Holidaying in the UK used to be a regular occurrence for the family and I. We enjoyed holidays abroad as well but I remember weeks away spent in Cornwall, Devon and the like with glorious sunshine – it was almost as if you didn’t need to step on an aeroplane at all over the summer.
Recently however, British summers seem to be dwindling; every morning since May involves a peak through the curtains to see if the sun has decided to show it’s face. You can no longer trust those weather apps that promise a beautiful day that then surprise you with a 5 hour downpour – and vice versa.
It’s mid-June and I’m currently staring out of the living room window speckled with rain and the leaves on the trees bouncing as they get hit by droplets. Good summers in Britain can be gorgeous, the countryside bursts with colours and the cities see people leave Netflix viewing to another time and get out for socialising in the sunshine.
James and I recently enjoyed a week off work, which happened to be one of the warmest weeks we’ve witnessed so far this year. This happened to be very convenient as we hadn’t booked a trip abroad but instead decided to have a staycation. Meaning we could treat ourselves to some fancy meals, adventures in trees, camping and make the most of what was our on doorstep.
Some of our outdoor activities included going for a walk around Cheddar Gorge, along with a stop for a cream tea – and a mountain of other cakes.
We had a day in the Forest of Dean – riding around on Segways and swinging through trees at GoApe.
Initially feeling a little nervous about putting my life in the hands of a couple of ropes and the fact I have the attention span of a child when going through safety instructions, I soon came to love our adventure above the ground.
It was incredibly fun zipping through the forest together, with a mini adrenaline rush at every corner and going on a week day meant we practically had the place to ourselves.
Later in the week we decided to go a little further-a-field down to Dorset and camp along the Jurassic Coast in the hope we’d find some slightly older versions of these guys.
We found a great camp site that had all the amenities and more – it even had it’s own private beach. So as soon as we parked up we headed straight to the sea.
An incredibly beautiful coastline, with golden cliff edges, golden sand and crystal clear water. It was so quiet we practically had the place to ourselves.
The temperature had notched up to a pretty warm 24 degrees so we decided to run back to the car, grab our swimwear and take a dip in the sea. In theory this seemed like a great idea, however the beach was quite pebbly so with that, and the somewhat icy water I only managed to get up to my knees, before heading back to our patch and soaking up the late afternoon sun.
We returned to the car a little later and set up our tent, ready for when we returned after our BBQ on the beach.
A great little adventure away, sometimes the spontaneous ones are the best!
So as well as keeping active during our week off, we needed to make sure we were keeping our energy levels up; this was aided by eating out at some lovely restaurants.
One evening we ate at The Pig, situated between Bristol and Bath. The food and surroundings were beautiful; so much in fact James has written up a blog post just for them but here’s a sneaky peek:
We also visited an old favourite: The Ethicurean. They had a comedy and burger night on; who could turn down such a great combination!
Most of my visits to The Ethicurean have been in the winter or in the summer when it’s been raining so it was a really lovely treat to see the garden come alive in the sunshine.
We got the drinks in; for a change I was driving so I had one glass of wine whilst James sampled some of the cocktails.
A lot of the guests were outside savouring the last minutes of the sun but once burgers were coming out of the kitchen, the inside soon filled up.
With no messing we delved straight into the burgers. I’m pretty hands-on with my burgers and accept the fact it’s going to go all over my hands, face, lap etc.
Once we polished off our burgers and the trimmings we were treated to one of the comedy acts.
Both comedians were practicing the jokes they were taking on to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival so there were some moments of ‘hmm won’t bother with that one then..’ when they were met with just a couple of polite laughs. However, most of the time we enjoyed laugh out loud moments and could relate to some of their funny tales.
In between the first and second acts we were served a couple of puds.
Sticky toffee apple cake and Almond, pear, cardamon and dark chocolate cake to be exact.
The laughter continued with bellies full of food; an evening that was definitely good for the soul.
So; in a nutshell, we discovered that a week off doesn’t always mean stepping onto an aeroplane to make the most of your time off. There is often plenty to see and do just around the corner, granted it does help if the weather is on your side!