Tag Archives: staycations

The top staycations where you can stay in a lighthouse

Our sister site 2Chill has rounded up nine of the best lighthouses to book in the UK – and with sea views and spectacular locations guaranteed, all you need to bring is your bucket and spade.

Lynton, Devon 

(Foreland Lighthouse in Devon. National Trust)

The Foreland Lighthouse has been guiding ships through the Bristol Channel since 1900. It was also fitted with a deafening fog signal, which thankfully for guests was decommissioned several decades ago! The dramatic site of the still-working lighthouse – its light flashes four times every 15 seconds – makes this Insta-worthy. The spacious accommodation sleeps 10 and has a large balcony so visitors can watch seabirds and porpoises. Nearby Lynmouth is a pretty village admired by poets and artists, and as it’s based right on the edge of Exmoor, there’s plenty of hiking routes to explore.

Book it: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays/the-lighthouse-keepers-cottage-devon

Winterton-on-Sea, Norfolk 

Sleeping eight in three bedrooms, Winterton’s lighthouse dates from the 1860s and offers panoramic views of ruffled waves and a gorgeous sandy beach. Mentioned in Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe, in more recent times it’s appeared on Channel 4’s Homes By The Sea. Now a stunning retreat, the lighthouse boasts a stylish extension opening onto a cedar deck in a tranquil garden. If you’re missing the hustle and bustle, Great Yarmouth is only eight miles away, and Norwich is a 40-minute drive.

Book it: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/33681445?source_impression_id=p3_1623249301_6%2F%2BHWhOeD%2F8RvikZ&guests=1&adults=1  

Lundy Island, Bristol Channel

(The sitting room of Old Light Lower on Lundy Island. Landmark Trust)

Once the lair of Barbary pirates who preyed on merchant ships navigating the dangerous tidal currents of the Bristol Channel, Lundy today is a peaceful spot. Old Light was built in 1819 but due to its height, it was often shrouded in fog, causing ships to run aground. It was replaced by two new lighthouses in 1897 and now welcomes visitors to its two apartments located in the former lighthouse keepers’ quarters. Old Light Lower boasts a vast six-foot fireplace, while Old Light Upper commands views across the north of the island. Puffins make their nests in burrows about Lundy, and you’ll also see kittiwakes, storm petrels and auks. For the more active staycationer, try rock climbing, scuba diving – there are plenty of shipwrecks to explore in the surrounding waters – and snorkelling.

Book it: Old Light Upper  https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search-and-book/properties/old-light-upper-13819/#Overview  

Old Light Lower https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search-and-book/properties/old-light-lower-13790/#Overview

Broadstairs, Kent

(North Foreland Lighthouse, Broadstairs. Antony J Shepherd)

The oldest of 2Chill’s lighthouse picks, North Foreland was built in 1691 and extended and upgraded over the centuries. Still in operation, it looks out across the entrance to the English Channel. Khina and Lodestone, the cottages formerly inhabited by the lighthouse keepers, both sleep up to four guests. Broadstairs is a short distance away, with Margate and Ramsgate not much further afield. Beach-lovers should head for Joss Bay, a 10-minute walk from the accommodation.

Book it: Khina https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/england/kent-holiday-cottages/khina-cottage_ke018?variableid=34223 

Lodestone https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/england/kent-holiday-cottages/lodesman-cottage_ke019

West Usk, Wales

Guarding the mouth of the River Usk on the Severn Estuary, this charmingly squat lighthouse was built in 1821. Now a hotel and wedding venue, which starred in an episode of Doctor Who, the owner describes the property as ‘quirky’ – and with a Tardis on the roof (used as a changing room for the hot tub) and a Dalek downstairs, we can see why! Newport is only 10 minutes away by car, or you could explore nearby Tredegar House, Caerphilly Castle or even visit the lighthouse’s twin across the river in the Newport Wetlands nature reserve.

Book it: http://www.westusklighthouse.co.uk/

Nash Point, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

(Nash Point Lighthouse, Marcross, Vale of Glamorgan. Dai Lygad)

In years gone by, smugglers would lure rich merchant ships navigating the Bristol Channel onto the rugged Welsh coastline. Following the wrecking of a paddle steamer in 1831, the Nash Point Lighthouse was built – and it remained manned until 1998. Guests can stay in the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, Ariel and Stella. The properties have fully enclosed gardens and welcome dogs. You can enjoy hunting for fossils on the beach, and both Swansea and Cardiff are less than an hour away by car. One thing to note – although the fog signal was decommissioned, it is sounded twice a month, weather permitting!

