The Year of the Staycation
by Mikki Wright
A ‘staycation’ usually refers to taking a holiday in the country that you reside and with many of us choosing to stay closer to home this year, exploring destinations across the UK is becoming increasingly popular.
We’re certainly not short on reasons to keep our holidays more local at the moment, but opting for a staycation over jetting off certainly has a number of benefits. From having a fear of flying, to an expiring passport, it’s great to still be able to get away and in the comfort of your own car. Whether you’d prefer to be at one with nature on a camping trip or appreciate the home comforts that you’ll find in a rented cottage or hotel, there really is something for everyone.
From our beautiful coastal beaches to cities full of culture, the UK boasts plenty of staycation hot spots and here we’ve rounded up some of our favourites.
You certainly won’t find yourself short of open space whilst visiting the Peak District, home to England’s oldest National Park. The park, whilst located mostly in Derbyshire, also spans across parts of Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Cheshire, South and West Yorkshire. If you fancy saying that you’ve visited six counties in one day, this is the place for you! With plenty of trails to choose from, this is the perfect destination for avid walkers and cyclists. And if you’re yearning for the city, Sheffield and Manchester can be reached by car within the hour.
The county of Cornwall boast some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches and seaside villages. Here you can visit the UK’s most Southerly spot at Lizard Point, tuck into a traditional Cornish Pastry, do some bird watching at Land’s End or try your hand at surfing.
Back up North we have the stunning Lake District. Offering a range of boat trips and breathtaking views, you’ll be sure to find some great spots for a romantic walk. If you’re looking to push yourself and attempt the Three Peaks Challenge, Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England can be found here.
Even further up North we have the Scottish Highlands, where you’ll find Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles with a summit of 1,345 metres above sea level. Amazing scenery can be found all around, including Loch Ness, where you may even spot the famous Loch Ness monster. If you’d like to extend your trip beyond the Highlands whilst in Scotland, you can also visit its largest city, Glasgow. Over on the east coast you’ll find the Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, which oozes history and is home to Edinburgh Castle as well as the famous Fringe Festival.
Over in Wales, we’ve set our sights on Snowdonia. Here you’ll find Snowdonia National Park, which is the largest in Wales, along with Wales’ highest mountain; Mount Snowdon. In Southern Snowdownia you can visit the popular seaside resort of Barmouth and if you fancy exploring more of North Wales, you can check out Llandudno Pier which is the largest Pier in Wales. For the most daring amongst us, Zip World in Bangor features the world’s fastest zip wire, offering panoramic views and most likely a huge adrenaline rush!
In the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk you’ll find the Norfolk Broads. The Broads cover 125 miles in total, all of which can be explored by boat. This it a popular destination for those who fancy themselves as the avid sailor.
Aside from the famous Blackpool beach and neighbouring beaches in Fleetwood and St Anne’s, the seaside town is famous for the ‘Big One’ at Blackpool Pleausure Beach, which once held a record for being the tallest and steepest roller coaster in the world. There’s also a zoo, ample arcades and piers, along with Blackpool Tower, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life, making it a fantastic staycation destination for families.
If you’re in the mood for a city break, you’re spoilt for choice in the UK. There’s plenty of sight-seeing to be done in London, with numerous museums and galleries offering free entry. You can also check out the famous Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, or go and watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. From the quirky Camden Market to stylish South Kensington, there’s something for everyone in the UK capital.
There are plenty of cities to pick from up North too, including Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and York.
Before you go
Ensuring your car is in the right condition before any long drives is vital and helps to minimise your chances of a breakdown. Maintaining your vehicle also helps to secure a good valuation when the time comes to sell up.
There are several checks that should be carried out ahead of your staycation:
- Make sure you’ve filled up with fuel. Be sure to check your route for service stations if an additional fueling is required and to take a break from driving.
- Check that all of your lights are working. It may be worth carrying a spare set of bulbs to be on the safe side.
- Top up your oil if it’s low. The level should be somewhere in the middle of the indicator, between minimum and maximum.
- Whilst you’re under the bonnet, check that the water levels in the coolant and windscreen wiper reservoirs, topping up if required.
- Make sure that your wipers are working and that your tyres are in good condition. You can carefully do this by inserting a 20p piece into the tyre tread and as long as the outer rim is covered, your tread is fine. Your tyres should also be pumped to the correct pressure ahead of any long journeys.
- Last but not least, check your battery is in place, the positive and negative clamps are securely fastened and that it’s not leaking acid.
If we’ve missed your favourite staycation destination, pop it in our comments, along with any road trip tips!
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