It may have only been down the road – but I had a holiday! | Kelly Brown

Relaxing on a beach, the sun shining down, children laughing and swimming – just your typical summer holiday break, right?

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 6:01 pm

Well not this year obviously but needless to say I have just a fantastic summer break away – even if I only travelled a grand total of 17 miles to get there!

I was supposed to be in France this summer on a long-planned break with the family, and like many others this year had to make the decision ‘should I stay or should I go’ (as The Clash would say).

Of course the travel companies all, understandably, want customers to take their planned holidays but the uncertainty of what to expect meant that when we were offered the chance to bump our plans to next year we took it.

BUT it left the small problem of still needing to take a proper break from it all.

As a family the last few months of juggling working from home, home schooling (then going back to school), lockdown and generally falling over each other every five minutes has been exhausting – so getting away from it all, even if only for a short time, was very much needed.

So we packed the car up and headed towards a last-minute holiday lodge – just 17 miles away from our house. (Well, we did have to cross a county line to get there so in my book that is enough of an excuse to say we have gone on a proper holiday!)

The car may have been bursting at the seams with body boards, buckets and spades and picnic blankets; the suitcase may have been crammed with shorts and t-shirts as well as jumpers and jeans (being prepared for our unpredictable Great British weather) and my passport may have stayed at home. But we had a fantastic time.

And I think the key to our success was having that insider knowledge of where to go and what to expect.

We stuck to the quiet beaches where we had acres of space and my children could repeatedly drag me back and forth into the sea to play with them.

I knew which local attractions to pre book and would make us feel safe with visiting fun outdoor areas top of the list.

And even tackling my first unknown – eating out in this socially distanced world – was also a success as I knew which venue would be best to head to. As it happened when we ate out in a country pub it almost felt as though we had the place to ourselves because they separated the tables so well.

The result – a stress-free holiday (or at least as stress-free as it ever gets when children are involved) with lots of wonderful family time and relaxing evenings together.

We may have brought a tonne of sand back in the car and I may still have had a pile of washing to deal with on my return but we had a brilliant Staycation holiday to remember.

And I came back with a suntan. Result!