Book it: Ariel https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/wales/vale-of-glamorgan-holiday-cottages/ariel_vg003

Stella https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/wales/vale-of-glamorgan-holiday-cottages/stella_vg004 

Falmouth, Cornwall

Dramatically located at the tip of the Roseland peninsula, St Anthony’s Lighthouse was built in 1835 to warn mariners away from a cluster of rocks known as The Manacles. Sleeping four guests in two bedrooms, the property boasts a sun-trap patio so you can enjoy a leisurely meal and watch the boats go by. St Mawes Castle is a short distance away, and Falmouth’s many attractions are within an hours’ drive. The lighthouse remains operational, and during foggy weather, the automatic fog signal will sound – but don’t worry, ear plugs are provided!

Book it: https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/england/cornwall-holiday-cottages/sally-port-cottage_cw045

Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway

(Corsewell Lighthouse Hotel, Stranraer. Credit: Mary and Angus Hogg)

Corsewell Lighthouse has stood at the entrance to Loch Ryan since 1817. Still operational, it casts its light over the former lighthouse keepers’ lodgings, now a hotel. Stay in one of the six double rooms or choose from the three family suites. Corsewell offers a fine dining experience in its restaurant and also runs photography tours and pony trekking for guests. Enjoy the botanic gardens at nearby Logan, or if you want to venture further afield, book a ferry from Cairnryan for a day trip to Belfast.

Book it: https://www.lighthousehotel.co.uk/  

Whitby Lighthouse, Yorkshire

(Whitby South Lighthouse, Yorkshire. still.epsilon)

Standing high on the cliffs, Whitby South Lighthouse was built in 1857 and remains operational – although the massive fog horn is thankfully silent these days. Two dog-friendly cottages, Galatea and Vanguard, sleep five guests in three bedrooms and offer stunning views of the Yorkshire coast. The Cleveland Way runs past the property, and you can choose to walk into Whitby to the north, where you’ll find attractions such as the North York Moors Railway and the Captain Cook museum, or go south to explore Robin Hood’s Bay. Scarborough is an hours’ drive away, and it takes less than 90 minutes to reach the beautiful walled city of York.

Book it: Galatea https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/england/yorkshire-holiday-cottages/galatea_yo029

Vanguard https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/england/yorkshire-holiday-cottages/vanguard_yo030 

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

The top UK staycations with a nautical theme

top UK staycations with a nautical theme

Tall ship St Hilda at sea (Image: St Hilda Sea Adventures)

Offering great views and the relaxing sound of waves – or ripples – against the hull, Chill has rounded up nine of the best staycation spots on boats, from high-end luxury in London to Scottish cruises, floating glamping pods to a miniature Titanic.

Tower Bridge, London

One of HMS Harpy’s bedrooms, with a view of Tower Bridge (Andrew Wadsworth)

Built in 1904 as the world’s first floating Customs & Excise house, HMS Harpy now provides elegant four-bedroom self-catering accommodation for up to 10 people, with a perfect postcard view of Tower Bridge. 1920s oak furniture and vintage prints and maps enhance the luxurious interior – and outside is just as stunning, with a dining table on deck to make the most of the view.  If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous galley kitchen and Egyptian linen bedding, Borough Market is nearby, and across the river you’ll find all the attractions the City of London has to offer.

Book it.

St Katharine Docks, London

Formerly a navy tender, Mandy Sue is a beautiful 1930s pinnace located in trendy St Katharine Docks close to Tower Bridge. Offering two spacious bedrooms to sleep four people, the boat is fully equipped with everything you’ll need to enjoy a short break. A previous guest commented that her young children loved their stay, calling it ‘an adventure’. There are plenty of eateries around the marina, and the dock is within walking distance of attractions such as the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Book it: Mandy Sue on Airbnb 

Gloucester Quays

LV14 Sula Lightship, Gloucester (Credit: Jayt74)

For a holiday with a difference, stay on the Sula – one of the few surviving lightships that operated in the waters around Britain. Built in 1959, Sula was stationed at Spurn Sandbank at the mouth of the Humber to guide shipping through the estuary. Now she’s moored in Gloucester Quays and offers accommodation in its stylish, two-bedroom Humber Suite for up to four people. Full of charming details – such as the original ladder leading to the restored escape hatch – Sula also has two deck spaces for guests to relax and watch the world go by. Explore the boutiques and restaurants around Gloucester’s historic docks, or use the Sula as a base from which to venture further afield – South Wales is less than an hour away by car.

Book it.

Beccles, Suffolk

A floating glamping pod in a marina, Secret Water sleeps four in two bedrooms. Stylish, contemporary decor makes the pod a welcoming place to stay, and there’s a deck offering al fresco dining overlooking the quiet waters. Hire a boat or kayak for the day and explore the River Waveney on the South Broads, or go fishing or birdwatching. The gorgeous Suffolk beaches are within a short drive, while for retail lovers and history buffs, Norwich is only 16 miles away.

