Staycation in Southern England

Brexit hasn’t spared the travel industry in the UK. Turns out, approximately one in four holiday makers are now changing their summer travel plans this year due to Brexit and many are choosing holidaying at home in the UK instead of abroad.

Which isn’t necessarily bad. There are plenty of amazing places to see in the UK, from my forever-favourite Cornwall to the incredible villages in the Lake District and picturesque hills of Scotland.  This bank holiday I’m staying local, rediscovering the familiar sites in the south.

Here are some of the great places to visit in southern England.

New Forest

Amazing walks, ponies walking about, stunning views. Amazing walks, ponies roaming free, stunning views. One of my favourite routes starts in Burley, a beautiful village in the heart of New Forest. Untouched by time, Burley is all about thatched-roof cottages, traditional pubs and witchcraft. Rumour has it in the late 1950s, Burley was home to a ‘white’ witch Sybil Leek who strolled around the village wearing a long black coat and with a pet jackdaw on her shoulder. Locals didn’t like that and she moved to America. These days Sybil’s heritage is celebrated by one of the gift shops named by her.

That’s a bit of magic for you. My favourite Burley walk can be found here.

For other things to do, Bournemouth Echo has even more tips.

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… and the New Forest Wildlife Park

Definitely not just a kids thing. Otters, bisons, wildcats and about a dozen of different types of owls are only some of the animals the Park is looking after. It’s a lovely place and animals are happy there – the Park is focused on wildlife conservation and rescue work.

I wrote about my visit to the park here.

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Exbury Gardens

I wrote more about the colour explosion in Exbury here.

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Salisbury

Salisbury International Arts Festival runs in late May, with theatre, music and crafts, among a million other things on offer.

If that’s not your thing, Salisbury is a great place to just hang out for a day or two. Beautiful architecture, dozens of pubs and bars, pretty walks in and out of town and, obviously, the Salisbury Cathedral.

The walk from the town’s centre to Old Sarum is among my favourites.

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Bournemouth beach

Bournemouth may be famous for stag and hen dos and being a city with the highest number of clubs per square mile in the UK, but it’s much more than a good night out destination (which it is, for the record).

It’s a beautiful, relaxed city with lovely gardens, beautiful beach and a great choice of restaurants, gigs and shops. Bournemouth is one of the most fun southern cities, and if you’re not into chilling on the beach, check out the hundreds of events and gigs going on there.

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Camping near Corfe Castle

I’m a complete convert from being a serious camping hater to a huge enthusiast. Places like this amazing camping site overlooking Corfe Castle reinforce my fairly new-found love for sleeping outdoors.

Overlooking the castle, Downshay Farm is one of the nicest camping sites in Dorset.

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