While the chances of you getting on a plane before June are almost impossible, there are plenty of places within the UK that will be opening their doors before then. Yes, you aren’t guaranteed tropical climates or endless sunshine, but it’s definitely a more stress-free way to plan a 2021 holiday with all of the ever-changing restrictions that a pandemic brings. Whether it’s your first staycation, or you’re a veteran at UK travel, I’ve compiled a guide of my favourite places to stay across the country…
This is the option if you really want to switch off from it all. Their collection of lodges near to Cirencester are positioned on a huge lake and all border a Site of Special Scientific Interest. TV and Wi-Fi are included in the lodges, but a staycation here is all about immersing yourself in nature by taking a stroll or commandeering your very own rowing boat. Rates are extremely good value for money and, as it’s on a self-catering basis, this is a great choice if you’re not concerned with all the fuss of a hotel. Log House Holidays offer a variety of different sized lodges to suit any party size or budget.
If seclusion is your preferred way of a staycation, then the Newt In Somerset does a sublime job of staying off the radar. This retreat amongst the beautiful Hadspen House seemingly sits in the middle of nowhere (by UK standards, anyway) and boasts some of the best interior and exterior design in the country. Rooms are individually finished with a touch of Scandinavian opulence and the on-site spa delivers incredible facilities. Food and drink hit the mark too; there 267 varieties of apples in their orchard and their freshly-pressed “cyder” is only outdone by the wine list. Not so much of a surprise, as the owners also happen to own a very impressive vineyard 8,000 miles away in South Africa that supplies the majority of the wine.
Deep in the New Forest on the south coast of Hampshire, Chewton Glen is less than two hours’ drive from London but feels a world away from urban life. It’s a five-star hotel and spa that has become synonymous with luxury over the years, and I highly recommend booking into one of the Tree House Loft Suites if money allows it. These suites feel incredible private and the only neighbour is the forest canopy; you’ll only want to head out of the front door to sample the incredible menu at the on-site restaurant, The Kitchen. Chewton Glen is the ideal stay to explore one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in England.
This is one for the foodies; a peaceful private home that sits about twenty minutes outside of Solihull and just a stones’ throw from the hustle and bustle of Birmingham. We went there as guests of Nyetimber and the theme of food and drink is the real attraction for those who follow a two or three-day staycation itinerary at Hampton Manor. For dinner there are two options that are both meticulously cared for by chef Rob Palmer and his team of maestros. Smokes restaurant sits within the walled gardens and provides an atmosphere unlike any other; you sit down for dinner within the Victorian greenhouses that grow the very produce you find on your plate. Peel’s, a Michelin-star restaurant within the main house, is more fine dining and offers a very comprehensive tasting menu and wine flight.
Located on the Bolton Abbey Estate, The Devonshire Arms is the perfect spot from which to explore the incredible rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. As soon as you enter the reception area of the main building, you immediately get the impression that this is a home more than a house. There are lounges for both dogs and humans, and your canine friends are as welcome here as you are. I highly recommend exploring the nearby Bolton Priory; a 12th Century ruined church, followed by an evening in the restaurant sampling the very comprehensive tasting menu. It always pays to stay somewhere with plenty to do indoors with British weather being so unpredictable, which is the Devonshire Arms is my top pick for the Dales.