If you had a choice would you prefer to stay by the sea or in the countryside perhaps near mountains or moors.
With miles and miles of stunning coastline and countryside, we’re spoiled for choice in the UK when it comes to choosing a city, town or village for our next break away from home. But how do coast and country breaks compare? Do you prefer to feel the sea breeze in your hair and sand between your toes, or is the peace and quiet of the countryside far more tempting?
The team at Cottages in Northumberland, a coastal cottages and country breaks holiday lettings agency based in Northumberland, is here to reveal the pros and cons of being beside the seaside and escaping to the country. Whatever the highlights of coast or country, do ensure you visit Northumberland if you have not already done so because I guarantee you are in for a real treat.
There is nowhere on Earth quite like this county. I first stayed on holiday there as a child with my parents staying first at Haggerston in a coach house. We loved it so much that we returned the next year staying in a farmhouse a few miles inland.
With breath-taking sea views, delicious food and plenty of family-friendly things to do, it’s no wonder that a staggering 38% of the top ten holidays involved trips to the beach last year, according to research compiled by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
And these aren’t the only things that the coast has to offer holidaymakers. A coastal break is also therapy for the mind, body and soul: relax by listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the coastline, sleep well from fresh sea air, and soften your feet with a walk along the beach. In a madly stressed out world these days where most of us have busy lives both online and off, it is great to take time out and just be in a beautiful place.
Heading to the coast is also a chance to relive happy memories. From eating take-away fish and chips, making sandcastles on the beach, and rolling up trousers and sleeves to paddle in the sea, the percentage of trips to the beach last year shows that all the way through life, people love heading to the coast. My parents always took me to the coast all year round and it is beautiful in every season. When it was too cold for a picnic outdoors, we would have a feast in the car with mum’s famous sausage rolls, fresh tomatoes and the like.
Coastal breaks do, however, have their drawbacks. More expensive than their countryside counterparts even in the off-peak season (from around £450 for seven nights, compared to £360 in the countryside), taking a coastal break in peak time also means that the town or village where you choose to reside will be much busier people-wise than a stay, at any time, in the vast, open countryside. This is something to bear in mind in these times of austerity and if you take the more affordable option accommodation wise, you can then have more treats when you are there.
While seaside breaks become part of our lives at a young age, escaping to the countryside is very much the idyll of these two types of holiday.
For many of us living in the UK’s densely populated towns and cities, the main draw of a break to the country is to fulfil our desire for peace and quiet. But the pleasures of the countryside don’t stop there, rural stately homes, picturesque landscapes, Britain’s darkest skies, and an abundance of walking and cycling routes all make the countryside the best places to relax and unwind from the stress of everyday life.
Country breaks are also a great opportunity to get closer to nature. Dig out your binoculars and observe beautiful birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, foxes, rabbits, and even deer in the countryside. There are so many fun ways to learn when spending time in the countryside.
While this all certainly sounds worlds away from urban life, the remoteness that comes with a countryside break is something that some city-types may find unnerving. I know when I first moved to the countryside I was amazed at how loud it can be at night with strange noises from the wildlife which I was far less used to than people and traffic sounds.And we don’t just mean that people-wise! If your smartphone is in your hand at all times, you may find an issue with the distinct lack of Wi-Fi and phone signal in the countryside. You might also find yourself travelling much further to pick up the evening’s dinner than you might at the seaside due to the lack of supermarket superstores and express shops alike. Having said that, do check out the country pubs and restaurants often serving amazing local produce.
So, what’s it to be? Whether you see the seclusion of the country as an advantage or prefer the thought of old-fashioned seaside fun, there’s a world of choice at your fingertips right here in the UK.
What destination would you recommend to my readers?