Blue Reef Cottages - Isle of Harris

The Great British Staycation

Blue Reef Cottages - Isle of Harris
Blue Reef Cottages – Isle of Harris honeymoon

This evening something appeared on my Facebook that made me smile and took me back 6 years. One of our honeymoon destinations is on Facebook, but they rarely update. Tonight Blue Reef Cottages posted a video of their cottages and it reminded me of the amazing time we had travelling the highlands and islands of Scotland. Even the non-stop 5 hour car journey from Skye to Loch Lomond sped by thanks to the amazing scenery.

We’re a big fan of the UK and most years we have our main holiday here. We like places that are different, quirky. Places that will bring magical memories. Part of it is cost. We can have a 4*/5* holiday in the UK or 3* abroad. We like a bit of luxury now and then. Words cannot express the beauty of the barren Isle of Harris. The colour of the turquoise sea is incredible and I can understand why Ben Fogle fell in love with the place all those years ago when he was on neighbouring Taransay. It’s a place where life is slow and beautiful. One of my strongest memories from Harris was sitting on a deserted Scarista beach on a sunny June afternoon drinking champagne and eating fresh Scottish strawberries.

Over the years we’ve covered many corners of the UK mainland. This year we may be heading Norfolk/Suffolk way. We’ve been members of the National Trust for a good few years now as in Derbyshire and Staffordshire we’re surrounded by properties and they make cheap days out. They also make cracking service stations. You can always guarantee good facilities, cake and no fighting for car parking spaces.

Woodland Tipi and Yurts - Hereford 2010
Woodland Tipi and Yurts – Hereford 2010

Summer 2010 was the turn of Herefordshire and Woodland Tipi & Yurts. We had been recommended this place by a good friend. The weather was fabulous and a lot of the time was spent buy clonazepam forum discovering cider orchards , lying on the lawns of Berrington Hall watching the swallows and swifts swoop overhead, switching off with a book on the hammock and not forgetting the log fired pizza oven. One night while watching a stunning sunset with friends a Tawny Owl came to join us around the campfire.

Dapper Camping Club - Brecon Beacons 2011
Dapper Camping Club – Brecon Beacons 2011

In 2011 we headed in to Wales and while it did seem to rain lots the decanter of sherry at Dapper Camping Club kept us warm at night and I was in bookshop heaven in Hay-on-Wye. We dined at the fabulous Felin Fach Griffin, had a tour around the Penderyn distillery, ate afternoon tea at Gliffaes, played at Steinway at Dinefwr and got lost in the beauty of National Botanic Garden of Wales. One some of the few sunny evenings we had we even managed to fit in a BBQ.

Little White Alice - Cornwall 2012
Little White Alice – Cornwall 2012

2012 was the turn of Cornwall, in particular Little White Alice. The long drive was made up by the beautiful colours of Cornwall. It was very much how much Cornwall could we fit in a week. The wonderful St Ives, fish & chips at Falmouth, swimming in the natural swimming pool followed by hot tub, a trip to Camel Valley Vineyard and stumbling across the stunning Glendurgan gardens and Durgan beach. On the way home I even managed to visit the costume collection at Killerton.

Yes the British weather can be awful but as the saying goes there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. In all the years we’ve holidayed in the UK I can honestly say there hasn’t been one week that has been a total washout. So give the UK a try, you may be surprised what you find.

So what fabulous, different, beautiful places have you visited in the UK?

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

11 thoughts on “The Great British Staycation

    Fuss Free Helen

    (February 10, 2013 - 12:56 pm)

    I too am a huge fan of the UK holiday and as a child we spent many hours on the motorway heading West for a rental cottage and beach holiday.

    When Ed and I had our first Cornish holiday we took the slow route home across Dartmoor as he had never seen it, (His parents lived abroad for many many years), with planning the journey can be great fun too.

    I agree re the National Trust, my mother joined as a life member when I was 7, and I did the same with money my grandparents left me when I was about 16. One of the best things about membership is that you do not feel obliged to get your money’s worth, you can breeze though or maybe just have tea.

      Jules

      (February 11, 2013 - 7:01 pm)

      We skimmed Dartmoor on the way back from Cornwall this year. We were given English Heritage membership last year but we don’t use it anywhere near as much as Nat Trust, their cake isn’t as good!

    GoodEggFoodie

    (February 10, 2013 - 8:24 pm)

    Snowdonia. Camped there twice last yr, got a cottage booked in march. Love the wild beauty- it’s where we want to retire.

      Jules

      (February 11, 2013 - 7:03 pm)

      Snowdonia is a beautiful place. I spent some childhood summers there.

    Rachel

    (February 10, 2013 - 8:50 pm)

    The most amazing place we ever stayed was the Knoydart Peninsula in Scotland. It’s only accessible by boat or a 20something mile hike across the mountains. It also had an amazing pub with scrummy fresh sea-food!

    I blogged about it here: http://vicarswifeintraining.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/knoydart-part-2.html

      Jules

      (February 11, 2013 - 7:04 pm)

      Rachel, that looks like such an amazing place.

    Sally

    (February 12, 2013 - 5:02 am)

    So many happy memories of English summers brought back to me via this post. Pendennis castle, National Trust places, English beaches…. The Isle of Harris looks amazing.

      Jules

      (February 12, 2013 - 8:39 am)

      If you every get the chance to visit the Outer Hebrides I highly recommend it. Very different to British mainland.

    Lucy @ Smallest Smallholding

    (February 13, 2013 - 8:06 pm)

    I remember reading about your yurt blog post… I can’t believe that was in 2010! Devon has long been a favourite destination in my family, specifically the Dartmouth area, as well as the Penzance/Sennen/Mousehole/St Ives area of Cornwall. I’d like to explore the northern coastline of Devon a little more… its just finding a timeframe where we can get away safe in the knowledge that our menagerie of fluffy mammals is being looked after at home, and affording to take time off work (both freelancers – not working = not getting paid. No paid holidays!).

      Jules

      (March 28, 2013 - 6:11 am)

      I’d like to explore north Devon too. I hope you manage to get a holiday this year.

    Jules: Butcher Baker (@DomesticJules)

    (February 19, 2014 - 8:07 am)

    We knew long before Trip Advisor confirmed it that Lewis & Harris are some of the world’s most beautiful islands. http://t.co/WQTkV0doyl

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