The Best UK Staycation

Ah yes, the ‘staycation’. That newly formed word in the English language which formally entered our lexicon around 10 years ago. What is a staycation, and what would I consider my favourite staycation destination in the UK? All shall be answered in this blog.

‘Staycation’ is a merger of two separate words, ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’. While the word is new, it’s not actually describing a new trend or fashion. Before 2007, many people would just have called a staycation a ‘domestic holiday’. Even more surprisingly, the trend of going on holiday within your own country is actually much older than the concept of international holidays. Ever since the concept of the holiday began to catch on in the 19th century, the vast majority of people either didn’t have the money, or time, to holiday overseas as it would take too long to get there bearing in mind that the aeroplane was yet to be invented. It wasn’t until the 1970s that commercial jet travel became available (affordable) allowing normal people to start going abroad on short term holidays.

Since that time, things have been a little tough for the former domestic holiday resorts, as many people would prefer to fly off to exotic parts of the world rather than risk a rainy weekend down on the British coast. All is not lost however; there has been some reversal in fortune since the 2007 financial crash. As wallets shrunk, so did expectations for many people and the ‘staycation’ as we know it today rose from the ashes of the long lost domestic holiday.

So where would I recommend you visit then? For me, there can only be one location – Devon!

What is it?

Devon is a county located in England, approximately double the size of Luxembourg with a little left to spare; it has two coast-lines (North and South) with an abundance of things to do. Whether it’s small seaside resorts such as Salcombe, Torquay or Ilfracombe. Rugged outdoor terrain ideal for hiking such as Dartmoor, rich history found at Dartmouth Castle or Coleton Fishacre or finally an interesting city break in Exeter, you name it, Devon probably has it.

Where is it / how to get there?

Located in the South-West of England, but not quite as remote as neighbouring Cornwall, Devon can be a little tricky to get to but is well worth the effort. Generally speaking, the best places in Devon require a car to get to, so I would either recommend getting yourself booked onto a coach / bus tour, or alternatively hiring a car in the nearby vicinity if you can drive.

You can fly into Exeter airport from numerous UK and European cities or you can take the train from London costing as little at £25 each way and only taking 2-3 hours depending on your train connection / routing. Alternatively, you can get in your own car and drive there yourself taking around 3-4 from London.

What should I do there?

That depends on what you like to do. Devon really does have a whole wealth of things to pick from. If you like small seaside towns where you can dine out and enjoy the maritime aspect of life, I’d strongly suggest visiting Salcombe. If you are more of a beach person then why not Woolacombe (it’s great for surfing too)? If you like to roam around the great outdoors then perhaps consider making your way up to the moors at Dartmoor. Railway enthusiast? Devon Railway Centre at Tiverton. There are literally weeks’ worth of activities to do.

What is the climate like?

The climate of Devon is, like the rest of the UK, a very temperate place to live with mild winters and cooler summers. The average temperature in winter is around 6ᴼC with summer being around 16ᴼC.  Please note, these are only averages, it can get much warmer than this in summer during peak holiday season.

What specialities should I try?

There aren’t many differences between standard British and Devonshire cuisine; however I do recommend you try a few delicacies while holidaying in the region. For the sweet toothed traveller, perhaps a famous ‘Cream Tea’ with jam and Devonshire ‘Clotted Cream’. In addition to this, try eating the clotted cream in fudge format also (though be sure to keep an eye on that waistline)! If you are old enough to drink, Devon has a good selection of locally made Ciders (fermented apples) definitely worth sampling. Asides from that, having hundreds of miles worth of coastline and huge fishing industries makes Devon a very tasty place to eat any fish based UK cuisine such as Fish and Chips.

 8th February 2017 /    Alice /   Sight Seeing, Culture

Copyright © 2019 Thames Valley Summer Schools. Website by Altido and Above the Fold.