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food, music, travel

Staycations

elgin

January is a trying time of year, with many of us facing little money or annual leave left after Christmas. Team this with seasonal hibernation and you have the perfect recipe for cabin fever. How can this slump be overcome? A staycation.

A staycation can be any length of domestic holiday, from minibreak to camping excursion. It may not have the sun of a foreign trip, but with less travel time you can up and go spontaneously. This spontaneity won’t then be ruined by flight delays and hours spent in an airport.

But, I hear you say, ‘British accommodation is so expensive, I could get a package holiday with this money’. Compared to package hotels UK venues are pricier, but with good reason, our minimum wage is higher than that of many countries.

So while you enjoy a UK break you can bask in the virtue of supporting fair pay, local industry and carbon – reduction (from not flying).

Still not sold? Well let me tell you about some great Scottish staycations I have had.

St Andrews

A beach break led me to Kingsbarns in St Andrews. This picturesque town was the scene of a group camping trip, where eight of us pitched up on white sands. Camping gear, food and drink aside, it was free of charge.

My friend’s past experience led us to a perfect spot with a free car park, public toilets and a quiet strip of beach.

The good weather held out all night, so we enjoyed a BBQ, games and campfire before the rain started the next morning. Word of advice; this trip is best saved for summer.

Dunfermline

Another beach break led my boyfriend and I to Charleston, a seaside town minutes from Dunfermline. We took advantage of a daily deal site and got two nights in The Elgin House Hotel, with wine and chocolates for £90. The hotel provided comfy – if dated – accommodation but its bar, garden and seaside view more than compensated.

The next pleasant surprise came in Dunfermline’s town centre. Trip adviser led us to a beautiful restaurant called Ciao Italia with mood lighting, chic décor and gorgeous food. Once full we went to PJ Malones rock bar and enjoyed some live music. The variety and quality of nightlife was amazing; a real hidden gem.

The next day we blew away our hangovers with walks on beach and through the dramatic Carnegie Park.

Drimsynie

Dramatic views were also had at my favourite staycation: Drimsynie holiday village. This gorgeous Highland retreat features log cabins, outdoor activities, a spa, pub, restaurants and walkways. Prices start at around £200 a weekend (for a two bedroom cabin) but splurging could upgrade you to a hot tub lodge.

The resort hosted my Auntie and Uncles’ Golden wedding celebrations and our extended family all had a ball. My cousin brought her dogs and they joined us for BBQs on the porch and long walks. After the communal fun, I chilled with a massage and swim in the spa.

With a perfect mix of private and public space this staycation would be great for couples or families.

If these tales don’t have your feet itching what will?

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