When summer comes around, it’s not always possible to holiday abroad. Certainly, this year’s heat wave has proved that holidaying at home doesn’t necessarily mean heavy showers and overcast afternoons stuck inside. But before you start getting serious FOMO over all those beach selfies on your social feed anyway, we’ll show you how to staycation in style if you’re not jetting off this year. Truth is, there are plenty of staycation destinations and days out that’ll give travel-lovers the same sense of adventure, without straying far at all.
Head to the Seaside
Until air travel became an affordable option, British seaside towns were hot spots for holiday-makers across the UK. Though many traditional coastal towns fell into decline, there has since been a resurgence in tourism, giving the old-fashioned piers and Victorian-era buildings a facelift. Brighton – one of the most affluent British seaside towns – is now a creative and cultural hub; you just need to visit the North Laines once to discover how much the place has to offer. Thanks to its regeneration, Margate (Kent’s ‘original seaside’) was recently voted the 4th ‘hippest place to live in the UK,’ giving it the nickname ‘Shoreditch-on-Sea.’
Indulge in a spot of nostalgia by taking the train out to the seaside; a stroll along the pier calls for something easy-and-breezy to wear. Nautical stripes in soft blues have the picture-postcard appeal that classic seaside snaps were built on; accessorise with a straw boater and flat sandals that you can slip off to go for a bare-footed walk on the beach.
Picnic in the Park
Whether you live in the city or somewhere more rural, the UK is blessed with beautiful green spaces; make the most out of the weather (and the greenery) by packing a picnic and heading out for the day. Forget soggy sandwiches and fizzy pop though; these days it’s all about the posh picnic. Go for an up-market feast instead with hunks of cheese, fresh thick loaves, plenty of prosecco and tasty side salads.
Upgrade your off-duty denim by trading your jeans or denim cut-offs for a dainty dungaree dress. Layer with a floaty crop or simple bardot top for an effortless finish. Pair with your espadrilles and a classic tan leather satchel – and don’t forget the picnic blanket!
Weekend in the City
From Edinburgh to London and everywhere in-between, there are cities to explore in abundance right on your doorstep. City tours are one of the most popular types of travel, both at home and in the UK – and for good reason. Whether you’re heading to the high street for some retail therapy, checking out an exhibition or catching up with friends over cocktails, you can never really exhaust what cities have to offer. Plus, with some of the UK’s oldest cities dating back to medieval times, they’re ideal places for culture vultures to visit.
Day-to-night dressing is made for the city; with so much to do, your outfits need to take you from dusk until dawn with ease. A chic jumpsuit looks as good on the dance floor as it does over coffee; understated accents add just enough detail to look polished, but not too dressed up for the daytime.
Host a BBQ
For many (ourselves included), summer means one thing; BBQ weather. For some reason, cooking our dinner outdoors is a joyous occasion for us Brits. So, why not embrace the spirit of summer by hosting a few BBQ’s of your own? They tend to involve less planning (and culinary finesse) than dinner parties, so if you’re an inexperienced host they’re a much more manageable way to cook for your friends and family. What’s more, you don’t have to squeeze around the dining table – balancing on those wobbly spare chairs – trying not to elbow each other over a roast.
Since you’re at home, keep things casual; a loose, button-down shirt is ideal for giving off that ‘pared-back yet polished’ vibe that all hosts strive for (FYI, adopt the same nonchalance as you’re doling out the food; the ‘I just threw it together’ approach is an old trick that all hosts should abide by). Pair with your favourite denim shorts and some slip-on sandals; everyone will inevitably go barefoot at some point.
Visit a Stately Home
The National Trust protects hundreds of historic houses in the UK, and summer is the perfect time to visit them. Usually surrounded by beautiful gardens, these grand old buildings offer peace and tranquillity – and a whole lot of cultural history. Think of them as the up-market boltholes of your dreams whenever you’re in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Make like the lady of the manor with dainty floral prints; button-down tea dresses, ruffled accents and lightweight chiffon or crepe fabrics have a vintage charm that’s perfectly in-keeping with these olde-worlde spaces.