5 Holidays Under £500

If you're anything like us, you'll be itching to get back on holiday in the new year. Oh, how we've missed travelling around - from the joy of falling into a comfortable hotel bed after a day of exploring to the thrill of arriving at the next site on the itinerary. We have a fabulous selection of holidays on offer for 2021 that we hope will inspire your wanderlust, and we've rounded up five that are under £500 to help get you going!

1) From £395pp - Literary Trails of the West Country

This three-day break will be quite the page-turner, with visits to charming Lacock, famously used as the location for countless dramas including Pride and Prejudice; Dorchester with its Thomas Hardy connections, such as the cottage in which he was born as well as Max House, a home that he both designed and lived in; and Torquay for its associations with Dame Agatha Christie. If you're a bit of a bookworm, this literary trail might be right up your street! What's more, there's also a sister holiday to this itinerary, Literary Trails of the South Coast, and you can book them back to back for a longer experience.

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2) From £455pp - Floriade & Keukenhof

Yes, this holiday isn't until spring 2022, but at three days long and visiting the iconic tulip gardens of Keukenhof in the Netherlands as well as spending a day at the all-important Floriade Expo, it's well-worth booking! What is Floriade, you ask? Well, held just once every ten years at a different venue in the Netherlands, it is one of the premier events of the horticultural world. 2022's event will have a theme of 'Growing Green Cities’. With the world’s urban population expanding to 70%, cities will have to find creative, green and sustainable solutions to remain safe, healthy and attractive and these proposed solutions will be central to the exhibits at the 2022 Expo. You will also enjoy time to admire the 7 million-plus flowering tulips at Keukenhof on this memorable short break.

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3) From £465pp - Spring & Autumn in the West Highlands

Spring and autumn are wonderful times of the year to visit the West Highlands of Scotland. In spring, there may still be patches of snow on the mountains but the trees are in fresh green leaf and plants such as rhododendrons bring the first welcome splashes of colour to the gardens. Come autumn and you may well see snow on the hills again, but at lower levels the trees will have taken on a golden hue while the gardens put on one last defiant display of colour before winter’s icy grip returns. Visit Ardkinglas Woodland Garden, Arduaine Gardens and Kilmartin Glen, where you'll find a series of ancient and rather mysterious burial cairns.

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4) From £475pp - Scotland's Extreme North West

The rugged and remote north-west coast of Scotland takes on a majestic character in the early spring and autumn months as mother nature lays on a spectacular display of beauty. Enormous waves roll in from the Atlantic and hurl themselves against the shore in an awesome display of raw natural power. The coastal views and landscapes are even more breathtaking and the warmth of our highland hotel even more welcoming at this time of year. From our base in Kinlochbervie, overlooking the fishing harbour with panoramic views over lochs and hills to the open sea, we seek out some of the gems of the north west coast, such as Oldshoremore – an exquisite beach of pristine white sand – and Smoo Cave at Durness, a huge sea cave with a waterfall and even a ‘blowhole’. In the evenings, you'll enjoy fine food, good company and a fireside dram.

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5) From £495pp - Private Gardens of the Scottish Borders

Among the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders are a host of attractive gardens, from intimate private properties to the splendour of sites such as the great Floors Castle. Broadly following the course of the River Tweed, which runs like a silver thread through this tour, you'll visit a carefully selected series of gardens from our base in Melrose. These include the walled garden at Kailzie and the private gardens of Carolside, Corbet Tower and Lennel Bank, each one offering interest and individuality. Lying adjacent to historic Melrose Abbey are the tranquil Harmony Gardens and the specialist Priorwood Gardens, while at West Leas you will discover a dramatic project on a grand scale with a passion for plants at its heart. Impressive as this project may be, nothing can compare to the grandeur and spectacle of Floors Castle, the largest inhabited house in all of Scotland.

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5 Holidays Under £500 was published on 14 December 2020