It’s June, and at the weekend I was sitting staring out of the window at the most miserable, depressing weather imaginable.
Dull grey skies and ‘that fine rain that soaks you right through’ (thank you Peter Kay). At that moment I was eternally grateful that in less than two weeks I will be lazing by a pool on a sunkissed Greek island.
However, this morning, having woken up to glorious sunshine, I've had that niggling feeling that I should have booked my two weeks somewhere along our breathtaking coastline or deep in the heart of Britain’s stunning countryside.
It’s a quandary that most of us face at some time. Do we opt for guaranteed sunshine, coupled with potential airport delays, gippy tummy, bad Brits abroad and sunburn – or explore our own green and pleasant land, complete with unpredictable weather, traffic jams, kiss me quick hats and dodgy B&B’s?
Or there’s even a third option, the true staycation, right here at home in Haverhill. There’s a lot to be said for two whole weeks of not having to get up to go to work, PJ days and DVD’s when it's miserable outside, exploring local attractions that get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life on the better days.
There’s no right or wrong here, and an extravagant holiday of a lifetime in the sun can easily turn into a nightmare just as a low key holiday at home can be a triumph. It’s all in the planning.
A LOT of preparation goes into a holiday abroad. Firstly there’s the selection and booking process. Where to go, when, reading endless Trip Advisor reviews (when you think you’ve found the perfect place for you, until that one person gives it one star and a review from hell…then your search starts all over again). Then there’s the flights, where more often than not you now have to pay to ensure you sit together, pay for an inflight meal, pay for your luggage; the insurance, airport parking, transfers (do we book a cab or go cattle class, where it takes two hours to get to your hotel because you always end up being the last drop off point?)
The joys of foreign currency. Not too bad if you’re travelling within the Eurozone (unless, like me you’re heading for Greece two days after the negotiations deadline, who knows what they’ll be trading in by the time I get there?!) But head further afield and you’ll be converting 53.44THB to the pound (Thailand) or, and again I speak from personal experience, 21,144.73 IDR for each of our good British pounds (Bali). Now THAT will mash your brain!
Still, packing is simpler…warm weather clothes. Oh, and sunscreen, aftersun, insect repellants, medications for all eventualities, toiletries in little tiny bottles (baggage allowance ain’t what it used to be)adaptor plugs, hairdryer, tea bags (can’t get a decent cup of tea abroad) and so on and so on.
Despite all that, I confess to being a fan of the holiday abroad. Because once there I don’t ask much from a holiday, just guaranteed sunshine, a clear blue pool and an abundance of cocktails!
Holidaying in the UK can be much simpler. Even though you’re on holiday, you know that whatever you might forget to pack you can get in most every corner of this country. You can choose between camping, glamping or a fun filled holiday park. Maybe hire a holiday cottage or push the boat out with a swanky seaside hotel. Whichever you decide, there is comfort in the familiarity. You may be heading several hundred miles from home, but technically, it’s still home. The language is the same, the currency is the same, you drive on the same side of the road and the chances are you will be travelling by or to places that are familiar to you, thanks to the plethora of UK travel programmes, and Doc Martin!
However, packing is not necessarily so simple. Although without baggage allowance restrictions, there are space constrictions in the average family saloon. Clothing cannot confidently be restricted to summer frocks and shorts, this is the UK remember. So sweat shirts, the odd woolly and quite possibly wellies come as standard on the great British holiday.
Then there is getting there. The sat nav tells you it will take precisely 4 hours 25 minutes. The sat nav lied. Well no, not strictly speaking, but TomTom* did not take into account the ten mile tail backs, endless toilet stops (why do kids never want to use the loo at the same time?) and the 50 mile stretch of motorway on a 50mph limit. *Other navigation systems are available...
And what if the weather does let you down? What if the Poldark coastline is as dark and brooding as the man himself, or the rolling countryside a sodden quagmire?
