For fairly obvious reasons – given the pandemic’s foreign travel restrictions – staycations are enjoying a surge in popularity. And a caravan, of course, makes the perfect base from which to enjoy one.
On the 16th of January 2021, the director general of the Caravan and Motorhome Club told the BBC that he expected the lifting of domestic travel restrictions to be like “ a cork popping from a bottle”.
On the 22nd of February, the Prime Minister announced his roadmap for lifting the restrictions – including the opening of caravan parks and campsites on the 12th of April (in England) (subject to some restrictions).
So where might all those staycationers be headed this spring and summer? At the end of last month, the Express newspaper suggested some hotspots and we have added some suggestions of our own too:
Everything changes – and nothing changes
- the pandemic might have turned the whole world upside down but if there’s one thing to remain a constant it’s the perennial popularity of Devon (also known as the English Riviera) and Cornwall (with Land’s End at the most southernly point of mainland Great Britain) for holidays – the Express put these south western counties in second and first places respectively;
- Dorset (with its Jurassic Coast that starts in Devon) and Somerset (with its hidden gardens, gorges and natural piers) also featured in the top five, with North Yorkshire appearing at number three;
The Garden of England
- for all the familiar destinations in the list compiled by the Express, though, there are also some notable exceptions – and ones that continue to attract more than their fair share of spring and summer visitors;
- included in this group is the county of Kent – the glorious, productive, and ever fertile Garden of England;
- take a look at Visit Kent’s website to appreciate the wealth and diversity of its different regions from the sandy beaches and quaint feel of Broadstairs to the magnificent Reculver Towers;
- just under an hour from London are the “combination of great beaches, seaside attractions, piers, theme parks and historic places of interest” in Essex;
- visit Essex’s sunshine coast for sea, sand and (hopefully) sun, or go rural and discover truly picturesque landscapes, thatched cottages and mills;
Rural and Lively
- Hampshire might also be one of those overlooked counties;
- the New Forest National Park with its famous ponies of course, is very well visited by caravanners of every taste and hue – and quite rightly, too. The Forest stretches across 140,000 acres of ancient woodland and unspoilt grassland and is home to dozens of fascinating historic villages;
The Wild North
- while the usual caravan train of visitors heads off to the Lake District, why not branch out in the opposite direction and head East?
- Northumberland offers everything from energetic adventures to laidback relaxation – with a wild and rugged coastline, stunning beaches with nary a soul on them, and a warm and inviting rural hinterland;
- it also is famous for its ‘dark sky’, recognised by the International Dark-Sky Association. Gaze at galaxies in Northumberland’s Dark Sky Park and spot constellations above the coastline;
- Wales has its visitor attractions, of course, and the South Wales coast – all the way to Pembrokeshire – together with Snowdonia National Park in the North, can be expected to get as busy and as crowded as usual;
- so, why not hitch up your caravan and tow it away for a few weeks of peace and quiet in little-explored Mid-Wales? Try the Brecon Beacons National Park or visit Cardigan Bay and go on a dolphin spotting boat trip:
Scotland (potentially opening 26th April)
- OK, so many people will be choosing Scotland as their staycation destination – but it’s a big country and there are many places to provide all the quiet and off-the-beaten-track corners you desire such as The Isle of Skye and Loch Ness.
Now you know where the rest of Britain is likely to be taking their caravan, you might want to staycation any place but one of those busy and crowded destinations. If you have your own tranquil and peaceful favourite getaway, we’ll keep it a secret just between the two of us!