Where would you like to go in the coming months. May we suggest these fantastic destinations.
Why: With new accommodation and restaurant openings, the return of much-missed festivals and sporting events, and up-and-coming foodie hotspots, all eyes will be on the glorious county of Pembrokeshire in 2022.
Popular Saundersfoot Harbour has been recently redeveloped and is now home to the Outer Reef Water Sports Centre and the new Ocean Cabins budget bolthole accommodation. It will also host the 2022 World Coastal Rowing Championships in October 2022.
Recently-revamped Milford Waterfront boasts new cafés, eateries and shops, and the exciting new Ty Hotel, a 100-bedroom waterside development, will open in spring 2022.
Over in Lawrenny, the idyllic Little Retreat glamping resort, overlooking the Cleddau Estuary, is home to a new 12-seat restaurant, ‘Annwn’, by renowned Pembrokeshire chef and forager Matt Powell. It is set in an old potting shed and serves seasonal 10-course tasting menus with seriously low food miles.
The area will also see the return of the Big Retreat Festival, an adventure and wellbeing long weekend featuring wild swimming, gong baths, fire walking and great Welsh produce and drink. Meanwhile, in September, the charming market town of Narberth will see the return of its famous Food Festival, and the iconic Victorian seaside town of Tenby will welcome back the epic Ironman Wales triathlon event.
Sample trip: Stay at the Little Retreat, a dog-friendly glamping resort home to luxury eco domes with either private wood-fired private hot tubs or outdoor bathtubs, plus a range of bookable experiences, including wild swimming, art lessons, paddle boarding, kayaking, stargazing, mindfulness walks and foraging with Matt Powell.
How much: A two-night weekend stay costs are £450 per dome (sleeps four). Visit www.littleretreats.co.uk and www.visitpembrokeshire.com.
Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Why: 2022 will see a revival of the Balearic archipelago’s quietest destination. Menorca is fast becoming a hotspot for sustainable travel, and new eyes can feast on a range of innovative spaces with connections to art, culture, nature and conservation. The opening of the island’s newest cultural attraction, the Hauser & Wirth art gallery, in autumn 2021 (housed in an 18th century former naval hospital in Mahon Harbour), has shone a spotlight on the island – no longer the sleepy neighbour of Mallorca and Ibiza, but an exciting cultural gem filled with chic and contemporary restaurants such as Arlette, plus sundowner bars and picture-perfect landscapes.
The island’s green credentials include a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, made up of 514 hectares of lush wetlands, mysterious caves, stunning sand dunes and crystal-clear islets (also home to 220 bird species and 1,000 plant species). Menorca is the ideal ‘green’ holiday island for an all-year-round road trip by campervan, exploring pristine beaches, rugged coastlines and breathtaking landscapes on foot, or by cycling, snorkelling and paddleboarding.
Sample trip: Yescapa (www.yescapa.com), Europe’s leading peer-to-peer campervan and motorhome rental platform, offers a stylishly decked-out Volkswagen T5 Campervan, sleeping four and featuring solar panels, fridge freezer and rear outdoor shower.
How much: The cost is £399 for five days, including two insured drivers, breakdown cover and unlimited mileage. Flights extra.
Why: Brand-new train service Lumo has just launched a budget route from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh, with tickets starting from as little as £20 for the 4.5-hour one-way journey, making 2022 the time to take that long-awaited city break to the Scottish capital. Gorge on everything you missed out on in multiple lockdowns – from a world-class culture such as Scotland’s new Climate Challenge exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland and the return of the much-missed Edinburgh Fringe, to independent and artisan shopping in the bohemian quarter of Grassmarket in the Old Town and luxury retail therapy on George Street.
Stay at: The Dunstane Houses. These two five-star Victorian townhouses with classic Edinburgh architecture and Victorian period features are located in Edinburgh’s West End and offer 35 bedrooms. The decor comprises Orcadian soft furnishings and authentic tweeds. Suites offer roll-top copper baths, four-poster beds and Chesterfield sofas. The lounge and communal areas provide a place for relaxing, perhaps with a DunGin & Tonic or a wee dram of specialist whisky.
How much: An overnight stay costs from £174 per room (two sharing), including a full Scottish breakfast.
