What a year 2020 has been! Now as vaccines begin to roll out a return to normal life looks possible. My thoughts are turning to 2021 travel but where to go? I am cautiously beginning to think about going away to an actual hotel. I have so missed hotel breakfasts. Slow travel to UK destinations not too far away are top of my list. Culture, History and Architecture are all big draws. Ideally I want places further than a day trip but no more than three hours away and certainly only in line with the latest Government guidelines. Here are my inspiring UK Cultural Travel Destinations 2021.
I have only ever been to Oxford for work. Never stepped inside the Ashmolean or explored the Pitt Rivers. Watching His Dark Materials on television has made me want to explore Oxford even more. In my fond imagination I will stay in an Oxford City centre hotel visit the museum, explore the churches and walk for miles discovering hidden corners. I have a weakness for ceramics so the Pioneering Women featuring the work of Lucie Rie at the Oxford Ceramics Gallery is an extra lure.
When you come home after a break do you dash back or do you like to take a break? I am always lured by a country house, on my way back Oxford I would love to explore Blenheim Palace.
Whilst I have never been to Oxford I have often been to Bath. Bath has everything that I love by the bucketload … Roman history, thermal baths, literary connections and street after street of honey coloured Georgian terraces. You can wallow in a roof top pool filled with warm water that has just bubbled out of the ground whilst gazing at Bath Abbey. In the Assembly Rooms you can channel your inner Jane Austen whilst you twirl under vast crystal chandeliers. Then, of course, there are the Roman Baths.
J M W Turner claimed that the “skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe”. Who am I to argue with master of the skyscape? Margate, the home town of Tracey Emin, is now home to the Turner Contemporary Gallery that has big 10th anniversary celebrations planned for 2021. Even when the gallery is shut you can glimpse the Anthony Gormley statue Another Time for about 3 hours on either side of low tide. John Keats lived in Margate for a time, what better way to mark his 200t anniversary than by seeking poetic inspiration of your own?
Did you know that Ramsgate is a Royal Harbour? 2021 is 200 years since George IV set off for Hannover from ramsgate and was so impressed that he made the harbour Royal. One of Mr CW’s school friends used to live in Ramsgate and we love it. It is on our list for 2021. Round the coast at Folkestone you will find the UK’s largest outdoor contemporary art exhibition, all completely free and accessible at all times. Keep on following the coast round and you get to wild other worldly Dungeness where you will find Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage.
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
I have a thing about coaching inns. It goes hand in hand with my fascination of ancient pathways. There is something about a path that has been followed for centuries and staying in a coaching inn just makes me feel even more connected to travellers that went before. The Angel Inn at Bury St Edmunds is one of my favourites, you can even still drive in through the arch that the coaches would have gone through. Charles Dickens stayed here, you can even stay in the same room. but I confess the ones with a view over Bury St Edmunds Abbey. Bury St Edmunds is the perfect place for a short break with ancient churches, cute streets, a fascinating museum, a brewery, the only National Trust theatre and the smallest pub in England to explore.
Which inspiring UK Cultural Travel Destinations to you want to visit do you want to visit in 2021? Before you make plans to leave home check the latest travel advice and stick to it for your own and everybody else’s safety.
Check out Exhibitions Worth Travelling For 2021 for more cultural travel inspiration.
Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.