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I holiday at home at least once a year and not just because I work for a cottage company! It’s wonderful to experience a new place even if just for a couple of days. It’s especially great with the comfort of knowing the culture and history of the place you’re in so you’re truly at ease; that doesn’t always happen when you venture to faraway shores. Always gone on that beach family break or sunshine holiday? Well look no further than North Wales, famous for mountain peaks and a destination for those who love the outdoors, it has plenty to offer those seeking golden sands and relaxation too!

‘Staycation’ became more popular as a term after the 2008 recession as many people had to cut back on overseas travel. Now, with uncertainty over Brexit and the weakened pound, many people are again looking to travel at home. I want to challenge the idea that a holiday spent within the UK for those who live here is ‘settling’ – you might find, like me, that you can’t stop once you’ve started!

Forget the airport

Come on, admit it, flying is tedious! All that searching of your belongings and the typical terror a Brit feels as you put your case through the scanners; ‘what if someone has slipped something in there without me knowing?!’ and the inevitable holding of your breath until you’re reunited with your bag. Then the waiting… duty-free to pass the time, four cups of coffee (maybe even a cheeky tipple at 8am because you are now officially on holiday…), then often waiting on the runway, too. It’s not fun if you’re impatient to get the holiday underway like I am.

Holidaying at home means you can pack the car and set off in your own time and to your own schedule. Stop where you want along the way and feel the excitement build as your destination draws closer. Soak up the countryside along the route and see even more of our delightful land. Or even jump on the train – you can be here in North Wales in only a few hours direct from Euston station. All without the hassle of airport security, the endless waiting around and passport not required – and there’s no weight limit for luggage!

Smash the stereotype

Gone are the days where all holiday rentals were either static caravans with awful nighttime entertainment which you felt obliged to attend (hands up if this was a part of your childhood!); no more do you have to suffer a damp cottage that someone inherited from their granny and the furniture has remained unchanged for decades. You can now sleep on a ‘bed’ on the edge of a cliff, soak up panoramic views of the mountains or the beach, sleep in a quirky shepherd’s hut in a remote field, a Gothic folly, jump on a rib ride and get on the water right from your holiday cottage and have more mod-cons than you could shake a stick at (Sonos music systems, hot tubs, jacuzzi bathtubs are just a few examples). You can live in the lap of luxury, even if only for a weekend. There truly is something for everyone, you just need to be willing to seek it out.

Times, they are a’changing

The UK holiday market is currently undergoing a Renaissance and North Wales is no different. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to walk into a stuffy pub and feel self-conscious that you’re not a local; just like bigger cities, you can experience incredible craft ale by local micro-breweries in contemporary industrial-designed surroundings. Forget canteen-like cafés because we do have vegan and veggie places, hip coffee shops stocked with locally-roasted beans and some incredible foodie establishments – quinoa and kale salad, anyone? We have those sorts of eateries too, you know!

A holiday in North Wales has ever been popular with outdoorsy types, explorers and walkers. There is still so much to offer this type of visitor and you can soak up the Welsh country air and reconnect with nature if that’s what you’re into. However, there are benefits for foodies, families with toddlers as well as older children, couples who want to browse towns with quirky family-owned boutiques or couples who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, retirees who want to soak up some culture or visit the odd castle. What’s more, if you bring your car, you can actually take home that craft beer you love, the local cheese your mate Dave must try (everyone’s got a friend called Dave, right?), and those antique chest of drawers you’d just love to upcycle.

So, forget the sunshine you think you’re missing out on (it does shine in the UK, too), or the poolside race for sun loungers that you think you’ll miss. You can still pack your bathing suit or bikini because you can swim in the sea here too, or book a cottage with its own private swimming pool. I promise you, holidaying at home has so many benefits and I’ve outlined only a select few here. Cities like Manchester and London have their perks, but in North Wales you’ll get a warm welcome, stunning vistas, the beach, the mountains and beautiful countryside too. You can pack your break full, or relax and recoup. Whatever you need, we can deliver – take a look and pick the perfect cottage for you!

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