The summer holidays are upon us and it’s time to get away and enjoy some time with your loved ones. If you don’t fancy battling the holiday hoards at the airport, risking your delicate British skin in the foreign sunshine and trying to work out how much things cost with the ever-changing exchange rate, maybe it’s time to engage in a good old British Staycation.
Long gone are the days of red-coated Butlins entertainers organising dance competitions (no Dirty Dancing revivals for us), 2018 brings thousands of opportunities to do whatever it is you want to do on your summer vacation. Whether you have kids with you or you fancy more of an adult-only adventure break, you’ll be able to find just what you’re looking for in the ever-surprising UK holiday market.
Here are just a few of our suggestions of where to head to this summer if you’re looking for an active and eco break.
Thriving eco-croft in Highland Perthshire
Comrie Croft, a redeveloped farm nestled between the settlements of Comrie and Crieff in Highland Perthshire, gives you a real feeling of getting back to nature and life slowing down. Surrounded by 87+ miles of walking and cycling trails, you’ll have plenty in the way of activities to keep you busy. Whitewater rafting, survival courses and quad biking close-by keep those who need a bit more or an adrenaline buzz happy.
There are accommodation options aplenty from a cosy farmhouse to ‘wild camping’ in the stunning native woodlands. The wild-camping option gives you a little taste of getting back to basics while still having the option to use the hot showers and visit the cafe in the morning for a cappuccino. Wild with benefits so to speak.
At one with nature in the Cairngorm mountains
Another Scottish gem that you can find amidst the trees, rivers, lochs and glens of Royal Deeside. This is an area really fit for royalty with all the romance that Scotland evokes in visitors from abroad. You can imagine stags silhouetted on each hilltop and kilted highlanders striding across the landscape hunting for haggis.
Cairngorm lodges offer fully self-contained cabins amongst the pine forest and give you access to a huge amount of walking and biking as well as fishing, horse riding and golf. If nature watching is more your thing, sit quietly in the woods and you’ll see red squirrels, ospreys and pine martens go about their day to day business.
A little bit of luxury
For those of you looking for a little bit of luxury to counteract all that activity, take a look at Brimstone Hotel. Situated close to the idyllic town of Ambleside in the Lake District, it is in the perfect position for exploring the stunning valleys of the famous lakes while letting you access all the amenities of town life.
The hotel welcomes walkers and bikers, even offering free outdoor equipment if you forget any of your own kit.
It isn’t a cheap option but it’s a cracker if you have a bit of money and want to enjoy the very best.
Refuge in the Welsh countryside
The Pembrokeshire coast is a stunning place, long beaches with dolphins swimming offshore, iron age villages and stunning walks and rides make a holiday in this area of Wales an absolute delight.
‘Top of the woods’ campsite offers a way to enjoy the area without being packed tightly into a cramped campsite. “Pitch where you want” areas in the flower-filled meadows mean you’ll have space to stretch out and get a massive lung of fresh air. If you’re after something a little less rustic you can take advantage of a number of ‘glamping’ options including bell tents and ‘Eco Boutique safari Lodges’. Here you can sit outside in the evening around your own fire pit with a glass of wine in hand as the sun sets over the Pembrokeshire national park. We’re feeling more relaxed already.
The ‘live and let live’ site
The lovely Somerset countryside offers charming villages, rolling hills and plenty of activity. Petruth Paddocks is set at the bottom of Cheddar Gorge, the world-famous attraction, but far enough away to give you a bit of chilled out distance from the hustle of the tourist buses.
Petruth Paddocks are doing things a bit differently, they’ve done away with (most of) the rules and they just want everyone to chill out, relax and have a great time. They call it ‘free-range camping’ where you can bring whatever (van, tent, bivvy bag?) and whoever (mum, dogs, mates) and just pitch up and get involved. Probably not the place for those that like a neat square pitch and to keep themselves to themselves, this place is about mucking in, meeting people and just having a good ol’ time.
When you’ve found your pitch and set up, you can go caving in the nearby Cheddar caves, visit Wells, the UK’s smallest city (and setting of Hot Fuzz – classic) or get on a bike and cruise the lanes of this lovely corner of England.
Wherever you go this summer, remember to pack your sun cream, midge repellent (if you’re staying in Scotland) and all your packable, no-need-to-wash-everyday, always stylish FINDRA merino. Have a great summer and don’t forget to send us your photos at FINDRA Outdoor Adventures.