Wednesday, 25 September 2013

In praise of the staycation

A new word entered the Oxford English dictionary a few years back. Staycation is the name given to a holiday taken in your own country as a means of saving money in difficult financial circumstances. Not only does the staycation save you, the holidaymaker, money but it also pumps much needed cash into the economy – everyone’s a winner.

However, the idea of staycationing in the UK is not that appealing to some people. The thought of staying in a crumbling seaside town, with its tacky amusements and windswept beaches is, to be perfectly honest, not that enticing. However, holidays in the UK offer so much more than soggy chips and teeth-rotting sticks of rock.
UK-based holidays can be filled with action and adventure, with hundreds of exciting and incredibly beautiful places to explore and discover. Don’t believe us? Then just check out a few of the following holidays and you’ll soon change your mind.

The Lake District is one of the most popular destinations in the UK, and for good reason. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the walking and hiking on offer here is some of the best in Europe. If you’re looking for something a little more adrenaline fuelled, then try gorge scrambling, climbing or abseiling and that should get the heart pounding. With so much water around, the kayaking and boating opportunities are plentiful too.

If you’re looking for something a little different, how about a surfing break in Devon and Cornwall? With a number of great surfing spots on the north and south coasts of these counties, it’s perfect for beginners and experienced surfers. There’s also some top surfing to be found off both the Northumberland and Scottish coasts, if you’re feeling really brave. For example, sunny St. Ives:

Of course, any kind of outdoor and adventure holiday like this will involve a spot of camping. OK, we know that the UK weather can be a little – how shall we put this? – unpredictable but that’s why having the right kit is essential. If you camp with a small pop-up tent you bought for £20 at the supermarket then is it any surprise if it’s not 100% waterproof? These kinds of tents might be ok for a few days at a festival but serious camping requires serious kit.

Home to some of the continent’s best campsites, a camping trip in the UK is a really affordable way of getting in touch with the world around us. Try Cleadale on the Isle of Elgg in the Inner Hebrides to experience a campsite with the best view in the world (see picture). Caolasnacon in Argyll comes a very close second. Both sites highlight the fact perfectly that wherever you go in the world, you’ll be hard pushed to find a land more spectacular than Scotland.

Wales is not to be outdone either. Try the campsite on the coast (and we mean on the coast) at Aberafon where you can pitch up in the shadows of Snowdonia. It’s a similar story at Newgale in Pembrokeshire.

No paean to the British holiday would be complete without a mention of cycling. Currently a very popular pastime, thanks to the enormous success of British cyclists in recent years, what better way to explore this green and pleasant land of ours than on two wheels? Pack up your panniers with everything you need and head out to explore the countryside under your own steam. It gets you fit, it’s exhilarating and, most of all, it’s a very cheap way of getting around. Check out Brighton Pier:

So, still think a week in a boring, dirty, overcrowded and overpriced Spanish or Greek hotel sounds better than a staycation? Thought not.

About the Author
This article was written on behalf of Yeomans Outdoors, one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of tents, camping equipment, and outdoor wear. Make sure you have all the gear before you go travelling such as waterproofs, footwear, and warm clothes!

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