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Going to extremes. From the far north to the far south, the UK has some great rural ‘getaway’ destinations.

With people planning more short-break holidays this year rather than one fortnight block, and with local tourism becoming increasingly popular, sparked by the Royal Wedding and Olympic fever, we’ve searched the web to find the UK’s most popular rural areas to visit, as recommended by the Daily Mail.

Cornwall

Cornwall is everyone’s old favourite with its spectacular rugged coastline, picturesque fishing villages and occasional vestiges of its darker history, smuggling, to be discovered. If you’re looking for trendy, Padstow and Rock (haunts of the Princes) fit the bill, but there are still many unspoilt villages and walks for those who like something more secluded. Either way, indulging in an authentic Cornish pasty and tasting a cream tea is a must.

The Scottish Highlands

Home to deep lochs, Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, and hills which provided refuge for Rob Roy and Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Highlands are not only the perfect place for nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts, but also a fascinating destination for families with an interest in history. Visit the West Highland Museum in Fort William, and take the Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig (www.westcoastrailways.co.ok). The trains were the ones used as Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies.

Low-cost flights have made the journey to the far north and far south more cost-effective in recent years. Air Southwest flies to Newquay Airport from a number of UK cities, and Easy Jet flies to Glasgow from Stansted and to Aberdeen from London’s Luton and Gatwick airports.

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