Plymouth the best city break destination for nature lovers

The leafy side of Plymouth

Packing up the caravan and heading to a city may not be your first instinct if you’re a nature lover, but new research shows how you can combine urban locations with the great outdoors.

McCarthy Stone ranked the UK’s cities in terms of their natural offerings to help anyone looking for a break to escape the January blues.

Plymouth came out top of the list, scoring 345 points out of a possible 500, with criteria including rare species of animals, stargazing spots, National Trust sites and outdoor activities nearby.

The city on England’s south coast was found to be home to ten National Trust sites and four National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Coming in second was Southampton with 297 points, followed by London with a score of 255. The capital’s 240 outdoor activities make it one of the greenest cities on the list to visit.

Bristol made the fourth spot, boasting 242 points, followed by Newcastle and Swansea in joint fifth position, with both cities picking up 206 points.

Miruna Constantinescu, national marketing director at McCarthy Stone, said: “From stargazing to national parks, it’s amazing to see the wealth of natural hotspots which the UK has to offer in such proximity to large parts of the population.

“The lure of coastal and countryside developments may seem like the obvious choice for nature-lovers, but this study has shown that you can enjoy amazing nature sites on your doorstep across the UK.

“We understand the importance of getting outdoors, especially after living under restrictions over the past 18 months, and it’s great to be able to highlight some of the UK’s natural beauty.”

If it’s animals you’re wishing to spot on your caravan holiday, then the study suggests Newcastle is best for red squirrel sightings, Aberdeen for puffins and Norfolk for otters.


Photo credit: Unsplash/Zach Pickering