Travel & Leisure

5 Great UK Alternatives To Going Abroad For Your Holidays

5 Great UK Alternatives To Going Abroad For Your Holidays

Going on holiday is good for your health and if it’s possible to get away more than once a year you’ll see even more health benefits and feel better for it. You have two choices when it comes to going away… go abroad or take a staycation.

Read on for 5 great alternatives to going abroad for your holidays.

We all love being abroad on holiday! The sun, sand & scenery is a big draw, however sometimes the thought of going abroad and everything that can involve makes you want to stay at home and not bother.

How about a staycation?

Have you considered a UK staycation instead of going abroad?

Imagine not having to worry about:

  • Airport chaos and queues
  • Delayed or cancelled flights
  • Forgotten passports
  • Remembering to drive on the other side of the road…

The UK has a host of different options that could make for a relaxed and refreshing staycation with a minimum of stress and a maximum of fun.

Static Caravans

Caravanning often conjures up visions of traffic jams, cramped uncomfortable living conditions and grey drizzly weather. Not anymore!

With a plethora of static caravan parks around the UK, you’ll be able to holiday exactly where you want in comfort. Furthermore, modern day static caravans enjoy all the modern decor you’d expect from a good quality hotel.

Modern static caravans boast the following features:

  • Large open plan living areas
  • Modern sanitation
  • Fitted kitchens with built-in appliances
  • Two or more double bedrooms and can often sleep six or more
  • Large decking areas to enjoy alfresco living

Whether you choose to rent a static caravan for a couple of weeks or take the plunge, in an area you love and buy a caravan, you’ll be amazed at the facilities many campsites have.

Gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, children’s play areas and even onsite entertainment teams, long gone are the days of a swampy field with a standpipe for water!

Camping

If you’re on a bit of a budget this year but still want to take the family away for a week or two, then camping could be the perfect option.

If you’re already fully equipped with tents, sleeping bags and all of the other vital camping paraphernalia, all you’ll need to do is choose which part of the country appeals, book your pitch and away you go – you’re on holiday.

However, if you’ve never camped before, don’t have the equipment yet and just want to dip your toe in the camping pool before you commit, have a look at glamping.

With glamping, the tents are set up for you when you arrive, you sleep under duvets on proper beds, can enjoy the comfort of a sofa and you cook in a regular kitchen inside your tent.

You’re still camping, sleeping under canvas, out in nature, but you’re doing it in style.

Holiday Camps

Holiday camps have come a long way since Billy Butlin opened his first camp in Skegness in 1936.

Gone are the chalets and eating en masse in huge dining rooms. Now you can self-cater, go half board or full board, whichever suits how you want to holiday.

Holiday camps are designed to be an all-inclusive entertainment venue. With activities all day long and evening shows, bingo and variety acts to round off the day.

City Breaks

It’s usual to think of a holiday as a one/two week break, somewhere sunny where you can relax and recharge your batteries.

But does it have to be like that?

Why not break your holiday up into half a dozen city breaks spread over the year?

One month you’re taking in the National History Museum in London during the day and seeing a West End show in the evening.

Another month an art gallery or historical monument followed by dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant.

Budget hotels are springing up all over the country! You can now book at a moments notice and explore the UK from top to bottom, one weekend at a time.

Theme Parks

Thrill seekers or at least those who have thrill-seeking children will be drawn to the idea of a short break at a theme park. Combining high octane rides with a spa hotel offers something for everyone.

Enjoy a few hours of being flung from side to side and upside down, then let a trained masseuse unravel the kinks from your spine before you enjoy a relaxing dinner and a few drinks to recover before doing it all over again tomorrow…

Why not try a staycation?

Holidays don’t have to be the prescribed two weeks on a Spanish beach! They can be anything you want them to be.

The UK has a surprising amount to offer and as our summer weather has been so good for the last couple of years!

Why not take a chance and explore what is on offer closer to home?

5 Ways To Go On More Holidays For Less

5 Ways To Go On More Holidays For Less

Going on regular holidays is good for you.

You’ll feel better, look better and be ready to conquer the world when you get back, rested and rejuvenated.