The Yorkshire Coast, England
Why: Stretching for more than 90 miles from Staithes in the north to Spurn Point in the south, the stunning Yorkshire Coast is a sustainable travel hotspot on the rise and the place to go for staycationers looking for a gentle, nature-themed, eco-friendly break.
The region has put a big focus on eco-friendly travel and leisure in recent years, with a real push for 2022, and the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) was recently (June 2021) awarded a grant to work on mitigating the effects of climate change.
There’s plenty of eco-friendly accommodation such as the Baby Moon boutique retreat near Whitby and Saltburn, with wooden yurts with wood-burning stoves, and the Blue Texel Shepherd’s Hut on a working farm/rural retreat near the coastal town of Filey, with fire pits, BBQs and outdoor swing sofas under the stars.
The NYMNP was awarded International Dark Skies Reserve Status in 2020, so celestial activities are high on the agenda – in its darkest areas, you can spy up to 2,000 stars at a time. The Yorkshire Coast is also a wildlife lover’s paradise, with the dramatic cliffs at Flamborough and Bempton home to around half a million seabirds from March to September and whale spotting off the coast of Staithes. There are plenty of places to enjoy a low food miles lunch or dinner, including the new Fish Cottage Seafood Restaurant, just 20 yards from the beach in Sandsend, and the famous Fortune’s Smokehouse & Shop in Whitby.
Stay: at the Apothecary Wooden Yurt on the Baby Moon campsite near Whitby, sleeping up to five guests.
How much: from £105 per night (two-night minimum). Plan your itinerary with the coastal booking tool www.englandscoast.com.
The Subbética, Andalucia, Spain
Why: Hard as it is to imagine, there is a region in Andalucia – one of southernmost Spain’s most-loved and most-visited destinations – that remains little known.
Subbética is known for its cuisine, and the region produces olive oil that regularly out-classes its rivals in ‘world’s best’ rankings. Its superb climate and spectacular natural beauty make it ideal for hiking, biking and birding. It is also a perfect base from which to explore Córdoba, Granada and Seville. Getting to the Subbética is an easy drive from Malaga airport (approx. 1.5 hours).
Stay at: Casa Olea, a charming six-room country hotel with a stunning pool and views across olive groves and sierras.
How much: A week’s stay costs from €840 per room (approx. £715, two sharing, including breakfast). You can dine al fresco under the stars with a delicious home-cooked dinner from €30 pp (£25). Flights and car hire extra.
Why: 2022 marks 100 years since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Led by British Egyptologist Howard Carter, the team found the first step of a staircase on 4 November 1922.
By the end of that month, they had uncovered the door to the tomb itself, through which Carter was able to catch his first glimpse of a room filled with untold treasures.
The famous golden mask of the boy-king, alongside displays of other priceless pieces from his tomb, will go on permanent public display, following their recent world tour, when Cairo’s stunning new Grand Egyptian Museum – overlooking the Pyramids at Giza – opens in 2022.
Sample trip: Experience the Nile in royal style on a 13-night cruise, exclusive to Jules Verne clients, travelling from Cairo and the Pyramids to ancient Thebes and Aswan on board the beautifully restored deluxe paddle steamer, SS Misr. Departing 13 September,
How much: The Original Nile by Royal Steamer costs from £5,495 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), full-board cruise, drinks with meals, escorted sightseeing, and the services of an Egyptian tour manager and Egyptologist, plus local representatives. www.vjv.com
Verona, Verona Opera Festival, Italy
Why: After one cancelled season (2020) and a second (2021) in which international travel restrictions made getting there from the UK more than a little challenging, 2022 is lining up to be the year to secure tickets for the Verona Opera Festival. It is held in the striking Arena di Opera, the world’s largest open-air theatre.
The 99th Opera Festival will run over 45 evenings. It features five opera productions and three special events, including Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Turandot and Verdi’s Aida, Nabucco and La Traviata, and a gala performance Placido Domingo of pieces from Verdi’s most famous operas.
Sample trip: Specialist tour operator Kirker creates tailor-made short breaks to the Verona Opera Festival, including tickets to your chosen performances.
How much: A three-night stay at the Hotel Verona in July 2021 – with flights (Gatwick), return private transfers, Kirker Guide Notes, the services of the Kirker Concierge and 1st Sector Verdi category tickets to Aida – costs from £959 pp (two sharing). www.kirkerholidays.com.