How to make the most of a British summer holiday
Unless you have already booked your flight to Portugal, or don’t mind quarantining for 10 days on arriving home from Spain, the likelihood is that you’re planning a UK-based holiday in 2021. This is the case for a lot of Brits, who’ve either missed out on the limited opportunities for holidaying abroad or simply don’t fancy the idea of sitting on a plane in close quarters with lots of other people just yet.
With acres of protected countryside, miles of beautiful coastline, and stunning historic cities, there are certainly worse places you could take a holiday than the UK. And with options including holiday cottages, B&Bs, camping, and caravanning, there’s something to suit pretty much every taste and budget. But how to get the most out of a British summer holiday? We’ve got some tips to make a UK-based holiday every bit as enjoyable as a trip to the Algarve.
Book as early as you can
Things are booking up fast at the moment, with even campsites selling out for the summer, and outdoor equipment stockists reporting that they’re running out of tents. We may reach a point soon where the only places that are available are either very expensive or, well, not that nice. Simply put, don’t delay. Once you know the dates you can travel, find something and get it booked. You might normally do your holidays last minute but, trust us, if you try that this year then even a tent in a muddy field may be a far distant dream. Remember, most websites let you filter accommodation by availability on certain dates, so you don’t have to waste time falling in love with gorgeous, luxury holiday lets just to discover they’re not available when you’re going.
Check your cancellation rights
The pandemic has forced many of us into an all-too-familiar acquaintance with holiday cancellation rights, but you should check the cancellation policy before you book anything so that you don’t get caught out later. Obviously, free cancellation is the most desirable option and would take away any worry, but this isn’t something that all companies offer. However, you should also check what the policy is in the event of a national or local lockdown, or if you or one of your party is forced to self-isolate, as this may be different to the more general policy. If there’s the option to book a flexible rate with free cancellation, even if it’s slightly more expensive, it could well be worth it.
You may even want to look at travel insurance that covers domestic holidays as this may give you greater protection should you need to cancel. But before purchasing, make sure it does cover you for cancellation for any reason or, at the very least, cancellation due to COVID or lockdown.
Don’t just look at the popular areas
People absolute flock to the likes of Devon, Cornwall, the Cotswolds, and the Lake District – and with very good reason. However, not only will these areas be likely to be very busy (especially during the school summer holidays), but they will also inevitably be more expensive. Consider, instead, other areas of the UK that may be less busy. For instance, Scotland has stunning scenery that is just as beautiful as the Lakes, while Wales has some of the finest beaches in the UK. Or, choose areas just outside of the more popular ones. For instance, if you want to head to North Yorkshire, rather than the ever-busy Whitby, consider the village of Ruswarp. It’s only a mile away (a very scenic walk along the River Esk) but is much quieter.
Check what you need to take
If you’ve booked a holiday let, usually they include things such as bed linen, towels and heating fuel in the price. However, this is not always a given and if it’s not explicitly stated on the website you should double-check. The last thing you want to do is arrive and discover you have no bedding. Bear in mind that some property owners have changed what they supply due to COVID and we’ve heard, for instance, of holidaymakers being asked to take their own towels so it could be worth checking with the owners or agent regardless.
Be prepared for the rain
Let’s be honest, the reason so many of us flock abroad for our summer holidays is that the British summer can often be something of a washout. But rain doesn’t have to spoil your holiday if you accept that it’s probably going to happen and prepare for it. Pack your waterproofs and your wellies, get hold of some board games and a good book, and mentally prepare yourself for a bit of a damp one. You could also do a bit of research into indoor attractions near where you’re staying. And if it turns out to be hot and sunny all week? Well, then, that’s just a bonus, isn’t it?
It’s been quite a year so if you’re lucky enough to be getting a break, make sure you take it and leave your work at home. Let your clients know you’re away, switch on your out of office reply, and let any work calls divert to your voicemail. Relax, unwind and enjoy time with your family in a place that’s not your own house. That novelty alone will probably be more than enough for most of us after more than a year of the same four walls.