Guest Post: 7 Reasons You Should Stay In The UK This Summer
Stop right there. Hold up. Before you dive into countless hours trawling the internet for that oversubscribed package holiday in Spain, that Tuscan villa or that Greek island hopping journey you’ve already done a gazillion times, just stop and look around you.
Take a deep breath.
Now imagine yourself flapping around packing before heading to the airport at death o’clock in the morning to catch some horrendously coloured low-cost airway out of Luton. (Jeez, Luton!).
Not good is it? But the good news is you don’t need to put yourself through this.
Here are 7 reasons why you should stay in the UK this summer.
1. It’s a going be a humdinger summer. It is brass monkeys out there at the moment, make no mistake. The UK is currently in the throes of a second, and even more devastatingly brutal winter. Livestock have been buried under huge snow drifts in Northern Ireland, villages have been smothered up in Cumbria and the Siberian wind is biting at the Eastern Coast like a pack of wild dogs.
But remember March last year? It was scorchio. Then look what happened to summer: it was pish. That’s what happens, you see, in terms of the cyclic nature of the elements. So the fact that March has been, like, the nippiest ever, is a good omen for summer, and God damn it, the British people are due a long, heady summer like those of old. Believe people, believe!
Believe and it will come.
2. Festival season. There is no country in the world that has as rich a tradition as the UK when it comes to rolling around in open fields, slurping and spilling cider, enjoying mass singalongs to clodhopper-sporting bands and indulging in types of mischief you’re probably old enough to know better than to indulge in.
The UK music festival season kicks off in May and rolls through the different corners of the country from the Isle of Wight (Bestival, the Isle of Wight festival), to Dorset (the Larmer Tree Festival, End of the Road), to Suffolk (Latitude), to Kinross-shire (T in the Park) to literally hundreds of others including more niche events meeting the demand-smorgasbord of culture and music lovers across this glorious nation of ours.
There’s bound to be something out there for you, whether your tastes involve Celtic rock, house and techno, folk or skiffle. So roll out that tent from the loft, pack up a cold box with beers and head down to the festival of your choice for a much-needed extended weekend of hedonism.
3. Holiday parks. These massively underrated types of holiday option have also been appropriated by music festivals for their own ends over recent years. Think All Tomorrow’s Parties in Camber Sands. Think chaos.
But Holiday Parks are actually a brilliant option for a family break in the UK which will keep every member of your family or friendship group entertained. With their wide open spaces of lovely greenery, often by the sea, swimming pools stacked with slides and wave pools, ace sports facilities and a slew of cracking entertainment by night, parks like these can really take you by surprise.
All this, too, without having to even try and track them down in a place you don’t really know or have to clumsily ask for in a foreign tongue. Takes the pressure of a little, doesn’t it? And who needs pressure on holidays?
Not me, I tell you. Not me.
4. No planes. This one is dead simple. You stay on this island for your holibobs, you don’t need to faff around at airports or put your life in the hands of someone driving you through the air in some pinned-together plates of tin. OK, so maybe I exaggerate the last point a little but so many people just hate to fly. Imagine how much more relaxing a short car or train journey to your holiday location will be. Sooooo much more relaxing.
Saves you time, stress and effort. Those things are darn important when holidays are involved.
5. Countryside. As Danny Boyle’s game-changing Olympic Opening Ceremony richly demonstrated, the British countryside is kinda awesome. We all probably do not appreciate it as much as we should do. It is really quite a special thing.
The changing landscapes across the country are staggering, from the rolling green hills of Somerset, to the huge skies and wetlands of Norfolk, to the scarlet and purple heather of the North Yorkshire moors, we are inundated with glorious places to explore.
But have you ever really tried it? Really tried to get to know another corner of the country you profess to deeply love? If not, this summer could well be the time.
6. British people. Brits. They’re like you’re family in many ways. In fact, they probably are your family, too, in most cases. But our country can boast huge levels of cultural diversity, something which is probably attributable in no small way to our island status. Brits are famous abroad for their sense of humour and you will find laughter the common currency in the far corners of our island.
On top of this, the fascinating range of local regional identities with their own foibles, accents, foodstuffs and interests is a source of interest to visitors from all the corners of the globe. So why not you too?
7. Quirky festivals and traditions. The diversity of regional identities goes hand in hand with a huge array of quirky regional customs too. Many regions have their own festivals that are unique to that area only. We’re not talking about Summer Isle and The Wickerman here although, that said, there is The Wickerman Festival in July.
No, we’re talking instead about things like ‘Sheep Day’. Yes, that’s right – ‘Sheep Day.’ This happens once a summer in the Yorkshire market town of Skipton when the countryside is brought right into the town. Baaa–rilliant, yes? Ahem.
Alternatively, you could try the annual Scarecrow Festival in Torteval on Guernsey which happens every July, or maybe the Great Wrekin Barrel Race which takes place in Wellington in June. Teams compete to carry barrels of beer to the top of this major Shropshire hill, you can watch AND drink beer. Cool.
There are hundreds of festivals to choose from, they just require research. Do you know what the traditional festival and customs are for your little corner of the country? No? Then go thither and seek them out!
Author Bio: Matthew Pink is a writer who will not be using his passport this year.