The ultimate guide to your perfect staycation

I love staycations, having been on one almost every year of my life, and with Covid-19 restrictions creating doubts around the feasibility of travelling abroad this year, they are gaining a wider appeal. You may be wondering how to make the most out of a holiday in the UK, a country whose climate is very different to that of the Mediterranean. Here, then, are some of my tips for the perfect staycation:

  1. Choose a set-piece

The UK may be small, but there is still so much choice when considering where to go. I find that the best way to get started with your planning is to find a ‘set-piece’ – a specific attraction that you really want to visit. This is perhaps easiest if you like historical sites, as this is where the UK really shines on the tourism front, from royal palaces like Hampton Court, to more unique landmarks like Stonehenge.

Similarly, those in search of their literary heroes will not be hard pressed, with Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Lake District, the influence of Romantic poet William Wordsworth, being particularly popular.

These are far from the only options though; you could perhaps find a location or attraction relating to one of your favourite TV shows or films, a particular walk you want to go on, or, if you are willing to risk the weather, you could even attempt a classic British seaside holiday. The options are endless, and before long you will have hit upon somewhere you simply cannot wait to visit.

  1. Plan

Once you have found your ‘set-piece’, I would recommend conducting some wider planning. Firstly, find your accommodation. Whether a campsite, a caravan or a cottage, good accommodation can make a trip that bit more special.

Then do some searches online of the area you are visiting. Wherever you are going in Britain, you will almost certainly be able to find plenty enough to fill a week, however packed or relaxed you would like it to be. The tourism websites of specific cities or counties can be useful for this.

It could also be worth seeing if any passes are available, whether a membership to an organisation like the National Trust, the value of which can often be recouped quite quickly, or a ticket relating to multiple attractions in a certain town or city. Any way of saving money is always a win!

  1. Don’t Limit Yourself

This may seem a bit contradictory to my previous point, but be willing to explore a place once you get there. Plan, but don’t make a rigid itinerary. I am a firm believer in the value of leaflets and Tourist Information Centres, and if you take one piece of advice away from this article it is that you should make the most of them on any staycation. If you see a TIC, have a look inside and pick up any leaflets that pique your interest. You will almost certainly find somewhere you have not heard of, and if nothing else they should be able to give you a map of where you are if you get lost.

Particularly good is if you can find any smaller places to visit. They may not be world famous, but they are typically run by lovely volunteers and are often representative of their area. Whatever you are into, broaden your horizons and try something different!

I hope you enjoy your staycation. It may not be as sunny as your Spanish resort, but I am sure if you give it a try, you might just do it again next year!

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Matthew Stothard

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May 2022
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