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The best places to visit in the UK in 2020

Planning an adventurous 2020? These are the best UK places to visit this year, from the Channel Islands to a National Park near London

Outer Hebrides
Photograph: Shutterstock Outer Hebrides
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There are countless reasons to stay in the UK in 2020. It might be small but, when it comes to amazing landscapes, world-class culture and incredible history, it can’t be beaten. Plus, in an age when we’re so conscious of our own environmental impact, adventuring closer to home means swerving that plane shame, too.

From remote islands and celestial festivals to an overnight stay in a rural eighteenth-century prison and a West Country wave machine, here’s your UK break bucket list for 2020. 

RECOMMENDED: The best weekend breaks from London

1
Bodmin Moor
Photograph: Shutterstock

Bodmin

Bleak Bodmin Moor, dotted with granite tors and wild ponies, is a powerful antidote to city life. It’s also the stuff of supernatural legents and grim ghost stories. Embrace those vibes with a stay in an eighteenth-century prison cell when Cornwall’s Bodmin Jail hotel opens later this year. Find out more here

2
Alfriston
Photograph: Shutterstock

Alfriston

Head to pretty Alfriston in East Sussex as the National Trust turns 125. The olde-worlde village is where you’ll find Alfriston Clergy House, a medieval, timber-framed hall, which was the very first building to be saved by the NT. Find out more here

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3
South Downs
Photograph: Shutterstock

South Downs

The South Downs, which runs from historic Winchester to Eastbourne’s chalk cliffs via green hills, ancient woodland and sea views, is London’s closest National Park and has been one for ten years. Take a celebratory hike. 

Check out more great walks near London

4
Fort Clonque
Photograph: Steve Wheelen

Alderney

Utilise the 75-years-since-VE-Day May bank holiday on this timewarp Channel Island, which was occupied by German forces during WWII. It’s littered with abandonded forts and bunkers, which you can wander around. One of them, Fort Clonque, is now a holiday home which gets cut off from the island at high tide. 

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5
Honister Slate Mine, Lake District
Photograph: Shutterstock

Lake District

There are always countless good reasons to visit the stunning Lake District. Swing by this year to spot rocky reflections in still lakes, attempt rhyming couplets in poet William Wordsworth’s 250th anniversary year, or scream your way down the new mile-long zip wire over Honister slate mine, when it opens this summer. 

6
Plymouth
Photograph: Shutterstock

Plymouth

There’s a buzzy feel to this ancient Devon port town this year, thanks to hundreds of events which are planned to mark four centuries since the Mayflower set sail from here to the Americas. The year kicked off with a light festival and continues with the opening of the Mayflower Trail this spring. Find out more here

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7
Outer Hebrides
Photograph: Shutterstock

Outer Hebrides

If the aim is to feel indescribably far from London, this string to stunning Scottish islands will undoubtedly do the trick. Head to Barra and the Uists to find ancient relics, Barbados-worthy white sands and delicious silence. There’s being OOO and then there’s this. 

8
Yorkshire Dark Skies Festival
Photograph: Shutterstock

Yorkshire

This might be the year of space tourism, but if you prefer to stay grounded, head to the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales for the Dark Skies Festival to spot constellations, take a guided night walk or cycle in the starlight. There are more than 100 events taking place between February 14 and March 1. 

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9

Manchester

The Royal Horticultural Society is opening its first new garden in 17 years this summer. The historic walled Garden Bridgewater in Salford, just outside of Manchester, is a great excuse to go north. Find out more about the glorious new green space here

10
Wye Valley
Photograph: Shutterstock

Wye Valley

Channel your inner Gillian Anderson (everyone has one) and explore this lush corner of the country where Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ is filmed. 

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11
The Wave, Bristol
Photograph: Dan Mullins

Bristol

Fancy channeling endless Californian summers in 2020? You can now hit the water at The Wave, Bristol’s newly opened surfing lake where more than 100 great waves are guaranteed every hour, all year round. Book a beginner class on The Bay. Wetsuit definitely required.

12
Glastonbury
Photograph: Shutterstock

Glastonbury

Celebrations are in order: Glastonbury Festival turns 50 in 2020. Even if you didn’t manage to get your hands on tickets this year, there are plenty of good reasons to head to this sweet, spiritual corner of Somerset, which keeps the hippie vibes going all year round. Visit to stock up on healing crystals and ethical skincare, explore the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey and take the steep climb to the Tor. 

Exploring more of the UK?

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