 

Book it: Secret Water –

https://www.watersidebreaks.com/description/secretwater.htm

Liverpool

The Titanic Boat at Liverpool (ell brown)

All aboard the Titanic – no, not that one! A miniature version of the ill-fated cruise liner, the Titanic Boat is firmly moored at Liverpool Marina. This gloriously kitschy vessel sleeps up to nine people in three bedrooms and has a quirky style to make you smile. Lots of options for eating and drinking around the marina, with The Beatles Story, Maritime Museum, and Tate Liverpool nearby. The city centre is approximately a half-hour walk away, where you’ll find cool independent shops at Bold Street and Red Brick Market, plus high street names in the UK’s largest open-air shopping centre, Liverpool One.

Book it: Titanic Boat

Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire

Ideal for couples seeking a romantic getaway, the Misty Lady is a houseboat moored on the Rochdale Canal at Hebden Bridge. A little deck at the prow offers views across the water, and the interior is cosy and relaxed. Explore the creative spirit of Hebden Bridge, with its cobbled streets and scores of independent artisan shops, organic cafes, and country pubs serving locally brewed ale. Climb up nearby Hardcastle Crags or enjoy miles of walks across the moors. Haworth, home to the Bronte sisters, is only five miles away, and the town of Halifax is less than half an hour by car.

Book it: Misty Lady

Oban, West Highlands 

Through the porthole on St Hilda (St Hilda Sea Adventures)

Enjoy the rugged coastal landscape of the Western Highlands and the Hebrides from the deck of St Hilda, a wooden ketch that’s taken part in several Tall Ship Races. Choose to remain at berth in Dumstaffnage Marina near Oban for a chilled stay, or book a cruise and explore islands such as Skye, St Kilda, and Arran in the company of a professional skipper and onboard chef. Sleeping six in three cabins, cruises on St Hilda still available for 2021 include a Mull Odyssey, sailing to Iona, Staffa, and the Ross of Mull in mid-July, and a wildlife cruise in the Inner Hebrides in September. St Hilda’s sister ships are also offering berth-stay accommodation as well as cruises – check the website for availability.

Book it: St Hilda Sea Adventures.

Edinburgh

Luxury houseboat The Four Sisters accommodates up to four adults and two young children at its berth in Lochrin Basin, close to Fountainbridge in Edinburgh. An oak-lined interior provides a backdrop for the sumptuous styling – there’s a modern galley kitchen, a library for those rainy days, and a barbeque on deck for when the sun’s out. There’s even a massage chair in case you need to unwind after a hard day’s sightseeing! Edinburgh’s many attractions are a short distance away, from the iconic Royal Mile with Holyrood Palace at the bottom and Edinburgh Castle at the top, to the ghostly Mary King’s Close. Grab a coffee at The Elephant House, one of the birthplaces of Harry Potter, or check out the pubs and eateries in the Grass Market.

Book it: The Four Sisters https://www.thefoursisters.co.uk/

Machynlleth, Powys, Wales

The Boatel at Machynlleth. (Airbnb)

For those who love boats but feel seasick away from dry land, maybe this is the answer? Firmly in dry dock (unless it’s raining!), this ‘boatel’ is found in an acre of wildflower meadow in the beautiful Welsh countryside. Winner of Shed of the Year in 2013, the Boatel is full of rustic charm, perfect for a romantic getaway. A wood burner will keep you toasty as you enjoy views of Cader Idris, and when you want to explore, you’re on the edge of Snowdonia National Park and within an hour or so of Harlech, Barmouth, and Ludlow.

Book it: Machynlleth Boatel

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express

New ‘day out’ vouchers to spend on staycations as part of recovery plan – how to get them

With the aim of speeding up the industry’s recovery, the UK has launched a plan to return domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2022. British holidaymakers will be encouraged to travel by train on their next staycation and will be offered vouchers for popular tourist attractions. 

The rail pass will be similar to the BritRail pass for international visitors, which offers flexible travel and discounted entry to tourist attractions.

The plan came a week after the Office of Rail and Road revealed passenger numbers on Britain’s railways have reached the lowest level in at least 150 years.

Recent data showed that only 388 million journeys were made last year.

This was only 22 percent of the total of 1.739 billion during the previous year and the lowest annual figure dating back to 1872.

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The National Lottery will launch the £10 million voucher scheme to use at tourist attractions across the UK.

The initiative also promised a Sustainable Tourism Plan later this year to look at measures to reduce tourism’s impact on the environment. 

The plan will build on investments already underway such as the England Coast Path. 

The recovery plan showed that before the pandemic, England was on course to hit 100 million domestic trips in 2020. 

Chairman of VisitBritain and VisitEngland, Lord Patrick McLoughlin, described the plan as “an important step on the road to recovery, recognising the economic potential of the sector and setting a clear policy direction”.

“Our spending review bid this year will seek to support the plan’s ambitions,” he said. 

Airbnb general manager for Northern Europe Amanda Cupples added: “Airbnb is preparing for the travel rebound of the century. We want to work with the government to help everyone benefit. 

“We’ve worked with communities across the UK on proposals for a tourism accommodation register and are delighted to see the government take this forward.” 

