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Cosy getaways versus active breaks

Having travelled to Scotland in July 2018 to walk 26 miles, it is no secret that I really enjoy an active getaway. We went up to Glasgow on a Friday night and at 8am on the Saturday morning set off on a 26-mile trek to Falkirk, raising money for The British Heart Foundation. Arriving in Falkirk, we got the train to Edinburgh. The fatigue in our legs did not stop us from going out and exploring more, this totalling 31.3 miles that day and a further 6.7 miles the following day.

Of my last three holidays, none have been somewhat relaxing or cosy. The first was in September 2017, the first time we travelled to Edinburgh. While we didn’t walk as much then as on our second trip to Scotland, we did climb Arthur’s Seat and, taking the wrong, more difficult route to the top, we traipsed up the equivalent of 103 flights of stairs.

The last thing I want to do when exploring a new city is to stay indoors and relax

My last holiday – to Prague in September 2018 – averaged at around 30,000 steps a day as we wandered between different landmarks and sites. For me, the best part of a holiday is exploring the place you are going to. The last thing I want to do when exploring a new city is to stay indoors and relax. If I’m going to go somewhere, I want to experience where I am.

Although, having said that, my last three holidays have been in warmer weather, whether July or early September. I can’t imagine wanting to be this active on holiday in January. Maybe this would be a time I would opt for a book in bed, rather than a 26-mile trek from one city to another.

There are plenty of places in the UK to take an active break, whether hiking in the Yorkshire Dales, surfing in Cornwall or rock climbing in Snowdonia. However, despite how much I love an active getaway, none of these activities sound appealing when there’s a risk of snow outside.

Perhaps in this biting weather it is best to opt for a cosy break to a cottage. The best places for this tend to be in the countryside, as this fights off having lots to explore, but allows the option of going on short walks in the nearby fields if you’d like to get out for some fresh air. Pembrokeshire and Northumberland are popular destinations for this sort of cosy cottage break in winter, but there are also beautiful places to stay in Cornwall – you don’t have to do the surfing.

escaping your everyday life and breaking the routine can prove to be the most relaxing part of a cosy break

A cottage break is normally self-catered. If you’re looking for a cosy break which means you also get a few days off from cooking, a hotel in one of these countryside locations may be a better option, as they usually have restaurants attached.

Simply the act of getting out of your house and relaxing in a hotel, whether it’s luxury or the cheaper option of a Travel Lodge, escaping your everyday life and breaking the routine can prove to be the most relaxing part of a cosy break. It’s not about where you stay but what you do when you are there. If you forget all about the work you have and just lay in bed with a book for hours on end, or just simply do what you want to do, that makes a cosy break.

While summer tends to be the time where I enjoy a more active getaway and exploring different cities, I would probably opt for a cosy break to somewhere in the UK countryside in the winter to take my mind off seminar reading and deadlines.

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