10 day trips in the UK to book this summer

·Shopping writer
·8-min read
Looking to book a day trip this year? We have you covered. (Getty Images)
Looking to book a day trip this year? We have you covered. (Getty Images)

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With the warm weather here, and lockdown restrictions in the UK starting to ease, we're chomping at the bit to take some much needed time out, book an adventure and relax. 

Abroad may be largely off-limits for now, but you don't have to venture too far to have fun, as there's plenty to do in the UK. 

Whether it's a road trip, long hikes and cycling tours, taking the train to the seaside, a theme park for thrill seekers or something more cultured, it's all here.

Research from RBH Hospitality Management has found Google searches for "day trips near me", as well as "day trips from London" have seen a 200% increase in the last month, while searches for spa days, museums and galleries have also been on the rise. 

Based on VisitBritain’s Sentiment Tracker statistics, RBH has learnt that 51% of adults plan for shorter domestic breaks between now and the end of the year, consisting of day long excursions or breaks no longer than three nights.

With that in mind, we've made your planning a breeze, and found the best things to do for a great day out across the UK.

Our top 10 picks for a great day out 

Buckle up at a theme park: Alton Towers, Stoke-on-Trent

Alton Towers is the ideal day trip for the thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies.  (Getty Images)
Alton Towers is the ideal day trip for the thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. (Getty Images)

For the thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies out there, a trip to a theme park - or two - will be right up your rollercoaster. 

With plenty of rides at Alton Towers (over 40 to be precise), as well as the Alton Towers Waterpark, Spa and Rollercoaster Restaurant, there's bound to be something to suit every family member - even those who don't like topsy-turvy rides. 

Your day trip doesn't have to end as the park closes, either. Accommodation is also available for overnight or weekend breaks if you can't pack in enough thrills before sunset. 

Buy tickets here 

Put your trust in the National Trust: The Needles walk

The needles lighthouse isle of wight sunrise
Sunrise over The Needles Lighthouse (Getty Images)

There are over 200 gardens and parks, as well as beautiful houses, scattered around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, belonging to the National Trust.

But one lesser known trip, if you can reach the Isle of Wight, is a glorious day out. Take the Tennyson Trail, past The Needles, and into The Old Battery, a Victorian Coastal Defence (and secret rocket testing site!). 

This 14-mile route takes you through the countryside, and along the coastline, so you get the best of both. If you wish to have a nosey inside the Old and New Battery and you're not a NT member, book a ticket in advance.

Buy tickets here

Go Live: Heritage Live, (various locations)

Boy George and Culture Club have graced a number of stages, and are set to perform this summer as part of Heritage Live string of concerts.  (Getty Images)
Boy George and Culture Club are set to perform this summer as part of Heritage Live string of concerts. (Getty Images)

Throughout July and August there will be a whole host of music events due to take place across the UK. Russell Watson, James Blunt, Boy George and Culture Club, as well as Rag'n'Bone Man are among some of the A-list acts set to take to the stage. Let's face it, we've had enough of the radio and Spotify, and are more than ready to enjoy live music once again. 

Buy tickets here 

Rattle and hum: The world's fastest ziplining experience in Wales

Call yourself an adrenalin junkie? Put yourself to the test on the world's fastest ziplining experience in Wales.  (Virgin Experiences)
Call yourself an adrenaline junkie? Put yourself to the test on the world's fastest ziplining experience in Wales. (Virgin Experiences)

For those who like nothing more than an adventure, and have already conquered GoApe trails, then why not try the next big thing - the world's fastest zip wire? Virgin Experience has a whole host of activities to enjoy for your next day trip. The zip wire in Gwynedd, in Wales, otherwise known as the Velocity 2 line, lets you whizz along at 100mph taking in the views of the historic Penrhyn quarry - blink and you could miss it. 

Buy tickets here

Open air acting: Watch a show under the stars in London

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Heading to the theatre has always been a luxury and it's been much missed during the pandemic.  

For those who want to enjoy the outdoors, and theatre, watching a performance at the Open-Air theatre at London's Regents Park couldn't be a better fit. An adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is currently showing for a brief period this summer that you can enjoy watching under the stars.

