- United Kingdom
- Luke Abrahams
Rising airfares and the weakening pound: it’s safe to say that after weeks of dramatic Brexit debate, we’re all worse off, particularly when it comes to holidaying on the continent. But have no fear: if you find you can no longer afford that city break in Venice, Paris or Berlin, why not stick around in little Britain? From the power plants of Middlesbrough to the vomit trails of Blackpool, here are ten absolutely fabulous post-referendum British breaks to go on if Brexit has made you broke.
Middlesbrough – or simply just ‘BORO’ to the locals – is a little bit like Newcastle, minus the sophistication and the glam. It’s a great place to holiday if you don’t mind walking through toxic miasmas of green gas pluming from the tippy tops of electrical (and possibly very nuclear) power plants. It’s not all bad though. The town has some awesome restaurants and is very close to the coast. Anyone for a North Sea dip?
Figures released by the Office of National statistics earlier this year revealed that Preston is the suicide capital of Britain. Pretty bleak, eh? We can’t see why, though, as the place has got some stellar hangouts. Think soul street food and the latest posh-nosh food trends. Plus, the city really does have a mish-mash of Instagram-worthy architecture, from the neo-gothic to some of the finest examples of Baroque palaces in the land. And if you’re a nature enthusiast, the place is surrounded by some knockout countryside.
This Essex seaside town is so undesirable that it was placed first in the Department of Communities and Local Government’s indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015 list. To add salt to the wound, it was one of the first constituencies in the country to elect an MP from right-wingers UK Independence Party (UKIP), Douglas Carswell. If you’re into derelict Instagram shots, this is definitely the place to be: you’ll find plenty of blown-out mattresses, abandoned garages and ruined homes to take selfies in front of. Yes, at first glance you might think the place is pretty grim, but look closer and you’ll find a handful of lush beaches and some amazing examples of Art-Deco architecture.
Ah yes, the entertainment capital of the north: once known for its super trendy ‘Golden Mile’, Blackpool now conjures up images of stag and hen do hell. Scale England’s very own Tour Eiffel, the Blackpool Tower, for dizzying views over the crumbling metropolis and the pitch-black Irish Sea. But let’s not be too harsh: the Pleasure Beach is famous for its ballroom scene, that huge rollercoaster Big Dipper and who can forget the buzzing Central Pier. That iconic big wheel is a prime selfie spot.
Dubbed as a fine ‘excremental town’, Rochdale was the birthplace of the modern Co-Op generation and was one of the first places to be hit bad by the 2008 recession. This town has a terrible reputation for poverty and it’s because of this that it’s one of the saddest places to visit in Britain. Venture out a little though and you’ll find rolling hills, epic country vistas and a few romantic picnic spots up by the lake.
Penge – South East London
One word: nasty. Yes, that’s how all SE locals describe Penge – even the ones that live there. There are literally so many fine-dining options here you won’t know where to start: the Chicken Cottage is especially fabulous. In every dive, however you’ll find a gem. Walk up past the Homebase and you’ll stumble upon Crystal Palace Park, a glorious oasis of sculptures, green space and high Victoriana.
Hastings contends with Preston for having some of the highest suicide rates in the country due to mass unemployment and poor health. But the town actually offers some decent sites: there’s the wonderful Fishermen’s Museum, the world-famous castle and one of the most epic railway lines you’ll ever see. Plus, who can say no to fish and chips overlooking the coast?
Arson, murder, theft, sexual debauchery – if you’re looking to be naughty on holiday, Cleveland literally is the perfect getaway. According to the latest crime statistics, this fine area of north England is the most dangerous place to live in in England and Wales. There are 7.49 crimes per 100 people here, which astoundingly top both London’s and Greater Manchester’s own stats. There’s light at the end of the tunnel though: if you’re a keen walker, the nearby Cleveland Hills offer some awesome hiking trails.