Holidays are so relaxing that you won’t feel sleep deprived, you’ll exercise, get lots of sun to boost your vitamins, eat loads of new and exciting foods and the memories, oh the memories…

So, if they’re that good for you why do you only take one a year?

Why not double the goodness, or triple it?

Cost?

That doesn’t have to be a problem, if you’re prepared to think outside of the box…

Be your own travel agent

Last year we wanted to go somewhere sunny, in a house that could take four adults, and we didn’t want to have to drive anywhere, so the house needed to be central, in a town or village and near to a beach.

Our travel agent threw her hands up in despair and finally found a deal…£8,000 for a fortnight and it didn’t have everything we wanted!

So we did it ourselves.

A little bit of detective work on Airbnb, then booking our flights independently through an ATOL bonded travel agent and we had exactly what we wanted, for less than half the price and it was fun doing it ourselves.

If you can be flexible on dates and destination, book late

The later you leave booking the cheaper it could be.

Why?

Tour operators have already chartered the planes and reserved the rooms, they have to pay for them whether they manage to fill them or not.

As the departure date gets closer the prices start to fall – it’s better for the tour operator to get some money than none at all.

If you’re able to go at the drop of a hat, literally anywhere, the savings can be quite substantial, and you get an adventure into the bargain.

Ever thought about buying a static caravan?

I can hear you shouting at your screen – ‘I thought we were looking at ways too cut costs?’

Bear with me.

Before we stress about cost, let’s look at the advantages of ownership.

  • You can get away multiple times a year for a long weekend up to a full-on summer holiday
  • Really get to know an area – the best beaches, restaurants and activities to keep the kids happy and enjoy them year after year
  • When you’re not using your static caravan you can let your family use it
  • At other times you’ll be able to rent it out, which will go towards covering your cost, and making your own holidays essentially free

Think about it; going to your home from home whenever you want to and have your rentals cover your costs. That’s cost saving!

Also, you can often pick up pre-loved caravans at very attractive prices so you can dip your toe in the water without breaking the bank.

Home swapping – no accommodation costs, just pay to get there

Have you ever thought you’d like to visit somewhere interesting or exotic, but by the time you’d added it all up it was cheaper to go to Majorca?

Home swapping might be the answer.

Here’s how it works. You register your home on a home-swapping website with some suitable photos and descriptions. Once your profile is up and live, start looking at where you’d like to visit – anywhere worldwide and message suitable properties. Arrange to swap and away you go.

Costs to register are less than £10/month and they often offer a free trial so you can see if it’s for you.

Have a staycation…

Having a holiday doesn’t have to mean leaving the comforts of your own home. Use home as a base to really explore the area around where you live and uncover the hidden gems that you’ve never had time to consider.

Decide on how long you want to travel for, say an hour or fifty miles, and then Google attractions within fifty miles and see what pops up.

You’ll be able to go somewhere different every day. From beaches you’ve never visited to attractions you’ve never heard of you’ll have a week or two of really getting to know your own part of the country and be able to come back every night and sleep in your own bed.

Holidays are about spending time together, having fun and getting out and about to see new things and share experiences. Whether that’s in a far-flung corner of the world or closer to home, you’ll be a happier, healthier family with countless memories to cherish.

5 Reasons why holidays are good for you & your families health

5 Reasons why holidays are good for you & your families health

When you begin planning this year’s big holiday, whether it’s to your caravan, an Airbnb in Europe or a luxury getaway to the Far East or Caribbean, of course you will be excited however did you also know about the health benefits?

The anticipation of getting away from the daily grind and enjoying that well-earned break will keep you buzzing until departure day. However, as well as the excitement of your family holiday, it can have significant health benefits that last well beyond your return home. The fact is ‘holidays are healthy’, Read on to discover why..

Catch up with sleep

Holidays are about rest and recuperation. Your alarm doesn’t go off at some ungodly hour every morning, forcing you out of bed before you’re fully rested.

On holiday, you get to catch up on some of the sleep that you’ve missed. Enjoying an uninterrupted lie in, napping by the pool after lunch or going native and taking a siesta like the locals.

