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The coronavirus outbreak has changed life as we know it, enforcing social distancing and restricting our summer plans.
One of the biggest (and most disappointing) changes is undoubtedly the lack of summer holidays, with few countries accepting tourists and a limited amount of flights going from airports each day.
Coupled with rumours of a second wave of the pandemic and the threat of cancellations, Blighty is seeming more and more appealing for a summer holiday destination.
In fact, on closer inspection, the UK boasts an impressive array of staycation spots, offering sun, top quality grub and in some cases, Instagrammable beaches – yes, such a thing actually exists in the UK.
There are affordable Airbnbs dotted around the UK in prime locations, but for a truly magical summer staycation, there are some secluded spots you will want to book ASAP.
Port Lympne Reserve, Kent
The UK’s only overnight safari lodge promises the perfect (and romantic) overnight stay – and surrounded by roaming African animals, you will feel like you’re the other side of the world. Stay in a luxury tent among the giraffes, lions, rhinos and bears and watch them from your veranda, indulging in a five course African banquet.
The Shepherd’s Hut Retreat, Somerset
The Shepherd’s Hut Retreat offers four luxury shepherds huts in the heart of Somerset, perfect for a romantic getaway. Each spacious hut is nestled into the secluded woodland, with its own patio and fire pit, and use of the wood-fired Lakeside Hot Tub and Woodland Sauna.
Magic bus, Lake District
The Lake District’s ‘Magic Bus’ is just as magical as it sounds, known as one of the UK’s most unusual staycation spots. Hinterlandes is a converted bus – an American Community bus on the bottom, with a VW camper van bedroom welded to the roof. Sleeping just two, the converted bus nestled into a remote area of The Lake District is a dreamy romantic getaway destination. Plus, did we mention the wood-fired hot tub and the bikes available for hire?
Babington House, Somerset
Babington House is one of the most luxurious stays out there, with the Grade II-listed manor set in the heart of Somerset surrounded by 18 acres of countryside. From the Coach House and The Lodge to the Walled Garden and the main manor house there are plenty of rooms to choose from, but you’re guaranteed an oak four posted bed, a freestanding bath and an open fireplace. Oh and did we mention the Cowshed Spa?
If you’re looking for a magical staycation in the Herefordshire hills, this colourful barn could be the one for you. The vibrant spot is an up-cycler’s dream, from an inverted antique bathtub and carpenters’ work benches to a bicycle sink and cupboard handles that are made from old cutlery. The rural area ensures complete privacy and endless woodland walks, not to mention a dedicated hot tub area all to yourself.
The Lake House, Cheshire
The Lake House in Cheshire is the perfect countryside retreat if you’re after a spacious cabin by the water. The Lake House comes equipped with wood burning stoves, a copper alfresco bath and your very own deck by the lake that you can feed ducks from. If you come in the right season, you’ll find local honey, fruit and vegetables and fresh duck and hen eggs.
Cornwall’s Lost Meadow Treepod is famous, taking treehouse staycations to a new level for real nature lovers. In the middle of the Cornish forest, this spherical tree pod is perfect for star-gazing and bird watching, fitted with a wood burner and cosy decor.
Llamas Pyjamas, Lake District
Llamas Pyjamas is not the kind of bed and breakfast you would expect to find in the Lake District – quirky South American interiors, Cumbrian countryside and an actual pack of llamas on site to play with, handle and take for treks. Just a few miles from the town of Penrith, Llamas Pyjamas is a short walk from pubs, restaurants and shops.