Monday, September 21st, 2020

STAYCATIONS – a guide to some of the UK holidays and short breaks on offer this summer

Popular holiday destinations, short breaks, campsites, golf trips, wine tasting, luxury hotels, eco holidays – with the August Bank Holiday approaching and a few weeks left of the school holidays, these are just some of the ideas you will find in our UK staycation round up

Raise a glass and enjoy a wine tasting break at the Tinwood Estate in West Sussex

This summer, due to the pandemic, many holidaymakers have been rediscovering the beauty of England in staycations, from the lakes to the seaside, the mountains to the broads, the quaint sleepy villages to the bustling cities.

Some are discovering new experiences such as wine tasting breaks at places like the Tinwood Estate in West Sussex.

Since the first vines were planted in 2007 at the foot of the South Downs National Park, Tinwood Estate has quickly established a reputation for producing the very finest English sparkling wines, including the Estate Brut, the Blanc de Blancs and an exquisite Rosé.

In 2016 three luxurious lodges were added to the estate, with views over the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines towards the setting sun. The lodges offer the perfect staycation destination – and for pet lovers they have the added advantage of being dog friendly.

The stylish interiors of the three luxury stand alone lodges all have a nod to their surroundings with headboards made from bottle corks, stools made from barrels and subtle hints of wine related memorabilia.

All feature an extra large king size bed facing towards the floor to ceiling concertina doors, which open fully onto an expansive deck with views over the vines, and sunset beyond, making it the ideal place for sundowners in the evening.

Facilities include a flat screen TV, kettle, Nespresso coffee machine, fridge, with Tinwood wine, and an assortment of glassware, crockery and cutlery. Upon arrival a bespoke designed wine crate is delivered to the room with tea, coffee, fresh milk and most importantly, homemade nibbles to enjoy alongside the wine, on the deck.

The bathroom includes a walk in rain shower, two person Jacuzzi bath complete with TV, double sink and separate toilet.

A continental breakfast is delivered by hamper to the door to be enjoyed on the private terrace or inside, and includes fresh baked croissants and rolls, a selection of spreads, yoghurt, fruit juice, boiled eggs and cheese.

Behind the lodges amongst the trees is a barrel sauna for guest use, and a viewing platform overlooking the vines. The Tinwood tasting room and deck is only a few yards away, where guests can enjoy daily wine tastings and tours of the vineyard.

The Tinwood Estate is also a good location from which to explore the cathedral city of Chichester and the sandy beaches of the Witterings. Within 10 minutes’ drive are eight pubs and restaurants. Within the family farm are plenty of walks and bike trails, and beyond into the National Park for the more energetic guest. Mountain bikes are available free of charge to lodge guests.

Rates start from £195 per night for two people including breakfast and there are Winemakers packages available which includes a vineyard tour and wine tasting with cheese, and a bottle of Tinwood to take away starting from £18pp

For more information visit: www.tinwoodestate.com

 

 

Campervan holidays in the UK that will feel like a vacation abroad

The changes in travel restrictions both home and abroad has made planning holidays challenging.

Indie Campers, one of Europe’s largest campervan rental marketplaces, has seen a surge in demand for domestic road trips as it allows travellers, especially families, to be more flexible as it is easier for them to control where they go and who they come into contact with.

Indie Campers say they is a good time to rediscover some of Britain’s captivating destinations that they claim could easily be mistaken for those abroad. Indie has compiled a list of some of the most spectacular places for a relaxing and flexible UK campervan staycation:

St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, feels like Northern France

St Michael is an Island where modern life meets layers of history. This sub-tropical paradise with medieval castles and a close-knit island community may look straight out of Northern France, but is indeed located on Cornwall’s tidal island.

Click here for a nearby campsite

Holkham Beach in Norfolk, feels like South Africa

The beach at Holkham is one of the most unspoilt and beautiful stretches of sand in the country. Behind the shoreline lies a semi-circular basin which, at very high tides, rapidly fills to form a spectacular shallow lagoon-like scenery straight out of South Africa.

