The ICC World Twenty 20 has begun in London. International airfares are in a free fall and the dog days of summer are getting drearier. For those who have managed to convince their bosses to grant you leave, the cool climes of the British Isles couldn’t be more inviting. But if MS Dhoni and Co. fail to live up to expectations, despair not: Online travel service provider Expedia has the perfect alternative—five must-visit destinations you can head to when the cricket gets too much. What’s more, you can enjoy special deals at select hotels on bookings made on the Expedia website (expedia.co.in). For instance, stay for four nights at the four-star Hyde Park Premier London Paddington Hotel in Brighton and get the last night free (tariff starts at Rs7,000 per night here).
Brighton, East Sussex
The Westminister Bridge with the Big Ben towering over it is one of London’s most enduring images. Frantzesco Kangaris / Bloomberg)
Only an hour away from London, this south-eastern coastal city has something for everyone—miles of beaches, vibrant nightlife, a rocking music scene and grand architecture. While there, take a tour of the Royal Pavilion. Built by King George IV, the palace is among the most extravagant in England, with its Indian architecture and oriental interiors.
Cumbria, north-west England
The breathtaking beauty of this county, a three-hour train ride from London, inspired the Romantic movement in English literature. The county’s Lake District was home to poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the first English Romantics. A visit to Dove Cottage in Grasmere, where Wordsworth lived for eight years, is a must. For history enthusiasts, there’s the Hadrian’s Wall, a relic of the Roman era. And then there’s Windermere, the largest natural lake in England and the prettiest of them all. The surrounding country—with its high fells, rocky crags, and gently rolling hills and dells—is postcard-perfect and famed as one of the best places in the world for a walking tour.
Nottingham, East Midlands
History, romance and industry meet in rare harmony in this midland city, the venue of India’s first-round matches. The city’s history dates back to the 10th century when it used to be the playground of kings and duke. But its most famous legends are associated with a group of brigands: Robin Hood and his Merry Men from Sherwood forest. It was also one of the most important centres of the Industrial Revolution, with its prosperity built on the textile industry. Popular attractions around the city are Nottingham Castle, the city’s ancient pubs, Creswell Crags, the Lace Market, City of Caves and the Galleries of Justice.
Cornwall, south-west England
The Cornish coast is among the most beautiful coastlines, with its beaches, fishing villages and quaint towns. Beaches such as Crackington Haven and Crooklets in the Bude region are popular family destinations while the surfing’s great at Porthmeor at St.Ives. An important mining centre, most of the mines here are World Heritage sites.
The perennial favourite of Indian tourists, adding to its never-ending attractions are the T20 matches. And for those who don’t find T20 hot enough, there’s the Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place from 16-19 June.
Trip Planner: Fly any major international airline to London from New Delhi (return fare, Rs25,500 onwards), Mumbai (return fare, Rs25,900 onwards), Bangalore (return fare, Rs26,049 onwards), Chennai (return fare, Rs25,800 onwards) and Kolkata (return fare, Rs27,600 onwards). Fares are inclusive of taxes, and are valid for travel between 18-23 June. Visas can be obtained from British High Commission in New Delhi. Visit ukinindia.fco.gov.uk/en/ for details.