The days are getting longer and the weather is getting (slightly) warmer – sure signs that summer is on its way! If you haven’t already booked your holiday, you’ll probably be starting to think about where you can head off to. At this late stage, holidays abroad can be pricey. Besides, flights, board, insurance…who needs the stress? Why not make this the year of the staycation? There are tons of beautiful places and wonderful treasures to uncover right here in the UK, most of which will give you just as much sunshine, culture and relaxation as any foreign country, and with a price tag to smile about!
Other than rain, fish and chips and binge drinking, Britain is well known for its cities. This nation’s cities are some of the most beautiful and culturally rich in the world – but when you can access them at any time, it’s easy to overlook them. There’s Edinburgh and its wonderful architecture, York and its rich history, Bath and its combination of countryside and culture. Plus, of course, there’s good old London, which isn’t always as expensive as you might think – check out the British Museum and the Natural History Museum for a free and informative day out.
The Great British countryside is second to none. Thanks to all that wet weather we’re always moaning about, this country is one of the most lush and green you’ll find. Get out and about this summer, take the kids, see what your neighbourhood has to offer. And if you’re not up to hiking up a hill, you might consider 4×4 tours – they’re run all over the country and provide a great way to see the countryside from the comfort of a car seat. Worried about destroying the landscape? Well, most 4×4 touring outfits are authorized by GLASS – the Green Laning Association – which promotes careful and considerate off-roading. Be sure to check that.
Taking the caravan for a spin (not literally, please) or heading out on a camping trip are great ideas for a relatively inexpensive and fun family holiday. And there are ways to cut costs even more, if you know where to look. Becoming a member of the Camping and Caravanning Club probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list, but it’s a worthwhile consideration. For just £37 a year, two adults and up to four children can bag a ton of benefits including exclusive discounts on pitch fees and ferry journeys, plus access to over 1600 members-only campsites. What’s more, if you’re over 60 you’ll be eligible for an extra 25% off. It may seem like extra expense at first, but it’s worth thinking about how much you might save in the long run.
And if you’re still not convinced that there’s anything special about our country, here’s one final plug. What do Belgium’s Hallerbos Forest, Poland’s Tatra Mountains and England’s Oxford University have in common? The answer is that they’re all included in Condé Nast’s top 50 most beautiful places to visit in Europe. And it’s not Britain’s only appearance on the list – Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands are all considered some of the most stunning places on the continent.
So this year, why not swap flight costs and a dodgy belly for fun and beauty right on your doorstep?
Christians Against Poverty offers free advice to those struggling with unmanageable debt, regardless of age, gender, faith or background. Call free on 0800 328 0006 or visit www.capuk.org for more information. Plus, CAP runs free money management courses across the country. Visit www.capmoneycourse.org.
By Adriaan Van Wyk