Enjoy your weekend break – stay-cations are here to stay

With the world’s economic woes dominating the headlines in Britain on a daily basis, it will come as no surprise to learn that as many as three in five holidaymakers who last year went abroad are opting not to leave the UK this summer. Instead they are favouring a “stay-cation”, comprising day trips and short breaks.

It looks highly probable that 2009 will see the sun-kissed beaches of Spain and Florida forsaken for the bright lights of Brighton and other traditional British holiday spots – such as the delightfully undulating Yorkshire Dales, the tranquil Lake District, the echoing Welsh valleys and the breathtaking Highlands and Islands.

When you consider the many superb holiday destinations – some hidden away and others very much in the public eye – which the UK has to offer, what is perhaps surprising is that it takes an economic crisis to persuade us to enjoy the delights on our doorstep.

The truth is that whatever you or your family’s individual interests happen to be, Great Britain has a host of pampering and/or action-packed attractions on offer.

So, whether you prefer a soothing spa weekend break, a demanding ten-day trek along Offa’s Dyke or a riotous afternoon at a theme park, there’s plenty to keep you happy and busy (or not, in the case of relaxing holidays!) here in the oft-overlooked UK.

“But what about the weather?” I hear you ask. And quite rightly so, since the British weather – or rather its unpredictability – is almost certainly one of the main deterrents to tourists.

Yet weather can be very much a state of mind.  If you allow yourself to be depressed by the first drop of rain to descend from the skies then the weather could undoubtedly dampen your spirits – both literally and metaphorically speaking.

The secret of enjoying a holiday in the UK is, therefore, to simply ignore whatever the heavens throw at you and, in true Boy Scout tradition, “be prepared”.

When you’re packing the car or your bag for the day, just remember a few basic essentials that will cover you for all climatic contingencies that may occur during a UK summer.

Three things you’d be wise not to forget are… suncream for those balmy hot days that we’re allegedly going to have in abundance this year, a set of waterproofs in case you do need to brave the elements and a pack of Uno cards (handy for whiling away the odd half hour in the car or tent if the Met Office have got it wrong!).

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