In Praise of the Staycation

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Today’s blog post has been kindly provided by Luxury Family Hotels, experts in child-friendly holidays across several stunning UK locations.

As the Easter holidays loom ever larger, many parents will be taking to the internet or poring over holiday brochures in the hope of booking a ticket to the sun. But going abroad at this time of year entails flying long-haul or at least medium-haul if you want to take advantage of outdoor pools and be guaranteed properly warm weather, and that can be stressful with younger kids, as well as hugely expensive.

But don’t despair. There are many reasons to stay in the UK, even in the colder months, including heaps of wonderful attractions that deserve more attention and the opportunity to avoid the hell – and expense – of airports. Staying closer to home can mean more quality time for the family if you choose wisely – you may be surprised by what’s on offer within just a couple of hours of your own home. Here’s some inspiration and tips from our friends at Luxury Family Hotels .

Browse the websites of the National Trust or English Heritage  for ideas – both are crammed with stunning country houses and gorgeous castles with grounds where kids can run wild (see the National Trust’s 50 Things to do before you’re 11¾ list for outdoorsy activities). Once you’ve chosen a property, research accommodation nearby.

Don’t rule out the beach in winter – many activities, including rock-pooling and sandcastle-building, are just as much fun in the cold as the warmth. Again, you might like to pick a great beach and then source somewhere to stay within easy reach of it. One of our own favourites is Chesil Beach in Dorset, which is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, famous for its fossil-findings and great for dinosaur-loving kids.

Embrace the weather in all its manifestations! Kids are really not that bothered by the wind, rain and cold, if dressed properly. Think thermal undies, layers and a flask of hot chocolate to take out with you.

Choose somewhere truly cosy and welcoming to stay, with plenty to do indoors as well as out – perhaps a hotel with a log fires, board games, resident pets, a swimming pool and maybe even a spa that Mum and Dad can take it in turns to sneak off to…

Think about your stomach! Part of the joy of a staycation is feasting on local produce, whether it’s a crab sandwich by the beach or an indulgent afternoon luscious cake made with ingredients from your hotel’s own garden.  After all, you can always burn off the calories with a long walk in the countryside of on the beach.

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