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100 no fly holiday ideas, 2015

If you’re looking for brilliant ideas for travel without flying, each year we’ll publish a rundown of 100 no fly holiday ideas – all inspiring and fabulous – to help you decide where in the world to go.

Top 100 no fly holiday ideas, 2015

100. Take the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao and visit the Guggenheim Museum.

99. Board the sleeper train to Inverness and stay at the Village Hall in Drumlemble on the Kintyre peninsula.

98. Visit Saltaire near Bradford and stop by the Saltaire Canteen.

97. Book a Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Holland and stay at one of three Dutch Centre Parcs.

96. Spend a week in a luxury lodge at the Auchrannie resort on the Isle of Arran.

95. Hire an apartment in the Marais district of Paris.

94. Travel from the UK to Rome by train with stops in Paris, Milan and Umbria.

93. Book a bedchamber with a four-poster bed at Thornbury Castle on the edge of the Cotswolds.

Thornbury Castle South Gloucestershire

Thornbury Castle, South Gloucestershire

92. Take a ferry to the Channel Islands and then hop to Alderney by boat.

91. Sail from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly onboard the Scillonian III.

90. Stay on the banks of Loch Earn in Perthshire at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Scotland

The Four Seasons Hotel, Perthshire

89. Reserve a room with a view of the coasters at the Big Blue Hotel in Blackpool.

88. Enjoy an escape to the New Forest and hire a converted church in Lymington.

87. Unwind at the Woodland Spa in Lancashire.

86. Tour Europe and the Med on a Quantum class cruise ship with Royal Caribbean.

85. Splash out on a stay at the Shangri-La at the Shard, London, and take a dip in the Skypool on level 52.

Skypool at Shangri-La

Skypool at Shangri-La

84. Experience a safari break in the UK at Port Lympne Reserve.

83. Drive down to Ardèche in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-central France and have an active holiday.

82. Rent a cottage in Appletreewick near Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales.

81. Travel to Croatia by train from London changing in Paris and Munich before boarding the sleeper to Zagreb.

80. Experience a Norway & Fjords cruise from Southampton with P&O.

79. Sample a beautiful, boutique B&B break at the Escape in Llandudno, Wales.

escape B&B wales

The Escape, Llandudno (image from: Fabulous Wales)

78. Stay in the penthouse at the Morrison Hotel in the centre of Dublin.

77. Go wild on a camping weekend at G&S Organics in Northumberland.

76. Walk the Heritage Coast in the Vale of Glamorgan.

75. Cross the Channel with Brittany Ferries and drive south around the coast to the lush seaside resort of Benodet.

74. From 01 May 2015 you can take a direct Eurostar train to Lyon and stay at the stunning Cour des Loges.

Cour des Loges, Lyon

Cour des Loges, Lyon

73. Dracula fans can get Gothic with a Whitby holiday and book one of the four rooms at the Marine.

72. Train-it to Amsterdam and keep the rail theme going by staying in a converted tramshed at Hotel De Hallen.

71. Head to Budapest via Eurostar to Paris, high-speed TGV to Munich and overnight sleeper to Budapest.

70. Whether you’re passing through the station or looking for central London luxury consider the exquisite St Pancras Renaissance.

St Pancras Renaissance, London

St Pancras Renaissance, London

69. Take the sleeper train from Paris to the Côte d’Azur.

68. Sip cocktails and enjoy a luxurious stay at Hotel du Vin in Brighton.

67. Book a central base in Leeds, exploring a vibrant city and the awe-inspiring Yorkshire countryside beyond: Hilton Leeds City is a few minutes walk from the train station.

66. Experience five-star luxury on the Isle of Wight at the Hambrough in Ventnor.

65. Enjoy breakfast with the kids as giraffes stroll by at the Chessington Safari Resort Hotel and then ride the child-friendly rollercoasters in the theme park next door.

64. Immerse yourself in Harry Potter lore on the Warner Bros Studio Tour.

Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour Warner Bros Gryffindor uniforms

Warner Bros Studio Tour, near Watford

63. Head for Northumberland and drive across the Causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne with its pretty castle and priory.

62. Shrewsbury in Shropshire offers a mix of the old, new and very quirky.

61. There’s no getting away from it: Disneyland is magical. If you don’t want the 24-hour experience (or cost) it’s very easy to stay in the centre of Paris and take the RER A train right to the entrance.

