When asked the question where have we been on holiday, we tend to respond with a list of exotic locations. For me the answer is Kefalonia, Cyprus, France, Italy, Crete and Spain. Oh and I went to Egypt for a day…
Which is all well and good, but at the same time I’ve spent more time in London than all of those countries listed above and yet I’ve never lived in our capital. I’ve been to Inverness, to Cornwall a couple of times, Wales more than once and spent most of my October half term holidays in Northern Ireland. Glasgow, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh. The list of places I’ve holidayed in the UK is much higher than my list of foreign locations.
Staycation. A vacation in your own country. The idea, from what I understand, is seen as one which is only popular during time of economic downturn but in both the country of origin (America if you hadn’t guessed) and our own island, this seems ridiculous. Both countries boast some of the best landscapes in the world, some of the most diverse cities on our planet and are big enough to take a while to explore.
Britain is a fantastic country. I live in Nottingham, an hour away from the Peak District. When I lived in Manchester, I was still only an hour away from the Peak District (just the other side of it!). Yet, I’ve rarely ever visited the Peaks, and I’ve only ever stayed overnight there once, when I was 13. The Peaks contain within them some of the most stunning countryside we can see in Britain, and yet we choose to jet off to Turkey or Germany instead.
And I haven’t even properly talked about Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, the Lakes, the Scottish Highlands, Snowdonia, Brecon, the Scottish islands, the Channel Islands or Northern Ireland. All of which are genuinely areas of natural beauty. The UK doesn’t always have the weather foreign countries can boast, and we certainly don’t have the same colour sea, but we have almost everything else.
Our beaches are far from shabby, our mountains are far from dull and we have the added bonus of always being able to understand the locals (ok, maybe apart from Newcastle). Britain truly is great when you put it this way.
This is so out of character for me, showing patriotism and passion for our piece of rock floating in the Atlantic but it’s a view I’ve always held. Our country is one of the best in the world in terms of the make up of it. Of all the countries I’ve visited, the only one where the landscape has truly taken my breath away has been Britain. Ok, that’s a slight lie – the Amalfi coast in Italy rivals anything we have here, but there are always exceptions.
And one of the reasons for that is exactly the reason we travel abroad. We have a lot of rain here. The downside is obvious, the upside is luscious fields of green as far as the eye can see (literally in Lincolnshire, where all the hills are centred in the city itself).
Cost also comes into it. Sadly, it is now sometimes cheaper to travel abroad for a week than to stay in Britain. But apart from that, there’s certainly no reason to always leave our country when you need a holiday.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not urging our readers to never leave Britain. As a nation we need to do tolerance better and in theory travelling helps that. Also, there are plenty of areas of culture, beauty and whatlike elsewhere across the world and of course we should go visit those places from time to time. I’m merely arguing that we should appreciate what we have here a little more, and consider what we’ve seen here and what we have left to see when thinking about taking a week off work.
We don’t get time off very often, and it’s tempting to travel across the world when we do. But maybe, just maybe, we should consider our rock and decide on whether it might be worth visiting a part of it we’ve only seen on the news before.