Click here for a nearby campsite

Valley of the rocks in Devon, feels like Iceland

A cliff path hugging the side of steep cliffs populated by wild goats munching contentedly on ferns will make you feel a world away from home. This picturesque site leads to a spectacular rock formation, then valley of the Rocks in Lynmouth. Definitely one of the most breath-taking views on the edge of Exmoor.

Click here for a nearby campsite

Bude Sea Pool in Cornwall, feels like Sydney

Bude Sea Pool is a beautiful, part natural, part man-made swimming pool in the rocks at Summerleaze Beach in Bude Cornwall, leaving you feeling like you are a continent away in Australia. This location is popular for water sport activities like swimming, stand-up paddleboarding or just soaking up the seaside vibe.

Click here for a nearby campsite

High Force in Durham, feels like Costa Rica

High Force is one of the most impressive waterfalls in England. The River Tees has been plunging into this gorge for thousands of years but the rocks it reveals are far more ancient – with origins dating back over 300 million years. The grassy scenery with waterfalls give High Force the air of a Costa Rican jungle.

Click here for a nearby campsite

Kynance Cove in Cornwall, feels like Sardinia

This cove on the eastern side of Mount’s Bay is situated on the Lizard peninsula approximately two miles north of Lizard Point. But don’t get confused with Costa Paradiso in Sardinia, both share a similar craggily shore turquoise seas, pale sandy beaches and rocky coastline.

Click here for a nearby campsite

Norfolk Lavender fields, feels like France

Norfolk Lavender is at the heart of the West Coast of Norfolk. You’ll find some of Britain’s most attractive countryside, a glorious coastline, and rich, vibrant heritage. Wake up and smell the lavender. Surround yourself with acres upon acres of dusky purple-hued flowers in Norfolk’s lavender fields. They might not be as famous as their French counterpart in Provence, but you can still get your fill of calming, delicate fragrance right here in the UK.

Click here for a nearby campsite

Gaping Gill, feels like Son Doong in Vietnam

This natural cave in North Yorkshire is one of the unmistakable landmarks on the southern slopes of Ingleborough. This Northern Yorkshire rocky landmark is only open twice a year, get a glimpse of one of the most complex cave systems in the UK.

Click here for a nearby campsite

Indie Campers currently has a fleet of more than 850 campervans in over 40 locations across The United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, Austria and the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.

Campervans can be picked off and dropped off in different locations and include 24/7 support and roadside assistance.

Rentals also include a cooler or fridge, cleaning kit and air conditioning. At an optional cost extra, you can add bedding and kitchen kit, airport transfer, bikes, outdoor furniture, surfboards, wetsuits, BBQs and more. Indie Campers already have clients from more than 130 nationalities who have spent more than 200,000 nights in campervans.

More information at: indiecampers.co.uk

Beat the crowds – camping calculator helps people find the best UK spots to pitch at this summer

The month of August is set to see the greatest number of visitors flocking to campsites according to Decathlon who published a survey that revealed almost half of Brits (45%) have either booked or are considering booking a camping trip this year

The Covid pandemic has produced a summer camping boom and to help people with their choice of destination the sports specialist, which has 45 stores through the UK, has produced a list of socially-distanced places to camp.

Tyrone in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland topped the list as the most socially-distant camping destinations in the UK, with just 5% of campers heading there this summer. A ferry connecting the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland via Birkenhead, means visitors can avoid airports. The destination is also home to both incredible countryside and Giant’s Causeway, one of the UK’s most breath-taking natural scenes.

In the West Midlands, 7% of campers plan to pitch in the wild of the Black Country, or visit historic Stratford-upon-Avon.

And there is also room to socially distance on the East Midlands where only 8% intend to camp in the area which includes one of England’s most stunning national parks, the Peak District, where waterfalls, unforgettable views and unique moorland are combined.

