Staycations that could easily be mistaken for a veritable European hotspot...
It’s been a rollercoaster of a summer with airbridges opening and closing, however, us Brits are not ones to give up on hope of a summer getaway. Enter the rise of the staycation, which has seen us rediscovering must-visit gems in our own back yard. But not just any old getaway will do – the fakation is the next big travel trend for 2020.
Far-flung destinations may be out of reach for a while longer, but there’s a host of scenic natural beauty on our own doorstep, including the rolling vineyards of Surrey, the sand dunes of Wales.
With everything from castles to crags, and monuments to mountains there’s not much that can’t be found by way of the Great British holiday – and all without the need for a plane or a passport.
SWAP THE BEACHES OF WHITSUNDAYS, AUSTRALIA FOR LUSKENTYRE BEACH, SCOTLAND
No need to trek 26 hours Down Under, why not adventure to the UK’s own white sand beach paradise in Scotland? Located in the Outer Hebrides, Luskentyre Beach stuns with turquoise water, lush mountains, spectacular seafood and low-level trails.
And break out your camera because Luskentyre Beach is a photographer’s dream. You can also try surfing, kayaking and fishing, all before relaxing with an exceptional sunset.
TAKE A WINE TOUR IN SURREY INSTEAD OF A FLIGHT TO FRANCE
Step aside Bordeaux, just an hour outside the Capital is Denbies Wine Estate, one of the UK’s largest wine producers and Surrey’s best-kept secret. Family-owned and run, the vineyard has become a staple of wine making excellence.
As the UK’s largest single-estate vineyard, Denbies produces a range of internationally award-winning still and sparkling wines. You can book a stay on the vineyard grounds when you book a night at Denbies Vineyard Hotel, which offers daily tours of the vineyards as well as a restaurant serving delicious food with fresh ingredients grown onsite.
SWAP STROLLS IN HOLLAND FOR A RIVER CRUISE IN NORWICH
Parts of the Norfolk coast are closer to Amsterdam than to London and a Dutch influence can be seen throughout the look and feel of the city. With Dutch-style gabled houses and gorgeous waterside walks, parts of Norwich have even doubled for the Netherlands in film adaptations.
Set in a 13th-century building, The Maids Head Hotel is a fantastic place to stay for Amsterdam vibes. The property is located in the heart of the city and just 12 minutes’ walk from the famous riverside walk where you’ll find an array of Dutch architecture.
EXPLORE THE HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE OF BATH RATHER THAN THE BUSTLING MUSEUMS OF ROME
Bath boasts incredible examples of Roman history, including the world-famous Roman baths, which are surrounded by picturesque cobbled streets and boutique shops. This UNESCO World Heritage site dates back over 2,000 years with impressions of Roman architecture – meaning you can get all the culture mixed in with a quaint British city.
In fact, Bath is such a popular destination that internal data from Hotels.com reveals the Paradise House in Bath was the most sought after property in the UK this year, thanks to its close proximity to the Roman Baths. Try No.15 Great Pulteney for a whimsical slice of luxury.
TREK THE ‘SOUTH WALES SAHARA’ INSTEAD OF NAMIBIA’S SAHARA DESERT
Spanning across 800 acres with dunes reaching 200 feet in places, Merthyr Maw will make you feel like you’re a million miles from home, and the best part? Social distancing is bound to be a breeze as the sleepy town has a population of less than 300 people.
James Place at Dowlais is a gorgeous, rustic B&B located in a neighbouring village to the iconic dunes. The property boasts unique decor and a range of quirky Welsh touches that add character to your stay. Don’t forget to make your way into the town for some mouthwatering Welsh cuisine, too.