Holidaying at home is trendy and makes sense economically and environmentally. Consider the hidden treasures of our often neglected northern cities: They can offer whatever you’re looking for in a holiday, whether it’s culture, night life or hotels with gyms. Manchester, Leeds, York and the like are waiting to be discovered by you. To find out more about the gyms Manchester offers, visit www.payasugym.com.
Whatever your view on the neologism “staycation” – a term coined to denote the growing phenomenon of people holidaying in Britain rather than abroad – it’s a sensible idea on many levels. During these financially straitened times, a staycation provides an affordable alternative to a holiday abroad. There’s an element of ethical living chic to it as well; no worrying about the carbon footprint of your long-haul flight or the exploitation of the local community by your luxury beach resort. You don’t have to worry about jet lag, time differences, currency, immunisations or not being able to make yourself understood in the local dialect (although the latter only applies up to a point, of course!). A staycation provides the opportunity to discover what is on your own doorstep, often attractions that hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world travel to see but which we pass by.
Staycations can come in all sorts of formats, and one of them is the short city break – an great idea for anyone who is short of time or prefers to spread their annual leave over lots of little breaks throughout the year rather than using it up in one long annual holiday binge. London is by far the most popular choice for a city break in the UK, but what about other cities? Our northern cities are often particularly neglected by visitors and can get a bad press, as exemplified by the “it’s grim up North” stereotype – as though London and the South were the only places to offer attractions to their visitors such as art galleries, entertainment, and luxury hotels with spas and gyms! Manchester, Liverpool and York can easily keep up with their Southern neighbours on these criteria, and often at a fraction of the cost.
Take Manchester. Its historic city centre has some beautiful old buildings and a dizzying array of fashionable shops that have lent the city the title of “The Shopping Capital of the North.” The night life of the city is legendary. Museums and art galleries abound, and for anyone remotely interested in football, the Manchester United stadium at Old Trafford hardly needs a mention! There’s also plenty on offer for those whose holidays just wouldn’t be complete without the enticing combination of exercise and pampering provided by spas and gyms. Manchester has everything, from the flexibility of pay-as-you-go gyms at local community leisure centres to the indulgence of luxury hotels with integrated spas and gyms.
It is possible to have interesting holidays at home that don’t cost the earth either economically or financially. With a little creativity and an open mind you can discover all sorts of treasures right on your doorstep.