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Camping, caravan & staycations: Center Parcs, Butlins and more reopen facilities

From May 17, the UK emerged into step three of “unlocking” the lockdown. For UK holiday parks, this meant the reopening of shared facilities, indoor dining and allowing groups of six from mixed households to enjoy quality time together.
Here are the latest updates from Center Parcs, Butlins, Haven, Parkdean Resorts, Pontins, and Hoseasons.

Butlins

Butlins reopened its UK-wide resorts on May 17, but with some changes to the way facilities may normally run onsite.

In a statement on its website, the holiday provider explained: “The safety and well-being of our guests and team has always been, and will remain, our biggest priority.

“We’ve changed the way we do a few things, introducing a series of new and increased measures across every touchpoint of our breaks, as well as reducing the guest capacity on resort to ensure you have plenty of space to practise social distancing.”

New Covid safety measures will impact dining facilities, shows and activities, accommodation and check-in.

For shows and activities, Butlins states: “We’ve implemented lots of measures including limited capacity to ensure social distancing, booking in advance and thorough sanitising.”

READ MORE: Pound to euro exchange rate: Sterling had a ‘poor’ day yesterday

Dining facilities will see guests order via the Butlins app and receiving table service. Cleaning measures have also been ramped up.

Thorough cleaning of accommodation is also in place across all accommodation.

“We have a strict cleaning and hygiene policy in place and you’ll be assigned a room that has been thoroughly cleaned, sanitised and sealed before arrival; look out for a Butlin’s seal of approval across the front door,” states the holiday park.

“To minimise contact with others, we will be removing our accommodation servicing during your stay.

“If you need additional towels and bedding during your stay, you can request these from our Guest Services team via the app.”

The check-in procedure will also be contactless.

“You’ll receive an email 24 hours before you arrive telling you the village you’re staying in and your room or apartment number; you can also find this information on the app or in My Account,” explains Butlins.

“Your key cards will be sealed in your welcome pack along with any activity passes you have pre-booked.

“You’ll collect these via your designated drive-through check-in.”

Guests will also be required to provide their contact details throughout the site.

Butlins states: “To help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, we’re legally required to record contact details of all guests in our venues on resort, the easiest way to do this is by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app which will allow you to scan a QR code in each venue and have your visit recorded.”

Center Parcs

Center Parcs reopened some of its accommodation and facilities from April 12, but this has been extended with even more options to choose from as of May 17.

All of its parks, including Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest, Whinfell Forest and Woburn Forest are now open.

The holiday park will be utilising the Test and Trace app for all people over the age of 16, and encourages all guests to download the app in advance of their arrival.

“We are delighted to confirm that our Subtropical Swimming Paradise will open from Monday 17 May as well as indoor dining,” states Center Parcs on its website.

“Our Aqua Sana will also be open for guests on a Center Parcs break for spa sessions and treatments, excluding Elveden Forest (which is closed for refurbishment until further notice).

“We are also delighted to confirm our hotel rooms and apartments will now be available and two households will now be permitted per lodge.

“Guests visiting from May 17 can book to visit the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, restaurants and Aqua Sana around four weeks before arrival.”

However, guests are reminded to stay up-to-date with the latest Government advice, as “rules and advice are constantly under review”.

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Haven

Haven has reopened its parks across the UK, though local measures vary for each of the devolved nations.

“Your health and safety is at the heart of everything we do,” reads a statement on Haven’s website.

“As we welcome you back, you may notice that one or two things have changed in line with Government guidance.

“Some venues and activities might be subject to changes and restrictions as the situation evolves.”

In England, accommodation has reopened but will be limited to two households per unit.

All facilities are open as normal but with social distancing in place.

Touring and camping breaks have also resumed.

In Scotland, up until June 6, accommodation is open but limited to six people from three households per unit.

All facilities are open as normal with the exception of indoor play. Bars and restaurants are open until 10:30pm and 10:00pm outdoors. Alcohol can be consumed indoors. Social distancing will be in place throughout the park.

Touring and camping breaks are also available.

In Wales, all parks have reopened and accommodation is limited to two households per unit.

All facilities are open as normal alongside camping and touring breaks.

Parkdean Resorts

All Parkdean Resorts are now open across the UK, however, onsite rules vary based on each of the devolved nations.

In England, all facilities have now reopened, but some may see reduced capacity in order to aid social distancing.

Furthermore, all activities both indoor and outdoor require prior booking up to two weeks in advance.

Communal changing facilities, such as those attached to swimming pools, will be closed for a “little while longer”.

In Scotland, all facilities have reopened with the exception of soft plays which are closed for now.

Bars and restaurants have reopened but will be closing at 10:30pm. Alcohol is permitted to be consumed indoors.

All services will operate at reduced capacity to aid social distancing, but activities must be booked up to two weeks in advance.

Communal changing facilities remain closed.

In Wales, all facilities have reopened but will operate at a reduced capacity to ensure social distancing.

All activities must be pre-booked up to two weeks in advance and communal changing areas remain closed.

