I remember when the humble staycation was the option for holidaymakers too adventure-adverse to go abroad - or it was seen as a cheap and cheerful way for families to get some time out without blowing the budget.
In recent years, however, the tide has most certainly turned. The typical Brit choosing to holiday at home has changed, as has the type of holiday experience they’re looking for - it’s less ‘two weeks in a B&B in Skegness’ and more ‘luxurious self-catering with hot tub’ or ‘country house hotel with spa and golf course.’
It seems that TV shows like Game of Thrones, Poldark and The Crown have reminded us that there are plenty of jaw-dropping landscapes, cultural sites and history on our own doorstep, and with the weaker pound and the convenience factor also adding persuasive power, it’s no surprise that 54% of Brits enjoyed a staycation in 2017.
Staycation temptation is nothing new here at The Hills, however - I’ve long been a fan of discovering more of what makes Great Britain truly great. There’s so much of these fair British Isles that is still unknown to me and that I want to discover. When enjoying some down time from day-to-day life, there’s nothing I love more than finding the artisans and creatives hidden away in the community. As you know I am passionate about supporting rural industries, and that goes for those on my doorstep as well as creative industries further afield. From artisanal Scottish tartan, to Cornish pottery and Welsh blankets - there is something beautiful to be found in every corner of our gorgeous country! Of course, I still love a trip abroad, but when there’s so much here in the UK for us to enjoy it would seem rude to give Britain a wide berth. So how can you make your staycation just that little bit more - well, special? That’s easy - consult The Hills’ Directory, and choose from our wonderful variety of crafters to visit, and ways to explore.
For the economically-minded, there are numerous affordable choices available - camping perhaps the most obvious option. But banish all ideas of soggy canvas and naff 70s fabrics: camping kit has evolved thanks to the likes of Hills members Journeyman Handcraft.Think stylish and practical leather pouches, patches, bags and tools - it’s almost enough to convert a trilesalectinophobic (that’s a person scared of camping equipment - ha!).
But who said there had to be a tent involved? Have a look at Snowdonia Classic Campers and take your camping holiday up a gear with a different, distinctly retro feel. All of their campers are painstakingly restored and modernised, so you won’t be roughing it - far from it, in fact.
Chances are, if you’re contemplating any kind of camping you’re probably an outdoorsy type, so how about enlisting the help of some pros to get the most from your outdoor adventure? Two Blondes Walking are a formidable duo: Mountain Training England qualified and experienced walk leaders who love organising guided walks and teaching course participants about wild camping. Pop over the their website and prepare to be awed.
And talking about learning new skills, how about cresting the waves? As adults we don’t often give much thought to learning a new skill or trying out a hobby but we’re desperate to sign our children up to every class and holiday camp - why should little ones have all the fun? Surf Snowdonia is a fab organisation and offer half day and full day suitable for all ages and abilities.
Too many choices? Make Denbighshire Tourism your next port of call - they have two centres in Rhyll and Llangollen and can help you with all manner of decisions, from accommodation options to activities to please every demographic.
Do you have any staycations planned for 2019? We’d love to hear about them - and to encourage you to support local and countryside-based businesses in your pursuit of the perfect break, of course!