14 reasons a staycation is better than going abroad

Heading off on holidays to exotic destinations thousands of miles away is all very well, but if we’re being honest, choosing to holiday at home is looking awfully appealing all of a sudden. 

From awe-inspiring walks to some of the best beaches in Europe, the UK is the place to holiday in 2017.  And to help you make the most of it, Halfords and the Mail have teamed up to produce a fabulous interactive map – have a look at it on halfords.com/staycation-map – to help you make the most of your free time and plan the perfect day out, weekend trip or longer break for all the family.

So gather the family, pack up the car with everything you need, and hit the road for a staycation to discover for yourself just what makes Britain so great.

From awe-inspiring walks to some of the best beaches in Europe, the UK is the place to holiday in 2017

From awe-inspiring walks to some of the best beaches in Europe, the UK is the place to holiday in 2017

1) Walking wonderland

No matter what the weather, the vast and diverse British countryside is a real natural beauty.

Walking and hiking are some of the best ways to get a good look at the vistas and views which make this country so impressive.

Why not get the family out in the fresh air and head to Cumbria, where the morning light illuminates the lakes on The Coniston Round 15-mile trek?

Or how about a wander through the Edale Skyline in the Peak District, a rugged landscape that will grab the attention of the most jaded teen!  

No matter what the weather, the vast and diverse British countryside is a real natural beauty - head on a roadtrip to the stunning Peak District (above)

No matter what the weather, the vast and diverse British countryside is a real natural beauty – head on a roadtrip to the stunning Peak District (above)

2) Beautiful beaches

Who needs the Bahamas when Blighty’s beaches are some of the most stunning in the world?

From the Gold Award-winning Woolacombe beach in Dorset – a three-mile long stretch of golden sand revered for its water quality – to the jewel of the south coast that is Porthmeor in St. Ives, nowhere does a seaside holiday like the UK.

We have endless beautiful beaches to enjoy, from the endless dunes and dramatic skies of the North Norfolk coast to the golden sands of south Devon and the fabulously isolated Scottish coastline – perfect for beach games and barbecues for everyone to enjoy. 

Who needs the Bahamas when Blighty's beaches are some of the most stunning in the world -Holkham beach in North Norfolk is one of many beautiful beaches around our country

Who needs the Bahamas when Blighty’s beaches are some of the most stunning in the world -Holkham beach in North Norfolk is one of many beautiful beaches around our country

Make sure you head to Halfords first to stock up on games: a cricket set (£12), rounders set (£12), boules set (£15) and meerkat ring toss (£12) will all provide hours of fun while you enjoy a well-earned snooze on your deckchair. 

With a car full of kids and beach gear (we’re thinking deckchairs, windbreaks, and endless towels!), you’ll be needing a tad more space for your staycation.  So why not get a roomy roof box to put all those added extras in (and don’t forget the tea bags).

Halfords does a great range at great prices – and the plus side – they will even FIT them for you.  Get the Exodus 470L Roof Box and roof bars fully fitted for just £349, and will help ensure you lack for nothing when you reach your destination, and means the kids have more space in the backseat during the journey! 

The Exodus 470L roof box with roof bars costs £349, fully fitted from Halfords.  It's the size of a large boot so gives lots of extra space. (selected vehicles only)

The Exodus 470L roof box with roof bars costs £349, fully fitted from Halfords.  It’s the size of a large boot so gives lots of extra space. (selected vehicles only)

3) History

When it comes to a little bit of history, there’s a lot to choose from during a staycation.

From the awe-inspiring wonder of a lost world at Stonehenge to the remnants of the Roman invasion with Hadrian’s wall, Britain boasts thousands of years of stories, traditions and tales. 

Why not hop in the car and head to the riverside town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, the hometown of Shakespeare. Mingle with the crowds as you learn all about the Elizabethan playwright who is still as popular around the world as he was almost 500 years ago.

From the awe-inspiring wonder of a lost world at Stonehenge to the remnants of the Roman invasion with Hadrian's wall, Britain boasts thousands of years of stories, traditions and tales

From the awe-inspiring wonder of a lost world at Stonehenge to the remnants of the Roman invasion with Hadrian’s wall, Britain boasts thousands of years of stories, traditions and tales

4) Awe-inspiring adventure

Whether you’re an adventurous couple or a family of thrill-seekers, staying in Britain is in no way boring.

Why not pull the kids away from their iPads and head to one of the UK’s fast-flowing rivers for a day of rafting and tubing. Try the Dee in Wales for some adrenaline-pumping wet ‘n’ wild fun.