60. Spend a short break in Bristol and visit Brunel’s inspiring SS Great Britain on the harbour side.

59. Drive to the Charente-Maritime department in France and try surfing off the sunny beaches of Royan.

58. Take the ski train from London to Aime la Plagne.

57. Do some cool Euro-camping in an Airstream camper just outside Venice.

Airstream camping in Italy

56. Hop on the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo and spend a long weekend in this gorgeous, walled port city.

55. International train services stop in the centre of Munich at the Hauptbahnhof station and the boutique Anna Hotel is 500m away.

54. Direct services from London to Marseille launch in May 2015 – head straight to an opulent hotel like Le Corbusier.

53. Have a ski holiday with no passport necessary at Aviemore at the foot of the Cairngorms National Park.

52. Take a ferry to Ireland, hire a car and explore the Ring of Kerry.

51. Get into the Lego groove with a stay at the (fun, colourful and incredibly kid-friendly) resort hotel at Legoland Windsor.

50. Travel across the Solent in a private boat and enjoy an exclusive, five-star island retreat at Spitbank Fort.

spitbank fort portsmouth - lead

Spitbank Fort, the Solent

49. Relax in the spa while the kids catch a show at Butlins, Bognor Regis (book between Christmas and New Year if you want a less crowded, more luxurious family experience).

48. All-out glam is on the cards if you reserve a WOW Suite at the W Hotel in the heart of London’s Leicester Square (cocktails around the corner at the Hippodrome Casino are a must).

47. High speed trains can get you from London to Vienna in a day – consider the exquisitely designed Das Triest Hotel.

46. The Nadler in Liverpool – at the heart of the hip Rope Walks area – has a great Secret Garden Suite.

The Nadler, Liverpool

The Nadler, Liverpool

45. If you leave London at lunchtime, you can reach Geneva in time for tea via rail; La Cour des Augustins looks absolutely amazing.

44. Pop up in Manchester and try out the eclectic Great John Street Hotel, a converted Victorian school-house.

43. An Italian bonanza? Why not. Travel to the Amalfi coast by train (via Milan, Naples or Rome), savouring the spectacular views – then stay in absolute style at Casa Buonocore, Positano.

Casa Buonocore - Positano - Italy - bedroom

Casa Buonocore, Positano

42. Take the train to Hamburg: the canal-side Sofitel Hamburg Alter Wall has the sleek Seagull Spa for you to chill out in.

41. A cool Cotswolds break awaits at the Lower Mill Estate.

40. On the Blackwater Estuary, not far from London, the luxurious Osea Island is surrounded by four and a half miles of its own beaches and coastline.

39. Aphrodite’s Lodge spa hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere is a wall-to-wall pamperfest.

38. Berlin is about 10 hours away by train (easy!): try Hotel de Rome for dependable boutique luxury.

37. Ultra urban and very cool, Max Brown is a hip hotel minutes away from Amsterdam’s Central Station.

36. Scarborough is such a sweet, classic and fun seaside town, but the Ambassador Spa Hotel is all about modern luxury.

35. Down at The Point in Polzeath, the brand new holiday apartments blend into the beautiful Cornish backdrop.

34. Keen foodies could take a two-day cookery holiday at the River Cottage in Axminster.

33. With gorgeous Lake District views, the Molton Brown Suite at the Daffodil Hotel and Spa is uber-appealing.

The Daffodil, Lake District

The Daffodil, Lake District

32. If you’d prefer not to drive when you reach France via the ferry from Plymouth, you could stay at Hotel Le Temps de Vivre in Roscoff.

31. In the centre of the city, just a block from the train station, the Townhouse Boutique Hotel is a stylish base from which you can explore Zurich.

30. Moonraker Canal Boats promise luxury widebeam canal boats for hire on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

29. Travel to Figueres in Spain by train and visit the incredible Salvador Dali Museum.

28. For a unique and quirky break, hire the whole Yellow Submarine Hotel in Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

Yellow Submarine barge Hotel, Liverpool

Yellow Submarine Barge Hotel, Liverpool

27. If you fancy a very glamorous British pub break, consider the beautiful Kings Head in Hursley near Winchester – which has its own, underground skittles alley!

