I noted with interest that the One Show on the BBC has been broadcasting from Weston Super Mare this week. I am sure this is an attempt to highlight the benefits of a holiday in the UK but I am not buying it. Of all the places that I regularly consider spending my precious holiday time each year, the UK would be bottom of my list and there are plenty of good reasons why.
The presenters of the One Show were basking in the sunshine when I saw the live broadcast but let’s face it they were lucky! The weather in the UK is unpredictable at best and relentlessly awful at worst and so I would always be nervous about booking a trip to a UK destination as so much of what I would want to do could well be scuppered by a bad spell of weather. I am not averse to a day or two on the beach but I draw the line at huddling under an umbrella on the sand.
If you are foolish enough to attempt going anywhere on a hot day in the UK you will find that the rest of the nation is on the road with you and that is a lot of people. I made a trip to Studland Bay earlier this year, hoping for a nice day out. Under normal circumstances this would have resulted in a 90 minute journey. The sun was out and so was everyone else in the south of England. It took 3 hours to get there and then when I finally arrived the car parks were all full necessitating a rather long hike to the beach. The return journey was worse as a huge tailback on the most direct route resulted in a massive detour and another 3 hour drive via god knows where. If I didn’t own a Sat Nav I would probably still be out there somewhere in the depths of Wiltshire doing a Bear Grylls impression. There are too many places to holiday without the tyranny of traffic jams to even consider travelling in
Logically staying in your own country should save you money but the simple truth is that it does nothing of the kind. I have taken a look at some prices for UK breaks this year. I was shocked to find that 2 weeks for 2 people in a caravan at the Littlesea Holiday Park in Weymouth would set me back £1758 or I could try the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool for £1059. I have just had a wonderful holiday in the Julian Alps of Slovenia staying in a gorgeous chalet. This trip cost £900 for two people including car, flights and accommodation. No contest! The prices at British beach resorts are doing nothing to make me get my costume packed!
I have heard many people assert that the British countryside offers the best scenery in the world. I find this suggestion ridiculous and can only believe that these people have never left the country. Slovenia is far more beautiful than anything I have seen in the UK and I hope that nobody is going to try to argue that Weymouth is good competition for Barbados or that the Peak District rivals the Canadian Rockies. There is nothing here to compare to the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park and for those who argue the merits of Blackpool, it is nothing like Las Vegas!
I have no intention of taking a holiday in the UK when I can find nicer weather, superior attractions and better scenery elsewhere. When I consider that it is also cheaper to leave the country I am struggling to think of a single argument in favour of the UK. I fancy relaxing on a lovely beach next summer. My budget would extend to that £1758 caravan in Weymouth but the gorgeous house with a terrace overlooking the sea that I have booked for £1150 was a more attractive proposition. I’m off to Croatia, where are you going?
Article by Sally Stacey