The North East, home to wild beaches and beautiful sights like Bamburgh Castle and the Angel of the North also loffer quieter camping spots this year, with just 9% intending to pitch up.

The Sussex Coast is a favourite for campers

The Decathlon survey showed that 11% of the people questioned say they intend to camp within the South East where you can find campsites away from the crowds but close to beautiful beaches on the Kent and Sussex coasts or beauty spots like High Weald and the Kent Downs.

To assist would-be campers in finding a spot that will allow them to enjoy the great outdoors in more relative isolation, Decathlon has teamed up with Ordnance Survey to produce the Beat The Crowds Camping Calculator, which campers can use to identify less popular areas, based on who they are travelling with and what kind of nature they would like nearby.

According to the data, those who want to avoid the crowds should steer clear of the South West, home to the beautiful beaches of Cornwall and Devon, as 1 in 4 (25%) British campers are intending to pitch up there this year.

Wales is another spot that is proving extremely popular amongst campers, with almost the same number – 23% – of visitors intending to head there this year.And Scotland is also expecting an influx of campers, as 1 in 5 (20%) intend to visit.

Chris Allen, Mountain Sports Market Leader at Decathlon UK, said: “One of the best things about camping is getting out into the peace and quiet of nature, but understandably, the UK’s campsites are proving extremely popular amongst staycationers this year, so we wanted to produce a tool which will allow those wanting to go camping to identify areas where they will be able to camp in quieter surroundings and know they can do so while not having to worry about crowds which might inhibit their abilities to maintain social distancing.

Nick Giles, Managing Director Ordnance Survey Consumer, added: “Lockdown has inspired so many of the UK population to get out into the great outdoors, which is fantastic to see. But it’s understandable that many will want to do so while avoiding the crowds.

For more information, visit: www.decathlon.co.uk

Enjoy the views and some special discounts during a summer break at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London

The Royal Lancaster London, which completed an £85m renovation last year, re-opens to the public on Thursday 27 August with a number of enticing ‘welcome back’ offers, for hotel guests and staycationers looking for as ideal base from which to explore the city.

Spread across 18 floors, with 411 rooms, guests can enjoy some of London’s most impressive suites, with views across West London, Hyde Park and beyond. The hotel is known for its panoramic views, and the Deluxe Rooms, or categories above, have wrap around windows with views as far as the eye can see, from Wembley Stadium to the Shard and beyond.

General Manager, Sally Beck, said: “Our priority is the safety of our staff and guests and so we have implemented a number of changes, which has awarded us the AA Covid Confident Accreditation and the VisitBritain ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark. Both these certifications indicate that an establishment has put in place the necessary team training, regular sanitisation and social distancing features, amongst other measures.”

Unlike many hotels in London, Royal Lancaster London offers free on-site parking for hotel guests, making it the ideal location for staycationers this summer, who are looking for a city break.

 PACKAGES:

  • RE-OPENING AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY SUITE STAYCATION

Book a Classic room for £199 inc VAT and receive a complimentary guaranteed upgrade to a luxury Suite (limited availability, so book quickly!)

The first five bookings will get special rate of £189 inc VAT

Available from 27th – 31st August

Includes breakfast and a surprise VIP amenity on arrival

  • GET READY TO GET OUT

Stay in a Deluxe room on the higher floors with city views and breakfast included or upgrade to an Executive room or Suite with a 50% discounted supplement offer

Valid from Thursday to Sunday until 31st October 2020

Prices start from £199 inc VAT for a Deluxe room

Offering free cancellation until 2pm on the day of arrival in case travel plans change, for peace of mind when booking

* Free on-site parking

For more information and booking details go to: royallancaster.com

Take a golf staycation at Linthwaite House in the Lake District

Treat yourself to a golf staycation in one of England’s most popular summer destinations that promises plenty of space and fresh air in the great outdoors.