BUPA in their article ‘9 benefits of a good night’s sleep’ list some significant health benefits that come from sufficient quality sleep, including:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Keeping your heart healthy
  • A strong robust immune system
  • Looking after your emotional well-being and mental health
  • Improving your concentration and attention

Matthew Walker, the director of the Centre for human sleep science at the University of California, Berkeley, believes that we are in the midst of a catastrophic sleep loss epidemic that could have grave consequences to our health at every level.

To continue to enjoy how good you feel from getting a good night sleep and all of the associated health benefits, try to prioritise sleep. Not only will your body thank you, but your boss will marvel at the new invigorated you.

Soak up the healthy sun

After living through the dull, dreariness of a British winter, we all crave bright, sunny days to make us feel happy and healthy again.

On holiday you tend to spend much more time outdoors. Whether that’s playing with your kids, sunbathing or exploring the surrounding area, you are soaking up the health benefits of the sun

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved bone health
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Healing of certain skin disorders
  • Reduced risk of certain cancers

Though the health benefits of being out in the sun are numerous and impressive, it is important to remember that sunshine is the number one cause of skin cancer. Experts recommend no more than 15 or 20 minutes of unprotected exposure per day — after that apply a good quality sunscreen to keep you safe and healthy.

Regular exercise

We all acknowledge that to stay healthy we need to exercise, however, finding time during busy working week is often a challenge.

You want to go the gym, but family commitments have to be prioritized and so weeks roll by and the impetus to get moving diminishes.

On holiday time is no longer an issue, work is a distant memory and family commitments give you the excuse you all need to get moving. From swimming to beach football and exploring to souvenir shopping you’re constantly on the move.

The NHS lists a number of medically proven health benefits that come from being regularly active.

  • 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • 30% lower risk of depression
  • 30% lower risk of dementia

Remember the statistics and how good running around on holiday felt, then use that as a prod to get you to the gym or out for a run so you can live a healthy and long life.

Sample different foods

Holidays can be a food extravaganza and by checking out the local cuisine, whether that’s seafood fresh off the boat, Spanish paella or Coq au vin, you can increase the variety of what you eat and often the quality.

When you’re in a warm destination it’s easier to eat salad and light foods as the heat will affect your appetite.

Enjoy eating well and trying the local cuisine, it’s often healthier and tastier than fast food options at the beach and you can try and cook your own version when you’re back in the UK.

Making memories to last a lifetime

Family holidays are often the basis for some of our happiest memories.

Research from the Family Holiday Association showed that the emotional and psychological benefits of your holiday will last long after the holiday has ended.

The memories that you have from your holiday can help you overcome tough times later in life. The laughter, feeling of relaxation and new experiences is what we remember when we look back on our holidays.

The best memories often come from the simplest of pleasures:

  • Eating an ice-cream at the beach
  • Jumping waves
  • Burying dad in the sand
  • Building a sandcastle

And according to research by the BBC good memories will stay with you for far longer than bad ones.

Get out there and start making some fantastic memories for you and your children!

The health benefits that you get from family holidays are overwhelming.

Whether you plan on holidaying in the UK or further afield enjoy the benefits and come home a healthier happier person.

Click HERE to find out how you can holiday more often

 

Christmas in your Static Caravan or Lodge Holiday home

Christmas is a perfect time to get away with all the family if you are lucky enough to own a static caravan or lodge holiday home. Despite the cold weather, you will find there are many holiday parks which are open at Christmas. If yours is one of them, you can spend an amazing, memorable Christmas in your own holiday home enjoying spectacular winter views of the countryside or coastline. And this may be the year we get a white Christmas – how Magical would that be?

Gifts

Perhaps the main event for children (and adults) is of course the presents! But it does beg the question how you can disguise the blessings from Santa Claus! If your holiday home isn’t too far away it may be worth a visit to take the presents beforehand and store them out of sight somewhere! Many Static caravans and Lodges have ample storage space, so you can use this for the presents. Failing this, you can of course keep them in the boot of the car with a thick blanket on top.