Pontins

Pontins has now reopened its parks across the UK.

On its website, the holiday provider states: “When making a reservation at any of our parks, please ensure that you are complying with national as well as local Government guidelines of the destination.

“This can include but is not limited to restrictions on maximum group sizes, mixing of households and the purpose of your stay.”

While facilities and activities have resumed, some Covid-safe measures such as social distancing will be in place.

Hoseasons

Hoseasons has reopened but continues to operate under Covid-safe guidelines.

On its website, the holiday provider explains: “In Step 3, domestic overnight stays will be permitted provided that the party size is no greater than six people (from up to six households) or is no more than two households (of any size, which can include a support bubble if eligible).

“We have emailed all customers that we believe are affected by this rule with the option to reduce party size or cancel for a refund or voucher.

“If you have not received an email from us, and you are unable to use your booking in compliance with the household/party size restrictions or updated Government guidance, please contact us to discuss your options, which will include the choice between a refund and a voucher of the amount paid for your booking.

“If you have a booking on or after June 21, 2021, rest assured that we will be in touch with the options available to you closer to the time.”

Indoor entertainment including swimming pools will be open “subject to social distancing rules”.

The rules vary somewhat for Wales and Scotland.

For Wales, Hoseasons states: “On 14 May the Welsh government announced that all holiday accommodation can reopen however this is still subject to the restriction on meeting anyone in a private home other than those you live with or your exclusive extended household.

“An extended household is one that has formed an exclusive bubble with another household.

“Two households can holiday together as an extended household, provided that 10 days has passed since either of the households was part of a different extended household.”

Meanwhile, for Scotland, it states: “All of Scotland except for the Moray and Glasgow areas will move to Protection Levels 1 or 2.

“This means that single households or up to six people from a maximum of three households will be permitted to stay overnight in self-catering accommodation, in line with rules on social gatherings.

“Children under 12 years old will not count towards the limit of six.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Holidaymakers reveal their top spots for UK seaside staycations

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

The Northumberland village is renowned for its stunning coastal castle, which helped crown the resort the nation’s number one in a tourism poll. Bamburgh had slipped from its first place last year, but reclaimed top spot again after receiving a customer score of 85 percent. Visitors gave it five stars for its beaches, tourist attractions and scenery.

Holidaymakers also gave it top marks for value for money, with prices for accommodation being half those at resorts in Cornwall.

Despite the small size of Bamburgh, the vastness of its beach meant it received positive feedback for its peace and quiet, allowing visitors to easily distance themselves and avoid crowds.

However, it may not be so peaceful for long, the study warned.

Bamburgh’s appeal has already started to spread, with visitors encouraged to reserve tables in restaurants and arrive at the castle early to secure a parking space.

The poll was conducted by consumer champion Which? The website sought out views on Britain’s coastal towns and villages to find the nation’s favourite seaside destinations. It surveyed more than 4,000 people and ranked nearly 100 towns and villages.

Visitors rated nearly 60 seaside spots at 70 percent or above, while 30 were awarded four or five stars for peace and quiet.

Tynemouth, in Tyne and Wear, took overall joint second place alongside Dartmouth, in Devon.

Both received a visitor score of 84 percent, and five stars for their seafronts. Tynemouth was also given five stars for its beach and seafront and four stars for scenery.

Visitors to Tynemouth praised the selection and quality of restaurants and food options on offer, as well as the market at weekends.

Meanwhile, fans of Dartmouth recommended taking a boat trip along the River Dart or the steam train from Paignton to get there.

In third place, and taking the title of Scotland’s best beach town, was St Andrews. Busier than some of the other destinations at the top of the table, the town earned its high ranking thanks to its five-star rated tourist attractions as well as its shopping options, which received four stars.

It also received four stars for beaches and value for money.

Those looking to beat the crowds were advised by respondents to visit outside of term time, when fewer students from its famous ­university are around. Aberaeron was ranked fourth and named the best seaside town in Wales, with a customer score of 82 percent.

The quiet harbour town was given five stars for its scenery, with visitors commenting fondly on the houses painted in pastel colours.

At the other end of the table, with a customer score of 48 percent, was Skegness. The Lincolnshire seaside town had also been rated bottom by visitors last year.

But its score has improved slightly as a result of investment and refurbishment in the town centre and higher footfall, with more people holidaying in Great Britain than abroad last summer.

While it only received one star for its tourist attractions and scenery, its beach was still given three stars.

Other destinations at the bottom end of the table included Weston-super-Mare (55 percent) and Ilfracombe in Devon (56 percent).

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Many of us discovered the joy of a British summer holiday last year and the trend looks set to continue well into this summer.

“The results of our survey show that bigger is rarely better, with smaller and less crowded resorts taking the top spots over better-known destinations.

“Given the crowds and prices at some seaside destinations, the best news from the survey is just how many highly-rated destinations we have to choose from.”

