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Top 10 Tips for Holidaying at Home

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Be strategic
Why put all your eggs in one basket with a traditional two-weeker when you could make strategic forays throughout the summer? Being flexible about when and where you go will result in lots of mini-hols in lots of nice places - and the chance of good weather. So pack your camping gear into a box and keep it by the front door or invest in a camper van. If the sun comes out on a Friday take the day off and scarper for a long weekend at the seaside.

Go somewhere unexpected
We're in love with Cornwall right now, sure, but why not give the M5 a break and go somewhere with shorter queues, equally nice coastlines and fewer seagulls to nick your chips? You'll find plenty of space in Scotland, Northern Ireland or even on the Yorkshire coast. Northumberland is worth a visit too - and it's the least populated county in the UK. Go off piste and you'll see more of our island you ever thought was possible.

Do something weird
We're eccentric apparently. Every reason to find out just how off the wall we are by going to see people do strange things in the name of tradition. There are all sorts to gawp at, from the bird men of Ilfracombe to the bog snorkellers of Llanwrtyd Wells and the cheese chasers of Cooper's Hill. Generally it's a free for all and there's a pub involved so you know it'll be a day to remember. Sit back, sink a few ales and enjoy the spectacle.

Eat something local
The great thing about holidaying in the UK is that all the stuff you love from back home and can't bear to be without is right there with you. Is that really the best thing? No. Thankfully there are lots of farmers and producers out there who are still able to make local delicacies and sell stuff that's got fewer food miles than Judith Chalmers. So go try some new stuff and put some of your hard won cash into the local economy. You might even get to say au revoir to Europe with fruit and veg that's less than EC regulation perfect. Curly cucumber anyone? Count me in!

Keep traditions alive
Get over yourself and join the masses with a trip to a proper British seaside resort like Blackpool, Brighton or Scarborough. You'll be transported back to simpler times when a ride on a donkey was plenty enough for most of us. Failing that, play the penny arcades, ride a rollercoaster or catch a seaside special on the prom. Kiss me quick, before they are gone forever - but if you can't live without a touch of class go to Cleveden or Southwold. They both have beautiful posh piers and peaceful promenades.

Get wet
You're never too far from the coast in the UK so why not make the most of it by getting wet? Thankfully wetsuit technology has come on a bit since you last braved the sea in good old Blighty so there are no excuses for rubbering up and diving in. For a brand new way to see the seaside go coasteering, a sport invented by surfers in St David's and now taught to the likes of you and me by TYF (and plenty of others around the place). Failing that, kayak the coast, surf a wave or dash in for a late night skinny dip. Brrrr. The water is indeed bracing.

See the stars
Light pollution from towns and cities can stop you from seeing the night sky in all its glory so if you want to see it properly you need to get away from it all. Then, when night falls on a cloudless night, lie on your back and gaze in wonder at the mysteries of the universe. There are some big questions to answer. The StarWalk App will help you to identify everything just by holding up your iphone. Alternatively, a planisphere is the old fashioned paper version.

Go camping and forget the fancy schmancy
Pitch up and pitch in with a group of mates on a campsite for the weekend. Create your own mini festival. Play rubbish music. Forget your over-reaching sensibilities and give the wallet a weekend off from the boutique bills and the spa treatments. Whoever said they are not the camping type has clearly never sat around a camp fire under a summer sky with good friends and a few glasses of plonk. Prepare well (see 9) and you'll go home grubby, but happy.

Get excited when it stops raining
One of the basic realities of going on holiday in the UK is that the weather might not be perfect. That calls for a different approach. If you expect sun you'll end up being disappointed, so don't. This isn't the Med is it? Pack for extremes, hope for the best and, if the worst comes to the worst and it does pour down, (and it will) you'll be happy when it stops, finally. Anyway, cut offs and wellies are so in right now....

Love our little island
The UK is beautiful and there are some bits of it that are very unspoiled. So if you are lucky enough to go there, do your bit to keep it that way. That means being tidy and thoughtful and maybe even forgetting about that portable barbecue or discarding those chip wrappers. Hey, how about taking part in a beach clean while you are away to help rid the beach of the 1400 pieces of litter per kilometre on the UK shoreline*? Think of it as your little thank you for having a great day out - and it will reward you with a pristine beach to enjoy once you're done.

*figures from the Marine Conservation Society

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