Linthwaite House in the Lake District is part of the Leeu Collection and the hotel has teamed up with the nearby Windermere Golf Club to offer a ‘Golfing in the Lakes’ package that combines a two-night stay at the luxury property with 18 holes of golf for two at one of Cumbria’s most delightful and scenic golf courses, and a three-course set dinner at Michelin-starred Simon Rogan’s newest restaurant Henrock.

Linthwaite House

England’s largest National Park is best known for its spectacular walks around its numerous lakes and up mountains like Scafell Pike, but it is also home to almost 40 golf courses making it the ideal destination to combine hiking with a round of golf or two, with both activities giving visitors the opportunity to soak up wonderful views of the surrounding landscape.

The course at Windermere Golf Club offers panoramic views over Lake Windermere and across to the distant fells. Founded back in 1891, the layout was designed by George Lowe who – at the time – was the professional at Royal Lytham & St Annes (which has hosted 11 Open Championships), a course he also created.

One of the greens at Windermere Golf Course in The Lakes

Though relatively short at 5,143 yards, this par 67 course presents golfers with a quite a challenge thanks to an array of blind tee shots, several elevation changes and numerous natural hazards such as rocky outcrops, abundant bracken and copses of trees that run alongside some of the fairways.

After the rigours of golf, Linthwaite House provides a tranquil retreat and all the comforts of a five star hotel. The Conservatory, Bar and Terrace are the perfect place for a light meal or early evening drink, while admiring the breath-taking views over Windermere towards Coniston. Breakfast and dinner are served in Henrock which showcases natural, seasonal ingredients in a relaxed and elegant setting.

The hotel stands in 14 acres of landscaped private gardens, which are dotted with arresting sculptures and offer a range of outdoor pursuits such as boating and fishing on the tarn (a small lake), boules, croquet and giant chess. At the end of the day, guests retire to one of the 36 luxurious, individually-designed bedrooms.

The private lake at Linthwaite House

Keen golfers may wish to try several of the other golf courses in the area, such as the Harry Colt parkland course at Ulverston just 15 miles away and the highly-regarded Silloth on Solway golf course, rated by Top 100 Golf Courses as the one number course in Cumbria, that is located on the coast about a 90-minute drive from Linthwaite House.

The ‘Golfing in the Lakes’ package includes two nights’ B&B accommodation, a three-course set meal in Henrock on one night and a round of golf for two at Windermere Golf Club (with snacks to keep you going and return transfers to the club from Linthwaite House). Rates start from £615 for two people sharing a double room; book online at: leeucollection.com/UK

email: reservations@linthwaitehouse.com

or call: 015394 88600, quoting “Leeu Golf”.

Linthwaite House, Crook Road, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere, LA23 3JA

The end of the pier show? Or will these historic seaside attractions continue to survive?

Taking a trip through time with Away Resorts which has teamed with Dr. Anya Chapman from the National Piers Society to visualise the past, present, and the potential future of the UK’s most talked-about piers:

You can CLICK HERE or on the photo (right) to see more info and a ‘slider’ photo gallery showing the evolution of British seaside piers with photos from the past contrasting with what they look like today.

General info:

  • Clevedon is the only surviving grade one pier in the UK
  • 70% of all visits to the seaside include a walk down a pier
  • 94% of Brits think piers bring life and atmosphere to seaside resorts
  • The UK has lost 42 piers since the 1800’s
  • 61 piers are still standing

Popular Piers

  • Brighton Palace
  • Blackpool Central
  • Clacton
  • Cromer
  • Llandudno
  • Weston’s Grand

St Leonards Pier In Sussex suffered severe gale damage on 13 March 1951 and the remains were demolished later that year.

Recently Regenerated Piers

  • Bournemouth
  • Clevedon
  • Southwold
  • Swanage
  • Bangor
  • Felixstowe

The Lost Piers

  • St Leonards
  • Margate Jetty
  • Morecambe Central
  • Shanklin
  • Brighton West

A cycle around the Isle of Wight – and bikes go free on Wightlink ferries

In celebration of the Isle of Wight’s UNESCO Biosphere status, cross-Solent ferry company Wightlink, invited wildlife-lover, TV presenter and Isle of Wight devotee, Nick Baker, to the Island to take travellers on a journey to visit his favourite spots, hidden gems and new finds.

