No-fly luxury travel: seven of the best experiences across the UK and Ireland

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6. Cruise the UK 

Explore the white cliffs and rocky shores that make up the 7,723 mile UK coastline of the UK , from the Scottish Isles in the north to the Jurassic coast in the south. It’s home to a rich variety of animals and plants, with turtles, whales and sharks occasionally spotted. Puffins are often seen nesting on some of the islands that surround Wales and Scotland, while seals dot the shores on the northern coasts of England and dolphins are spotted in the south and north. Exploring the seas that surround the island can give a different viewpoint, from the yellow and purple heaths that cover the clifftops on the Isles of Scilly to the stone castles on the shores of the Sound of Mull in Scotland. 

How to do it: Hurtigruten Expeditions runs a series of cruises around the UK. For a more unique experience, join its British Isles — Remote Islands, Natural Wonders and a Diverse Coastline route. Departing from Dover, the 13-day trip takes in the Pembrokeshire Coast, Rathlin, the Inner Hebrides, St Kilda, Stornoway, Isle of Man, Scilly Islands and more. The cruise includes onboard and land activities, with departure dates between April and August. From £3,040 per person.

7. Take a wellness break in the Lake District

In need of some inner peace? It’s closer at hand than you might think. The UK has been beefing up its wellness offerings, making it no longer necessary to travel to a tropical retreat all the way around the world to take a proper break from the stresses of modern life. Whether it’s a yoga retreat in Bedfordshire or CBD immersive treatments at The Coniston Hotel in in Yorkshire, there’s sure to be something within train or driving distance. The Lake District is home to some of the best spa lodges in the country  — Langdale Hotel’s ‘Brimstone Spa’ is a treat with its host of thermal experiences. The lakes themselves provide peaceful spots for swimming and kayaking, while the surrounding mountains are great for restorative walks, meditation and reconnecting with nature.

How to do it: Overlooking Lake Windermere, the Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse provides a picturesque and peaceful setting for a wellness retreat. It’s set across two buildings, including a private spa and 100 acres of private grounds. Health Travel runs a three-night stay at the Gilpin Lakehouse, with each suite having its own private hot tub. The stay starts with a private spa consultation to map out personalised treatments, as well as massages and salt scrubs. Guests can access the boathouse, spa and swimming pool, and meals are served at Michelin-starred HYiSHi restaurant. Three nights with accommodation, meals and wellness programme from £1,850 per person.

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