The Joy of 'Staycations'
03 June 2019 -
‘Staycations’ in England are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s easy to see why. From idyllic countryside and unspoilt coastlines to picturesque towns and cosmopolitan cities, England has so much to discover. This country has an equally diverse culture, with tea, the Royal Family, red letterboxes, medieval cathedrals, 99s, castle ruins, and fish and chips forever associated with England’s green and pleasant land.
The humble fish ‘n’ chip supper has been a culinary staple which has fed millions for generations. Interestingly, the chip may have been devised as a substitute to fish.
Resourceful 17th-century housewives would cut potatoes into fishy shapes and fry them when the rivers froze over. Around the same time period, Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain introduced England to fried fish. It is believed that as early as 1863, northern entrepreneur John Lees decided to marry the fish and chip together and sold them out of a wooden hut at Mossley market in Lincolnshire. The pairing quickly caught on and fish and chips were soon firmly established as part of England’s culture, and are still as popular as ever today.
Our pick of the best English staycations:
Did you know?
King Henry III allegedly received a pet polar bear from the King of Norway, which would swim in the Thames and catch fish!
Scotland boasts glorious scenery of glistening lochs, rugged islands, dramatic coastlines and majestic mountains as well as buzzing cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, making this country a hugely popular holiday destination. Various traditions and myths are ingrained in Scotland’s rich culture; the Highland Games, bagpipes, the Loch Ness Monster, tartan kilts and haggis immediately spring to mind and are all still prominent in Scottish life.
Haggis is Scotland’s national dish and has become an object of worldwide culinary fascination. It combines sheep’s innards with oatmeal and spices and is traditionally cooked in a sheep’s stomach. It is widely believed that the word haggis derives from the Scottish word hag, meaning to chop, yet the dish’s origin is unconfirmed. Food historians agree that it was a 'peasant food', as encasing the undesirable meat cuts into a convenient stomach packaging would have been a successful way to feed people. Haggis is the showpiece of a traditional Burns Supper, where Scotland pays tribute to writer Robert Burns who even dedicated a poem to haggis. Centuries later, many Scots still agree with Burns’ opinion of haggis as the ‘great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race.’
Our pick of the best Scottish staycations:
Did you know?
The oldest tree in Europe is in Fortingall, Scotland and is a whopping 3,000 years old!
There is something to discover around every corner in Wales, a beautiful country of contrasts. The awe-inspiring landscapes of the north and endless panoramas of Snowdonia National Park combine with the picturesque towns and stunning coastlines of the south. Up and down the land, you’ll find plenty of daffodils, dragons, delicious Welshcakes and Welsh rarebit, and an abundance of sheep.
Welsh rarebit is a popular traditional dish consisting of a melted cheese and mustard sauce poured over toasted bread. Despite the name, it doesn’t contain any rabbit meat! ‘Caws pobi,’ or toasted cheese, has been a staple food in Wales since the 1500s. However, the first recorded reference to the dish being called ‘Welsh rabbit’ dates back to 1725. Welshmen are still as animated about Welsh rarebit today, with other countries adopting this simple culinary delight. You may be surprised to know that this traditional dish even has its own national day – September 3rd is officially Welsh Rarebit Day!
Our pick of the best Welsh staycations:
Did you know?
The Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the second longest place name in the world and translates as ‘St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysillio of the red cave’. Snappy!
Don't forget that as part of our Great Summer Getaways promotion, you can still get £25pp off any of the above tours departing in July or August*. Simply use code GSG19 at checkout or call 0333 2314 2010 and quote code to receive your discount.
Subject to availability. Valid on new bookings until 30-June 2019. T&Cs apply.