As the seasons begin to turn towards summertime, the yearly question of where to spend your precious two weeks of annual leave starts to loom large. This certainly isn’t the easiest time of year to think about large outgoings like this, particularly if you are – like many people – having to make cutbacks and stick to budgets. However, no matter how small a budget you have, there are still plenty of fantastic holiday options around and many of them are closer to home than you might think.
Here are 5 great reasons to holiday in the UK this summer.
1. It’s cheaper
This is probably the most obvious reason and one likely to be the most compelling for a lot of people right now. Ok, so if you decide to go and stay at a five star hotel in London for two weeks you will probably spend more than you would during a week on the Costa del Sol, but choosing to holiday closer to home means that savings on holiday budgets are easier to make. For starters the travel is cheaper – huge savings can be made on train fares by booking in advance and coach travel is particularly attractive, as some fares are as low as £5. Accommodation is pretty good value too and there’s a whole range of options, from camping by the sea, to the luxury of a townhouse in a historic location. You won’t need to hire a car if you are holidaying here as you can just drive your own, and there is less likelihood of spending on ‘extras’ if you are holidaying in this country – such as tourist taxes, a whole new holiday wardrobe, airport transfers and duty free booze – so you can keep a tighter hold on your holiday finances.
2. There is so much choice
The UK tourist industry is extremely well developed and there are holidays to suit every kind of holidaymaker. From holiday parks like Pontins that cater for budget family breaks, to renting a cottage in the Scottish Highlands for an unforgettable walking holiday, every taste is catered for. There are also some unusual ways to spend your holiday that you may not find outside the UK, including a week in a tipi or a wild west wagon, a stay in a houseboat on one of the UK’s historic canals, or choosing the impressive atmosphere of a regal castle or stately country house as your base.
3. The weather isn’t that bad…
This is probably the prime reason that most people in the UK will cite when they choose to book a holiday abroad rather than staying at home. However, UK summers are generally warm, if not boiling hot, and although you can’t guarantee the same kind of sunshine as some European destinations, most holiday spots here are geared up to keep everyone entertained whatever the weather. If you want to make sure you can get out and enjoy some activities come rain or shine then somewhere like Centerparks makes for a great family break with plenty of under cover fun. Brighton has the kind of shopping to rival some areas of London and if you’re choosing a holiday in Cornwall and it’s not really beach weather, you can visit local tourist attractions like the Eden Project, Treasure Park or Pendennis Castle. If you’re determined to stay on the beach for the week, no matter what the weather, then just don a wetsuit and get involved in some water sports!
4. It’s not just about sun, sea and sand
Many of the resorts in popular holiday destinations overseas are focused solely on lying on the beach and even for the most avid sun worshipper this can get a little dull after a while. The UK, on the other hand, has some of the most fascinating culture, the liveliest nightlife, the best restaurants and the most beautiful buildings in the world and no matter how long you may have lived here there is always something new to experience. Head to London and learn about the history of the royals at Windsor Castle or the Tower of London; take a trip to Hampshire and live out your Jane Austin fantasies; tour some of the cities of the north that have given birth to key musical heritage like The Beatles and Oasis; or simply book yourself in to any one of the UK’s indulgent country house hotels – like Babington House in Somerset and be pampered to your heart’s content.
5. Four countries on your doorstep
Of course we always describe the UK as a whole but in fact this great nation is four different countries, each with its own history and traditions, its own language and each with a strong sense of its own identity. You can’t say you truly know this country until you have taken a boat down the Thames in London, eaten a haggis at a table in Edinburgh, dug your toes into the black sand of the beaches of Porthmadog Gwynedd Wales and drunk a pint of Guinness in Belfast. With such diversity right on the doorstep, there’s no need to get on a plane.
However you are looking to spend your summer holiday this year, you will find plenty of options right here in the UK. Whether you want to shop, tan, pamper, sleep, learn, play, party or eat out these 5 great reasons to holiday in the UK this summer are just a few examples of why there really is no place like home.