Top Tips for Staycations
With many people changing plans and cancelling their foreign holidays this year, the staycation is officially on trend. We've teamed up with local accommodation providers, St Marks Stays and Low Branthwaites to bring you their expert top tips for making the most of a UK break plus our suggestions for the best books to read when planning your trip.
St Marks Stays, Cautley
St Marks Stays is group accommodation suitable for retreats, reunions and activities with the advantage of having two National Parks as their playground.
We see a lot of groups over all 4 seasons and so from experience, here are our top tips for making the most of a UK Staycation.
The best holidays are those that are planned ahead of arrival, so you don’t waste time during your stay. Think of everything from asking the accommodation owners what is in the house, to researching what is in the location, so you know what to pack and what you may do when you get there. Consider booking activities in advance to maximise your fun while away. We ﬁnd the people with the best memories are those that created things to do, rather than just pottering around like you do at home. The people that just ‘wing it’ when they arrive often don’t get the most out of their stay. We are in an amazing location and to not take advantage of it is such a shame. Get the ticks on those bucket lists.
Embrace the UK weather
Let’s say it … in the UK it does rain. Don’t always expect wall to wall sunshine and so consider packing for all weathers so you can still head out and enjoy your staycation, rather than feeling despondent if the clouds come over.
Be an early bird
So the temptation on holiday is to have a lie in and before you know it, the morning has turned in to afternoon and then you wonder what you did with the day. Especially if you are only away for a weekend. You get up for work, so why not get up for your pure enjoyment on holiday? Now not everyone wants to see sunrise (although we highly recommend here in the right weather), but being up and out early means you get the best parking spots, avoid the queues, get the activities and walking trails at a quieter time and leaves you even more time to do more than one thing in a day, so you get all the experiences to look back on.
If you'd like to know more about staying at St Marks Stays you can check out their website here.
Low Branthwaites, Sedbergh
Nestled on the hillside directly opposite the Howgill Fells this 17th century farmhouse, surrounded by 14 acres of private land, hides two private apartments with stylish, comfortable interiors. The 2 bedroom, split level apartment with a beautiful, double height lounge with open fire and the smaller, 1 bedroom open plan apartment with private garden both combine the comforts of a bed & breakfast with total privacy and space for you to relax in. And the views will simply take your breath away.
Plan meals out in advance
We have been so pleased to see our guests taking advantage of the serene nature and the relative isolation of the Cumbrian countryside this summer. Beautiful scenery, remote walks and fresh air are always open and readily available, but with the limited capacity and opening hours of food establishments, staycations enthusiasts would be advised to think of their eating arrangements in advance. Many of the fantastic eateries in Sedbergh, such as Al Forno, The Three Hares and On A Roll now offer table bookings as well as take away services. It’s worth checking their opening hours and available menus and if possible, making your table bookings in advance, to eliminate any last minute stress.
Check the details
It is also worth noting that the extensive additional cleaning processes currently in place, mean that many accommodation providers have had to amend their check in times, to allow for room turn-overs to adhere to the Covid19 regulations. It’s best to verify the check-in time prior to arriving to avoid having to wait around at the property. Some hotels and B&B's have also introduced an earlier check-out. Make sure you have the correct information to escape packing in a panic!
If you'd like to know more about staying at Low Branthwaites you can check out their website here.
Be a book worm
Get the guide book
There is a whole plethora of guidebooks you can get now that are specific to areas and activities. If there's something that you'd really like to do, like go wild swimming for example, it's definitely worth investing in a book beforehand to scope out what equipment you might need and where exactly to go. Remember to take into account the time of year as to whether or not your chosen activity will be possible.
We highly recommend Suzanna Cruickshank's Wild Swimming in the Lakes if you're visiting Cumbria or The Wild Swimming Book by Daniel Start which covers the whole of Britain. Cicerone Guides are also brilliant for walking, trail running and cycling enthusiasts.
Do some map reading
If you're more adventurous and a dab hand at map reading then an OS Map of the area you are visiting is your friend. As well as the standard versions, you can also get ones that have a waterproof coating so they are more hardwearing whilst you are out adventuring in the elements. Use them to plan camping trips, walks, cycling routes or even hunt down secluded swimming spots.
Of course, if you are after an altogether more relaxing time on your staycation then you'll be needing a soothing read to get you in the mood for your trip. We love to read about other people's experiences and interpretations of places, some of our favourite writing about the UK is;
Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson
Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane
The Old Ways, Robert Macfarlane
The Salt Path, Raynor Winn
If you're visiting Sedbergh, or would just like to know more about any of the books we've mentioned then please do get in touch. We're always happy to help.