Book tickets here

And relax: Spa day, various locations

What better way to spend your day off than relaxing at a spa for a few hours? Massage, facial, body scrub, you can enjoy the full works.  (Getty Images)
What better way to spend your day off than relaxing at a spa for a few hours? Massage, facial, body scrub, you can enjoy the full works. (Getty Images)

There is nothing better than a spa day - other than a spa weekend - and there are plenty of hotspots to check in to across the UK all year long. Whether you want to treat yourself, your loved one, a friend or relative, a day to fully zen out and be pampered will do the trick, especially after this rather stressful year. 

From the celebrity-friendly Glass House retreat, and Sopwell House just outside of London, Champneys, or Manchester's The Midland for a getaway, to Glasgow's Kimpton in Blytheswood Square, the New Forest's iconic Chewton Glen, and the Lake District's Macdonald's Spa Hotel, pick your spot and unwind with massages, body scrubs, wraps, facials and a long soak in the jacuzzi to scour the cobwebs off.

Book tickets here 

Refine your tastebuds on a wine tour: Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey

Tantalise those tastebuds by learning about wines and sampling them for yourself.  (Getty Images)
Tantalise those tastebuds by learning about wines and sampling them for yourself. (Getty Images)

Upgrade your usual weekend pub visit, with a more refined wine tour. Educate yourself on the variety of grapes, how your favourite tipple is made, and awaken your taste buds with a sample or two of the vineyard's very own wines.  

There are plenty of options including indoor and outdoor tours, group bookings, and the chance to enjoy a lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Denbies in Surrey is a popular choice.

For those who are looking to gift the full package experience Virgin Experiences has a budget friendly option too. 

Book tickets here

Charter your own boat: GoBoat, various London locations

Charter your own boat, pack your picnic and explore some of London's scenic areas on the water.  (GoBoat)
Charter your own boat, pack your picnic and explore some of London's scenic areas on the water. (GoBoat)

Although travel restrictions may be limited, and your plans to venture further afield this summer (or even last summer) have been shattered, you can pretend you are at sea without leaving the country. There are a whole host of boat trips around the UK to enjoy, whether you want to partake or spectate, such as the iconic Round the Island Race in Cowes, Isle of Wight. 

If that inspires you GoBoat is encouraging people to charter their own boat in several London destinations, so you can take a picnic, some fizz, and take in the sights of Hampton Court Palace, or Canary Wharf, while being the captain of your own ship (Ok, boat). 

If, however, you like to sit back and relax, Cambridge offers punting tours that will transport you to Venice, while Bath and Oxford offer river cruises.  

Book tickets here 

Appreciate Art: The Art of Banksy exhibition, London

Google searches for museums have soared over the last few months, and 'The Atrt of Banksy' exhibition is one high on our list.  (Getty Images)
Google searches for museums have soared over the last few months, and the 'Art of Banksy' exhibition is one high on our list. (Getty Images)

Day trips to a museum or art gallery were a popular activity in our younger years, and something we longed for during lockdown. In recent weeks there's been a 200% increase in Google searches for museum visits, with the Tate Gallery, Scottish National Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery flagged as the most popular venues to visit. 

There are numerous exhibitions, but one that caught our eye is The Art of Banksy: Unauthorised Private Collection, which is open for a limited time. Cast your eyes over the signature Girl with Balloon artwork, and the Rude Copper, among many other pieces, this summer. 

Buy tickets here

Go Green: RHS Bridgewater, Manchester 

Visit Europe's largest gardening project at RHS Bridgewater in Manchester.  (RHS)
Visit Europe's largest gardening project at RHS Bridgewater in Manchester. (RHS)

If you've loved whiling away hours at your local garden centre, but fancy something even more upmarket, then the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) has you covered.  

The RHS have a whole host of stunning gardens and grounds across the UK for you to amble around, and for the green-fingered amongst us to get inspired. One in particular we have our eye on visiting is Worsley New Hall, RHS Bridgewater, which is Europe's largest gardening project spanning over 154-acres, with a grand house, too. Not only is it a beautiful setting, but you can also enjoy lunch or afternoon tea, shop at the garden centre, and bask in history too - as it was frequently visited by Queen Victoria. 

Buy tickets here

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