TV presenter Nick Baker with his bike on the Isle of Wight

Nick has always held the Isle of Wight close to his heart having spent his fondest childhood holidays there. Naturally, when embarking on this nostalgic tour of the Island, Nick opted for his favourite mode of transport: his trusty bike. You can see a video of what Nick got up to by CLICKING HERE

Keith Greenfield, Wightlink CEO, said: “Cycling is one of the best ways to explore the Island’s country lanes and bikes go free on all of our ferries.”

Nick added: “The Isle of Wight has always been a very special place to me and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Wightlink to highlight to visitors how easy and enjoyable it is to access the island. I’ve loved every minute of my first getaway post-lockdown and hope to inspire others to do the same.”

Follow Nick Baker’s Isle of Wight Trail

Photo: Lison Zhao/Unsplash

With nearly half of the Island classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Isle of Wight is home to some of Britain’s finest landscapes. From glorious coastlines to blossoming meadows and woodlands. Nick’s itinerary gives travellers the ideal template to explore the Island’s natural environment:

  • Nick made his crossing aboard Victoria of Wight, Wightlink’s latest environmentally friendly vessel and England’s first hybrid energy ferry.
  • On the Isle of Wight, Nick begins by jumping on his bike and enjoying the hilltop views before seeking out a great green bush-cricket, whose singing was the soundtrack to his annual summer holidays.
  • Next up, Nick celebrates the Island last year being awarded UNESCO Biosphere status, by visiting the Wildlife Trust in Newchurch. Here, he learns about the Trust’s exciting plans to reintroduce beavers, also known as ‘nature’s great eco-engineer’.
  • Over on the south coast, Nick speaks with Forestry England and hears all about the successful reintroduction programme of the white-tailed eagle.
  • At night, Nick swaps his childhood campsites for a cosy cottage stay in Ventnor, where he rests up before a scenic bike ride along the south coast to the area around Compton Bay. Furthest west on the Island, he admires the iconic Needles, then goes red squirrel-spotting in peaceful woodlands.
  • Nick ends his adventures with a well-deserved beer and a delicious dinner at The George Hotel in Yarmouth, before his Wightlink journey home.

How to get there

The Isle of Wight is a 40-minute ferry ride away with Wightlink and summer-saving weekday deals are now available on both the Portsmouth – Fishbourne and Lymington – Yarmouth routes when travelling with a vehicle. The prices below are valid on travel taken by 30 September 2020 and bookings made before 31 August 2020.

Day returns on any route from £49.50 per car

Travel out before 09:01 and return after 17:59 the same day, on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

Short breaks on any route from £90 per car

Travel out before 09:01 on a Tuesday and return after 17:59 on Thursday the same week.

Travel on foot (including your bike!) from £14.40

Wightlink’s FastCat passenger service takes just 22 minutes, with the port conveniently located inside Portsmouth Harbour Train Station – so is perfect for those travelling by train.

More sailings in August on Wightlink’s car ferry routes

Following increased demand for cross-Solent travel, Wightlink is operating more services in August:

  • Portsmouth – Fishbourne: There will be three extra round-trip sailings on Fridays in August and on Monday, 10 August.
  • Lymington – Yarmouth: There will also be three extra round-trip sailings throughout the week from Monday, 10 August to Monday, 31 August.

For further information and/or to book tickets, visit: www.wightlink.co.uk

Travel restrictions cause dramatic increase in online searches for UK holiday destinations during pandemic

Travel restrictions caused by Covid means the situation has been confusing for many holidaymakers, but when the government announced that people could stay overnight in accommodation including hotels and B&Bs, Google saw a sharp increase in searches for UK Staycations.

