posted in: Quantock Hills, Quantocks, Staycation | 0

So, what exactly is a ‘staycation’?

Perhaps the definition has changed over the past few years; not that there is a definitive definition to start with. Initially, a staycation was a holiday at your home and traveling very locally. In 2008, just after the financial crash, many people decided not to go away and ‘pretended’ they were on holiday: having barbecues in the garden, dressing up for cocktails at home and taking day trips to attractions a few miles away. Today, it means staying within the UK. We used to call this a ‘holiday’!

Of course, at the moment of typing (March 2021), any holiday a broad is banned and unnecessary trips in the UK are also frowned upon. This is likely to be the case for the next month or so, or at least until all hospitality venues are open in the middle of May. Even after May, Government ministers are briefing that foreign travel is highly unlikely this summer due to the rises in infection rates in many of the European holiday destinations. So, the UK it is.

But where to go?

Local is good. Local was probably the norm. Without cars, our parent’s generation travelled by train or bus and thus visiting the other side of the country was more of a faff. It would be great to be able to use public transport today to get to a local destination, but whether this is feasible is another question. Here in the Quantocks, we are pretty remote and sparsely populated, which is good for silence and relaxation, but not very economic for transportation companies to provide regular services. Therefore, get here by car or train and taxi, but when you’re here much can be done on foot (if a walker) or by bike (if you’re a mountain biker).

Here are a few ideas to make your Quantock Hills staycation seem like your holiday to abroad but without the airport, sea sickness and delays:

  • Unwind. Hopefully, without the rush to get to the disembarkation gate you will be a lot calmer than normal to start with. Take a stroll around the village you’re staying in and appreciate it for what it is.
  • Ask your accommodation provider for advice on where to go and what to eat. They will probably know some of the more out of the way places that the tourists may not usually find.
  • Eat local. Find out if the area produces any traditional or unique foods or dishes. The Quantocks are famous for their deer and the butchers often have venison on sale in season. Then there’s Cheddar less than an hour away for traditional West Country Cheddar (try the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company).
  • Want something authentic to drink? Try a glass of Somerset cider. Sheppy’s is at the southern end of the Quantocks and has a visitors’ centre, shop and café.
  •  Fancy a vineyard experience? Oately Vineyard is four miles from The Old Cider House (and walkable). They allow visits and tastings.
  • Visit the coast. Kilve Beach is part of the Jurassic coast on the Bristol Channel. Search for ammonites or perhaps you’ll find a  197-million-year-old Ichthyosaur just like a dog walker just before Christmas.
  • Enjoy a picnic. Ask your accommodation provider if they would make you one, or the Post Office in Nether Stowey may be able to help out. The Foxy Bean does lovely cake.
  • Walk under a forest canopy. Within walking distance we have Great Wood with miles of forestry paths and a lovely picnic spot.

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