26. Sample a taster cruise to France with Royal Caribbean from Southampton to see if a longer cruise would suit your tastes.

25. Staying in Wales? Try a vintage coach tour of Great Orme with Alpine Coaches.

24. For seaside chic with an urban twist try the Urban Beach Hotel in Bournemouth.

23. If the unworldly location of ITV’s Broadchurch got you into a no fly travel tizzy, Chideock Cottage in West Dorset is well worth a look.

22. If your budget is healthy, do Bruges in style at the Hotel Dukes Palace.

21. In Cornwall, get green and eco-friendly (and children of all ages will enjoy the experience) at the Eden Project.

20. Stay at a truly iconic location by booking a room at the Carlton Cannes - if celeb spotting on holiday is your bag, this is the place.

Carlton Hotel Cannes

Carlton Hotel, Cannes

19. You have to see historic Corfe Castle to believe such a picturesque place actually exists: Mortons House Hotel looks equally impressive.

18. The Orient Express: it’s a dream. Maybe one day…

17. Pretty Portmeirion village in Wales, is quirky with a “psychedelic chocolate box quality” (as one of our writers put it!)

16. Still available to book in 2015, A Room for London is most certainly one of the most exclusive – and bat shit crazy – places you could ever stay in the capital.

15. We worked out a way for you to get to Naantali Spa in Finland without flying – that means you have to go there. Sorry.

Pool at night - naantali spa

Naantali Spa, Finland

14. Overwater Hall, in the Lake District, sits in 18 acres of formal gardens and woodland with a backdrop of Skiddaw and the Uldale Fells: bliss.

13. Lille is ridiculously easy to get to without flying and L’Hermitage Gantois exudes class from beneath its Flemish and gothic facade.

12. Berlin is all kinds of hip right now, and from the name to the style, the 25hours Hotel Bikini is one of Europe’s hottest properties.

11. Liverpool is claiming the RMS Titanic as part of its cultural legend (they say it was built there and who are we to argue?): at 30 James Street, there are 64 Titanic-themed luxury bedrooms, perfect for your Kate Winslet/Leonardo Dicaprio impressions.

10. Talking of power couples, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have enjoyed a family holiday on the Île de Ré (off the coast from La Rochelle and an easy driving holiday) and if it’s good enough for them…

09. A fellow traveller has just celebrated his 50th birthday in Venice and stayed in one of the world’s sexiest bedrooms at Ca Maria Adele – therefore I know this place actually exists and isn’t just a (rather saucy) dream.

08. One of our fave writers, Cathy Winston, rates the Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales – so it had to make our top 100.

Spa at Wellstone spa

Bluestone, Wales

07. If you take a train to Paris, then change at Irun in Spain, you can get to Lisbon on the overnight Sud Express – then you could stay at the mesmerising Memmo Alfama which has an amazing roof terrace.

06. Hotel Indigo in Edinburgh is so chic – and so Scottish – and the interior design is to die for.

05. Shoreditch really is the place if you’re holidaying or short-breaking in London these days. Do not leave without checking out the vintage shops of Brick Lane, experiencing Bombay Cafe culture at Dishoom and we hear that the Town Hall Hotel is the place to rest your head.

04. Sunshine and culture need not involve an Airbus. It takes around six and a half hours to travel from Paris to Barcelona by TGV train. The five-star Ohla Hotel, with its frankly orgasmic rooftop pool, is right at the top of our summer holiday wish list.

03. Amsterdam is the city of cool – and it doesn’t get much cooler than the mega-trendy Volkshotel with its own club (Canvas) on the 7th floor: our room is booked (no, really).

02. Paris is one hell of a city – but if you want to experience it at its most luxurious, cast your mind back to the moment Carrie Bradshaw opened her balcony doors to that stunning view of the Eiffel Tower… The view could be yours (without “The Russian”) if you stay at the five-star, recently refurbished Dorchester Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Start saving, people. Start saving.

01. You’ll have to do a lot to convince us that it gets any better than a UK break at the stunning Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool – hip, happening, comfortable and so, so friendly, right in the middle of the Mathew Street Quarter of Liverpool. Fab.

Yellow Submarine painting

Hard Day’s Night, Liverpool


Compiled by: Johanna Payton for Feet on the Ground

Images: Johanna Payton/as credited

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