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Top UK summer holiday destinations that are booking up fast

What are you waiting for?

As Boris Johnson's lockdown roadmap is well underway, people are finally starting to think about booking a summer holiday again.

While international travel might not be an option just yet, as Booking.com's research uncovered that 64 per cent of Brits say they won't travel internationally until they have been vaccinated, staycations are once again on the rise as they were last year.

According to Booking.com, these are the top ten UK destinations to check out this year, and, with over a third of Brits having banked more annual leave, these staycations can be longer than ever!

MORE: 12 family-friendly attractions re-opening next week as lockdown eases

10. Brighton & Hove

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Don't forget your camera!

This coastal city is perfect for a beautiful seaside holiday, or, if you're more of the active type, there's so many things to do and see, including the mini Taj Mahal, aka the Royal Pavilion, the Brighton Palace Pier, the llama park, and the largest marina in the UK.

MORE: Is it safe to book a summer holiday and when can we book?

9. York

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Stretch your legs and get some fresh air for this view!

Located in northeast England, this historic city has a lot going for it, from castles and museums (such as Clifford's Tower and the award-winning York Castle Museum) to dungeons and theatres (such as Friargate Theatre and the York Dungeon). There's always something to do for everyone.

8. Inverness

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Breathtaking scenery you won't want to miss!

This Scottish city, which is also known as the 'cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands', has a lot more to offer than just a monster, including cruises, outdoor activity experiences, castles, burial grounds and pilgrimage spots, as well as woodland paths.

MORE: Your next staycation sorted: a luxury treehouse in Scotland

7. Torquay

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Who needs holidays abroad when we have this?

This seaside town in Devon is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Babbacombe. From fishing trips and steam train travel, to exploring coves and museums, Torquay is perfect for every holiday-goer.

6. Bournemouth

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Call shotgun on these beautiful huts!

Located in the southeast of England, this city has some of the best beaches and coastal views. There's also an activity centre (including a zip line!), themed gardens, a theme park, and a steam engine railway all waiting for you.

5. Blackpool

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Don't miss out - book now!

Another seaside resort for your list - though, like all the other destinations, there's a lot more than just beaches. Visit this city for the Pleasure Beach (with thrilling rides and shows), the zoo, the Blackpool Model Village and Gardens, the Piers and the Circus.

MORE: 15 best National Parks you need to visit on your UK staycation this year

4. Edinburgh

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Spectacular views you can't get enough of

Another Scottish city, but this time the capital itself. With more parks, gardens and walks than you can count on your fingers, a visit to Edinburgh will surely make for a breathtaking adventure. Check out the Edinburgh Castle, the Hogwarts Express Tour and the Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour.

3. St Ives

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Relax with a day at the beach 

Known for its surf beaches and art scene, this town is located in sunny Cornwall. Visit the four main beaches, including the best known Porthmeor, which looks onto the Atlantic. For more adventure, visit the Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, join a boat trip around the surrounding coastline and step into the art gallery Tate St Ives.

2. Newquay

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Take a look around the Elizabethan gardens 

Another Cornish seaside town at your disposal. Relax on the beaches or visit the Newquay zoo, the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre or the Elizabethan Trerice house gardens. With 22 per cent of Brits saying a relaxing beach or spa trip will be the first type of trip they take when it's safe to do so, Newquay may just be the perfect destination.

MORE: 11 of the most Instagrammable walks in the UK

1. Bath

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Discover a whole new world

Were you surprised that this was the top trending destination? We weren't! Bath has so much to offer, no wonder it's number one! Labelled a World Heritage Site, this city is home to the Green Park Basserie ("a popular independent live music restaurant"), the No.1 Royal Crescent (a Georgian townhouse turned museum), Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein (opening June 2021), and of course, the Roman baths dating back to AD43.

Should I book my summer holiday now?

According to Ryan Pearson, Regional Manager at Booking.com, it's probably a good idea to start booking your next trip now since there's likely to be a surge in demand following the restrictions on international travel. However, he warns: "For all bookings, we always recommend opting for flexible policies given the ever-evolving government guidelines."

He also raises the importance of health and safety: "It is important to consider that there are still currently travel restrictions in many destinations and to check and follow all government guidance in place." For example, Scotland doesn't currently follow the same set of lockdown rules as England so checking before booking is definitely the way to go.

What are the best family-friendly destinations?

Ryan says: "When looking at the top trending UK destinations, and depending on preferences, the likes of Newquay, St Ives and Torquay are definitely ideal for families and couples who enjoy soaking in awe-inspiring coastlines. Meanwhile, Edinburgh, York and Bath will tick all the boxes for those that are missing visiting picturesque cities filled with culture!"

Why are Brits shying away from active holidays?

The past year has been exhausting so for many, the holidays are finally a chance to catch their breath.

Ryan agrees: "Our desire for a change of scenery is arguably greater than ever, and after what has been one of the hardest years we've had to endure, there's no surprise that many of us are eager for some R&R rather than an active getaway."

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