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Pendle Hill, Lancashire

The rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the valleys of south Wales, the lakes of Cumbria. The UK is renowned for its natural beauty. But if you’re looking for a unique escape into the countryside, there are many destinations that are a bit more ‘off the beaten track’…

Let’s take a look at our top 5 countryside breaks (that you may not have thought of!). And if you’re inspired to take your family or friends to explore them, then make sure to book your private coach hire with Bullocks!

Bedfordshire

In three words: Picturesque, Historic, Wildlife

Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

The rural county of Bedfordshire is often overlooked, but it’s a real place of beauty, history and culture. One of the stand-out locations to visit here is Wrest Park, a Grade I listed country estate that has been likened to popular tourist attractions like Blenheim Palace and Highclere Castle. Wrest Park has a magnificent mansion and 90 acres of gardens… plenty of room for a stroll!

Further afield and there’s Harrold-Odell Country Park, a bird-rich space with walks that are suitable for wheelchairs and children, and Stockgrove Country Park, where on a warm summer evening you can spot Bats on the lake!

While you’re down in Bedfordshire, you also have to try a Bedfordshire Clanger. Think of a cross between a cornish pasty and a sausage roll. It's a bit of a local delicacy.

Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, North Wales

In three words: Diverse, Medieval, Culture

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal

Next we’re heading to one of the five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wales. The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley are home to sea view rambles, rolling moors, and sprawling peaks with astounding views. Dotting the landscape are the remains of Iron Age hillforts, mediaeval castles and stunning abbeys, including Castell Dinas Bran and Valle Crucis Abbey.

Visit Pontcysyllte to explore its Aqueduct and Canal – an 11-mile ‘stream in the sky’ that’s also a World Heritage site. The National Trust’s Chirk Castle, a symbol of power from 1310, is also close by.

If you’re a lover of local food, keep an eye out for farmers’ markets and the chance to sample local meats, cheeses and honey. Sound good? Choose our private coach service to get you there!

Ripon, North Yorkshire

In three words: Quaint, Historic, Diverse

Ripon, North Yorkshire

A small city in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, Ripon has been described as ‘everything an English town should be.’ And we couldn’t agree more.

Not only does it have a Cathedral with the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon crypt in England, but it’s also home to Markenfield Hall… otherwise known as Yorkshire’s ‘best kept secret’. This mediaeval family residence features a moat and gatehouse, and has remained largely untouched since the 14th century. We’re offering day trips to explore Markenfield Hall in August 2024 – just book your space with us!

Look further afield and Ripon is surrounded by wonderful countryside. The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty features everything from open moorlands to river valleys – a place where outdoor enthusiasts and ramblers alike will find themselves at home.

Kielder, Northumberland

In three words: Serene, ‘Stellar’, Idyllic

Kielder, Northumberland

Kielder is the most northern location on our list and a little bit trickier to get to, but all with good reason. As a designated Dark Sky Park, the village’s exceptionally clear night skies are perfect for stargazing and planet-watching.

The region is also home to wild forests and tranquil waters – venture out of the village and you’ll find an extensive network of trails to explore them. If you’re looking to see the sights from a different perspective, make sure to hop on Kielder Water’s scenic ferry service too.

Forest of Bowland & Pendle Hill, Lancashire

In three words: Wildlife, Green, Bewitching

Pendle Hill, Lancashire

We end our top 5 countryside breaks in the historic county of Lancashire. The region is home to lots of idyllic scenery, particularly the Forest of Bowland and Pendle Hill. Pendle Hill is not only a place of trails, but tales too. It’s said to be haunted by the Pendle Witches who were tried and executed for witchcraft in the 17th century. There are not many places where witches and wildlife combine!

The Forest of Bowland is another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It boasts a wealth of Kingfishers and cormorants, and of course, opportunities to watch the wildlife. There are many riverside rambles, afternoon tea spots and ideal locations for walking and cycling. Come and take in the views of the north Lancashire countryside via cruise with Bullocks.

We hope our top 5 countryside breaks (that you might not have thought of!) have inspired you to book your next adventure. Whether it's wildlife you’re after, an unfiltered night sky, or even some myth and legend, there’s something for everyone in the beautiful UK countryside – and so much to explore. Choose your favourite destination, wrangle your family and friends, and book our fantastic private coach hire service to get you there!

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