UK travel warning: Expert urges Britons to 'protect' themselves as staycations restart

Self-catered holidays are set to resume from April 12 under the latest step of Prime Minister Boris Johnson[1]‘s roadmap out of lockdown. However, Mr Johnson has warned that some restrictions could be put back in place at any time, should the data suggest it is necessary.
As a result, one travel expert is warning Britons not to forget travel insurance when booking their UK break.

While travel insurance[2] is typically seen as essential for overseas travel, amid the ongoing uncertainty of the UK lockdown, Antony Martin, managing director at Insurefor.com explained why it is also essential for staycations.

“While we await further details on the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce’s ‘traffic light system’, there continues to be uncertainty around when we’ll be able to travel abroad this year, so the focus for many Brits is on booking staycations,” he said.

“We want to remind them that it is important to take out travel insurance to ensure they are covered for cancellation and curtailment.”

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Over the last year, many Britons have seen their plans cancelled and changed for all manner of reasons relating to the pandemic. As a result, insure.com launched a special “COVID[4]-protection” package.

From last-minute lockdowns to positive Covid test results, Britons should ensure they are protected against financial loss.

“While we hope that restrictions will ease according to the proposed dates in the Government’s roadmap, this may cause a spike in cases, so we advise Brits to ensure they have the necessary cover, should their chosen accommodation be required to close,” continued Mr Martin.

“Our travel insurance product protects consumers against COVID-related issues both pre-departure and during their stay to ensure they don’t lose out if their UK holiday is cancelled.”

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However, it isn’t just Covid-related issues that travel insurance provides support for.

“It is also important to take out travel insurance for a staycation under normal circumstances to cover various issues such as cancellation, curtailment in case you have to cut your staycation short, transport delays, lost or stolen luggage and personal liability to cover legal expenses if you’re held responsible for causing damages or injury to another person while on holiday.”

Much like with foreign holidays, the timing of a travel insurance purchase is also crucial.

“It is strongly advised that you book your travel insurance as soon as you have made a financial commitment towards your trip,” explained Mr Martin.

Speaking previously, the Prime Minister shared hopes his roadmap out of lockdown would be “irreversible”, although he admitted there could be situations when plans could be put on hold.

Rules and restrictions could be implemented at a local level should a new COVID-19 variant or outbreak strike.

In February, Mr Johnson said: “We will not pull the rug out for the duration of the pandemic the Government will continue to do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK.”

From April 12, only self-catered holidays will be given the go-ahead to resume, however, they can only be taken with members of the same household.

From May 17, a further relaxation of rules is expected, with hotels and B&Bs given the green light to reopen.

At this point, the rule of six will apply to all people staying in the same accommodation.

Two households may also holiday together.

International travel remains under review; though the Prime Minister has shared hopes some international travel could resume in May.

UK holidays: Swansea and Sheffield ranked as 'best value for money' staycations

UK holidays are anticipated to see another summer of success once domestic travel[1] restrictions are relaxed in the coming weeks. Ahead of this, new data has discovered which destinations offer travellers the most bang for their buck.
Though the easing of travel restrictions varies for each of the devolved nations, Scotland, England and Wales are all expected to have reopened for self-catered staycations by the end of April.

Experts from NetVoucherCodes analysed the cost of various aspects of a typical UK holiday and came up with the “best” and “worst” value for money destinations across the country.

They predicted the cost of a week away, taking into account aspects such as the average price for accommodation, meals out, and a pint.

According to the experts, it was the cosy seaside town of Rhosili Bay in Wales that came out on top for cost-effectiveness.

READ MORE: Google Maps Street View: Users baffled by ‘mysterious’ naked man[2]

However, the experts warned: “It is worth getting your holiday planned, as caravans in the same area are currently being booked for upwards of £1,200.”

Wales is currently only open to Welsh residents.

The good news is, there was also one English destination that scored highly for its low-cost offering.

Sheffield came in second place, with a week-long hotel stay for a family of four comings out at around £440.

Those looking to stay in a B&B can do so for an extra £80.

The research found that adults can eat out for approximately £10 each, with the price of a pint sitting at about £3.50.

“Sitting on the edge of the Peak District National Park, the city of Sheffield has plenty to explore,” stated the spokesperson.

Liverpool took third place, with a hotel stay costing around £455.

“Located a short walk from the centre of St Ives, Porthminster is the perfect place to have a Cornish break,” explained the NetVoucherCodes spokesperson.

“The award-winning beach is a favourite among families and has seasonal lifeguards, making it a super safe place to swim.”

A week-long hotel stay for a family of four can be found for as little as £330, however, the cost of an average stay came in at £500.

The research also found some of the most expensive staycation locations in the UK.

Woolacombe Beach, in Devon, was ranked the most costly option.

It was followed by Jersey’s St. Brelade’s Bay, Fistral Bay in Cornwall, Brighton on the south coast and Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District.

