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There’s still time left to book a last-minute holiday before school restarts. Forget about getting on a place, and take the less stressful option of a British holiday.
What Is A Staycation?
There are two schools of thought. Purists define it as a holiday from home. You do not book a hotel or campsite, and you most certainly do not motor half way across the country to the Cotswolds, Cornwall or Barnard Castle. Rather, you either stay put in your own home, or go out and explore the attractions in your local area, then return home.
The other school of thought says that a staycation is any holiday where you stay in the UK -- as opposed to the (until recently) more common jaunt to Spain, Florida or what-have-you.
This definition really irritates the purists of the First School, but it seems to be increasingly common, and it’s the one we’re looking at here. Sorry pedants.
Why Do A Staycation?
Well, why not? The UK is a hugely diverse place, with rolling countryside, amazing beaches, ancient woodlands, mountains, glens, lochs, lakes, caves and Yorkshire pudding. Plus, we’ve got more museums and attractions than you could feasibly visit in a lifetime.
Getting on a plane right now is a gambler’s game. You might find yourself having to serve a lengthy period of quarantine. You could find your flight cancelled at short notice. And then there’s the increased infection risk of travelling in close confinement with others.
Britain has many other benefits. You already speak the language, everywhere accepts your contactless card, and you can still catch Hey Duggee every morning. No-brainer.
Where Can I Go On A Staycation?
Throw a dart at a UK map* and -- wherever it lands -- you’ll probably find a bundle of family attractions and things to do within a short drive of that place. Popular locations include (and click through for our guides) Blackpool, Cornwall, Cotswolds, Devon and Dorset. We could go on. So we will: Kent, Norfolk, North-west England, Scotland and Suffolk. We’ve also got a guide on how to do a countryside staycation.
*NB: Not the one on your phone.
What Should I Take On A Staycation?
May we present some ideas to you through the medium of a downloadable checklist…
How Might Covid-19 Affect My Staycation?
Hopefully, it won’t. Bear in mind, though, that local ‘lockdowns’ have already been imposed on parts of the Midlands and the North. It’s quite possible that other areas will see localised spikes in the coming weeks. Local lockdowns so far have not closed down holiday homes or hotels, and government guidance does not stop people travelling to a lockdown area for a holiday. However, this could change. At the very least, your range of options for places to visit would be more limited.
Don’t let this put you off, though. Chances are that most parts of the country will remain ‘open’ during the rest of the summer and early autumn.
I’m A Pedant, And I Do Not Accept Your Definition Of Staycation. What Have You Got For Me?
Right-O. Well, if you want to simulate a holiday in your own home, then we’ve got a bundle of suggestions for that too. Try our guide to turning the family home into a campsite or festival, or picking up ideas from our huge list of indoor ideas. If you’re going to be exploring the local area then… well, it depends where you live… but check out our archive of daytrip suggestions for inspiration.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.