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The rise of solo travel: Plan a day out alone

Boy taking a picture on Millenium Bridge london

This article has been amended to reflect the situation in 2021.

When it comes to travelling and exploring new places, a 2018 report suggests that the number of Britons travelling solo has increased by almost a third since 2011. This is not just down to people having no one to go with either – many are actively choosing to travel alone for the flexibility that comes with not having to compromise on where to go and what to do. With group travel potentially restricted by COVID-19 measures, some things can only be done by yourself!

What’s more, if you don’t have to confirm dates and times with anyone else travelling with you, then you might just be able to pick up a bargain off-peak train ticket.

So, with this is mind, why not plan a day out alone for yourself and see how much you enjoy it? Here are a few UK-based ideas to start you off…

A day at the museum

Visiting a museum that you are interested in can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Even better when you can stroll around at your own pace, not worrying about looking for your children or feeling like you have to view things that don’t really interest you that much.

Next time you have a free day, book an entry ticket into that museum or gallery that you’ve been desperate to visit for some time. Make sure you plan your visit for a day when it won’t be too busy and you will feel liberated at how good it feels to discover things for yourself in the comfort of your own company. Many free museums currently require booking in advance due to COVID restrictions, and we recommend you check on their appropriate websites before turning up.

Explore the coastline

The UK has many gorgeous coastlines. No matter where you live, you should be able to get to your nearest coastline within a few hours. Therefore, decide where you want to visit, grab your railcard, book a discount train ticket and set off to explore the seaside. No need to confer with anyone else!

Enjoy a relaxing stroll down the promenade at Hornsea, enjoy some freshly caught fish and chips at Morecambe Bay, or hunt for hidden sealife in the rock pools at Saltburn in North Yorkshire. Being by the sea is usually very calming and relaxing and can help to blow any worries or stresses away in an instant.  

Cruise the capital

London is the perfect city to visit alone. By visiting on your own, you can plan a personal itinerary, stop to eat whenever and wherever you fancy, and pop into the shops if you get the urge (just don't forget the face mask).

While in the capital, why not experience a river cruise around the Thames? An open-air trip along London’s most famous waterway offers great views and a chance to explore parts of the capital that you might not have visited before. From Westminster to Greenwich pier, there are many amazing things to stop off and see along the way.

Just hop on an early train to London Kings Cross and you will be well situated to explore the capital for the day and be back in time before it gets dark.

Take a city walking tour

Wherever you choose to visit in the UK, you are sure to find a range of outdoor walking tours available to join in with. Even better, many of them are often free of charge, and when you're watching what you breathe, getting some fresh air is always a plus!

From a spooky ghost tour in York city centre to a tasty Newcastle food tour, this is a great activity to engage in as a single traveller as you will be mixed into a group with a wide range of other people in a similar situation to you.

Not only could you make a new friend or two, but you will be furthering your general knowledge and exploring new places at the same time. Win win.

Keep safe

Even though it’s going to be great fun experiencing some you-time, you should always ensure that you keep safe. Take your mobile phone with you in case you need it in an emergency, carry your face mask and hand sanitiser, and try to plan your travel arrangements so that you are home before it gets dark. Make sure you always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

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