References

  1. ^ travel (www.express.co.uk)
  2. ^ Google Maps Street View: Users baffled by ‘mysterious’ naked man (www.express.co.uk)

Camping, caravan & staycations: Center Parcs, Butlins, Parkdean & Haven holiday updates

Center Parcs

Center Parcs has announced plans to reopen all of its holiday parks from April 12.

This includes Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest, Whinfell Forest and Woburn Forest.

However, it notes this will be confirmed by the Government on April 5.

“All guests due to visit on breaks prior to April 12 should have already received an email from us with instructions on how to cancel activities and restaurants and how to reschedule or cancel,” reads a statement on the Center Parcs website.

“All guests impacted by a closure will have the option to change dates with £100 discount or cancel and claim a full refund.”

For guests who are able to travel[1] from April 12, the holiday park has warned some amenities and services will not be available due to Government guidelines.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming guests to our lodges but hotel rooms and apartments will be unavailable,” explains Center Parcs.

“Only one household will be permitted per lodge.

“Our restaurants will operate a collection and delivery service, we also hope to have our terraces open.”

Some indoor and outdoor activities will be available to book, and the holiday park says its spa will be open.

However, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise will not be open during this time.

“As the Subtropical Swimming Paradise will be closed during your break, you will receive a discount based on the size of your booked accommodation if you wish to continue with your break,” states Center Parcs.

READ MORE: Foreign travel ‘extremely unlikely’ due to rise in COVID cases[2]

References

  1. ^ travel (www.express.co.uk)
  2. ^ Foreign travel ‘extremely unlikely’ due to rise in COVID cases (www.express.co.uk)

Camping, caravan & staycations: Centre Parcs, Butlins, Parkdean & Haven holiday updates

“All our accommodation will be open, however, we’ll only be able to welcome one household per unit ,” explained Haven.

“Restaurants and bars will be open but limited to outdoor areas only.”

The following will not be open: showbars, indoor dining, creative activities, indoor play, Airspace at Combe Haven and Blue Dolphin, swimming pools at Rockley Park (for breaks up to and including April 29) and aqua parks in swimming pools.

Haven parks in Scotland and Wales will open on April 2.

Parkdean Resorts

Parkdean’s English parks will open on April 12 “subject to government guidance following the latest government update”.

The following won’t be available under May 17: indoor food and drink, outdoor pools, soft play, outdoor and indoor performances, kids’ shops and amusement arcades.

Camping, caravan & staycations: Latest holiday park updates – Center Parcs, Butlins & more

Britons across the nations are eagerly anticipating a change of scenery. If the data on coronavirus satisfies the Government, camping, caravan and self-catered staycations will be given the go-ahead from April 12.

Haven

Haven has announced plans to reopen its parks in England from April 12.

Guests booked up until this date will be given the option to rebook their holiday for a later date, obtain a voucher towards a future break, or cancel their break in return for a full refund.

The firm adds it is working through measures which may be in place for holidays from April 12.

A statement on the Haven website reads: “We know that the announcement was unsettling for all upcoming breaks which is why we’re working through exactly what this means for guests due to arrive on or after April 12 too.

“At this stage, there is nothing you need to do and as soon as we have more information, we’ll be in touch!”

While self-catering holidays will be allowed, there will be some rules customers must follow.

This includes only one household per unit, and some facilities remaining closed.

Show bars, indoor dining, creative activities, indoor play, Airspace at Combe Haven and Blue Dolphin and Aqua Parks within swimming pools will remain closed.

However, indoor and outdoor pools and activities will remain open.

Bars and restaurants will allow for outdoor dining.

Unfortunately, touring breaks will remain cancelled until May 16.

Guests will have the option to rebook, accept a voucher for future travel or cancel for a full refund.

However, from June 21, Haven is hopeful for a return to “normality”.

“As it stands, for all breaks taking place on or after Monday June 21, all facilities will be open and all social distancing removed,” reads a statement on its website.

It adds: “Whilst we’re counting down the days to welcome back normal life, please note Monday, June 21 is the earliest possible date for lifting restrictions according to the roadmap and will of course be dependent on Government guidance at the time.”

Holidays in both Scotland and Wales are currently cancelled up until Thursday, April 1.

Center Parcs

Center Parcs has set out a reopening date of April 12 across its parks in England.

This new date applies to sites including Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest, Whinfell Forest and Woburn Forest.

In a statement on its website, Center Parcs explains: “We are planning for this date and working through the detail to understand exactly what this means for breaks from April 12 onwards.

“Please note that any plans are subject to Government giving the go-ahead to move to this next step of their roadmap, which they intend to confirm by April 5.

“For guests due to visit on breaks prior to April 12, we will make contact via email over the next few days with instructions on how to cancel activities and restaurants and how to reschedule or cancel.”

However, guests due to arrive from April 12 may not be able to access some amenities and services due to Government guidelines.

“Guests due to visit on breaks April 12 to May 16 will receive an email from us within a few days to outline what to expect on these breaks.”

