Galaxy gardens in Dumfries and going goth at Whitby: quirky UK cities for a weekend away | Discover the UK

The snake mound and the snail mound within the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Dumfries, Scotland, created by Charles Jencks and Maggie Keswick.
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Far out dude, it’s Dumfries
The gorgeous, huge panorama backyard, the Crawick Multiverse, in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway was created by panorama architect Charles Jencks and replicates the recognized universe in a monumental method. It occupies the previous web site of an opencast coal mine, and is open to the general public all yr spherical. Around a 40-minute drive south is the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, one other of Jencks’ creations, which he developed along with his late spouse Maggie Keswick. It is open to the general public on solely someday of the yr, with 1,500 tickets accessible, so be ready for the release date in February for a go to in May. Jencks and Keswick reshaped 12 hectares (30 acres) of their land as a celebration of nature and the legal guidelines of physics. This is really a backyard like no different. Just figuring out it exists makes you content.
For a starry-eyed keep, seek for houses in Dumfries on Airbnb

Cut a fantastic determine in Frome
Although the celebrity of Frome as a centre of the fabric commerce declined in the direction of the top of the 18th century, there’s one thing about this historical Somerset city’s winding cobbled streets that lends itself to the business of vogue. Today, the city prides itself on its many unbiased merchants and designers, some whom have workshops in the identical mill as their forebears. Look out particularly for the newest designs from Boho Clothing or Elli Fashion, one thing older from Lark Vintage or vamp it up at Deadly is the Female, the place curves and 1940s glamour are the order of the day. On the primary Sunday of the month, between March and December, the city celebrates its individuality with the Frome unbiased market, a cornucopia of native food and drinks, arts, crafts, design and vogue that takes over the entire city.
For à la mode adventures, seek for houses in Frome on Airbnb

Hay Castle bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

Hay Castle bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales. Photograph: Alamy

Hay-on-Wye is a bibliophile’s dream
Hay in Wales is an enthralling market city with a critical ebook dependancy: there are round 20 booksellers in and across the centre, many with huge secondhand and antiquarian collections. Most notable of those, maybe, is the store belonging to Richard Booth, the person who began all of it by shopping for the native fort and declaring himself king within the late 1970s. It’s referred to as The King of Hay. Twinned with Timbuktu, an early seat of studying, Hay can be home to one of many world’s most well-known literary festivals, which has taken place in May every year for the final 31 years.
For a literary lover’s escape, seek for houses in Hay-on-Wye on Airbnb

Inside Saltaire mill in Shipley, Yorkshire

Inside Saltaire mill in Shipley, Yorkshire Photograph: Alamy

Feast your eyes and bellies in Ludlow
This small market city in Shropshire, which the poet John Betjeman as soon as described as “probably the loveliest town in England”, has additionally turn into a spot of pilgrimage for foodies, drawn by the person native outlets and suppliers who occupy most of the city’s 500 listed buildings. Ludlow additionally has a thriving market, with a farmers’ market promoting native produce each second and fourth Thursday of the month, although the primary draw is the annual meals pageant, which takes place in September.
To get your fill of native fare, seek for houses close to Ludlow on Airbnb

Salts Mill.

Salts Mill. Photograph: Alamy

In Saltaire there’s no bother at t’mill
A Unesco world heritage web site since 2001, the city of Saltaire in West Yorkshire is greater than a picturesque residing museum of the economic revolution. The now-redeveloped Salts Mill that the city was constructed to service remains to be the hub of the neighborhood, and now gives an artwork exhibition area and a choice of unbiased native outlets and companies. On everlasting exhibition right here within the 1853 Gallery is among the world’s largest collections of labor by native boy David Hockney, who additionally designed the mill’s Cafe into the Opera restaurant.
For a cultural retreat oop north, seek for houses close to Saltaire

Goths at Whitby.

Whitby. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Marc Chagall and artisan gin: an ideal day in Tonbridge
The city of Tonbridge, Kent, has many issues to suggest it, together with a medieval fort and a lovely artisan gin distillery, however its actual gem is situated two miles exterior the city, in All Saints’ Church, Tudeley. This is the one church within the world with 12 home windows all designed by the Russian-born artist Marc Chagall. The home windows have been commissioned within the 1960s by the rich dad and mom of Sarah d’Avigdor-Goldsmid, who died in a crusing accident on the age of 21. The artist personally put in the final of them in 1985, the yr of his demise. The sight of them pierced by gentle at totally different angles because the solar travels throughout the sky is inspiring and unforgettable.
To discover your individual dreamy sanctuary, seek for houses in Tonbridge on Airbnb

Whitby’s darkish supplies
In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the ship carrying the titular vampire runs aground on the rocks beneath the ruins of Whitby Abbey of the East Cliff, and it’s right here, in Whitby, Yorkshire that the depend begins to feast on the blood of younger Lucy Westenra. For a spooky memento, take home a bit of native jewelry produced from jet, a black semi-precious mineral that washes up, like Dracula, on the seaside. And what higher place for the world’s greatest gathering of goths? Since 1994, Whitby goth weekend has taken over the city in April and October for 2 days apiece of suitably darkish reside music and fancy costume frolics. A definite steampunk flavour has been added in recent times.
For a spooktacular staycation, seek for houses in Whitby on Airbnb

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