With this in mind, My Late Deals surveyed 1,500 people to reveal the UK’s favourite staycation destinations. Here is an ‘at a glance’ look at the findings:

Cornwall tops the list for staycations in the UK. Photo: Elektra Klimi/Unsplash

The Top 10 Counties for a Staycation

  1. Cornwall
  2. Devon
  3. Cumbria
  4. Dorset
  5. Lancashire
  6. Pembrokeshire
  7. North Yorkshire
  8. City of London
  9. Northumberland
  10. East Sussex

The most commonly mentioned places in each county

Cornwall

St Ives is the most commonly named destination in Cornwall, followed by Padstow, Newquay and the Isles of Scilly.

Devon

Torquay is the most commonly named destination in Devon, followed by Woolacombe, and Plymouth.

Cumbria

The Lake District was the most commonly named destination in Cumbria.

Dorset

Weymouth is the most commonly named destination in Dorset, followed by Bournemouth, Poole and Swanage.

Blackpool – Photo: Michael D Beckwith/Unsplash

Lancashire

Blackpool is the most commonly named destination in Lancashire followed by Morecambe.

Pembrokeshire

Tenby is the most commonly named destination in Pembrokeshire.

North Yorkshire

York is the most commonly named destination in North Yorkshire, followed by Scarborough and Whitby.

City of London

Unsurprisingly London was a common choice.

Northumberland

Newcastle is the most commonly named destination in Northumberland.

East Sussex

Brighton is the most commonly named destination in East Sussex, followed by Eastbourne.

The top three holiday parks

Three UK holiday parks were identified in the survey. Center Parcs came out on top, followed by Butlins and then Ribby Hall.

The most popular capital cities

London was the most popular capital city identified, followed by Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Are you looking for an eco-friendly staycation? Save on Energy study reveals the top spots

Searches for ‘staycations’ have skyrocketed this year, but which staycations are the most eco-friendly, and which do Brits want to visit?

SaveonEnergy.com/uk sought to find out. After analysing the Instagram hashtags of 100 popular staycations across the UK, the green staycations worth visiting can be revealed!

In first place is Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. With a guest list including Eddie Redmayne, Cara Delevigne and even Harry and Megan, it’s no surprise this perfect combination of nature and luxury boasts 48,848 Instagram hashtags.

The Wildlife park and hotel at Port Lympne is another popular destination for a staycation

The all-in-one Wildlife park and hotel at Port Lympne in Kent ranks second. Being at one with nature and animals is a selling point for many, as the retreat tallies 39,021 hashtags.

In third, fourth and fifth are The Hoxton (London), Babington House (Somerset) and Chewton Glen (New Forest National Park) with 35,131, 18,112 and 16,186 posts respectively.

As the only staycation not located in the south of England, ninth place is awarded to Jesmond Dene House. This luxury hotel boasts not only extravagant gardens, but an environmental policy that would make green activists proud. It has been tagged 6,605 on Instagram.

Further down, in tenth place is Limewood Hotel in the New Forest. Being passionate about plastic waste, biodegradable and fully recyclable packaging are just a few of the efforts taken here, and it boasts 5,735 hashtags to date.

To complete the top ten, other entries include:

  1. Dormy House (The Cotswolds) – 6,870
  2. One Aldwych (London) – 10,768
  3. The Pig Hotels (Multiple locations) – 13,599

Which eco-friendly staycations will Brits want to visit most?

As well as online interest, SaveonEnergy sought to identify how many Brits want to make their green intentions a reality this summer. Using SEMrush, monthly search volumes for each getaway revealed the 20 retreats Brits want to visit the most.

Chewton Glen featured highly on the list of online searches

Soho Farmhouse takes the top spot once again, proving it is equally popular on social media and real life – 51,100 people searched for it last month.

In second place Chewton Glen, which was the fifth most popular on Instagram. It proves it is a staycation worth paying a visit to, with 38,000 Google searches.

Chewton Glen is followed by Dormy House (25,200), Babington House (23,080) and Limewood Hotel (19,500) to complete the top five.

More details on the study and its results can be found by CLICKING HERE

 

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