Many people have been discovering the joys of a vacation in the UK recently and this looks set to spark a new trend. Staycations can be much easier to plan and more affordable than an international holiday, plus the UK is incredibly beautiful and diverse which means that it should not be too hard to have a memorable time away, whether it is a city break, a beach holiday, or exploring the countryside.
According to the British government’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions, international travel will not resume earlier than 17th May, so planning a holiday oversea is off the table for now. Staycations in the UK have become increasingly popular and there is an influx of bookings for summer holidays in Britain.
When it comes to planning a getaway in Britain, travellers have the choice between short city breaks or longer vacations in the countryside, by the beach, in one of the many national parks or in an island off the British coast like Isle of Skye, Isle of Man or Isle of Wight.
Personally, I love a city break! I love visiting museums and art galleries, shopping in cute independent boutiques, going to farmers markets, eating out in nice restaurants or sitting at a café for an English cream tea while watching the locals stroll by.
I am not the only one, as many of us are drawn to the fantastic cities found throughout the UK. There are lots of great options and each city has its own character, history, and highlights to discover. Places like London, Cambridge, Oxford, Belfast, Edinburgh, Bristol, York, Bath or smaller towns like Harrogate, Salisbury and Exeter are all popular choices for city breaks and all have different personality and charm to discover.
Travel by train
With the complicated and fast-changing travel restrictions when flying abroad, going on holiday is the UK is definitely a better option for many. Taking the train is also the most environmentally friendly way of traveling, better than airplanes, cars or coaches. Not only you can reach all corners of the country by train, you will often be rewarded by spectacular scenery, from country to coastline.
Planning a city break within Britain is easy thanks to the UK’s superb train network. If you live in southern England, for example, you can travel to the capital more quickly and easily. Southern Railways has recently announced major upgrades to their network to modernise the 1980’s track and signaling on the lines so anyone planning a staycation in London could benefit from an improved experience when getting a train travelling to London Victoria, plus you can often find deals and rail cards to make it more affordable. The Artist Residence in Pimlico, one of the most beautiful boutique hotels in the city, is ideal for a dreamy staycation and just 10 minutes walk from Victoria station.
While some will want to soak up culture and history in the major cities, others will prefer to explore the stunning natural beauty on show, and you are spoilt for choice in the UK. Places like the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District boast breathtaking natural scenery including mountain ranges, forests, meadows, lakes and more.
There are also dozens of great coastal locations for those that like to be by the sea, including Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, Sussex, Dorset and Devon. Personally, I have a soft spot for Cornwall: the combination of natural sites, dramatic coastline, fascinating history and amazing food produce of Cornwall is truly enchanting!
Accommodation can be expensive, especially when booking for a large family. You could save money by planning in advance, but if you’re booking a last minute stay then look into vacation rentals on HomeAway, Vrbo or Airbnb. Private apartments are usually more affordable than a hotel and also provide you with self-catering as an option to save even more money.
For those that prefer staycations, you can usually find deals on bed and breakfasts online or you could look into motorhome holidays which are increasing in popularity. Typically, holidays in the countryside, particularly if you choose to stay in a campervan or camping site are cheaper than city breaks.
Additionally, by researching online you can usually find ways to make savings and find more affordable places to visit.
Planning a holiday during Coronavirus
One thing many of us have been missing dearly for the past 12 months is the possibility to travel freely and without stress. Thanks to the vaccination programme, which continues at pace, a return to normality is within sight so we can finally (and cautiously) start planning our next adventures!
Just like going out to a restaurant or the gym or meeting friends, travelling increases your chances of getting sick and spreading a virus, whether it’s Covid-19 or a normal flu. If you are feeling apprehensive about travel, know that it is possible to travel safely. First of all, pick a travel destination that’s less popular and less frequented by tourists, especially during peak season like bank holiday weekend.
When travelling, take simple precautions to minimise risks, such as: wearing a face mask, washing hands often or using hand sanitiser, practise physical/social distancing, avoiding crowded outdoor areas and large gatherings of people, avoiding closed spaces. etc. Don’t forget to keep up to date with the news and current restriction so that you and your family can travel safely and have stress-free holidays.
Whether you prefer city breaks or exploring out in nature, it is easy to see why staycations are becoming so popular. There are also always ways that you can make savings with these trips, which will help to make your holiday even more affordable and this could potentially allow you to fit in a few over the year.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.