Summer’s here (although you’d be forgiven for not realising it), and many of us are looking forward to a relaxing few days or weeks off between now and when the clocks go back. Some of us will be heading off to sunnier climes, whilst others will be giving this whole ‘staycation’ thing a go.

If you’re staying at home, or perhaps staring at the prospect of keeping the kids occupied over the summer holidays, we’ve had a trawl around the internet and asked about the office to find out what our favourite things to do in the UK are. We’ve focused on places you may not have heard of or visited for a truly unique day out.

History Hunting

I don’t know about you, but when I was little I was absolutely fascinated by dinosaurs; few things are cooler than imagining these great four-legged beasts roaming the land we now inhabit. Nowhere is that feeling more evident than in the coastal town of Lyme Regis. This seaside resort is part of the Jurassic Coast; a 95 mile-long stretch of coastline across Dorset and Devon which is home to 185 million years of history and fossils. Fossils are relatively easy to find upon the beaches of Lyme Regis and it provides a fantastic, awe-inspiring day out.

Moving forward a few million years in time brings us to our two-legged ancestors. Cheddar Man, Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, was found in Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. Approximately 9,000 years old, anthropologists have since discovered that one of his descendants lives in a nearby village!
Aside from being home to Mr Cheddar (not his real name), Cheddar Gorge has plenty to keep you occupied; from breathtaking views and invigorating walks through to museums, caves, rock climbing, or open-top bus tours for drinking in the views.

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The stunning Cheddar Gorge makes a beautiful backdrop for our photographers!

Sunny Strolls & Geocaching

There’s nothing like a picturesque walk to blow out the cobwebs. Whether you fancy taking some time for a solo stroll or scenic cycle, or you’re off with a tribe of tots and a few dogs in tow, being out and about in the great outdoors does something for the soul.

Whilst you’ll easily be able to find plenty of walks and cycle routes wherever you are in the UK, we encourage you to do a little exploring on your own (so long as you promise to not get lost!). A fantastic way to explore places you may have overlooked in your local area is to try Geocaching. This is where people hide a ‘cache’, and it’s your mission to find it! It could be in the woods, near a train station, or en route to a few pubs! A cache can be anything from a simple logbook through to a veritable treasure trove of goodies; you’re encouraged to take a souvenir for yourself and leave another for the next geocacher. There are apps you can download to help you navigate to a cache, and you’ll be able to sort them by difficulty, making it a fab activity for people of any age!

If you’re heading out on a walk or cycle ride, add a bit of tech to your trip with a GPS watch or cycle computer to see how far you trek.

090516_JMS_HALFORDS_460Beautiful Beaches

Britain isn’t necessarily known for its beaches, so you may be surprised by how many beautiful ones we have! Even if you’re in the landlocked Midlands, you’re still no further than 80-odd miles from the sea.

Trip Advisor has rated Britain’s top 25 beaches, and Woolacombe tops the list. Award-winning, dog friendly, and with 3 miles of golden sand, it’s easy to see why!

Further afield, there’s Rhossili Bay in Swansea. Both scenic and quaint, this beach is perfect for walks, picnics, and dog owners.

Scotland isn’t usually the first place you’d think of for beaches, but that’s because we’ve not visited the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides! The windswept sands of Luskentyre are home to some of the most stunning seaside photography you’ll find, and it’s a perfect place to visit if you’re looking to find some peace and quiet.

Seaside trips are the perfect excuse to play some active games. Make sure that your chosen destination allows for it, and then browse our range of outdoor toys. And if you’re taking the dog, ensure they’re safe in the car with either a dog guard or harness.

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Museum Mooching

This wouldn’t be a list of places to visit in the UK if we didn’t include some museums! Of course, there are the classic art galleries and natural history museums in the cities, but we like something a bit more unusual – like a living museum! Our top tips for bringing history to life are the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley and Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge. Both of these places are like stepping back in time. With actors, sing-alongs in the pub, delicious fish and chips, and even an old-fashioned fairground, these will entertain people of all ages – even those who think they don’t like history!

On the even more unusual side, there’s the Shell Grotto in Margate. Discovered in the 1830s, the Shell Grotto features 4.6 million shells set into 70 feet of winding underground passageways. It’s certainly a sight to behold! Its age and purpose are unknown, which only adds to the mystery.

Although we’re only the fifth biggest tea drinking nation (Turkey’s number one and Ireland is third), Britain wouldn’t be Britain without a museum honouring the humble teapot. Teapot Island in Maidstone is home to 7,600 teapots with an array of designs – from Darth Vader to Daleks and teddy bears to the Queen!

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These nifty Coke power banks will keep your gadgets juiced up.

Wherever you decide to head off to this summer, we have a few handy products and services to help make your journey the best it can be!

For instance; a sat nav won’t just get you to your destination, some can also let you know if you’re about to hit traffic or where the nearest service station is; handy if you’re travelling with a little one!

And a power bank is a useful little gadget to keep your phone charged whilst you’re on the move. Once you have one you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it!

Whether you’re heading out by bike or car, make sure to take advantage of our free summer car check and free summer bike check to ensure no last minute problems catch you out!

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