Let's have a safe staycation!

Hello, angels. Who needs a bit of a break? All of you, and ASAP? Yep, that’s what I thought. These past few months, I’ve been seeing the same things pretty much every day. And surprisingly, I’ve grown a bit tired of my little flat, the residential streets in my neighbourhood where I’d walk up and down, round and round, day after day in lockdown… even the seafront is getting a bit samey for me, lately. I never thought that would happen! Anyone else feeling me on this? Oh well, there’s not much we can do about this restless feeling we’re all having, at the moment.

or is there?

Obviously going away abroad is fraught with issues at the moment and while a cheeky trip to sunny Spain, for instance, is the dream for most of us, you have to thinkis it worth the time in quarantine when you get home? Nope! So why not stay in the UK, and do a little exploring here? There are so many wonderful places to discover not far from your doorstep, and you never know, you might find a new favourite holiday spot that you can visit without going through the faff of flying! 

I personally have had some lovely experiences travelling within the UK; exciting road trips down the coast with friends, chilled solo adventures to historical towns, and epic train rides up to the Midlands and beyond. One of my favourite places to visit, though? It’s gotta be the Bournemouth area.

I have a few good friends who live in this area, and obviously it’s a treat seeing them when I travel that way. And it’s partly thanks to them, partly to my inquisitive mind and wandering feet, that I know of many lovely spots to visit within this part of Dorset. Here are a few of them… 

Brownsea Island.

I come from a family that’s very involved in the Girl Guiding movement, and I attended my local Brownie, Guide and Young Leader meetings as I grew up, so of course I had heard about the legendary Brownsea Island. It’s where the worldwide Scout movement began in 1907! I finally got to visit there as a helper with my mum’s Rainbow unit, and it was a serious ‘wow’ moment. This National Trust site is a short boat ride from Poole Harbour, and has the most spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills. I’d definitely recommend a day spent there, going along the free trails laid out all around the island, and spotting all the creatures who live happily in the woodland and lagoons. Oh, there’s also a picnic area and natural play ground, so it’s perfect for a family trip!

The Bournemouth beaches.

Well, obviously. Bournemouth boasts a truly brilliant sandy beach, which stretches on for miles, just a short walk from the town centre – via a beautiful little park, actually. Fun fact: it was in Bournemouth that the beach hut was invented 100 years ago, and they still have some of the oldest ones there. Weird eco-geek moment: the entrance to the beach from the centre of town has some MASSIVE recycling, glass, and general waste bins. That excites me, because the amount of beach litter collected in this country is ridiculous, and there’s no excuse for it.

Jurassic Coast day trip.

Another geek out moment: I did Geography GCSE, and was obsessed by the natural arches and caves that are formed by weather and the sea, over time. Durdle Door is not far from Bournemouth, and Lulworth Cove too. When you take one of the day trips available, you can see both of these natural sites, as well as Sandbanks, Swanage and Durlston Country Park.

Sopley Farm.

I’m biased, because I had a particularly marvellous trip here to do some pumpkin picking (although for us, as we visited on a rainy day, it was more like ‘pumpkin scooping’) but this fabulous farm in Christchurch is a gem. Vast PYO fields, and a cute cafe for those post-picking cuppas.

Oh also, Sopley Mill is a lovely wedding/event venue.

Healthy Habits.

Oh c’mon, I couldn’t not put a vegan-friendly cafe in here! This gem is in Broadstone, just outside Poole. Check out their Instagram for a (visual) taste of their menu – ooh, and they’re currently doing Eat Out to Help Out! All the more reason to go, when you book your staycation to Bournemouth.

In case you were worried about visiting these spots in this tricky time of COVID, fear not! I have looked up all of these activities and spaces, and they’re all imposing strict guidelines and hygiene measures. And of course travelling there by public transport is perfectly safe, too; I know our National Rail services are making it mandatory to keep a distance from fellow passengers, and wear face coverings at all times on their services and in their stations/waiting areas. And to ensure you stay somewhere that’s adhering to the new rules, check out the places listed here.

Okay, have I sold it to you? Good. Book your super safe staycation now!

This post is in collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.


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