6 helpful tips to plan the perfect staycation
PUBLISHED: 14:33 13 November 2020
Copyright Aberration Films Ltd 2015
Great Britain has so much to offer those seeking a staycation, and, with the current concerns about booking a holiday abroad, what better time could there be for planning one?
Simon Heaton, chairman of the Great Inns of Britain, recommends carrying out careful research into the local area, accommodation offered and dining options.
After all, he says, we are lucky to have such natural beauty, rich heritage and extraordinary food and drink in the various corners of this country.
Here are his six top tips for planning a staycation:
1. Look at location
Discover more about the areas you are interested in. For example, from the Bear Hotel, Powys, conveniently located on the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, to the White Horse & Griffin, Whitby, set within the historic east side of the charming seaside town, each of our Great Inns is conveniently located within stunning countryside or coastal locations. This makes them perfect bases from which to explore the surrounding area. Many, including the Castle Hotel, Shropshire – which welcomes four-legged friends at no extra charge and provides a complimentary dog welcome pack – are dog friendly. Our inns are also often at the heart of thriving communities, like the Bell Inn, Horndon-on-the-Hill, which is renowned as the real social centre of village life.
2. Think about hospitality
First-class hospitality is essential for any staycation. At all of the Great Inns, guests can expect to be welcomed by loyal and experienced staff who go out of their way to ensure they have an unforgettable stay and feel at home. Our innkeepers and their staff are always on hand to offer recommendations, whether it’s the best walks to go on or which craft ale to try next. This personable knowledge and experience add to the authenticity of a staycation.
3. Look at the accommodation
It is also so important to find somewhere with a high standard of accommodation. Our inns are bursting with unique character and charm. Many, including the Inn at Whitewell, Clitheroe, and the Lamb Inn, Wartling, are steeped in rich history and their design and style often reflect this, with features dating back hundreds of years. Picture original oak beams, stone flagged floors and roaring open fires, rural knick-knacks, antique pieces and luxury fabrics. Our inns effortlessly combine period character with boutique country living, offering the amenities and comforts needed for a restful stay without compromising on their original and classic flair.
4. Consider the dining experience
Great food is a staycation must – all the Great Inns of Britain offer high-quality, exciting dining experiences. Many like the Rose & Crown, Romaldkirk, have Michelin-starred chefs, while others, such as the King’s Head Inn, Bledington, have AA Rosettes. From the Victoria Inn, Holkham, which uses hand-reared beef from the Holkham Estate, to the Hundred House Hotel, Shropshire, with its award-winning garden, and the Peacock, Rowsley, which uses fresh ingredients from the Haddon Estate, they are passionate about locally sourced produce. The talented head chefs change their menus to suit the seasons: this includes the Boar’s Head, Ripley, and the Selkirk Arms, Kirkcudbright. Many, such as the Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax, take inspiration from their local surroundings to create stunning menus. Yorkshire, for example, boasts a world-class culinary scene, with more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other county in England outside of London. Of course, its most iconic dish is the Yorkshire Pudding, and whether it’s served as an accompaniment to a traditional roast or as giant yorkie, filled to the brim with onion gravy and top-notch sausages, there’s no better place to eat it than in Yorkshire!
5. Covid-19 security
This is obviously a major consideration at the moment. All Great Inns of Britain are Covid-secure, following the latest government guidance, in line with VisitBritain’s Good to Go scheme. They are upholding their already high standards of cleanliness, ensuring regular cleaning regimes are undertaken and maintaining social distancing within the inns, while also ensuring the familiar welcoming customer service guests have come to know and love.
6. Find something unique
You will want to book somewhere offering a unique experience for your staycation. The Great Inns of Britain include a hand-picked collection of traditional coaching inns and small independent hotels with rich histories and charismatic owners, found in some of the most idyllic countryside and coastal locations. From Y Talbot, Ceredigion, nestled in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains, to the Blue Lion, East Witton, located on the edge of the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park, the rooms are unique, some offering antique surroundings that will transport you to another time, while others have modern stylings, both bursting with character and perfect for escaping everyday realities.