Center Parcs has provided a brief summary of how facilities may be impacted.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming guests to our lodges but hotel rooms and apartments will be unavailable,” it states.

“Only one household will be permitted per lodge.

“Our restaurants will operate a collection and delivery service, we also hope to have our terraces open, subject to the rule of six.”

Some indoor and outdoor activities will be able to operate, and the spa will be open for treatments.

However, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise will remain closed.

Guests will be offered “a discount based on the size of booked accommodation” if they wish to go ahead with their holiday.

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Parkdean Resorts

Parkdean is set to reopen its parks in England from April 12, subject to Government guidance.

“Under current government guidance, our holiday parks are closed to all holidaymakers,” reads a statement.

“We look forward to welcoming holidaymakers back to our parks as soon as it is safely possible to do so.

“On Tuesday, February 23 2021, we confirmed our English Parks will reopen on April 12 2021 subject to government guidance following the latest government update.

“We are actively contacting all affected holidaymakers.

“From April 12 2021 in England, self-contained accommodation with no shared facilities will be open.

“This includes glamping pods in West Bay and Sandford. Touring holidays can go ahead, subject to holidaymakers’ accommodation being fully self-sufficient. Our shared facilities should reopen from May 12 2021.”

Some facilities will be open from May 12, including outdoor dining and some activities.

However indoor dining, outdoor pools, soft plays and performances will not be open until May 17.

Scottish parks are currently expected to open from April 26 and Welsh parks from March 29, subject to further guidance from devolved governments.

Pontins

Pontins is due to reopen its doors to guests from mid-May.

Customers whose holiday is now cancelled will be contacted by the holiday provider.

“Following the Government’s recent announcement on the road map out of lockdown we are planning to reopen all our Parks from Monday, May 17 2021,” reads a statement on the company website.

“We will keep making arrangements and working towards welcoming you back to our restaurants, bars and entertainment venues for our full Pontins Holiday experience.

“For reservations booked prior to our reopening, we will be able to offer you a change of date for this year or offer to move your holiday to the same date next year.

“We are still experiencing a high volume of enquiries with limited resources; we will be in touch with anyone affected as soon as we can so please bear with us.”

Hoseasons

Hoseasons has set out varying reopening dates for its holiday parks across England, Scotland and Wales.

For customers with holiday plans in England, holidays will be cancelled up to and including April 11.

The website states: “During national lockdown and in Step one, holiday accommodation is not permitted to open in England.

“We have emailed all customers with a booking in England that are due to travel on or before April 11, 2021 with their options, which include the choice of a refund or a voucher of the amount paid for the booking. Please refer to that email to make your choice.”

From April 12, single households will be permitted to travel to self-catered accommodation.

Hoseasons adds: “In Step three, domestic overnight stays will be permitted provided that the party size is no greater than six people (from up to six households) or is no more than two households (of any size).

“We have emailed all customers that we believe are affected by this rule with the option to reduce party size or cancel for a refund or voucher.

“If you have not received an email from us, and you are unable to use your booking in compliance with the household/party size restrictions or updated government guidance, please contact us to discuss your options, which will include the choice between a refund and a voucher of the amount paid for your booking.”

Customers in Wales will have their holiday cancelled if it was due to go ahead on or before March 12.

Hoseasons has assured it will email options to guests, including the choice of a refund or a voucher of the amount paid.

“If you have a booking on or after March 13, 2021, rest assured that we will be in touch with the options available to you closer to the time,” adds the holiday provider.

Holidays due to go ahead in Scotland are cancelled up to and including April 25.

Camping & Caravanning Club

Club sites across the UK are currently closed, warns the Camping and Caravanning Club.

However, the holiday provider has listed new preliminary reopening dates for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in line with the Prime Minister’s roadmap.

In England, the earliest reopening date will be April 12.

“We are currently clarifying guidance but it is likely that as part of this opening phase we will not be able to open facility blocks,” reads a statement on the company website.

“Campers will need to have their own self-contained toilet facilities, until May 17 at the earliest.”

In Scotland, this will be April 26 and in Wales and Northern Ireland April 1.

For Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland the holiday provider says it is waiting on “further details”.

National Trust Holidays

National Trust Holidays updated its website after Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement.

It explains: “Following government guidance in England, all cottages, bunkhouse and bothies remain closed in England until April 11, 2021, inclusive (subject to review on April 5 2021).

“Following government guidance in England, all campsites in England will remain closed until May 16, 2021 inclusive.

“When we reopen in England on April 12, 2021, we’ll be reopening with a one household rule until at least May 16, 2021, inclusive.”

It continues: “Following government guidance in Wales, all holiday accommodation will remain closed until March 14, 2021 inclusive (subject to review on March 12, 2021).

“Following guidance from the Northern Ireland Executive, all holiday accommodation will remain closed until March 31, 2021 inclusive (subject to review on March 18, 2021).”