THERE are lots of different ways to enjoy a short getaway around the United Kingdom, writes ANNABELLE THORPE
She picks her favourites from her new seasonal guide, 52 Great British Weekends
SPRING PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
Isle of Wight Hop on a ferry to the Isle of Wight where there are more than 500 miles of footpaths to explore: from the rolling hills of West Wight to the spectacular undercliffs and tropical gardens on the east coast.
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Join the annual walking festival (01983 823 070/isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk) in May, the UK's biggest, or plan your own strolls between the excellent gastropubs.
The Seaview Hotel (01983 612 711/ www.seaviewhotel.co.uk) offers doubles from £125 per night (two sharing), B&B.
WALK BENEATH THE BLOSSOMS
Brogdale Farm, Kent Spring blossom is one of the most joyous sights after a long, grey winter.
At the National Fruit Collection (brogdalecollections.co.uk) in Faversham, Kent, there are more than 4,000 varieties of fruit tree.
When the almond, pear, peach, plum and cherry are all in bloom, it's spectacular.
Brenley Farm (01227 751 203/ brenley-farm.co.uk) is ideal for families. Doubles from £85 per night (two sharing), B&B.
SUMMER CANOE THE WYE
Monmouth, Wales On a summer's day there's no better place to be than on the water and gliding along the River Wye is an idyllic way to spend an afternoon.
Monmouth Canoe & Activity Centre (01600 716 083/ http://monmouthcanoe.co.uk/) offers half and full-day trips.
Afterwards, relax on the river bank at beautiful Symonds Yat or explore the Offa's Dyke Path on foot.
Bistro Prego (01600 712 600/ pregomonmouth.co.uk) in Monmouth, offers doubles from £65 per night (two sharing), B&B.
SEE AN OPEN-AIR PERFORMANCE
Minack, Cornwall For theatre alfresco nothing can match the spectacular Minack Theatre (minack.com) cut into the edge of Cornish cliffs.
For culture vultures plays, opera and musicals are all on offer; and there's the pretty village of Porthcurno and the stunning Sennen Cove nearby, too.
Old Success Inn (01736 871 232/ staustellbrewery.co.uk
) offers doubles from £60 per night (two sharing), B&B.
AUTUMN WATCH THE DEER RUT
Exmoor One of nature's great spectacles, the sight of these majestic stags locking antlers and roaring at each other across the bracken, is unforgettable.
Exmoor in autumn is a palette of burnt orange and russet browns and is also home to some of the darkest skies in the country making it just right for a little star-spotting.
The Royal Oak Inn, Withypool (01643 831 506/royaloakwithypool.co.uk) is the perfect rural retreat, with eight stylish rooms. Doubles from £100 per night (two sharing), B&B.
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EXPLORE THE NIGHT SKY
Kielder, Northumberland Home to the darkest skies in England, Kielder Water is a must for all visiting Brian Cox wannabes and autumn is the best time for stargazing.
The Kielder Observatory (kielderobservatory.org) offers talks and star-spotting evenings, while by day cycling, horse-riding, walking and sailing are all available.
The Pheasant Inn (01434 240 382/ thepheasantinn.com) in nearby Hexham offers doubles from £85 per night (two sharing), B&B.
WINTER GO GHOST HUNTING
Whitby, North Yorkshire By day this Yorkshire fishing town is a welcoming cluster of shops and caf©s on a tangle of pretty lanes.
On winter nights things turn darker in Dracula author Bram Stoker's former home and the 13th-century abbey lends a ghostly feel.
Take a Whitby Ghost Walk (whitbywalks.com) and climb the 199 abbey steps for spectacular views. ? The Marine Hotel (01947 605 022/ the-marine-hotel.co.uk) offers doubles from £99 per night (two sharing), B&B.
52 Great British Weekends by Annabelle Thorpe (New Holland, £14.99) available now.