From Bodrum to the Peak District, these are the destinations to put on your wishlist for this season and the next, writes Senior Digital Writer Leah Sinclair.
There’s nothing like the feeling you get when preparing for a holiday.
Whether it’s a trip abroad to a far-flung destination or a staycation in a dreamy part of the UK, that feeling of excitement as you prepare to embark on a new adventure is unmatched – and it’s something many of us are craving this year.
But where to travel to? Well, we here at Stylist HQ are here to help – and whether you’re looking for something domestic or international, I’ve listed a few places that have caught my eye for 2022, making them the perfect option for your travel wishlist this spring and summer.
Staycations continue to be on the rise post-pandemic, with many still looking to explore more of what the UK has to offer.
“Travel restrictions during the pandemic led us all to rethink our travel plans and to consider destinations closer to home,” says Mike Hyde, chief data officer of Trainline. “Our data reveals that since travel restrictions ended, this appetite continued. Staycations by rail have grown hugely following the height of the pandemic (up 413% year-on-year to date) and are now even more popular than in the 12 months prior to the pandemic (up 26% year-on-3 years to date).
In the last couple of months, Hyde says Trainline has seen bookings to staycation spots increase, particularly in Brighton, Scarborough, Blackpool, Bath Spa and Southampton.
“For those planning a staycation, we recommend booking in advance to make savings on your tickets – it’s also worth checking if you’re eligible for a digital railcard, available in the Trainline app, to save a third off most journeys.”
Below, I’ve listed a few staycation spots that I have my eye on.
Take a trip to the seaside this summer and visit Eastbourne.
The resort town, which is located on England’s southeast coast, is a great place to reconnect and relax whether on your own or with friends.
Take in the vibrant art scene with a visit to the Towner Gallery, where you can enjoy an art tour or take in its latest exhibitions, or gaze at the scenic sea cliffs on a relaxing walk.
Equally, you can spend the afternoon paddling down Cuckmere River, or walking along the coast at Seven Sisters Cliffs and sampling some East Sussex wines at Rathfinny Wine Estate.
And of course, you must take a walk along the beach, where you’ll find a three-tier promenade, Victorian pier and bandstand.
Where to stay?: Get the best views of Eastbourne while staying at Port, a chic seaside resort filled with sea-facing rooms and minimalist decor that interior lovers can certainly appreciate.
The townhouse hotel is situated on the Royal Parade in Eastbourne with relaxing sea views, just a stone’s throw from the beach, where peace and tranquillity are in an abundance.
Guests can enjoy their fabulous cocktails (the kiwi mojito looks particularly good) in the chic hotel bar or a delicious hearty breakfast or brunch while taking in the sea views.
City dwellers seeking an escape to the countryside will love the Peak District and all it has to offer.
Take yourself over to Bakewell, which is, in fact, home of the delicious Bakewell Tart. While there, you can marvel at the stunning stonework and artefacts of the village’s history, as it stands as the true gem of the Peak District.
Where to stay?: Traditional, stylish, comfortable yet modern. Those are the words often associated with Rutland Arms Bakewell, a hotel in the Peak District with a long history that dates back to 19th century.
Boasting 32 bedrooms, Rutland Arms Bakewell is a cosy spot nestled in Bakewell and includes exceptionally stunning rooms that will make you feel like royalty, from the spacious deluxe four-poster suite to the deluxe double bedroom, which is royalcore at its finest.
It’s the perfect spot for those looking to explore the beautiful Bakewell along with surrounding towns like Matlock and Buxton.
Take a trip to the Peak District National Park and book a guided tour through the picturesque trails if you want to see what the area has to offer. Or visit the Bakewell Old House Museum, which features an exhibition of local life and artefacts from Tudor time.
Whether you’re spending a couple of nights or passing through, The Rutland Arms is perfectly placed in the centre of Bakewell.
Often topping staycation lists, Cornwall remains at the top of our agenda for 2022.
There’s nothing like spending your days walking along the stunning sandy beaches, looking into the distance at the towering cliffs, and visiting the cultural offering like Tate St Ives to The Eden Project.
Where to stay?: Put your phone on do not disturb and truly basque in the tranquillity that Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa has to offer.
The luxury cliffside hotel sits on the Lizard Peninsula (the perfect location for those who want to stay on the quieter side of Cornwall), right on the South West Coast Path and boasts exceptional views that will take your breath away, as you prepare to unwind and relax at one of the most serene hotels in Cornwall.
Guests will be able to take in the uninterrupted sea views while resting in the spacious apartments and sea view rooms, which are adorably decorated with sprawling floral wallpaper and colourful furniture which is sure to satisfy the cottagecore lovers out there.
Now, this is a place which is truly all about relaxing – and the luxury spa proves that. Take a dip in the outdoor pool and hot tub while enjoying the scenic cliffside views, with a glass of champagne or tea in hand. Equally, you can wind down in the toasty indoor hydrotherapy infinity pool and indoor steam room and sauna.
There’s also the option to book specialised treatments from the relaxing organic boost facial which aims to revive the skin with a vitamin and mineral boost and massage, to the signature guided meditation, foot ritual, scalp and back massage.
