Leisure & Travel
by Aspect County

UK’s Unique Staycations

With the UK tentatively emerging into the new norm, here are five idyllic staycation destinations which you’ll explore like a tourist with a guide

Cotswolds cycling safari – three nights from £570 pp with Pride of Britain Hotels
Enjoy a thrilling cycling break in some of the Cotswolds’ countryside whilst staying in three of the region’s finest hotels. With cycling routes and bikes provided by cycling experts Wild Carrot, pass through historic honey-stone villages and unspoilt countryside, and reward yourself with a night’s stay at Calcot & Spa, Barnsley House and The Painswick. The price is from £380 per night (two sharing) and includes bike rental and storage, full Cotswold breakfast at each property, afternoon tea and use of the spa at Calcot & Spa plus private access to the cinema (with popcorn) at Barnsley House.

Luxury country house hotel break – two nights from £179pp at Ashdown Park
Set in 186 acres of lakes, secret gardens and woodland trails, Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, located in the heart of Ashdown Forest (and inspiration for A A Milne’s Winne The Pooh stories) and the ideal spot for a countryside staycation this summer. Guests can enjoy the newly refurbed Country Club with indoor pool and fitness studio, two tennis courts, putting green, jogging trails, and cycling routes around the hotel. The new Forest Brasserie provides a hearty menu overlooking the golf course and grounds, while the 2AA Rosette Anderida Restaurant serves excellent seasonal cuisine. Prices start at £358 per room for two nights (two sharing). Valid 17 May-30 September.

Tour Scotland’s distilleries by campervan for Scottish Whisky Month in May – from £112 per day with Yescapa
May 2021 is Scottish Whisky Month, and there is no better way to experience their best tipple, and the landscapes that produced it, than on a campervan road trip. There are five whisky regions in Scotland – Speyside, Lowlands, Islay, Highlands and Campbeltown. Speyside’s Malt Whisky Trail, taking around three days to drive, is a fantastic introduction to malt whisky, taking in seven world-famous working distilleries including Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and Glen Moray. Paul’s Campervan, based in Inverness, is a comfortable two-berth, ideal for the 74-mile road trip, and the perfect spot to retire to each evening with a wee dram. Prices start at £450 for four days’ hire, including one insured driver, breakdown cover, mileage (100km per day) and a flexible cancellation policy up to 48 hours in advance.

Cosy village life – North Yorkshire from £162 pp with hol​i​day​cottages​.co​.uk
Snug and appealing, Isla Cottage (sleeps four, plus one dog) is situated on the edge of the North York Moors in the village of Osmotherley. The Cleveland Way National Trail runs through the village while Wainwright’s famous coast-to-coast walk passes close by. Having worked up an appetite in either direction, find sustenance from one of the village’s three pubs, village shop or local takeaway. Ideal for a small family, relaxing in the cosy lounge is a joy in the evenings; it has comfortable sofas, a wood-burner and a Smart TV. A seven-night stay arriving 7 May now costs £162 pp (£648 total – was £847); and arriving 18 June now costs £184 pp (£735 total – was £963).

A Victorian country house stay in rural Pembrokeshire – from £58 pp with Visit Pembrokeshire
Set in the pretty village of Wolfscastle, with easy access to the unspoilt north Pembrokeshire coast and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wolfscastle Country Hotel & Spa is a former Victorian vicarage. The property sits in glorious gardens with countryside views of woodland and the striking Treffgarne rocks. Enjoy walks by the Anghof river or explore Sealyham woods before returning to the hotel for a delicious dinner in the 2 AA Rosette restaurant, a spa treatment with use of the sauna and Jacuzzi, then snuggle up in a bedroom adorned with fabric from Pembrokeshire’s Melin Tregwynt woollen mill. A Cwtch’ room is from £115 per night (two sharing) including breakfast.