My plan was to write this piece on Monday and then subsequent days since however on my first day back at work I realised that this was not going to be possible. So have spent the week catching up on emails, presenting, writing proposals and assisting clients with their marketing. There has not been a spare moment till just now. So I apologise that it has been awhile since my last blog entry.
This entry is partly about our October week and partly about the case for staycations at home. Like many people we are facing financial constraints just now and unfortunately our annual holiday to visit my cousin and family in the Isle of Man had to be postponed. So a week at home was planned though we were adamant that this was not just going to be a week of DIY and tidying up the house but a proper holiday. We are a family that likes to walk and so after much discussion it was decided that the week would be about walking in the Border area apart from a trip to Edinburgh to get the kids winter boots.
I must admit I remained slightly sceptical firstly that the weather would be kind to us and envisaged a week of torrential rain which always seems to happen if you want to walk lots and also doubted that my husband and I would manage to totally relax at home without reverting to out standing chores.
However I was proved wrong! Firstly although the weather wasn’t glorious it was dry apart from the Friday and even then it cleared up and we did relax in fact by the end of the week I spent most of the day reading a book which I finished in a day. Unheard of other than on a sun -lounger in Spain.
We did manage to walk each day and longer walks than we would usually do if we were working or at school. Highlights close to home is the wonderful walk at Lindean Loch above Selkirk looking over to the Cheviots on one side and Selkirkshire on the other. It is a place that restores soul and body and makes me completely understand why the Borders has inspired writers like Walter Scott in such outstanding countryside. Another favourite close to home is the walk from St Boswells to Dryburgh along the Tweed it is my favourite place in the Scottish Borders especially at this time of year where the autumn colours are simply stunning. Further away from home we went to Holy Island and had a walk round the Island. I don’t know about you but being by the sea always makes me feel relaxed and I could watch the sea for hours. This was followed up by a trip to Eyemouth for fish and chips which we ate by a picnic bench by the harbour and watched the fishing boats come in. I can still picture it now and its a memory that will take me through the winter.
Our biggest achievement was to walk from St Boswells to Selkirk a walk of approximately 12 miles. Again the Cheviots followed us across and we walked along ancient roads that have been walked and loved for hundreds of years. Not only was it a great achievement for us all and especially our 9 and 6-year-old but all of us enjoyed the camaraderie of this family outing and as for the dog he thought he was in heaven.
Our final treat was a trip to our local Hotel the Bucceluch Arms for dinner on the Friday night which both kids had been looking forward to for weeks. The food was excellent and produced locally and the waitress knew the kids names and I thought to myself as I looked at my happy family that there is much to be said for a staycation.
However like many of us do we often take our home and its surroundings for granted especially when in the past ten years it has been so easy to fly to new destinations on a budget airline. I am not saying that this is wrong as I love going to new places and finding out about new cultures and look forward to again. However as a tourism marketing expert I had worried in the past that we were becoming a nation who didn’t know its own country and that we were bringing up kids who would have no memories of holidaying in their own country so therefore wouldn’t take their kids in turn. So I feel that it is a good thing that we have been forced by financial circumstances to stay in our own country as it reminds us what a great country we live and what variety it offers. I have marketed and sold the Scottish Borders and Northumberland for years and truly love it but do confess in the past two years I have really got to know what it can offer as a destination by holidaying here and taking time to explore more what it offers. And finally the case for the staycation for me is that at the end of the week there was no cases sitting looking at me wanting unpacked just four relaxed and rested people and a very happy dog!