Why I Love a Staycation (and Some Favorite Self-Catering Gems)


After a relatively prolonged foray into Disney parks and Florida street journeys, we’re again on residence turf for a little bit of “UK staycation*” motion. I’ve been that means to share these little self-catering gems with you for some time: my favorite finds, the homes and cottages and cabins which have been a minimize above the remaining. Which have had that vacation rental je ne sais quoi that’s so tough to outline however that may mix, for instance, good location with a touch of interiors aptitude. Or blends good solitude with well-thought-out particulars, like an outside bathtub or a comfy studying nook.

(*I do know I’m utilizing the phrase staycation in its incorrect sense and that it’s presupposed to seek advice from a “vacation spent in your personal residence” and never “a vacation spent in your personal nation”… however actually. How is a “vacation spent in your personal residence” truly a vacation? Everyone knows that’s an absurd idea. You’ll be able to’t take pleasure in a trip in your personal residence if you’re surrounded by the entire issues that silently act as your stress triggers. The rising patch of damp close to the again door, the neighbour’s annoying drum observe, the Evri driver throwing another person’s parcel over your fence thus weighing you down with the ethical query of whether or not you must now go and ship the parcel to the right handle… How are you going to probably take a vacation at residence?)

I bloody love reserving a staycation. I can consider few issues I’d relatively do, in terms of frittering away my downtime. I’d in all probability cancel a social occasion to remain in and scour the web for a “distant dog-friendly cottage with sea view” if it wasn’t going to ultimately smash each single one in every of my friendships. The thrill of deciding on an space to go to, the frisson of getting into your dates into the search kind – holding your breath because the outcomes start to load…

Not a number of issues rival that feeling of optimism and alternative, when the world remains to be your proverbial oyster and also you haven’t but found that one in every of your shortlisted vacation cottages has a entrance door that opens straight onto a twin carriageway and the opposite is subsequent to a quad biking centre. You simply can’t beat it.

Why do I particularly love a staycation? Effectively. Simply off the highest of my head: no journey plans to barter, as a result of the entire journey can (normally) be completed by automobile, no painful packing deliberations as a result of you may simply shove completely all the pieces you suppose is likely to be mandatory into the aforementioned automobile; no massively excessive expectations, as a result of you may assume the climate will principally be “sudden” or “unusually unseasonal” after which there’s the meals you already know your children will eat, low danger of digestive upsets and the truth that there’s all the time a Mountain Warehouse inside a 3 mile radius. The UK staycation is simply informal and straightforward. Low effort.

And I might write an entire new submit about why we are likely to self-cater as a household relatively than do lodges. I touched on it briefly in my Florida submit, nevertheless it’s usually all the way down to having extra space in a vacation let, and a way of freedom, and the truth that you may normally lease an extremely beautiful vacation residence for a similar worth as a resort room with twin beds. I say this as a real resort fanatic, by the way in which. I really like a superb resort. I simply suppose that they’re principally wasted on younger children – save them in your decadent adults-only jaunt, in the event you can ever swing one.

(I jest. Everyone knows that checking right into a resort that costs £5.85 for a morning glass of orange juice that no person will need to drink when it arrives as a result of “it has bits in it” is marvellous for providing you with a relaxed begin to your vacation. Bonus marks for having no children’ meals choices, simply an eight course tasting menu with matching wine flight and take a drink if the pool has restricted hours for below twelves. All utterly comprehensible, by the way in which and precisely why I’d need to go with out my children!)

So, listed below are a number of of the self-catering locations which have shocked and delighted me over the previous couple of years. I’m at present within the technique of reserving my very own summer time staycation en famille and am sorely tempted to return to Yorkshire simply to remain within the farmhouse we discovered final yr; all the pieces about it was simply high notch…

Advert information: no paid or sponsored content material. The Dorset Nook is my very own enterprise and I my keep at Skylark Treehouses was a assessment keep for KIP Hideaways, although I stayed on an additional evening and paid full worth as a result of I liked it a lot! 