Or why not explore Britain’s National Parks the old fashioned way and head out on a horse hack. 

From Devon to Yorkshire and the Highlands, you can enjoy family group pony treks and trail riding and learn the ropes together.

Or alternatively, a great way to see the natural beauty of the parks, as well as for the family to spend some quality time together, is by bike. 

Halford’s Apollo Vivid kids bike, £112 (was £140), is perfect for younger family members, and if you have some little ones who aren’t able to ride yet, or you just want to go on a longer ride than the kids can manage why not invest in a trailer for the journey with Halfords Double Buggy Child Bike Trailer, now half price at £99 (was £198).

If you’re heading somewhere far flung, make sure you’ve got a decent soundtrack. Head to Halfords for the super clever Pioneer Car Stereo with Apple CarPlay (£399, fully fitted), which offers the newest way to use an iPhone in your car. With it, you can get directions, listen to your iTunes library, and use Siri – just plug in your iPhone when you get into your car!

Try the clever Pioneer Car Stereo with Apple CarPlay (£399, fully fitted, Halfords)

Try the clever Pioneer Car Stereo with Apple CarPlay (£399, fully fitted, Halfords)

From Devon to Yorkshire and the Highlands, you can enjoy family group pony treks and trail riding and learn the ropes together

From Devon to Yorkshire and the Highlands, you can enjoy family group pony treks and trail riding and learn the ropes together

5) Great grub

Who needs tapas and tortilla when we are surrounded by some of the most delicious delicacies around?

Who can resist a warm Cornish pasty while taking in the sights of St Ives, fish and chips on the beach in Dorset, fresh oysters with a glass of fizz in Whitstable or a relaxing roast in a quirky pub in the Lake District?

One of the joys of a staycation is discovering the deliciously different foods around our beautiful country. Whether it’s pasties in Cornwall or tablet (a delicious sort of Scottish fudge) north of the border, a picnic’s just the ticket. 

Pop into Halfords for a great selection of coolboxes or even a folding picnic table with stools, currently half price at £30 (was £60).

 For all your plate and utensil need have a look at their range of picnic ware- with everything ranging from plastic wine glasses to colourful bowls and family-friendly tumblers, perfect for a day out.

With prices starting at just £3 for six bowls, plates or tumblers, there’s a wide range of choice, and while you’re at it, why not pick up a picnic blanket for just £10?

Who can resist a warm Cornish pasty while taking in the sights of St Ives, fish and chips on the beach in Dorset, fresh oysters with a glass of fizz in Whitstable or a relaxing roast in a quirky pub in the Lake District?

Who can resist a warm Cornish pasty while taking in the sights of St Ives, fish and chips on the beach in Dorset, fresh oysters with a glass of fizz in Whitstable or a relaxing roast in a quirky pub in the Lake District?

6) Picturesque villages

Most of us have been drawn to the cities and suburbs, but when all’s said and done, we are a country of villagers. The local pub, the green, the tiny Post Office selling sweets – nothing makes us feel more British than a stroll around a quaint spot untouched by time.

Why not take in the cute scene in Burnham Market, Norfolk, which boasts beautiful Georgian houses situated around a green with a host of craft shops and eateries.

Or how about the home of Captain James Cook? Staithes in North Yorkshire is a hidden gem worthy of Popeye. Nestled in a cove, the area is steeped in history and the perfect place to eat fresh seafood. You can even charter a boat with a local fisherman and get the catch of the day yourself!

Navigate to new places with ease (as well as avoiding the holiday traffic!) by ensuring you have a state-of-the-art Sat Nav. From TomTom to Garmin, check out the affordable range on offer at Halfords.  And while you’re there, have a look at their dash cams, which are currently on offer with 20% off a range of models, and allow you to record your journey and give you peace of mind.

The local pub, the green, the tiny Post Office selling sweets - nothing makes us feel more British than a stroll round a quaint spot untouched by time, like Staithes in North Yorkshire (above)

The local pub, the green, the tiny Post Office selling sweets – nothing makes us feel more British than a stroll round a quaint spot untouched by time, like Staithes in North Yorkshire (above)

7) Weird and wonderful traditions

From Nettle Eating contests in Dorset to Cheese Rolling in Gloustershire, us Brits are a brilliantly barmy bunch.

You could take the family to watch the clucking mad World Hen Racing Championship in Derbyshire or make a splash as you cheer on the contestants of the Bog Snorkelling in Powys.

