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City Staycations

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If the title of this article conjures up unpleasant images in your head of caravans on cliff edges or a rogue sheep invading your poorly constructed tent, allow me five minutes to change your mind.  Hawaii and Morocco may be your dream holiday destinations but believe it or not Great Britain really does live up to its name when it comes to fantastic city breaks.

We’re all watching the pennies at the moment but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your holidays.   The UK’s major cities offer culture, entertainment, relaxation, and retail opportunities without the need for changing currency, booking vaccines, mastering a new language or worrying about the origin of the meat in your dinner. Even if you’ve visited, worked or even lived in a particular city at some point, it’s unlikely you will have experienced absolutely everything it has to offer.

The key to a fantastic staycation experience is doing your research.  Budget national hotel chains have improved greatly over the past few years, but you may be surprised at the great deals available when you look on accommodation comparison sites.  Here you can often find packages which include admission to theatre shows or museums and art galleries within the cost of your stay.  Make an effort to look up independent cafes, patisseries and restaurants for your meals instead of relying on major food chains you can find everywhere, and look out for local markets where you can pick up a hidden treasure at a great price.

It’s also worth finding out about any National Trust properties and gardens just outside the city as well as any local historical sites where you can have a look around.  These are beautiful and often relatively cheap to visit, and if the weather is on your side they are a great place to enjoy a picnic.  Be sure to check for any events in the area such as festivals, conventions or local fayres, and don’t be afraid to pop in to the tourist information centre for any advice or guidance.  Above all remember that this is your holiday and not a school trip.  Tailor your break to suit your interests and hobbies and you’ll be sure to have a great time.

Written by Francesca Caruana-Grima

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