Skylark Treehouses, Gloucestershire

Distant romance for 2, or single solitude for – er – one, the Skylark Treehouses close to Gloucester are unimaginable. I went final summer time and reviewed them right here however, in brief, they have been a lot greater than I anticipated them to be. Every treehouse is totally set other than the subsequent, you’d hardly know anybody else was inside shouting distance and the homes have been completely arrange for out of doors residing. You cook dinner open air (albeit undercover and with a fully-equipped, amazingly fashionable kitchen) and also you bathe open air (in an unimaginable freestanding tub) and also you loosen up open air subsequent to your firepit after which, if you’ve completed with all that open air stuff you go into your fully-contained and lockable bed room pod (which additionally has a bathe room) so that you just received’t get freaked out by the silence and the peerlessly pitch-black evening sky.

These treehouses usually are not the most cost effective method to self cater for 2 however by God are they unforgettable. It’s Swiss Household Robinson meets swanky eco-hotel and with assured peace and quiet. You’ll be able to peruse and e book Skylark at KIP Hideaways right here – costs from £250 per evening. I significantly liked the truth that you would order homecooked meals to be ready within the fridge in your arrival – the fish pie I had was wonderful.


By the way, my first ports of name once I’m trying to find my self-catering holidays are KIP (my personal little vacation cottage is listed with them, they’re my favorite staycation website to browse), Distinctive Homestays after which Excellent Stays if it’s a vacation within the south west. They’re all fairly area of interest web sites specialising in very fashionable, luxurious or quirky locations to remain and I really like that they’ve very exacting requirements and a discerning eye for element. It’s not as if I would like gold-plated faucets or leading edge espresso machines – I don’t give a hoot about sizzling tubs or Sonos sound methods – I simply need someplace that’s had thought and care put into it. Good beds. Good linens. Little ending touches that make me smile.


Caldbergh Home, Yorkshire Dales

Speaking of excellent beds, good linen and little ending touches that make me smile: this is the home in Yorkshire I used to be speaking about. It actually did shock and delight – it far surpassed something we anticipated from the pictures and web site description. We went as a barely prolonged household of six however it might have slept eight very comfortably. The farmhouse had a big kitchen, fully-enclosed (lovely, walled) backyard and two cosy residing rooms and all the pieces appeared as if it had been styled for {a magazine} interiors shoot. You would inform that no expense had been spared – beautiful curtains, superb upholstery materials, vintage furnishings – and this made it really feel like a really particular place to be.

There have been walks proper from the entrance door and the hamlet of Caldbergh was very quiet and uneventful (other than some shoot days the place the autos accessed the dales via the gate subsequent to the home, nevertheless it was barely noticeable) and it was only a actual deal with to be in such a good-looking outdated home that had been so sensitively renovated.

Costs begin at £240 an evening – you may e book Caldbergh Home right here. I believe we paid round £1800 for every week, with a small cost for the canine. Yorkshire Escapes (right here) have a great deal of lovely properties to lease, in the event you’re heading up that means. They have been additionally a delight to cope with, simply so pleasant.


Middlelands Home, Pembrokeshire

Once I booked Middlelands Home in Pembrokeshire (right here) it was round £350 per evening, which appeared excellent worth contemplating we piled three totally different households into it. It seems as if the charges have gone up just a little since then, however nonetheless: this was a uncommon Airbnb discover. A property that ended up (once more) being hundreds higher than the outline. We drove down an extended driveway minimize via the fields to discover a spacious nation residence with ethereal bedrooms and nice views throughout open countryside. There wasn’t something to do inside strolling distance however drives to the coast have been comparatively quick and manageable and all of us simply liked the home as our “base camp” for its welcoming environment. The massive hearth in the lounge and the massive kitchen that might accommodate a great deal of adults, all getting ready utterly totally different meals. (Don’t ask.)