 

Keep Warm

Equip your caravan or lodge with higher tog duvets and extra blankets, even if you have central heating and double glazing. It’s always wise to be prepared for any eventuality in winter. Check with your park how they will be staffed beforehand and keep emergency contact numbers handy. In the unlikely event you experience boiler, gas or electric issues.  The last thing you want is to be cold or without electricity! Also, it is Winter! so take your woollies!

 

Christmas Decorations

Decorate your holiday home! Yes, it may not be as spacious as your everyday home, however you can buy smaller trees or Christmas trees that take up less space. It is Christmas after all! You can also purchase trees with lights already attached. Perfect.

Avoid candles, they are not safe in a caravan or lodge. However, we use the electric flicker candles and they are as good as the real thing. Add a wreath to your door, maybe some twinkly lights outside your holiday home and it can be as festive as your everyday home.

 

Christmas dinner

The Kitchens in your holiday home these days are as fabulous and equipped as your kitchen at home. You absolutely can cook a sumptuous feast like you can anywhere else. Some parks have social areas open and will cater for Christmas dinners and there are always restaurants and pubs nearby that offer Christmas meals. Make sure you book in advance as these are like hot seats! Very much sought after. However, if you prefer to spend Christmas indoors with your loved ones, then there are a few ways to help. Prepare and plan as much as possible in advance and take as much pre prepared items as you can.

 

Family Time.

This is what Christmas is all about, Family and good will. Take the time with your loved ones, enjoy your holiday home and use the amenities your park has to offer. There will be plenty of festive activities around at this special magical time whether its just for adults or the whole family to enjoy.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New year from us all at Parklink.

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Caravan For Sale Near Me

Static caravan for sale near me

Many people are now realizing they do not need to travel far to find a static caravan. You can enjoy more ‘me’ time with a static caravan near home.

Buying a static caravan near home will offer you the following benefits:

Less time travelling in the car

Why waste time and money travelling for hours? Owning a static caravan near home means you’ll get there sooner and start enjoying yourself.

Travelling for long distances in the car isn’t an enjoyable experience for the family as children can grow restless and elderly parents may not travel well.

Stunning Holiday Parks all around the UK

If you don’t mind travelling to the coast you will find some wonderful places to buy a static caravan. However is you are searching “static caravan for sale near me” you will find some real hidden gems inland which may be closer to your home. Furthermore if you live two hours from the coast and you own a static caravan in-between then a visit to the coast from your caravan is more feasible!

Many holiday Parks inland work hard to create a unique special place offering stunning landscaping and beautiful scenery. Many parks offer fantastic facilities which the whole family can enjoy along with excellent service. This means your caravan holiday home could be anywhere. An inland park which comes to mind is the stunning Stratford parks which is located in Stratford Upon Avon and only 15 minutes from the M40. Nestled alongside the beautiful River Avon, here you can enjoy amazing scenery and facilities within a welcoming warm setting.

Click here to request more information on this special park

Static caravan for sale near me

When searching for a static caravan for sale, Parklink recommends you find the location first, then park. You will find most caravans are built to a brilliant standard. We are sure you will find a static caravan for sale which suits your needs. Caravans can be shipped all around the country which means you’ll have an excellent choice even if you decide to buy a static caravan near home.

Convenience of being near home
  • Forget something or family emergency.. You can always pop home!
  • Fulfil commitments you have near home
  • Easy travelling distances
  • In good or bad weather you can decide whether to stay or go.
Own a caravan near home can bring many benefits

Having your own Caravan near home can mean you enjoy more ‘me’ time. You may have a spare morning where you can pop to your caravan and relax on your balcony reading a good book. Or have a dip in the swimming pool or enjoy a workout in the gym. The benefits and flexibility can be endless and this is the true value of owning your own caravan near home.

Close to your investment

You may decide to sublet your caravan holiday home to bring in some extra income to help with running costs. The park may manage this for you or you may decide to do this for yourself. Being closer to your holiday home gives you the piece of mind that you can check your holiday home in-between bookings.  You can also pop and meet the park management team if needed to discuss your letting progress. This is far more convenient than if your caravan was three or four hours drive away from home.

Are you ready to enjoy more ‘me’ time?

Are you someone who really loves appreciated your location near home?  If yes we hope this article has helped you understand how you can enhance your lifestyle further with your own static caravan near home!