Of course, you can’t miss out on one of our greatest traditions, Morris Dancing. Nothing brings the pure joy of watching the hopping, skipping and stick-waving of this ancient ritual, best to see around the villages of Cotswolds and Welsh borders. 

Us Brits are a brilliantly barmy bunch - don't miss out on one of our greatest traditions, Morris Dancing. Nothing brings the pure of watching the hopping, skipping and stick-waving of this ancient ritual, best to see around the villages of Cotswolds and Welsh borders

Us Brits are a brilliantly barmy bunch – don’t miss out on one of our greatest traditions, Morris Dancing. Nothing brings the pure of watching the hopping, skipping and stick-waving of this ancient ritual, best to see around the villages of Cotswolds and Welsh borders

8) Fuss-free travel

Ok, so our roads seem to be constantly having work done on them, but in comparison to some of our Continental neighbours, our motorways and A-roads are seriously smooth operators.

And the best thing about the UK being delightfully small is it doesn’t take forever and a day to get anywhere – making it the perfect road trip hotspot.  

Make sure you’re road ready by heading to Halfords and let them do the hard work for you. They offer a free car check service where they check your bulbs, battery, oil, wiper blades and air con and even top up your screenwash for free, you’ll be in the safest of hands and ensure your staycation gets off to a stress-free start.

It’s also the place to pick up a child seat so you can be sure your little one is safe and comfortable on any journey. Halfords sell a great range of seats suitable for all ages; from new arrivals through to 12 years old, including a great range of high back booster seats to help you meet the new regulations. They even offer a free fitting demonstration for all new child seats, so you can be reassured yours is correctly fitted. 

Make sure you're road ready by heading to Halfords who offer a free car check service where they check your bulbs, battery, oil, wiper blades and air con and even top up your screenwash for free

Make sure you’re road ready by heading to Halfords who offer a free car check service where they check your bulbs, battery, oil, wiper blades and air con and even top up your screenwash for free

9) Have a wheely good time

The rugged terrain across the UK makes it one of the best places for cycling.

Whether it’s a gentle ride with the family or some seriously leg-spinning mountain-biking, Britain boasts some epic trails. 

From purpose-built paths to even disused railway lines, get off the sofa and on your bike this summer. Halfords is the home of cycles, with hundreds of brands on offer for every age and ability.

Ensure that your biking break gets off to a smooth start with a free bike check at Halfords. They can also give it a service and make any necessary repairs.

Or why not treating yourself to a new cycle?

 And the best news is Halfords has 20% off a range of bikes. Visit now and they will help you pick the perfect one for you.

The Carrera Valour Mountain Bike (now £216, was £270, Halfords) is perfect for going off-road

The Carrera Valour Mountain Bike (now £216, was £270, Halfords) is perfect for going off-road

The Apollo Envy Junior Hybrid Bike (now £80, was £100, Halfords), is ideal for kids

The Apollo Envy Junior Hybrid Bike (now £80, was £100, Halfords), is ideal for kids

Whether its a gentle ride with the family or some seriously leg-spinning mountain biking, Britain boasts some epic trails, such as the Tarka Trail in Devon

Whether its a gentle ride with the family or some seriously leg-spinning mountain biking, Britain boasts some epic trails, such as the Tarka Trail in Devon

The Carrera Valour Mountain Bike (now £216, was £270, Halfords) is perfect for going off-road without compromising on comfort, while the Apollo Envy Junior Hybrid Bike (now £80, was £100, Halfords), is ideal for kids with a strong steel frame and powerful brakes.  And make sure you’ve got all the accessories you and the little ones will need – Halfords also has a great range of cycle trailers for those who have yet to learn how to ride.

Try the Tarka Trail in Devon for a more laid-back day of cycling or grind your gears with a go on the Quantock Hills in Somerset.

Make sure that you and the kids are all safe by grabbing the essential gear and checking out Halfords’ huge range of helmets, clothing and accessories that will make your trip all the more memorable.

10) Remember why Blighty is so great

From our sense of humours to the array of accents you’ll encounter, having a staycation means you’ll be reminded of just what makes Britain great.

From the quirky characters in the local villages and the aristocrats who open their doors at an English country estate to the laughing landlords at the quirky pubs you’ll refresh at after a brisk walk, nowhere will you meet so many diverse types that make this wacky wonderland unique.

From our sense of humours to the array of accents you'll encounter, having a staycation means you'll be reminded of just what makes Britain great

From our sense of humours to the array of accents you’ll encounter, having a staycation means you’ll be reminded of just what makes Britain great

11) Take your furry friends

When jetting off on your jollies, there’s the best friends to think about.

