Hello and welcome to August’s blog. This month is all about staycations, children, wedding fayres and cake. Not sure how yet but grab a coffee, take a seat and relax for a few minutes while you read.
For many, the idea of a staycation is an alien concept. Getting to the airport, then on a plane and flying away is their choice for the perfect break, but after the year we’ve all had that is not as appealing as it once was.
For the first time, huge numbers of families are looking closer to home for their holiday options, while crossing everything for some sunshine. The UK has a vast array of choice, examples being the breath-taking scenery of the Lakes and the Highlands right through to the spectacular beaches we are blessed with around our shorelines.
It’s a simple matter of personal choice but it looks very much like the Staycation is the holiday vibe for 2021. Whether you choose to stay at home, opt for the trusty tent, rock up in a caravan, dive onto a boat, stay in a lodge, cottage or maybe even swap with another family, there are loads of options when it comes to choosing a staycation.
The word staycation is a combination of the words ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’ – meaning staying at home and participating in leisure activities within driving distance of home. You also do not have to stay over for it to be classed as a staycation. Some people say that the word means to stay at home and do things from home that you’ve maybe not done before, but for the purpose of this blog I am going with the ‘travelling by car’ version.
Regardless of budget, a staycation offers the perfect solution for getting away from the four walls we were confined to and mentally and physically stretching our legs. Offering the chance to explore close to home offers a wealth of benefits. Many people live in our cities and towns, but how often do people get to act as a tourist and delve into the heart of those places. Exploring a local museum, zoo, art gallery or simply heading to a restaurant that you’ve heard about but not had time to get to, is a great start
The UK has an enormous wealth of exciting places with broad histories and adventurous days out in the great outdoors. Wales, for example, has over 600 hundred castles – just in Wales – and a day visiting one near to you or the place you are staying is always a fun day out. Re-enacting battles, climbing the towers or simply watching the Bird of Prey display are always keen imagination grabbers. From wind-winging to kayaking, bushcraft to den building, wild swimming to walking there can be something for everyone. The National Trust or English Heritage offer wonderful family days with guided tours that transport you through history – always ask if there’s a Priest Hole. These were constructed sometime between the 1550s and 1605 when Catholics were persecuted under the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 – believe me, the children will be spell-bound by stories of people having to hide for hours, days at a time.
Also, if you do your research, there is often a good coffee shop to be found for you to relax in while the kids get to burn off that energy and learn something new in a kids friendly organised group. Told you I’d get the children in somewhere!
Are you a caravanner?
It’s common to confuse the good old British holiday with well, tents, caravans and more often than not, rain. But the choice of accommodation is vast, ranging from cottages, lodges, hideaways in the trees, bell-tents, castles, home-swaps and shepherds huts. Although a good friend of mine swears by time away in her tent – the comfort of the airbed, the sound of the rain on the tent at night, the peace and isolation. I’m not one for an airbed but I do love the peace and tranquillity found while camping, so earlier this year we bought a caravan.
After spending a week in a friend’s motorhome touring the North York’s Moors, we decided that a caravan would suit our needs. Having purchased it in January, the country was back in lockdown. Unable to travel we decided to ‘camp’ on our drive and enjoyed many weekends pretending to be anywhere else. Since restrictions have lifted, we have visited superb sites in Shropshire, Abersoch, Clumber Park and others closer to home, with some more escapes planned once wedding cakes slow down a bit.
Wedding Fayres are back and live!
As limitations lifted the wedding industry has slowly begun to lift itself from its knees with weddings going ahead as well as being booked. I had an order for a wedding cake last week for a date in four weeks’ time. Wedding Fayres have been presented virtually for the past few months but there are dates set for in-person events popping up all around the country. For me, the next one is at the Leicester Tigers Ground in Leicester on Saturday 17th of October, and I can’t wait to be back in the room with people, suppliers and eager couples looking for inspiration. Look out for events near you.