Winery, for excursions with tasting and cream tea (from £20pp).Additionally south of Chelmsford is the free-to-enter Hylands Property, with formal flower beds and creeper-covered trellises and paths alongside the Serpentine Lake into wilder woods and hay fields. If it’s tipping down, take a look at Chelmsford’s free museum. Revamped in 2019, it showcases domestically made artefacts resembling Grayson Perry’s pots and early radio receivers from Marconi’s wi-fi manufacturing unit (the primary on the earth).The place to stayThe Lion Inn at Boreham is on a bus route a couple of miles out of city, with rooms overlooking a backyard (doubles from £110 B&B). This text was amended on 23 Might 2021. Norwich is the one English metropolis inside a nationwide park, not the one UK metropolis, as the unique model acknowledged.