As people search for alternatives to their usual half-term holidays, fears of flight cancellations and quarantine periods, coupled with regional UK lockdowns, have given rise to searches for staycations, and also ‘safecations’.
Rules state that people can only travel with members of their household in groups of six, but with reports of overcrowding in UK hotspots, holidaymakers seeking a safe beach break are looking elsewhere.
Among the best UK destinations for an autumn break are the following:
Jersey, Channel Islands.
Known as the little island with the big spirit, Jersey is just nine miles long by five miles wide, and enjoys more autumnal sun hours than anywhere else in the UK. It also has the lowest covid cases at just three per 100,000 people, at time of writing.
An added bonus is that ‘going abroad’ feeling when travelling by ferry. From windswept coastlines to superb beaches, this island has it all for late sun-seekers, with the buzzing capital of St Helier at its heart.
A spokesman for Condor Ferries said: “We’ve done everything we can to make sure passengers can travel safely and comfortably. We’ve significantly reduced passenger capacity, giving room to move around onboard and experience fresh sea air outside.”
Louise Ashworth, head of marketing for Visit Jersey said: “Quaint harbour towns, al fresco dining, and medieval cafes, and the proximity of Jersey to mainland Europe and the UK provides a unique holiday experience.”
Statistics compiled by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show that Jersey has one of the highest levels of testing for COVID-19 in Europe and one of the lowest test positivity rates at just 0.1 per cent.
Putsborough Sands, North Devon
This area is home to some of the finest beaches in the South West, and the winner of Trip Advisor’s Best UK beaches in 2015 and 2016.
Just behind Jersey for sun hours, Putsborough offers visitors 12 hours per day and some of the safest beaches to surf the waves in Devon.
Seascape North Devon viewed from clifftop over Putsborough Beach during a big Autumn Swell
Nearby, Croyde is a charming little village with restaurants and a warm North Devon welcome. Putsborough had just four COVID cases per 100,000 people at time of writing.
Magilligan Point, Northern Ireland
This is an area of historic and conservational significance. It is home to one of the largest sand dune systems in the British Isles, as well as a small fort built against the threat of Napoleon. The Point offers bird lovers some spectacular sightings.
Sunnier than North Devon, Magilligan Point has 13 hours of early autumnal sun per day. A trip over the Irish Sea is all part of the adventure. There were 12 cases per 100,000 people at time of writing.Visit www.stenaline.co.uk
Lunan Bay, Scotland
Here is a hidden gem, perfect for romantic getaways. After a Scottish storm, the sands can offer up glittering gemstones which make the bay, a secluded haven on the dramatic Angus coastline, magical.
The crumbling ruin of Red Castle overlooks the bay, dating from the twelfth century. The beach is popular with surfers and horse riders, and traditional fishing is still practiced here. With six sun hours, it was recording 13 cases per 100,000 people.
Lunan Bay beach, Scotland
Hidden in a quiet corner of Pembrokeshire are top rated beaches, world-renowned climbing cliffs, a surfing paradise and kayaker’s dreams.
the harbour at tenby pembrokeshire wales in summer
The rolling countryside of Pembrokeshire has great eateries too.Blessed with 12 hours of sun a day at summer’s end, this area was recording eight cases per 100,000 people.