Sssshhhh, don’t tell anyone but I haven’t got a passport. That’s right you read right. I can’t actually leave the U.K and neither can my wife or son. They expired years ago and we have never bothered to renew them and probably won’t anytime soon. People think we’re either weird or scared of flying. Well, I’m neither and I do actually like most foreign foods. I’d eat a chicken Rogan Josh for breakfast if my wife would let me.
But it seems in recent years it has become compulsory for a holiday to be called a holiday, it has to be outside the U.K. Anything less than flying to another country is called ‘a break’ or worse still a ‘staycation’, and I’ll be honest it genuinely annoys me. I could get three passports ready for next year at a cost of over £200 and fly out to somewhere hot and sit drinking beer by a pool, or for a more adventurous holiday explore the rich culture of Rome or Athens. But I don’t want to. I believe that the U.K has plenty of amazing places to visit and the millions of overseas visitors back this up. If this country was dull and uninteresting, they wouldn’t bother visiting it would they?
Years ago, before two became three, my wife and I visited the Orkney’s, a truly amazing place with Skara Brae an almost perfectly preserved Neolithic village, which has Unesco World Heritage Site status - the same status as Athen’s Acropolis has. The islands also have a chapel, which on the outside is a World War Two Nissen hut but inside it is as beautiful as the Sistine chapel, all painted by Italian prisoners of war. An Italian named Domenico Chiocchetti painted the interior. Years later when a restoration was required he returned to paint it once again, all because he loved the islands. On the chapel’s 70th anniversary his daughter visited from Italy to sing a hymn solo, all because of what it and the island had meant to her late father.
Recently our son’s class were given a project on the village of Skara Brae, we supplied the teacher with our guide books and photos to aid them. Couldn’t have done that if we’d gone to Benidorm, could we?
I could take you to cafe on Whinlatter Pass in Cumbria and if you looked out of the window you would think you were in the Rockies, Canada, and it’s just two hours up the M6 from where I’m sitting right now.
Last year we visited Stone Henge, another world Heritage site and Lacock Abbey - Home of Fox Talbot and the birthplace of photography - our son loved it and he was only eight at the time.
In the past we have been to the Outer Hebrides with many amazing sites including the Callanish Standing stones.
Next year I’m taking him to Scotland again to visit Ben Nevis and Culloden Battlefield and who knows what else.
So please don’t dismiss my fabulously interesting UK holidays as boring because we don’t board an aeroplane. Our country is an amazing place if you stop and look around at what’s right under your nose.
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