Because sometimes a staycation can offer so much more…
The idea of a holiday abroad is usually good one, yet sometimes the expectations don’t match up. We’ve all been there – unfortunate tan lines, mislaid luggage, language mishaps, hotel rooms not quite as great as we’d hoped… and don’t even get me started on those all-inclusive buffets). So what if you turned your vacation aspiration into something a little closer to home. For sometimes it is so easy to forget the wonders and beauty hot-spots we have right on our doorstep.
Here are Seen in the City’s staycation picks no matter what you’re looking for (and there’s not a foreign phrasebook in sight!)
Your very own beach house in South West Cornwall (Aspects Holidays)
Located in Praa Sands (between the Lizard and west Penwith), Praaloha (sleeps 10) is a luxury and spacious beach house, ideal for that ultimate house party. New to Aspects Holidays’ ‘Unique and Boutique’ portfolio, this recently-refurbished and deluxe home-from-home boasts sea views, five large bedrooms, five bathrooms, two sitting rooms, two kitchens, an expansive garden and its own detached pool house with a bar, overlooking a private 15-metre heated outdoor pool. Throughout the property, floor to ceiling windows allow guests to enjoy the panoramic vistas across the beautiful bay.
You can stroll to Praa Sands Beach, with its laid-back pub, a surf school, a café and a local shop that sells Cornish produce. Alternatively, walk along the South West Coast Path: the plunging cliffs and jagged rocks below speak of tales of old, filled with stormy seas, smugglers and wreckers. In the evenings, make the most of the stylish pool house (complete with a built-in drinks bar) and the 15-metre heated swimming pool, set within the property’s secluded gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Fire up the barbeque or mix up a cocktail or two, while watching the sun set beneath the waves from one of the comfy loungers. Or, slide into the water and swim a few lengths, listening to the soothing sounds of sea.
A week’s stay during low season costs from £218 pp (£2,178 total). A week’s stay during high season costs from £502 pp (£5,023 total). The pool is open and heated until 1 October. Two dogs, at an additional £25 each, are welcome. For more information call 01736 754242 or visitwww.aspects-holidays.co.uk/cottages/in/praa-sands.
Get back to nature in Devon (Eden Hotel Collection)
Bovey Castle has been undergoing a huge refurbishment over the last 18-24 months since the hotel was taken over by the Eden Hotel Collection in 2014. Situated in 275 glorious acres within Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle is the place to go for country pursuits such as horse riding, golf and archery. There’s even a complimentary falconry display on the terrace each morning.
The hotel’s new Off-road driving experience – available as a one-hour taster (from £125 pp) or a half-day experience (from £225 pp) – is the only one of its kind at a UK hotel. Based on the edge of the estate, guests get to drive one of the hotel’s fleet of Land Rover Defenders on newly-constructed woodland tracks which includes steep inclines, descents and side slopes. Stay overnight for an additional £179 per room (two sharing; room only), including access to the Elan Spa and swimming pool. Call Bovey Castle on 01647 445 000 (www.boveycastle.com).
Road tripping in Scotland
Scotland’s scenic 500-mile driving route – from £245 per night
Billed as Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the recently-launched (summer 2015) North Coast 500 showcases the fairytale castles, wild beaches and ethereal ruins of the less-visited northern Highlands. The route loops around Scotland’s northern tip, from Inverness to John O’Groats, down the west coast and heads inland at the Applecross peninsula. Make The Torridon, next to a spectacular sea loch, your base.
The route passes its front door and the Rapunzel-like towers and well-stocked whisky bar won’t disappoint. An overnight stay costs from £245 per room per night (two sharing) including full Scottish breakfast and activity programme. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
Shakespeare with sea views – Dorset from £90 pp at the Alexandra
The Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis is staging open-air performances of The Tempest (19-24 July) against the breathtaking backdrop of Lyme Bay. 50 actors, singers and musicians will showcase a local adaptation of this epic tale – with an original musical score by award-winning film composer Andrew Dickson. It is thought that Lyme-born Admiral George Somers and his shipwreck on Bermuda in 1609 inspired Shakespeare to pen The Tempest. Tickets cost £10 per adults/£5 per child. Stay a short stroll from the theatre at the Alexandra, where a night’s stay costs from £180 per room/£90 pp (two sharing) including full English breakfast. Call the Alexandra on 01297 442 010 (www.hotelalexandra.co.uk).
Where is your favourite staycation destination? Let us know below!