Staycation swaps – try these alternatives to tourist favourites

The UK is filled with popular tourist spots but sometimes it’s worth looking beyond the obvious to build your perfect minibreak. Try these alternatives to tourist favourites and find a Best Western hotel nearby.
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Staying at a Best Western hotel gives you the chance to visit the most famous landmarks and attractions around the country.  But look a little further, and you’ll find some exciting alternatives. Here are a few of our favourite places to visit.

If you love the Eden Project…

Try The Lost Gardens of Heligan just down the road. The 200-acre site features a network of secret gardens, a jungle and play meadow to help you get your flora fix. Between the farm, adventure trails and the Giants Head Play Area, there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy, too. The Cornwall attraction is only a short drive away from the Best Western Hotel Bristol and a host of special events including beekeeping workshops and wellness mornings, will ensure you find your own Garden of Eden away from those distinctive glass domes.

Get your pass to a lost botanical world

Eaten your fill at Cadbury World?

See what other species eat as a treat at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, where you can participate in feeding times, get involved with conservation programmes and get up close and personal with a unique collection of animals from around the world.

Preserving endangered animals is the watchword here, and Red Pandas, lemurs, reptiles, meerkats, otters, birds, wallabies and a large collection of monkeys are all part of intensive conservation programmes. Talks, special tours and plenty of learning resources are available to make your visit really informative and fun. And for the perfect night’s sleep the Birmingham Strathallan Hotel, BW Signature Collection by Best Western is a short drive away.

Talk to the animals

Fascinated by Stonehenge?

Don’t miss Woodhenge! Neolithic man wasn’t totally committed to stones – just round the corner from Stonehenge, is another site, probably built around 2500BC, and only discovered in 1925, when dark rings were spotted in wheat crops by a plane flying overhead.

The timber posts, laid out in six concentric rings were later excavated and you can now look round in daylight hours all year round. Alternatively, take in a tour which also covers nearby Avebury where you can find more ancient stone ring formations, with a neighbouring pub and café to keep you going. The Riverside, WorldHotels Distinctive hotel is nearby and ready to help you sleep like a log.

If Blenheim Palace sounds fun…

Discover more history at The Oxfordshire Museum, which occupies an 18th century house in the heart of the lovely Woodstock village. Play with raptors in the interactive dinosaur gallery and garden, and uncover the history, archaeology, and stories of previous inhabitants, over three floors of exhibits and artefacts.

There’s always a new exhibition in the beautiful Garden Gallery, and you can enjoy lunch or tea afterwards in the conservatory, overlooking the gardens. The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum is here too, offering a chance to discover Oxfordshire's military and wartime experiences. If you need a place to stay, Oxford Linton Lodge Hotel, BW Signature Collection by Best Western is less than half an hour away.

Learn more about stegosauruses and soldiers

Charmed by Chester Zoo?

If you’re intrigued by feeding time at the zoo, you may have an appetite for something equally as gory at one of Chester’s newest attractions, The Sick to Death Museum. The spiritual home of the story of medicine in all its gruesome detail is an interactive experience which combines ghastly tales with science in a very real and modern way.

A one-hour tour takes in all things scary and smelly and lots of the best bits of medical history, plague doctors, magic potions, and myths and legends. There may be no beds on the ward at the museum but The Queen at Chester Hotel, BW Premier Collection by Best Western will be more than pleased to have you stay.

If you’re impressed by Windsor Castle…

Visit nearby Dorney Court and don’t be surprised if it looks familiar. This beautiful Tudor house has been the backdrop for countless film and TV projects, from Bridgerton to Midsomer Murders. Indoors, you can explore the kitchens, passageways, and the William and Mary Dining Room, and see how the house has developed over the centuries, while the beautifully designed park and gardens will be the envy of gardeners and romantics alike. The Sure Hotel by Best Western Reading is a short drive away and features its fair share of period features too.

Take a tour of Dorney

Revelled on rollercoasters at Thorpe Park?

The Great Cockcrow Railway offers a ride of a very different kind on one of the most extensive restored steam railways in the country. Explore the Surrey countryside in 1950s and 1960s style, in a scaled-down version of a real steam or historic diesel locomotive.

There’s a choice of routes, taking in Everglades Junction, the Greywood Tunnel, and out into the countryside, exploring historic track developments and signalling equipment, as well as the lovely Surrey scenery. And when you’ve finished your journey on the tracks, why not set sail for a comfortable night’s sleep at the Best Western Ship Hotel

Get on board

Want to explore Durham away from the cathedral?

Get outside for more classical splendour at Durham University Botanic Gardens, which offer 10 hectares of beautifully curated park, garden and woodland. A wide variety of landscapes present lots to discover, including Art in the Garden, a collection of sculptures nestled between trees and shrubs, a series of glasshouses housing exotic and colourful plants and flowers, and plenty of native woodland to explore. There is a full calendar of events throughout the year, so pack a picnic or take advantage of the cafe and make a day of it. When you need to take the weight off your feet, the nearby Roker Hotel, BW Premier Collection by Best Western is the perfect spot to unwind. 

Find out what’s happening in the garden

And remember, every time you book a Best Western hotel you’re supporting local, proudly independent businesses, so you’re not just booking, you’re Booking Good!

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