Popular destinations for UK travellers

THE 10 MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS (Jan-Mar, 2009) according to the Office of National Statistics.

1 France  

2 Spain  

3 Ireland  


5 Germany  

6 Italy

7 Holland  

8 Poland  

9 Switzerland

9 Belgium  


The decline [in numbers traveling] is accelerating – the ONS said that in the 12-month period to May, 2009, the number of trips taken by Britons plunged by eight per cent, from 70.6 to 64.6 million. It is expected that full-year figures for 2009 will barely break 60m. (Taken from Times Travel)


I’m guessing that most visitors to France are for short breaks or even day trips.  The French are our closest neighbours and being neighbourly means we should get together more than our furthest neighbours.  However there’s more to France than Calais’s Cite Europe shopping centre.


We’ve had some fantastic holidays there as a family.  One of the best was unexpectedly good – we had a mobile home on the Vendee at the beginning of September.  The weather was starting to change towards the end of the fortnight and tourist attractions were starting to close down.  The children’s club only operated on site for the first week.  We were there late as my son was due to start school in reception class that year and the little ones start later than the rest of the school, being a summer baby he started last of all.  My daughter was due to start pre-school as well at the end of the month.  However all this meant we had very few tourists around to disturb us – no queues, empty beaches (and the Vendee has fantastic sandy beaches) and fast(ish) service in restaurants.  We’ve explored Brittany, the Dordogne, Bordeaux and all points from here back to the channel ports.  A couple of years ago we drove down to Tuscany, taking 4 days to do so on the way there and a different route on the way back.  This showed us another side of France which we didn’t know.  Fantastic places that we want to go back and explore another year.


I also love Paris – especially as I know it so well, having spent a year working there while I was a student (now that’s a whole 900 page blog on its own!!) 


Spain has been a popular destination for British travelers for many years.  Last year we went to the Costa del Sol, a lovely resort called San Pedro de Alcantara.  Very relaxing and hot.  To be different, we flew into Gibraltar rather than Malaga (the resort was around half way between the two airports).   In 10 days time, we’re off to Barcelona for a few days – so I’ll write about that at the time.

Why not explore and enjoy some of the lesser visited countries?  Diamond Travel can help with planning a trip to almost anywhere!  Just get in touch anytime – olein@diamondtravel.gtmail.co.uk

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