And it doesn’t stop there. Mullion Cove has a couple of food offerings that will allow you to enjoy some fine dining at the Atlantic Restaurant or a restorative afternoon tea in the Glenbervie Bistro and drinks at the Bar as you watch the breathtaking sunset, making it a truly well-rounded experience.
If you’re looking to venture beyond the hotel, you can take a right from Mullion Cove and follow the signs to the coast path where you can enjoy a scenic walk to Poldhu Beach. There you will find a little cafe and you can sit back and enjoy some surf watching.
Guests can also turn left from the hotel and walk down to the harbour – and if you’re feeling energetic, you can walk up the hill towards the Lizard. Whatever you do, you’ll be sure to enjoy being by the sea and getting lots of pampering and relaxation, all courtesy of this charming hotel.
For me, Bath is always a good idea. From visiting the Roman Baths (one of the UK’s finest historic sites I might add) and checking out the view from Bath Abbey Tower to spending countless hours perusing the various museums and galleries, you’ll never be short of things to do while in one of Britain’s prettiest cities, making it a great option for those who want to both relax and keep a busy itinerary.
Where to stay?: Indulge in some country house hotel charm at The Bath Priory, which is set in four acres of beautiful gardens tended by head gardener and Chelsea Flower Show silver medallist, Jane Moore.
The floral theme flows throughout the hotel, which includes 33 luxurious guest rooms which are all named after a flower, while the suites take the name of Bath’s famed crescents.
The stunning hotel is set within a central location, as it’s only a short stroll away from the city centre, making it easy to take in some of Bath’s most famous sites.
From visiting The Roman Baths to the magnificent Bath Abbey, you won’t be short of things to do as Bath is steeped in Roman history. Visitors can also see the city by canal boat, open-top bus or by foot or even head out of the city for a trip to Stonehenge, Longleat Safari Park or nearby Lacock Abbey.
And if you’re looking to relax and indulge in some luxurious treatments, The Bath Priory is perfect for just that. The hotel is home to The Garden Spa by L’Occitane, which allows guests to refresh their senses and retrieve peacefulness and inner balance.
Be greeted with a “welcome ritual” (a footbath performed with our soothing formula) before indulging in a variety of treatments, from the shea nourishing comfort facial to the leg & foot refresher with central oils.
Turkey has long been a popular destination to visit during the summer months – but there is something about Bodrum that has caught my attention.
Sitting on the west coast, Bodrum has a little bit of something for everyone. From a range of luxury sauna resorts to delicious restaurants introducing you to the best of Turkish cuisine, Bodrum is perfect for those looking to dine, relax and enjoy the glorious weather.
The city also contains a variety of cultural spots, offering a mix of aquatic and ancient sights to see, from the Castle of St. Peter to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
Where to stay?: There are many options of where to stay in Bodrum – but if you’re looking to combine luxury and sustainability, The METT Hotel & Beach Resort Bodrum is the place to go.
Situated opposite the old town of Bodrum last year, The METT Hotel has sustainability at the forefront and is reflected within its visual identity which represents earth, flora, sun, and water.
The property itself has 72 elegant and beautifully designed rooms and suites as well as luxury villas which overlook the sea.
If you’re looking to truly unwind, METT Hotel & Beach Resort Bodrum is perfect for just that, with a wide variety of amenities including an outdoor community swimming pool, the Raise Fitness & Wellness centre along with the moi spa, which is designed to soothe, pamper and de-stress.
Lake Como, Italy
Italy is filled with beautiful cities, regions and villages to visit – but nothing compares to the breathtaking Lake Como. Set against the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como is the perfect place to unwind with its assortment of hiking trails, stunning views, museums, churches and more. It’s also in a great location to visit others. And of course, it is home to the third largest of the Italian lakes, bringing nothing but tranquillity to your time in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Where to stay?: Il Sereno Lake Como was recently reponed on the 24 March and is definitely worth considering for your trip to Lake Como. Designed by world-renowned, contemporary architect Patricia Urquiola, the luxurious 40-suite hotel includes a stunning lakeside restaurant and spa situated in a historic boat house with an outdoor infinity pool.
The mild weather and sunny days around springtime make it particularly pleasant as you take in the sights of the city at its prettiest while enjoying some of the city’s cultural offerings from the Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival 2022 to its Dessert Sweets & Drink Festival 2022.
Where to stay: If you want a blend of old-world Japan and modernity, The Capitol Hotel is the perfect option. Designed by Kengo Kuma, the hotel boasts three restaurants, a 14th-floor indoor pool and direct access to four subway lines so you can travel from one spot to the next with ease while enjoying the spacious rooms with stunning city views.
When you think of Greece, places like Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes are what come to mind.
But Parga might just be the true hidden gem that we’re only just discovering, making it tipped to be a hotspot for 2022 and beyond.
While the Greek islands teem with tourists, Parga is a largely undiscovered stretch of coastline, allowing you to explore the Ionian coast, gorgeous beaches and uncover the secrets of the town’s archaeological sites before the rest of the world catches on to it.
Where to stay?: Ornate rooms, astonishing sea views and a breathtaking terrace are just a few reasons to settle at Hotel Parga Princess.
The hotel is located over the beach of Valtos in Parga (with some of the best sunset views), making it a tranquil location for those who want to sit back and enjoy the views while being in close proximity to the beach and local restaurants.
Images: Leah Sinclair, Getty