Are you looking forward to a well-earned break? Perhaps you’re planning a few days away with your closest friends, or a week’s holiday alongside your family. Maybe you’re one of the increasing number who like to travel alone? Whatever your situation, the mental health benefits of taking time off are well documented, as they offer us all a chance to relax, unwind and escape the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Things are a little out of the ordinary this year, however, with the coronavirus outbreak prompting the authorities to put in place a number of travel restrictions and force millions to put their overseas vacation plans on hold.
With the picture still looking uncertain, many have booked holidays closer to home by way of a solution and it’s easy to see why – our country boasts an abundance of fascinating cities as well as some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet.
So, if you’re thinking about remaining on these shores for your break this year, why not consider some of the UK staycation destinations outlined below? But first, we’ll answer a few questions such as what is a staycation, why have they become so popular and how can you plan the perfect trip?
What is a staycation?
The word itself is derived from a combination of ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’ and refers to a holiday taken closer to home, usually within driving distance. Staycations can signify breaks that do not require an overnight stay, or simply trips that involve travelling to another part of the country rather than overseas.
Why are staycations popular?
This year in particular, many people may be booking a staycation in the UK due to the uncertainty surrounding overseas travel – but that’s not the only reason they’re likely to be a popular choice for millions.
Heading off to some of the best staycation destinations in the UK holds plenty of advantages. For a start, it can prove a lot cheaper than going abroad, and you’ll remove all the hassle and stress that comes with getting to the airport, waiting in the check-in queue and then standing in line to make your way through security.
A staycation in the UK also means you won’t have as far to travel – and that extra time can be spent enjoying your holiday with your loved ones. And of course, it offers the opportunity to explore our beautiful country and open your eyes to previously undiscovered wonders.
Best staycations in the UK
The Lake District
For lovers of the great outdoors, there’s no better staycation destination in the UK. Boasting miles and miles of beautiful, unspoilt scenery, it offers a chance to get away from it all and immerse yourself in the spectacular countryside. For keen walkers, the Lakes are tantamount to heaven, with a never-ending selection of treks and trails for you to take on. Home to Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, your Land Rover Defender or Jaguar F-PACE will thrive when you go off-road and tackle some of the toughest terrain. It’s not hard to see why the Lake District has become one of the most popular staycations in the UK.
Of course, the great outdoors isn’t for everyone. If you prefer the urban life, then the Scottish capital might be much more to your liking. It’s an easy place to navigate but parking is at a premium, so city runarounds like the Audi A1 or Toyota AYGO are perfect. Around the narrow cobbled streets and traditional pubs of the old town, you’ll get a true sense of the deep history of the place. For upmarket designer stores and an array of contemporary bars and cafes, head to the other side of Princes Street Gardens and into the new town. Whatever you do, one thing’s for sure – you’ll enjoy one of the very best staycations in the UK.
Some of the most beautiful UK staycation destinations are by the coast, and the Norfolk Broads are a prime example. As one of the flattest places in the country, all you can see for miles around is sea, sand and – thanks to its glorious micro-climate – plenty of sun. You can visit Wells-next-the-Sea for world-famous fish and chips, head to Holkham Hall for a spot of history or pop to Burnham Market to wander around the independent boutique shops. Fans of camping will be in heaven, with plenty of sites that back right onto the salt marshes, so pack your Range Rover or Lexus NX to the rafters with all your gear and enjoy one of the most popular staycations in the UK.
Another seaside gem, a trip down to Newquay may take a while, but it’ll be more than worth it when you get there. With beautiful beaches, great weather and friendly people, it’s not hard to see why it’s regarded as one of the best staycations in the UK. A paradise for surfers, it attracts quite a young crowd during peak months, but in truth, it’s a place that offers something for everyone. With a long drive ahead, fuel-efficient models like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class or the Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid are perfect for the journey, and you’ll soon realise that this corner of Cornwall is one of the best places for a staycation in the UK.
The Peak District
For ease of access, there are few better staycation destinations in the UK than the Peak District. Located right in the heart of the country, it offers an abundance of natural beauty to rival that of the Lakes. With miles of moorland and spectacularly steep limestone valleys, there are plenty of off-road opportunities where a Toyota Land Cruiser or an Audi Q5 will come into their own. So, pack your walking boots and your waterproofs (this is England, after all), stock up on plenty of food and drink and set off on your Peak District adventure!
How to plan the perfect staycation
Planning a staycation holiday is almost as fun as the trip itself! There’s plenty to think about, but not being tied to the airline’s schedule means you can afford to be flexible with your arrangements.
A good holiday needs to offer something for everyone, so think about your travelling party when you’re discussing staycation ideas. Will there be enough activities to keep everybody entertained? Will it be suitable for little ones? If it’s a romantic city break you’re after, are there enough sights, shops, bars and restaurants to interest you and your partner? Of course, if you’re planning a solo trip, you can look after number one and plan your staycation however you like!
Make a list of everything you need to take with you – whether that be toys for the kids, a tent and camping chairs, all your food and drink or even mountain bikes, kayaks and any other outdoor sports equipment. Of course, your plans might be dictated by the vehicle you drive. A BMW X7 or an Audi Q7 are tailor-made for transporting all the family and a large amount of cargo but may not be suited to a short city stopover, where a Mini or a smart car may prove more practical.
It’s also important to take into account the particulars of your journey. Do you have a long drive ahead? Then you’ll need activities to keep the kids entertained, as well as planned stops at motorway services to break up the trip and keep everyone fresh, fed and watered. Once you’re back on the road, you can sit back, relax and look forward to what’s to come – perhaps you’ll be heading for one of these popular UK staycation destinations?
The above are just five possible staycation ideas, but the important thing is that you and your loved ones plan a holiday that you’ll all enjoy. We all need a break from time to time, and that doesn’t have to mean travelling abroad. There are plenty of stunning UK staycation destinations right on your doorstep that are just waiting to be explored!
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