Forward planning is essential for a UK break, and much more easily done than abroad. Know where you’re going, research the attractions (particularly the indoor ones) within a reasonable distance of your location, and be ready with your contingency plans if the weather does its worst.
And if you really don’t want to travel at all, if your idea of heaven is right here on your doorstep, then make the most of your time off. Haverhill has a whole host of attractions and events to keep you and the kids occupied.
On offer in Haverhill is a huge selection of family days and nights out, car boot sales, wildlife walks, a Beer Festival and a Vintage Car Rally, not forgetting Haverhill’s annual Big Day Out. All these and much more can be found on our Events pages and can keep you and the family busy all summer. As an added bonus many of the Events are entirely free of charge.
Click here for Events listings.
Check out thebestof Haverhill Local Guides for details of Clubs, Associations, Sports, Music, Arts and Culture available both in Haverhill and the surrounding areas.
Wherever you decide to holiday this year, your annual jollies is always a good excuse to treat yourself. A sunkissed summer hair do, some pre travel pampering, a bit of holiday bling and some trendy new sunnies are just what you need!
When you’re away the last thing you need to be doing is faffing with your hair. But it still needs to look good. As a highly skilled Vidal Sassoon trained stylist, Westley Hellen at Avant Garde in Haverhill knows just how to create a style that will take you effortlessly from beach to bar. The team at Avant Garde specialise in the kind of wash and wear cuts styled to suit a client’s individuality whilst being long lasting and easy to maintain.
Having recently moved to shiny new premises, just two doors down from the original Salon, Avant Garde also offer stunning Gelaze Gel Overlays in the Nail Studio. Choose from a wide selection of colours, glitters, foils and 3D nail art and take advantage of the special deals available to thebestof Haverhill members on our offers page.
Peruse our latest offers.
Haverhill beauty sanctuary, arevolution provides a range of treatments guaranteed to give you that summer glow whether home or abroad. After weeks of being hidden inside winter boots, feet and toes are rarely strappy sandal ready. Treat them to a pedicure, from a simple file and polish to a deluxe pedicure with foot masque, finished off with high shine, long lasting Shellac toenails. You’ll find a special deal on pedicures on our Offers page.
Simplify your summer make up regime with eyebrow and eyelash tinting, or go for low maintenance glamour with lash extensions. Get soft, silky skin with a range of body treatments and waxing, and give yourself a golden glow without the risk of sun damage with St Tropez sunless tanning, all available now at arevolution in Haverhill.
Find out more about arevolution in Haverhill by clicking here.
Nothing sets off that tan like a special piece of jewellery. Whether you want silver, gold or fashionable costume bling, Hanningtons Jewellers in Haverhill have got it all. Classic pieces in precious metals can make a real statement, whilst their Boutique Jewellery by Hanningtons store has a selection of some of the biggest contemporary brands out there.
Hanningtons Jewellers definitely have something for everyone and with the generous Offers available through thebestof Haverhill, prices will suit all pockets.
Please click here for more information about Hanningtons Jewellers.
Even the British summer sun demands protection for your eyes. Glare whilst driving can be dangerous, and wrinkles from squinting are not an attractive look. Located in Queens Square, Haverhill, Billson Opticians can kit you out in prescription sunglasses to suit your style and pocket.
With over 30 years’ experience in matching the correct styles to suit their clients, and ensuring a prescription that gives crystal clear vision, Billson is the 'go to' Opticians in Haverhill if you’re looking for stunning sunnies! With ranges from budget through to top designers prescription sunglasses won’t leave your style in the shade this summer.
Click here for further details about Billson Opticians in Haverhill.
So wherever you choose to holiday this year, it’s easy to be prepared for anything with the help of your local Haverhill businesses. Happy holidays to one and all!
Member since: 6th November 2012
I am a long-term resident of Haverhill and love sharing information and advice on the best places to visit, businesses to contact and people to speak to!