What with Brexit and Donald Trump constantly filling the newspapers and the news on TV and radio, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the end of the world as we know it.
Actually it probably isn’t – at least not just yet – so let’s not be too downhearted. Let’s think about this year’s holidays and where we’ll go. There are the usual European holiday spots in Spain and
France, but after that Brexit vote in June maybe the Europeans don’t love us Brits any more.
Mr Trump apparently loves us, however, and would welcome us to the USA with open arms (watch the hands, ladies!) but the exchange rate means our pounds probably won’t buy as many dollars as they used to do.
So maybe it’s a good time to consider, or reconsider, the Great British Holiday. Just take a map of the British Isles, shut your eyes, stick your finger on it and see where your finger is pointing. In most cases, you’ll be pointing at somewhere you’ve never been.
Just like all those Parisians who have never ascended the Eiffel Tower, there’s so much of our own country that we’ve never seen.
And in past years, we’ve been so eager to jet away to foreign climes that we’ve tended to ignore the possibilities of a holiday in Britain.
It’s not a case of Scarborough versus Sardinia any more – either one or the other – because these days seven in 10 of British holidaymakers who go abroad for a main holiday also take another holiday without leaving the country in an effort to get the best of both worlds.
The other three in 10 either can’t afford to go abroad or are put off by the thought of airport queues, delayed flights, shabby hotels, language barriers and, let’s face it, terrorist scares.
A UK holiday will give you a great time – whether you’re a family, a couple or a singleton – and if you’re feeling somewhat patriotic there’s the knowledge that you’ll be keeping British money circulating in Britain’s economy.
The visitor economy is worth more than £100 billion a year to England, supporting thousands of businesses and seriously boosting the performance of supplier industries including farming, transport, retailing, sport, museums and galleries, the theatre and other performing arts.
Our domestic tourism sector is the nation’s third largest employer, supporting 2.6 million jobs and providing a significant source of employment for those unable to work full-time. It’s a major employer of school leavers and young people and is an incubator for entrepreneurs.
One great way to enjoy England is, of course, to book into a good hotel and enjoy the comfortable bedrooms, superb food and terrific ambience offered by thousands of hotels across the length and breadth of England. Here in the North, we’re lucky to have some of the best hotels in the country, often surrounded by the best of English countryside, whether it’s the Lake District, Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales or Bronte Country. We’ve got peaceful village inns, stately country houses, lively town centre hotels…the lot!
There are some great bargains to be had by looking on the booking websites, but don’t forget that booking directly with a hotel of your choice, either by phone or online, can often get you an equally good deal.
Every year, more and more holidaymakers are enjoying England’s rural charms at close quarters by camping or caravanning for a few days or a couple of weeks, or by heading for a holiday park.
Camping, for a start, isn’t what it used to be, and nothing like it was back in the days when Carry on Camping with its saucy postcard humour made us chuckle at the cinema.
Now we’ve got Glamping. Not sure what ‘Glamping’ is? Glamping is the term for ‘Glamorous Camping.’ It’s often a unique style of accommodation either in the form of canvas, wood, glass, plastic or metal located in a field or woodland, many of which include added luxuries such as home from home style furnishings, beds, log burners/gas fired heating. Some even have luxury sofas, kitchen
and dining areas while others may be a little more basic.
The pleasure of glamping is that it is more luxurious than standard camping; you don’t have the hassle of erecting your own tent, sleep on air beds that often deflate during the night or have to battle with space in the car. You can simply pack some clothing, food and drink essentials turn up and begin your hassle-free holiday.
Ever fancied living in a cottage in the country, with or without the roses round the door? You can live the dream for a few days or a couple of weeks by renting a country cottage.
You can enjoy the best of the British countryside, often in spectacular surroundings, in a converted barn or refurbished farm cottage, or maybe a new purposebuilt cottage, with all the facilities you’d expect at home, and often much better. Most of these places are owner-operated by people who treat their visitors not just as customers but as friends who will return possibly year after year.
Many UK holidaymakers enjoy a stay at a holiday park, which will offer a great experience, with goodclass restaurants and cafes, well equipped leisure facilities, plush bars with entertainment, and lots of indoor activities for the children.
Choose a holiday park in the heart of countryside you love, and it will be a great base from which to explore the area and discover its assets to the full, with the come-as-you-please freedom you’d never find on a package tour.
Many people who love this freeand- easy lifestyle go on to purchase a holiday home of their own on the very park where they’ve enjoyed a holiday or two. For a fraction of the cost of buying a holiday cottage, you can become the proud owner of a luxurious, high-quality holiday home which has been purpose-built for relaxation.
With a permanent base there, you can enjoy a favourite activity such as walking, golf or sailing, and spend less time travelling and more time doing.
The ability to take off on holiday whenever you choose is one of the most appealing aspects of a holiday home. There’s no need to book or plan ahead; if the weekend forecast sounds good, just pack your bags and go.
Most holiday parks offer for sale both new holiday homes and second-hand units which can offer excellent value. Preused homes, often just a few years old at most, may come from private owners who are trading up, or they may have been previously used by the park for hiring out to holidaymakers.
There are caravan holiday home models to suit every family, starting at around £7,000 – and rising to £30,000 or more. Many people choose to finance their purchase with a personal loan which can be spread over a preferred number of years. Most major banks, subject to an individual’s status, are prepared to make advances for caravan holiday homes, and many parks have links with specialist lending institutions which can offer beneficial terms.
The British Holiday and Home Parks Association has published a directory of residential memberparks in the UK. You can fiind details of more than 800 parks on the Internet at www.parkhome.co.uk.
The web site includes maps and simple-to-use tick boxes to help match your precise requirements to a short-list of residential parks in your chosen area.