It’s been an excellent summer this year, and, with the exception of a short trip to Morocco, I’ve spent the whole time enjoying some of the great things that Britain has to offer.
So, based on my own travels over the last few months, here’s three of my favourite staycation ideas for you to try with your friends:
Whereas there are several easy methods of discovering and booking hotels online, finding decent B&Bs has always been a hard task. Luckily in the last couple of years US-based Airbnb has now become popular in Britain, making it great to find good quality, but affordable rentals and offers many different alternatives to your usual accommodation.
It really comes into its own for large groups – back in March eight of us headed down to Brighton for a long weekend and rented an entire house (the incredibly charming Brighton Heights) to ourselves, complete with superb hosts and beautiful resident cats.
With Airbnb thriving in many UK cities now, it’s perfect for short getaways for meet-ups or to discover new places. And overall, it’s generally cheaper than booking separate rooms in a bland hotel, with the added bonus that you can really feel at home and concentrate on relaxing and enjoying your stay with friends.
With festivals very much at their peak in recent years – I’m only in my thirties but can remember when getting Glastonbury tickets was a simple as buying a loaf of bread – it’s the perfect time to conquer your camping virginity or embrace a more boutique event rather than one of the larger corporate offerings.
While most small festivals won’t have the big name line-ups to entice you, don’t be put off, as normally their friendliness and sense of community more than make up for it. I’m firmly of the opinion that live music – regardless of the fame of the band playing – is always worth hearing, and even better in the sunshine with your mates and a couple of beers.
This year we ventured to Jurassic Fields – a tiny festival in its second year in Bridport, Dorset. Alongside decent local ales and a great community feel, we also discovered some good new music including excellent singer-songwriter Gaz Brookfield. If you are after something slightly bigger I can throughly recommend the wonderful family-friendly Beautiful Days in Devon, or check out eFestivals for an extensive list.
Coastal Outdoor Activities
It’s no surprise that Devon and Cornwall are two of the most popular holiday destinations in Britain, and rightly so with their beautiful beaches and relaxed way of life, but there’s far more on offer than just sitting on the sand all day and turning various shades of pink.
Last month, a group of ten of us treated ourselves to a two-hour surf lesson at the Hunter Surf School in Woolacombe and had a brilliant time. As long as you can swim confidently you are fine to learn, whatever your general sporting ability. You have an instructor to take you through the basics of standing then it’s straight into the water for practise.
The two hours flies by as they give you various tips on how to stand, and hopefully by the end you will be riding a wave – if not your mates can have a good laugh at your falling off. We also upgraded to a photography package from the excellent Drew McClellan, giving us some really nice shots to remember the day by.
Of course, it’s not just in the South West that you can enjoy yourself away from the urban life – all over the country there’s various pursuits, from Cliff Camping in Wales to Sea Kayaking in Scotland – why not challenge yourself and try something new?