How to Holiday in the UK
With the summer months also comes summer vacations. It's inevitable. The endless stream of photographs filling your instagram feed; your friends with tanned skin and wide smiles on brightly coloured inflatables, sipping cocktails on spotless sandy beaches with backdrops of palm trees and turquoise seas. Meanwhile, you're sat on the sofa in your pyjama bottoms and jumper (the weather in the UK seems to defy what's expected for the season) resenting your online banking app for every time it reminds you that no you don't have enough money for a holiday this year... again.
Don't get me wrong, if you're lucky enough to go on holiday abroad this year, I'm happy for you. Really, really happy. However, if, like me, you just don't have enough pennies in the bank to jump on a plane to distant and sunny land, fear not - I've got you!
As I mentioned in my previous post, me and Charley have been working super hard this summer, trying to save money and get ourselves prepared for this year to come. So, we decided that we needed, nay, deserved, to treat ourselves a little bit and have a holiday! First things first, to make sure we got the best deal we could, we begun on Booking.com to find out the best dates and locations to make the most of our budget. When trying to be a bit savvy with money, I would say research is the best way to go about any trip, big or small; more often than not, you will find smart ways to cut corners, adjust plans and save yourself some pennies along the way! Eventually, we decided on the 3 star hotel (which still had amazing reviews - always look at reviews!) in Torquay, The Headland Hotel and Spa. For two nights in a double room, with breakfast included (and we paid a little bit extra for a view - a little holiday treat!) it was £120 each for our stay. This also included full use of the hydro pools, sauna and steam room - cheers to that!
The reason we chose Torquay is because it was an ideal, central location for the activities which we wanted to do on our holiday, with the added bonus of being a more affordable location than other local villages/cities.
Despite the bad weather, we made sure we had a packed three days with fun activities as
well as time for relaxing. We may not have been able to have a midday nap under a glorious sun while starfishing on a lounger, but we did have so much fun making the most of the local attractions.
On our first day, we decided to have a little roam around Torquay, I had been there before but only for a very quick visit. We purchased a Zooper Ticket from Living Coasts (which was £23 for a ticket to Living Coasts and Paignton Zoo!) and enjoyed a lovely (and super windy) visit to the penguins, seals, otters, birds and other marine wildlife which live at Living Coasts. We proceeded to spend the afternoon (which quickly turned into the evening) in the amazing hydro pools, jacuzzi and sauna/steam room, warming up from the chilly weather and winding down.
On our second day, we took the short drive to Paignton Zoo. We bought a meal-deal from Morrisons for our lunch, just before we entered the zoo (the shop is right next to the zoo's car park) and headed for the zoo. We were rained on and blew about, but we decided to embrace the British weather and enjoy our day - armed with rain coats and lots of hot chocolate of course! We planned our day based around the talks from the zookeepers, we began with The Baboon breakfast, during which we were given a privileged view of how the baboons interact with each other, from the babies clinging to their mothers to the alphas chasing each other for food. All the talks offered an amazing insight into how well the animals are looked after and gave us the chance to benefit from the wealth of knowledge the zookeepers have about the animals.
For our final day, we packed our bags and headed for Brixham. A beautiful seaside village boasting with quirky independent shops and cafes and wonderful views. However, as we visited early on a Sunday a lot of the shops weren't open until a couple of hours later (one thing we didn't look into!), so we quickly found ourselves unsure of what step to take next. Not yet ready to head home, I took to instagram to try and find nearby locations where we could continue the final part of our adventures. I quickly found a beach which was a short fifteen minute drive away from Brixham: Elberry Cove.
A little walk from the main beach, Broadsands, Elberry Cove is a bit of a hidden treasure. The water is clear and although it is a pebble beach instead of sand, it is a perfect spot to have a picnic and feel as though you are on a little island just off the mainland of Greece. Plus, dogs are welcome there all year round, so double win!
So, what I wanted to really get across with this post, is that your holiday is what you make of it. Whether you are in Barbados or Bristol, across the world or just down the road, a holiday is made by your mentality of it. We had two days of rain and stormy winds, but we decided to embrace every moment. From numb toes and taking shelter from the rain under trees to relaxing in the spa and watching the storm from our hotel room, every moment made our holiday and I loved every second of it.
For more information about each of the locations and travel costs, please head to the Travel page of the website!