How to spend you summer at home

For many of us, dreams of a foreign holiday this summer are slowly fading. We get it. There is still a lot of uncertainty out there about quarantines, conditions on board planes, check ins, what you can and can’t do, which is compounded by the fact that no two countries are adopting the same approach and rules. As if things aren’t hard enough already.

This is going to change in the future and improvements will come in the next couple of months but possibly not in time for the summer. So what can you do to overcome this?

2 things.

Firstly, plan for next year. We have always believed that part of the excitement and joy of travel comes from the planning and anticipation. Now is a great time to be looking at what 2021 holds for you in terms of travel especially because it is going to be a busy time and you will probably need to book earlier than ever before.

And it would be wrong of us not to point that our travel designers are on hand to discuss these plans with you. We will soon be launching a whole new series of destinations and trips that can be fully customized to your needs and wants, so just drop us a line.

But you didn’t come here to listen to that.

The second thing you can do this summer is make the most of the place you call home. Learn to appreciate what is on your doorstep and get out there and explore. If you are not sure where to start, then please find some tips and ideas on what the UK and Ireland has to offer to get your wanderlust exploding and your kids smiling.

 

1. An Irish road trip

If you are lucky enough to have a load of unused holiday, then why not make the most of it and head off on a full tour of the Emerald Isle. Check out The Irish Road Trip for routes and lots of inspiration and ideas. They have a 4-week trip which takes you from top to bottom and everywhere in between. This site also has some great ideas for places to stay.

 

2. Go hiking

Whether you choose the Snowdonia National Park, the Scottish Highlands or the Mountains of Mourne, there is a never-ending supply of hills and mountains needing your attention.

Use your creativity to turn it into a treasure hunt for the kids or talk about the mythical creatures and giants from times gone past. Nothing beats the joy of standing on top of a mountain knowing that you have succeeded in reaching the top and that packed lunch in your bag will taste better than ever. It is also likely to lead to a much better night’s sleep for everyone.

If you are worried that the little legs in your walking party might not be able to keep up, then check out the freeloader backpack. We have used these and can honestly say they are a great bit of kit for when tired legs need a rest. Not cheap but very good build quality.

 

3. Stargazing

The U.K. is home to five of the world’s 16 dark sky reserves:

  • Exmoor National Park
  • Moore’s Reserve
  • Cranborne Chase
  • Snowdonia National Park
  • and Brecon Beacons National Park

There are also a few other places to enjoy the night sky, listed here. 

Combine this with a night under canvas and this will seem like the greatest adventure ever. We all know that camping can be hard work but there are ways to make it easier.

Invest a decent quality pop up tent that can be set up and ready to go in less than a minute. We are big fans of the Decathlon Quecha Fresh and Black range. Not only are they easy to put up, but they also keep the inside of the tent cool and more importantly dark. So when the sun is coming up, you might still be able to get that all important extra 40 minutes of shut eye. On top of this, they are very reasonable priced.

Another tip is to prepare as much of your cooking at home before you go. We often make a chilli which just needs heated up and combined with a boil in the bag rice, dinner is served in no time.

But if a tent is not your thing, then there are plenty of options for domes, cottages and tree houses all around the UK where you can pop your telescope out. This cottage in Wales is ranked as one of the best.

 

4. King or Queen of the Castle

If you want to combine a fun day out with some history lessons, then it is hard to beat a castle. From learning about knights and kings to understanding how they were constructed with defence in mind, a visit to one of the super structures is a sure-fire way to get imaginations into overdrive. Some of the best are listed here. 

Why not make a weekend out of it by visiting somewhere like Warwick Castle.

Here you can stay in family friendly cottages and eat a medieval banquet whilst watching some local knights battle it out.

5. Beside the sea

If you would rather be building your own castles, then look no further than some of the world’s best beaches right on your doorstep.

We admit that that sometimes the lack of sun can dampen enthusiasm but let’s not forget the young ones tend to be braver when it comes to plunging into icy cold water. If the sun is shining though, you will not be disappointed.

Have a look here to find your beach of choice. Make sure you combine it with some overnight stays in the vast number of cottages dotted along the coastline and a large portion of fish and chips.

Or if you prefer treat yourselves to a boutique hotel, a king-size bed combined with a deep tissue massage and a glass of wine. Remember it is not always about the kids.

Whilst you are enjoying some beach time, you could combine it with teaching your kids about the importance of looking after our beaches and protecting our oceans.

Get involved with a local clean up wherever you are as it is important, we all do our bit, especially now with the rise in disposable masks and gloves being consumed. A good place to start is Surfers Against Sewage where they have a list of upcoming beach cleans as well as a load of resources to make you think about what else can be done to effect change.

As you can see there is an abundance of adventures and trips all within a short drive of home.

The UK and Ireland have some of the most child friendly accommodation, activities and restaurants on the planet and at a time like this it is so important to support local businesses and companies that have been affected. So now you can combine fun and excitement for the whole family with helping support and giving back to local communities who rely on tourism. Win win.