Parklink works with many of the best holiday parks in the UK and is here to request the information you need to make an informed decision. Contact Parklink here to get started

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10 reasons to visit Stratford Upon Avon

10 reasons to visit Stratford Upon Avon.

We think it’s a good time to share a little bit of love for one of the worlds most famous towns, Stratford Upon Avon. It’s a town full of beauty and history and we have found 10 great reasons to come and visit!

1) Its the land of William Shakespeare – who happens to be the world’s most famous poet!

Thanks to this great English poet, Stratford is one of the most famous towns in the world. During the summer months tourists can be seen eagerly clutching guide books and taking photos of ye olde worlde buildings.

We recommend you make the pilgrimage to the most famous landmarks: the three theatres (The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Swan Theatre and The Other Place), Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens, the home of Shakespeare’s mother Mary Arden, and Holy Trinity Church where he is buried.

2) You are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in Stratford Upon Avon, you will of course see your usual chain restaurants such as Nando’s but also local independents like The Bear which sits near the River Avon and serves affordable tasty pub food. Another place that’s comes highly recommended is the famous theatre The RSC which has a beautiful rooftop restaurant serving British food, perfect for romantic dates.

3) Stunning scenery In the summer months there is nothing better than sitting by the river on the Bancroft watching the world go by with a picnic and good company. In the winter you can find a gem of a coffee shop called Box Brownie. The coffee is excellent.

Stratford Upon Avon is known for being very pretty so there are so many beautiful places for taking photos at the river and along the streets where you will find historical and Tudor buildings from Shakespeare’s time. If you fancy trekking a little outside of Stratford Upon Avon, there is a lovely place called Shottery, a small village in Stratford that has the most beautiful cottages which really come alive in the spring with wisteria and blossom.

4) Visit one of Shakespeare’s Houses and Gardens, even if you’re not particularly a massive fan of his work there is still something for everyone. Whether you want to see where he was born or see where he lived with his wife Anne Hathaway at her cottage. In the summer New Place – an Elizabethan garden, is particularly lovely and also the site of Shakespeare’s last home.

5) The locals are truly friendly. If you’re more inclined to blend in and avoid the tourist trap cafes and chain restaurants, go where the locals eat and drink where you’ll receive a friendly atmosphere and more authentic experience.

6) There is so much to discover. Stratford Upon Avon has lots of shops, cafes and countryside pubs and being so close to other lovely places such as the Cotswolds. You can always discover something new. Away from the hustle and bustle of cities like London, here you can soak up nature and relax in the traditional surroundings.

7) In the spirit of the Autumn season, the Michaelmas funfair (known locally as The Mop) is a two day event that takes place in October. Historically the local children got the day off from school as the traffic made it hard for school buses to drive through the town – The local mayor used to open the fair and was offered a free ride on anything that he or she wanted to go on. But this tradition was stopped as the smart teenagers of the town soon realised that if they followed the dignitary around then they too got a free ride (little fun fact).

8) So much history (aside from shakespearean history!) The oldest pub in Stratford is reportedly The Garrick Inn, which dates back to the 1400s. It has an impressive history (again the locals can fill you in) but rumour has it that many former drinkers return for a spiritual pint after dark – do you dare to share a tipple with someone from the other side…

9) A little worldly fun. Stratford has been given lamp posts by councils from across the world and these now line the town’s streets. They have different designs and plaques on them and could well be used to create a fun treasure hunt for a bored child (or adult even). Hours of free fun!

10) for when you’re Shakespeared out! Stratford is also home to the UK’s largest tropical butterfly farm. You can see colourful butterflies, creepy crawlies and even visit ‘Arachnoland’, which as massive fans of spiders we can’t wait to go to.

There really is something for everyone in Stratford Upon Avon. With the new season upon us and it is a season of beautiful colours and events in this historic town, we felt it only right to find some great reasons to see what holiday home beauties we can find for you here. This list could have gone on and on, but we will leave these reasons with you for now, and if you want more, contact us! We have all the information you could ever need. Enjoy your Autumn.

Interested in a holiday home in this stunning location? Why not take a look at Stratford Parks