The ornament and furnishings have been tasteful however easy and there was only a beautiful really feel to the place – snug and barely quirky, like we’d all gone to stick with some long-lost uncle who favored to gather outdated books. (We’ve by no means had any moneyed long-lost family members in our household, alas, however that was that form of nostalgic, barely magical vibe. The sensation that you just may discover an outdated board sport within the attic that, if performed throughout a thunderstorm, would nearly undoubtedly transport you to a different world.)

We had a number of sizzling days (it was Could) the place the bees have been buzzing lazily and the youngsters simply rolled about on the grass and the adults all had a glass or two of wine sitting below the arches in the back of the home, which made us all really feel as if we’d gone to Italy and to not Wales, and it was excellent.

It doesn’t truly look as if Middlelands Home is on Airbnb anymore, however I’ve discovered it on Nice Welsh Escapes right here.


Tregoose, Cornwall

I stayed at this home to assessment it when it had simply been renovated and have had it earmarked for a return go to ever since. It’s a superb, massively spacious home that’s good for a number of households to nest down into for every week by the seaside. We significantly favored that the bedrooms have been on the bottom ground and that the primary ground had the superb views of the ocean and that the entire place was light-filled and ethereal and only a quick (steep!) stroll all the way down to Polzeath and the seaside.

The sleeping preparations have been fairly versatile, with a few of the rooms appropriate for 2 adults and a toddler, or three kids. Or three adults. After which an additional bed room in a cosy, if wanted, and a bed room that was set away from the remaining by itself little nook with its personal rest room. Very versatile, good for large household gatherings with an enormous entertaining house.

Learn my assessment of Tregoose right here (wow, have simply seen this photograph and am aghast at how rapidly time flies!)

Excellent Stays have a number of massive vacation homes (this one sleeps 8-12) and I’ve truly stayed in a number of of them. Except I’ve simply been terribly fortunate, the usual is universally good. They’ve all felt simply so….skilled. Excessive-tech. Fantastically maintained. Completely test them out in the event you’re planning a family-friendly get-together, you could find their web site right here.


The Dorset Nook, Dorset Coast

I’d be loopy to put in writing a submit about UK self-catering gems and never point out my very own little hideaway, The Dorset Nook. I strive to not harp on about it an excessive amount of, nevertheless it actually is essentially the most lovely coastal escape. It’s hidden away down a tiny footpath and is so enjoyable and quiet – the proper romantic bolthole for 2, however equally beautiful in the event you’re by yourself.

My favorite factor in regards to the Nook (other than the cosy front room with its woodburner, the nest-like bed room with its crisp linens and the intense, heat sunroom surrounded by the little cottage backyard) is that it’s away from any roads and has essentially the most unimaginable walks straight from the entrance gate.

Once I go to go to myself I unpack my automobile after which don’t get again in it once more at some stage in my keep, except I need to pop to Lyme Regis for a mooch round or peruse the vintage outlets in Bridport. I really like strolling (particularly a really steep, very difficult hill!) and so if I desire a chunk for lunch then I stroll over the cliffs for half an hour and hike down into West Bay, or if I’m feeling spritely I head the opposite method to Seatown, the place there’s an unimaginable pub.

You’ll be able to check out availability for The Dorset Nook right here, in the event you’re after a restorative break – it’s minutes from Eype seaside, which is completely unspoilt and has breathtaking cliff walks. Costs begin at £120 per evening with no additional costs and there are quick stays and longer holidays to select from.

(It doesn’t at present permit canines or children and it’s not arrange for infants, however babes-in-arms are welcome if you’re blissful to convey your personal journey cot and so forth and also you’re blissful to barter the footpath!)


So, there are a number of self-catering gems. I’ve booked extra staycations than I care to recollect and may let you know that not all have been so profitable! Why is it such a sport of roulette? I believe that’s why I all the time begin by going to the extra area of interest journey web sites like KIP (they’ve lately made primary membership free, which is superb information); I like that someone is keeping track of requirements and ensuring that each place that comes up if you’re looking is extra-special.

Any suggestions so as to add to this little record? Hearth away within the feedback, please. You’ll be doing us all a grand service.



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