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Someone surfing the waves at The Wave, Bristol, UK

Best UK Holiday Destinations

After so long cooped up indoors, the temptation is to simply return to old haunts. Instead of revisiting former hangouts, why not explore territories new? Discover a novel activity; investigate an unusual attraction; or set out to learn more about the world.

There are loads of great fun (as well as weird and wonderful) places to explore on the GWR network. With a little imagination, and some help from our handy guide, you can venture forth and find new and exciting places to visit. Below are just a few ideas to get you started.

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The Wave, Bristol

Not until recently has the city of Bristol been associated with surfing – the Avon waters being decidedly calm. Back in 2019, however, The Wave, an inland surf destination near Bristol, was opened, giving visitors the opportunity to learn to ride the waves, or hone their already established skills. Suitable for all levels of ability, The Wave is open all year round and is a great place to start your journey of discovery.

Nearest GWR train: Bristol Parkway

Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, Bath

Frankenstein author Mary Shelley famously wrote part of her ground-breaking novel in the city of Bath, while living with her husband Percy Shelley next door to the Abbey. It’s thus about time the city’s association with the great book be celebrated with a dedicated museum, full of unusual artefacts and interactive, multi-sensory environments. There’s also an escape room to test your problem-solving skills, all of which opens from 30 June 2021.

Nearest GWR train: Bath Spa

Bay Island Voyages, Cardiff

Explore Cardiff Bay on speedboat, travelling full throttle as you take in the sights. Passengers can choose from a number of options, including the Bay Island Voyages’ signature journey, Bay Blast, which lasts 15 minutes, and is a perfect taster for those new to boating. If you’re looking for something a little more thoroughgoing, then check out the One-Hour Coastal Adventure.

Nearest GWR train: Cardiff Central

A speedboat full of passengers, travelling on Cardiff Bay, UK

Paddle boarding and kite surfing, Exmouth

It’s never too late to learn a new skill. And what better way to get out in the open than taking to the water with one of these top board sports? Exmouth specialists, Edge Watersports and Exmouth Watersports , both offer a fine array of activities, among them paddle boarding and kite surfing. This is a fun day out, guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping.

Nearest GWR train: Exmouth

The Box, Plymouth

The multi-disciplinary arts and heritage space, The Box, has nine permanent galleries exploring Plymouth’s history, including its rich maritime heritage. Among the exhibitions is Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy, which delves into the history of the first, and most famous, successful European settlement in North America. Find out what life was like for those early travellers to the New World and how they came to terms with their adopted home.

Nearest GWR train: Plymouth

Exhibits at The Box, Plymouh, UK

Go Ape, Alexandra Palace, London

The tree-top adventure ropes course, Go Ape, at Alexandra Palace, is not just for kids. Adults too can enjoy this hair-raising activity, pushing your boundaries while swinging through the trees like our simian ancestors, all the while enjoying fine views out over the London skyline. It’s a safe and fun way to go beyond your comfort zone.

Nearest GWR train: London Paddington

Ultimate Canoe and Kayak, Oxford

Travel the River Thames by canoe or kayak in the city of dreaming spires. Hire your preferred mode of transport from Ultimate Canoe and Kayak and you can begin your journey from their launch pad on the south side of the city. If you’re planning a weekend jaunt, consider the two-day trip from Oxford to Reading, stopping at Wallingford en route.

Nearest GWR train: Oxford