As someone who is terrified of flying, a holiday overseas is a scary prospect for me. So we started holidaying in the UK about 15 years ago. In the last year when so many have had to forgo the usual holiday overseas opting instead for a ‘staycation’, I’ve found myself reflecting on all reasons I love a good UK break. No check-in deadlines, no panic to find the passports or squeeze-everything-into-one-- suitcase. You can take as much as you want in your car: I have been known to squeeze my own pillows in just for comfort. The option to travel when and where you want. We pick the long route, the windy white roads on the map that pass through lovely villages avoiding the motorways, stopping whenever we see a pretty pub, a fantastic looking playground or an interesting sounding site to see. This is how we ‘accidentally’ found Lydford Gorge in Devon, the spectacular site is now one of our favourite places to explore. They say ‘Variety is the spice of life’ and there really is something for everyone in this country.
From spectacular scenery, historic locations, theme parks, farm parks, amazing beaches to bustling cities and free museums. For us National Trust or English Heritage membership is essential. With hundreds of sites across the country we find a base near a cluster of properties knowing we will have something to do every day, without spending a penny on admission. They make fantastic travel stops with delicious cake, clean loos and space for the kids to run. My daughter's still talking about a day visit to Shugborough Hall three years on!
Possibly my favourite thing about holidaying in the UK though, is the food! The regional variations and the quality ingredients make for some delicious meals out. You have to try a Fat Rascal up in Yorkshire or some Lincolnshire plum bread whilst in Lincoln. A glass of locally produced west country cider or some delicious Cornish cheese; not forgetting a wonderful scone with cream and jam. Everywhere you visit you will find fabulous local cafes, pubs or restaurants. There is also the advantage of being able to pick up your usual snacks from the supermarket or pack a bag of family favourites to take with you for the picky eaters sat in the back of the car.
For us holidays are about being away from home and creating memories as a family. We don’t need to travel overseas to achieve this. A stress-free adventure in the UK delivers just as much for my 6 year old as an experience abroad. She can meet new people from all walks of life, taste different food, discover her own history and that of others, enjoy adventures in the great outdoors – and most important in her eyes stay in a hotel (she tells us this is what makes it a real holiday).
Written by Emma Lockwood
Emma lives in Lincolnshire with her husband Gordon and 6 year old daughter Poppy. She loves spending the day in the garden, going on new family adventures and planning the next 10 trips all at once!