Top 5 UK places to go for singles

Are you single and looking to get out and about in England to experience new things and meet new people? If so, check out our guide to 5 of the best places for singles to visit…

While most of my friends were getting married, I was getting divorced, having married much earlier (and more foolishly) than my peers. So, amongst my wider social group,  I’m one of a very small clique that’s currently coping with divorce instead of revelling in newlywed bliss. We each have very different coping styles; I’ve followed a more meditative approach, feeling much regret over how my marriage fell apart, while my brother, experiencing nothing but relief, immediately blissed out into liberated singledom.

One thing’s for certain; it’s tough being a divorcee when most of your friends are happy couples, and spending a little time away from them all – be it wandering by yourself or in the company of other singles – can give welcome relief.

Hiking the Lake District

As a pampered southerner who didn’t venture further north than Alton Towers until her early twenties, I had no idea that such beautifully dramatic landscape existed in my own country – until I visited the Lake District. Everyone I met there was genuinely friendly and keen to help me feel at home (I stayed at a lovely 17th century inn called The Mortal Man, near Windermere, if you need a recommendation) and the Lake District National Park is excellent, a really good resource for planning your trip. Take a map, though, as phone signals are patchy up in the hills.

The stunning Lake District

Blissed out Brighton

I love Brighton. It’s full of excellent independent cafes and boutique shops, and has a very good nightlife that’s concise enough to access on foot, if not a short cheap taxi ride. There are hotels a-plenty, or you could even just day-trip it from London, which is only 50 minutes away on the train. Ignore Churchill Square, the shopping centre that’s just like every other homogenised high street in the country, and head instead to the Laines, the maze of little alleyways that fill Brighton’s centre. In the evening, if you feel like it, there’s live music in many pubs, and clubbing along the seafront.

Wandering London

Non-Londoner Brits groan when the capital is too often in the spotlight, but it’s a city I’m very familiar with and it has much to recommend it. There’s no need to spend as much as rumour would have you believe; most of London’s best museums and galleries are free, there are many good affordable restaurants, and simply wandering about, looking up at – maybe taking photos of – pretty much everything above shop level, makes for a genuinely interesting day or two. If you’re intimidated by the idea of doing things alone, this is a good place to start, as you’ll be accompanied by lots of other people also exploring alone.

Special interest holidays

Not a place, I admit, but if you’ve a particular interest, or even something you felt unable to develop when you were in a relationship – getting up early each day to practise yoga, for example – special interest holidays let you focus on developing it. It could be anything; dancing Five Rhythms in Dorset, learning to paint along the Thames, sailing off the south coast, or a cookery course in Scotland. You can be as quiet or sociable as you like, since the trip is primarily about the skill you’re learning, and the people you’re with will have at least one thing in common.

Up & coming Newcastle

Newcastle has actually been getting on with its own cool thing for a while, its friendly community running their own businesses, club nights and bars with aplomb, but it’s really coming into its own as a city-break destination. Whether you’re looking to let yourself loose or simply wander and explore the architecture, this is one of my favourite cities for instant relaxation.

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