Peak District and North Coast 500 among Britons’ most desired destinations

Bad weather and a lack of transport are preventing travellers from making the most of the UK, poll suggests

Mustafa Mirreh
Wednesday 29 June 2022 08:52 BST
<p>The Giant’s Causeway was one of Britons’ top 40 destinations </p>

The Giant’s Causeway was one of Britons’ top 40 destinations

Britons have revealed what they think are the top experiences everyone in the UK should have before they turn 40.

They included a night under Northumberland’s International Dark Sky Park, a road trip along Scotland’s North Coast 500 and a visit to Birmingham’s Balti Triangle.

Climbing the basalt steps of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, a trip to the Cornish Isles of Scilly and watching the headliner at Glastonbury festival in Somerset also appeared on the must-do list.

Other experiences included walking round the picturesque village of Portmeirion, Wales, and visiting Devon and Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast to discover prehistoric fossils.

The list for travellers to vote on was compiled by a group of travel experts, including Cassam Looch, from Culture Trip, Pat Riddell, editor of National Geographic Traveller, Darren Burn, founder of OutOfOfficeCom and, wellness travel coach Dr Noreen Nguru from, and travel journalist Lisa Francesca Nand.

The research of 2,000 adults aged between 18 and 40, commissioned by NatWest, also found 84 per cent had many places they were yet to explore in the UK. And 56 per cent were keen to rectify this before they turned 40.

Travel expert Lisa Francesca Nand said: “A life well lived is a life filled with experiences.

“Now more than ever, we’re all looking to invest in moments to create brilliant memories either solo or with friends and family, and travel is a key part of that – whether it’s getting back to nature, seeing amazing architecture, learning about new culture and history or just going on a fantastic road trip.”

The key motivation for wanting to travel the UK was that they simply enjoyed being outdoors (40 per cent).

Meanwhile, one-quarter wanted to explore destinations to tick them off their bucket list, and 22 per cent were keen on learning something new from their adventures.

But finances were a top barrier to making travel dreams a reality, with 34 per cent of adults saying cost was the key issue when choosing their travel experiences.

Others blamed a lack of transport (26 per cent), inconsistent weather (20 per cent) and being too busy (18 per cent).

As a result, one-quarter often ended up travelling abroad as it was more affordable, while 29 per cent thought it was more relaxing to leave the UK.

Despite the popularity of going abroad, 49 per cent would still consider booking a trip at home while saving money – with 53 per cent considering a staycation as good value.

It also emerged 53 per cent of those, polled via OnePoll, felt they had missed out on travel experiences due to financial problems.

Martin Wise, from NatWest, said: “We understand our customers are keen to make the most of this summer.

“The research shows many of us have yet to see what the UK truly has to offer, with finances being a key factor in how often they book a trip away and how far they are willing to travel.”

Britons’ top 40 tourism goals

  • Stay the night at the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and stargaze into the darkest skies in England
  • Take the ultimate road trip on Scotland’s North Coast 500 and see spectacular wildlife, landscape and imposing Dunrobin Castle
  • Travel to Birmingham’s Balti Triangle, the culinary birthplace of the famous ‘Balti’, for a uniquely British-Asian foodie experience
  • Explore the UK’s 2,000 miles of canals and rivers with a staycation on a canal boat
  • Learn bushcraft and survival skills on a wilderness course in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District
  • Go seal spotting for common and grey seals at Blakeney Point Nature Reserve
  • Bask in the early morning sunshine on the golden sands of Porthcurno Beach after an overnight stay in Cornwall
  • Savour world class English wines and book a vineyard tour in Kent
  • Explore Puzzlewood in the Forest Of Dean, the landscape that inspired Tolkien’s ‘Middle Earth’
  • Climb the basalt steps of the Giant’s Causeway in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • Swim in the crystal-clear waters of Pentle Bay, Tresco, and stay by the white sandy shores on the Isles of Scilly
  • Go hiking in Epping Forest, Essex, and get back to nature in a camping pod
  • Take a stroll round the picturesque and colourful Italian style village of Portmeirion, Wales
  • Watch the headline act at Glastonbury Festival, Somerset
  • Hire a traditional punt and sail under the Bridge of Sighs on the River Cam, Cambridge
  • Visit the Turner Contemporary Gallery in the trendy and kitsch seaside town of Margate, Kent
  • Enjoy nature with a touch of luxury while glamping in the New Forest
  • Hike up Mount Snowdon in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales – the highest mountain in England and Wales
  • Tuck into a cream tea from Devon and neighbouring Cornwall and decide which is best
  • Sandboard down ‘The Big Dipper’, Europe’s second largest sand dune, in Methyr Mawr, Wales
  • Visit Devon and Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast to discover prehistoric fossils
  • Tour a former mine 300ft underground at the Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon, Wales
  • Breathe in the fresh sea air during a coastal hike along the Seven Sisters, Sussex
  • Take a scenic drive from Glasgow to Fort William up the A82 for peak Scottish views
  • Cycle along a former railway line, the Tissington trail, in the Peak District
  • Join the parade at Notting Hill Carnival in London, celebrating the UK’s Caribbean history
  • Get a taste of the upper class and visit the real Downton Abbey; Highclere Castle in Hampshire
  • Take a trip to Windsor Castle, Berkshire, and see one of Her Majesty’s residences
  • Book tickets to explore the magnificent palace, park and gardens at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
  • Go on a whiskey tasting tour at a Scottish distillery in Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland or Speyside, in Scotland
  • Relive history by walking the 5,000-year-old Neolithic Ridgeway in Oxfordshire, the oldest road in England
  • Hire a kayak off the beautiful beaches of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland
  • Book a walking gin tour through the iconic pubs and artisan distilleries in Belfast
  • Party in an old brick warehouse in the Baltic Triangle; the thriving cultural hub of Liverpool
  • Take a trip to Manchester and dance the night away in one of the many gay bars lining Canal Street
  • Join the lively London Pride parade as it goes through London
  • Experience the history of the Thames at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London
  • Travel on the oldest, steepest inland electric funicular railway in England on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway
  • Get an adrenaline rush whilst coasteering cliffs, caves and rockpools in Pembrokeshire
  • Go surfing on the 19 miles of coastline in North Devon

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