Get that ‘abroad’ feeling without leaving the UK

Long gone are the days when a ‘staycation’ suggests heading to the seaside or camping in the back garden. These days there are plenty of destinations, within budget, that will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into a whole new country. Here are a few of our favourites!

Chinatown, Liverpool vs Shanghai

If you’re excited by the cuisine, culture and customs of China then look no further than Liverpool. Yes, you read that right – Liverpool! Liverpool is home to Europe’s oldest Chinese community who have lived and traded there since the 19th century. The famous arch at the entrance to the district stands at 13.5 metres high – the tallest in Europe. The area is home to shops, restaurants and community centres, and hosts a colourful event every New Year. 

A round trip to Shanghai could cost you up to £730 whereas a train from London to Liverpool is considerably less. If you can’t make it to Liverpool, check out London Chinatown or Manchester Chinatown.

Brighton Pavilion vs Taj Mahal

Created as a seaside getaway home for King George IV, the Brighton Pavilion brings a bit of India to the British coastline. Built in an Indo-Saracenic style, the building mirrors the look of the great Taj Mahal (though it is drastically smaller in size). As one of the most popular landmarks in Brighton, the Pavillion attracts over 400,000 people a year. There’s a small fee to enter and explore the museum however you can admire the grand Indian inspired architecture from the gardens for free.

Tickets cost £13.50 for adults and £8.10 for under 18s. You can get a 10% discount by buying tickets online.

Piccadilly vs Time Square

If you love the bright lights of the big city, hit the most famous road junction in the world. London’s Piccadilly Circus is particularly known for its electronic billboards and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side. Though it is reminiscent of New York’s Time’s Square, Piccadilly has buckets of charm with its old yet beautiful buildings that surround the area.

The hustle and bustle may be too much for some with hundreds of tourists and racing traffic, but its an amazing attraction for visitors to the city who want to catch a slice of the city’s vibrancy. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny.

Isles of Scilly vs the Maldives 

If the city isn’t for you, how do white-sandy beaches, sub-tropical plants and scuba diving sound? It’s hard to comprehend that the Isles of Scilly are a part of the UK but these quaint islands off the coast of Cornwall make for a luxurious holiday. There are around 145 islands that are divided into 5 divisions. Similar to the Maldives, the island of Bryher has no cars and few inhabitants, whilst Tresco is home to over 20,000 exotic plants – you can even go snorkelling with seals.

Flights from Land’s End to the Isles of Scilly take only 15 minutes! Adults can fly from £90.50, whilst its £72.50 for children. If flying isn’t for you, you can catch the ferry from Penzance from £55 for adults and £28.50 for kids. Find out more pricing options here

Portmeirion vs Italy 

Built between 1925 and 1975, Portmeirion is a small tourist village designed in the style of a traditional Italian village. Though it’s is situated in Gwynedd, North Wales, the colourful buildings are reminiscent of the small fishing village of Portofino on the Italian Riviera. The exterior of the village has often been used in television and films depicting as an exotic European location.

The village is now owned by a charitable trust and is run as a holiday resort. Majority of the building are used as hotel rooms or self-catered cottages, but there are also shops and restaurants. Day passes are available for a small fee.

Spinnaker Tower vs the Burj al Arab

You can’t ignore the design similarities between the spinnaker tower in Portsmouth and the Burj in Dubai. Though Spinnaker is almost half the size of the Burj, the views are astounding. The unique glass floor is made from 60mm thick glass and can hold a total weight of 288 stone. This means that 2 black rhinos could cross the glass floor at the same time without it breaking.

Entry tickets for adults cost around £11.50 and kids go free. Students can get discounted tickets for  £10.50. Find out more pricing options here.

We hope these fun little finds keeps you busy this summer, but if you’re looking to take a trip out of the UK but don’t have the immediate funds, My Financial Broker can help. We can help you find the right loan lender so you can take a holiday of a lifetime and pay for it over a number of years.