In recent years, a rediscovery of sorts has been underway in the UK. Destinations like North Wales and Cumbria were topping domestic holiday lists during the coronavirus pandemic, and continue to enjoy high levels of popularity long after the world opened back up. But why have rural holidays begun to enjoy such popularity, and what is it that makes a domestic countryside retreat so appealing?
The Anatomy of a Rural Retreat
Firstly, what does a rural holiday look like in the UK? The nation plays host to some of the most incredible natural environments, from mountain ranges to ancient forests and far beyond. Camping is practically part of the British identity, with a vast network of campsites that allow families and friends an inexpensive way to immerse themselves in nature.
There are also a great many holiday homes and cottages ensconced in the great British countryside, allowing a brief glimpse at provincial living in some of the most picturesque locations you can find. With lodges for sale across the country, holiday homes form a vital part of the modern-day rural holiday experience.
One of the most common reasons holidaymakers have begun rejecting lavish urban getaways for the countryside is the state of the economy. This is a tough subject to be considering when thinking about booking a family holiday, but an unavoidable one given the precarious state of many households’ budgets.
The cost-of-living crisis is old news now, but has continued to impact families’ wallets heavily nearly two years after it first materialised. The impacts of high inflation are not undone, meaning irreversibly high prices in supermarkets and at the petrol pump; against wages that have not meaningfully increased in over a decade, there is a lot of incentive for families to look towards lower-cost alternatives such as camping or caravanning.
Times are also tough with regards to stress, for a number of reasons. Re-adjusting to ‘life as normal’ post-pandemic has not been easy for everybody, and stress-related disorders have been on the rise as a result. Coupled with the increase in work-related stress, it is only natural that quiet, peaceful locations are enjoying more demand.
The Benefits of Rural Getaways
One of the chief benefits of choosing a rural getaway over an urban holiday is the peace and tranquility such a holiday can offer. Green social prescribing has become a topic of increased interest lately, with activities like forest bathing proven to reduce stress and meaningfully assist with other mental conditions. Of course, visiting the UK countryside, whether the beautiful rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales or the craggy mountains of the Scottish Highlands, is a reward in and of itself. The UK is an extremely charming place, with rural delights to be found at every turn. Enjoying them is also often an exercise in sustainability, presenting an eco-friendly way to travel and relax in comparison to international flights or living luxuriously.
Holidaying is vital for mental health in general, and rural holidays are more impactful in terms of peace of mind; together with the impacts of our costlier times, rural getaways have become the new normal for very good reason.