No, not that gang you call your mates, we’re talking about the furry friends who are part of the family.

Save on the costs of kennels or the panic of persuading friends to look after your pets by taking them along!  But make sure you pick up a dog guard or seat belt first, so you can keep them safe and happy in the back while you drive – Halfords has a great range for you to choose from.

Britain boasts some brilliant animal-friendly hotels and B&Bs, or head camping and let the dog sleep under the stars with you as you set up home outside for a week. 

Save on the costs of kennels or the panic of persuading friends to look after your pets by talking them along!

Save on the costs of kennels or the panic of persuading friends to look after your pets by talking them along!

12) Recharge your batteries 

From the pre-beach diet, to the endless packing and organising your troop in the airport to constantly slapping on the sun factor – far flung holidays are exhausting! 

But with a staycation, you’ll be at your destination in a mere few hours and can get straight to relaxing.

Fresh air, great views and some time away from work means you’ll really feel refreshed – and your immune system won’t have to deal with the stresses and bugs of being stuck on a plane!

Fresh air, great views and some time away from work means you'll really feel refreshed - and your immune system won't have to deal with the stresses and bugs on being stuck on a plane!

Fresh air, great views and some time away from work means you’ll really feel refreshed – and your immune system won’t have to deal with the stresses and bugs on being stuck on a plane!

13) Get back to nature

With our phones constantly clasped in our hands to binge-watching the latest box set, it seems we never truly switch off anymore.

With a staycation you can strip everything back and enjoy the simple life again.

Try a camping trip in Cornwall or in a forest in Gloucestershire, set up your tents and (we know this might sound strange) talk to each other!

Unplug the technology and get reconnected as friends and family – you’ll head home feeling as good as new!

COMPETITION: WIN £3,000 OF STAYCATION GOODIES FROM HALFORDS!

Halfords have a bumper bundle of items to give away for one lucky person and their family. Even better – the winner gets to choose their prize, by heading into their local Halfords store and selecting what to take home. 

The prize includes £1,000 to spend on bikes, £500 on camping equipment, £500 on travel equipment, £250 on tech and £250 on cycle accessories, and there’s a bundle of selected products to the value of £500. 

To enter, just head to www.halfords.com/staycation-competition, where you’ll be asked to leave your email address and answer a simple question – that’s it!

Terms and conditions apply

 

Make sure you’re ready for the great outdoors by treating yourself to a new tent. From a two-man tunnel for the adventuring couple to the roomy six-person family tent for you and your little ones, Halfords has a huge range of camping equipment and essentials to make sure your getaway is as comfortable as possible – AND and there is currently up to half price off!  

Have a look at the Urban Escape 4 Man Tunnel Tent (now £120, was £240, Halfords). With colour-coded poles for easy pitching, it has two separated rooms which means it’s roomy and private, and it can cope with heavy rain, too – always a bonus!

Make sure you have everything you need with the ultimate camping guide – which has checklists, recipes and even playlists to make your trip even more fun.

The Urban Escape 4 Man Tunnel Tent (now £120, was £240, Halfords) is roomy and easy to use

The Urban Escape 4 Man Tunnel Tent (now £120, was £240, Halfords) is roomy and easy to use

Make sure you're ready for the great outdoors by treating yourself to a new tent. Halfords have a huge range of camping equipment and essentials to make sure your getaway is as comfortable as possible

Make sure you’re ready for the great outdoors by treating yourself to a new tent. Halfords have a huge range of camping equipment and essentials to make sure your getaway is as comfortable as possible

14) The weather isn’t that bad!

Ok, so we don’t have the most predictable climate, but when the sun is shining here, there’s no where more beautiful. 

Anyway, walking in the countryside when it’s drizzling can be invigorating (and makes that pub visit at the end all the better) but if you really want to catch some rays, the best place to head is Cornwall. Thanks to that warm Gulf Stream it is the only place in the UK that is sub-tropical – just make sure you head to Halfords before you set off to ensure you’ve everything you need to gear you up for the staycation of your dreams!

Why not check out this map of the UK for the ultimate staycation destinations and activities.  

Ok, so we don't have the most predictable climate but when the sun is shining here, there's no where more beautiful - just look at the perfection of St Ives on a glorious day!

Ok, so we don’t have the most predictable climate but when the sun is shining here, there’s no where more beautiful – just look at the perfection of St Ives on a glorious day!





Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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