Brilliant UK breaks

Shaun the Sheep has teamed up with VisitEngland to find Baa-rilliant holidays across the UK. Here are 10 holidays at home that we love, brought together just for ewe!

Tour t’ Yorkshire

After successfully hosting the first stage of France’s famous race in 2014, Yorkshire has been bitten by the bike bug and created its very own Tour. Stage 1 will see cycling powerhouses speed along the coast from Scarborough to Bridlington, past spectacular seaside scenery and the dramatic North Yorkshire Moors. Starts 1 May.

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Britain’s beaches among Europe’s best

Britain has some of the best beaches in Europe. TripAdvisor users voted the golden sands of Woolacombe Beach in Devon as the UK’s very best, and fourth favourite in Europe. Dorset’s Weymouth Beach was placed second, while Rhossili Bay on the Swansea coast and Porthminster Beach in St Ives, Cornwall, scored highly.

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Picture credit: Woolacombe Beach, Hugh O’Connor

Vikings come to Cornwall

While the National Maritime Museum unveils an epic new exhibition exploring the seafaring prowess of the iconic Viking age and the myth of the bloodthirsty raiders, Land’s End launches a ewe-nique Shaun the Sheep experience featuring a life-sized version of the wooly world, Mossy Bottom Farm and hands-on experience in the animation design studio. A case of a blood curdling arrgghh versus a friendly baaa.

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Rockpool safari in south Devon

Wembury Bay in South Devon is arguably the UK’s most renowned rockpooling spot. Look out for spindly pipefish, sea scorpions (really just spiny fish), pasty-shaped edible crabs, anemones and starfish. The Wembury Marine Centre organises rockpool rambles in summer and is a great place to learn about beach-based wildlife.

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Knobs and nettles in Dorset

Dorset is home to some of the UK’s most eccentric events. The annual Knob Throwing Festival in Cattistock (3 May) sees contestants come from far and wide to fling a Dorset Knob biscuit as far as they can, while the world famous Nettle Eating Championships in Marshwood (6 June) challenges foodies to gobble down mounds of stinging nettles. We’re also hot under the collar for the Great Dorset Chilli Festival in Wimborne, a flaming fiesta of pepper plants, cayenne condiments, cooking demos and spicy street food.

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A Welsh wonderland

This year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. A meeting with friends in seaside Llandudno inspired Carroll to write the novel and base the lead character on their daughter. The town eagerly embraces the link, with carved wooden sculptures of the characters dotted around the street, and there’s a theatrical walking trail with the Mad Hatter as your guide. For a 21st century twist, download the White Rabbit app for a self-guided tour of the resort taking in the Victorian pier, promenade and Happy Valley gardens.

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Brilliant beaches of the east

Holidays at home are greatThe east coast of Norfolk is blessed with some of Britain’s very best beaches. Wild Winterton has dunes and marram grass and nearby Horsey is home to curious seals. On the north coast there’s traditional Cromer, Hunstanton and Brancaster, or head over to Wells-next-the-Sea at low tide to see the 100 or so colourful beach huts and walk a mile out to the end of The Run – spin around to see where Gwyneth Paltrow walked in the closing scenes of Shakespeare in Love.

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Beer lovers love Kent

Beer lovers can make their own pilgrimage around the micropubs of Kent, which champion real ale in quirky outlets. Landlords have taken advantage of simpler licensing laws to set up hostelries in former fishing huts, florists and bakeries. These pubs are usually no bigger than a living room; fruit machines, TVs and juke boxes are banned; and lager is a dirty word. At the latest count there were almost 28 micropubs in Kent, with many clustered on the coast. Ready to toast a short break in Kent? Cheers!

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Make tracks along the Welsh coast

Welsh coast holidays

Soak up the incredible South Wales scenery of soft Carmarthenshire hills and rugged coast by taking a seaside train trip from Swansea to Pembroke Dock. Take in the region’s wildlife and cultural heritage, and several stations en route grant access to the handsome Pembrokeshire Coast Path, where walkers might see anything from peregrine falcons to grey seals.

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A battle relived

Next year is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, when King Harold fell to Norman conquerors. Relive the story at the Abbey in Battle where high tech audio guides provide a thrilling account, vividly narrated by historian David Starkey. You’ll get no foot-dragging here, as kids run between information boards to find out how the invading Normans blasted through the wall of English shields.

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Written by Dan at BreakFree Holidays

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