Remain Holidays: Seven ‘Staycation’ Destinations in the UK
Haven’t already booked your summer holiday? Cringing at the poor pound to euro and dollar travel money exchange rates seen since the vote to Brexit? There’s no need to venture outside of Great Britain, not when we have so many inducements to remain as can be seen in these seven holiday locations right here in the UK.
With the great euro to pound exchange rate, we’ll be seeing an increase in European holidaymakers which amounted to nine million visitors last year, according to travel agency group ABTA. Over 36 million visitors in total are coming to the UK this year- proof of all Britain has to offer-but don’t expect they’ll be crowding the shores we’ve selected. Fancy mingling with some of those international visitors at the world’s biggest arts festival? We’ve got that, too, as well as a way you can participate in a fridge festival performance.
Four for the Seashore and More: Britain’s Best Beaches
The setting for Robbie Williamson’s video ‘Angels’, Devon’s Saunton Sands is hidden from the madding crowds by Britain’s biggest sand dunes. Tucked into the north Devon coast, near Barnstaple, three miles of golden sand and sparkling clear waves are a surfer’s delight.
You won’t find Saunton Sands crowded, its natural beauty remains unspoilt, as there’s little chance of anyone scaling the dunes with a pushchair. Barnstaple offers a range of accommodation from luxury to budget-savvy and far more than just a beach: Exmoor Zoo, Arlington Court and National Trust Carriage Museum, as well a wine tasting at Quance Wines in nearby Swimbridge are not to be missed.
St. Ives is bestowed with an extraordinary intensity of light; its legacy as an important art colony makes it more culturally interesting than most seaside destinations. Find inspiration at St. Ives Tate Gallery, Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture garden and see why Bernard Leach was known as “the father of British pottery”. The Millennium, Belgrave and Wills Lane galleries are also to be savoured, as is the local seafood caught nearby and featured in the town’s notable restaurants.
Fly Skybus to the Isles of Scilly from Exeter to Hugh Town from £127 for an hour flight that transports you to islands so safe and friendly they seem anchored in another time. Or sail from Penzance on Scilloniah III where your dog is welcome for an extra £7.50 each way. A truly dog-friendly destination, you’ll find hotels, converted barns and castles that welcome your four legged friend. Among attractions – aside from the weather which is the warmest in Britain- are England’s most south westerly golf course and horseback rides across the deserted white sands of Pelistry beach. You’ll find the locals very welcoming for quaint pastimes like their infamous human fruit machine on July 31st at the St Martin’s Fete.
Of Britain’s 6,000 islands, Lewis & Harris (the third largest island in the UK after Great Britain and Ireland) is featured as one of the very loveliest of all British Isles by Conde Nast. The north half of the island, Lewis, is flat and more populated and its main income comes from producing Harris tweed. The southern half, hilly Harris is home to abundant wildlife including otters, seals, dolphin, red deer and eagles. Wet suits will be wanted by bathers, as the island is found in the Outer Hebrides, although the crystal clear turquoise waters and sparkling sand make the island seem more like a deserted Caribbean atoll. Secluded Scarista Beach, offers miles of pale sandy beaches studded with treasure troves of seashells.
Bath, the UK’s most Roman influenced City, doesn’t boast beaches but- among elegant attractions is Britain’s only hot-spring-fed spa which made the city one of Great Britain’s earliest tourist destinations. The Thermae baths have a rooftop pool with spectacular views of Bath’s Georgian skyline and the hills surrounding the city. Visitors can soak in iron-rich waters just a hundred yards away from the spot where Romans first built their baths in the UK after the 836 BC legend that prince Bladud was cured of leprosy after taking a hot mud bath with his pigs.
A UNESCO World Heritage City, free two hour guided walks are led by the Mayor of Bath’s honorary guides daily. Starting at the Abbey, the blue badged guides provide a daily workout that includes tours of the architectural masterpieces and the array of historical points of interest in Bath.
Bustling Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle, the fascinating medieval ruin known affectionately as “Barney” to county Durham locals is but one feature of its historic market town namesake. An excellent starting point for the Lake District, the cobblestone lanes of Barnard Castle are lined with charming antique shops. The whole of Teesdale is rich in history and heritage. Magnificent Bowes museum, inspired by a French chateau is home to the finest art collection in Northern England. Masterpieces by Goya are among the celebrated paintings and sculptures, but the most popular attraction is the 18th century automated silver swan that delights visitors when it grooms itself and looks around before seeming to catch and swallow a fish. Nearby Durham Dales is home to an authentic natural wonder: High Force, England’s highest waterfall is but one reward for rambling along the picturesque rural scenery.
Funky Fringe Festival
Offbeat theatre acts abound for those ‘defying the norm since 1947’ at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival. The world’s largest arts festival lasts for 24 days, from August 5th until the 29th. The city’s population practically doubles during the annual event, so organizers have made efforts to increase accommodation. Edlets, an official festival partner offers a large selection of Edinburgh flats, rooms and guesthouses as does Airbnb. The journey from London aboard a Virgin train is just under 6 hours and tickets start from £30.
Fancy being part of a comedy act whether you’re heading to the festival or not? Comedienne Miranda Kane’s free stand-up act is to be based on her advertising her telephone number which is: 07800 834030. She welcomes calls “about anything”, as hers is “a show about what happens when you put out your number, and ask people to call you... about anything.”
If you need more suggestions for great staycations, that save you from having to buy travel money when the exchange rates aren’t in your favour, why not give Miranda a bell?