Appreciating the Beauty of the World at Your Doorstep
With the continuing impact COVID-19 is having on the travel industry, the idea of a ‘staycation’, or going on a holiday within the UK, is becoming more and more appealing. Whilst it might seem sad that jetting off to a golden beach or a mountain adventure isn’t as simple as it once was, we should use this time to appreciate the natural beauty we have just outside our doorstep. These could be things that you have previously taken for granted or not given any notice to before – who knows, maybe you’ll find somewhere that you didn’t even know existed?
What’s actually out there?
According to the BBC, only 5.9% of the UK has been built on. The rest of the country is made up of 56.7% farmland, 34.9% natural areas and 2.5% ‘green urban’ areas. This means that, even in the heart of a city, there is somewhere for you to explore. Don’t know where to start? A good thing to do is to buy a map of your local area and identify where the public footpaths are and where they lead. As always, if you’re exploring somewhere new the best thing you can do is prepare as much as you can so you know what to expect.
If you’re looking to experience nature in its purest form, why not visit a national park? There are fourteen of them found throughout the UK – the list of which can be found here. When visiting a national park it is important to come prepared – these are large stretches of land often with little amenities, so it is important to bring suitable clothing and plenty of supplies if you’re planning on being outside for a while. Directions on how to get to national parks are often well-signposted on roads, but make sure you know where you are going beforehand, as phone signal isn’t known to be the best when you’re in the middle of nowhere!
If this is your first time venturing out into the countryside, please bear in mind that there are some etiquettes to follow, this is better known as the Countryside Code. The full list can be found here, but some of the main points are leave gates how you find them and leave no trace of your visit so as not to disturb the natural environment. This is so other visitors can enjoy the natural wonders but also to protect the plants and animals that live there.
From lush forests to cosy coastal towns, the UK is more diverse than you think with a variety of natural landscapes available to visit out there. The great thing about staycations is that there are relatively less stressful than a holiday abroad – you don’t have to travel as far or sort out getting another currency. You also have more freedom in how you choose to get to your destination as well, if it’s by car why not make a road trip out of the journey?
The availability of accommodation across the country has improved considerably over the past few days, with the rise of apps like Airbnb, meaning you’re not restricted to wherever the nearest hotel is. Hosts have also been getting a lot more creative with the types of accommodation they can offer, such as glamping in a pod with a hot tub or hiding away in a snug little log cabin. Staying somewhere a bit different can be incorporated into part of your trip and the self-catering aspect can give an adventurous feel to a remote getaway.
If you’re not wedded to the idea of a staycation, you can also experience what different countries have to offer through online experiences. Done through video conference, these activities can range from cooking classes to virtual museum tours. They are a great way to see what different cultures have to offer from the comfort of your own home.
Following the latest COVID-19 guidelines
The UK has recently left its second lockdown period (as of 2nd December 2020) and has moved back into its three-tier system – if you are unsure which tier your area falls in, check the gov.uk website here. People in the highest tier, tier 3, can still visit outdoor spaces and these are likely to be the safest places to visit during lockdown as they will have the least amount of people around. You should always remember to maintain a safe distance from people not in your household and wear a face covering when necessary.
As Richard discussed in our previous blog post, the best thing we can do is to view our current situation as an opportunity to explore new aspects that we might not have considered before. It’s easy to think of travel and only have eyes far-away places when there is so much on our doorstep. If you’re interested in further broadening your knowledge of what the United Kingdom has to offer, check out our travel guide.
Written by Joe Corfield