I think we can safely say that summer is officially here in the UK now – as safely as we ever can, in any case, which is probably not very safe at all, but my boobs are currently sunburnt and that’s what I’m basing my confidence in the matter on.
In lieu of having any holidays whatsoever booked (a fact that makes me intensely grumpy whenever I think about it), I’ve been thinking about what I can do on home turf to make me feel like I’m on holiday. And the answer is…um, do stuff? Too often I’m guilty, as I expect many of us are, of filling the weekends with the food shop and the gym and life admin and saying yes to things I don’t actually want to do, rather than taking advantage of the free time to the fullest extent.
And while adulting is necessary and quiet weekends at home are very nice, summer presents such a good opportunity to play tourist in the UK – not even necessarily by going away (although hi Rob that would be fine with me I’d like a hot tub), but with days and even evenings out. Beautiful, cool and very photogenic locations can be a manageable drive away when you stock up on Percy Pigs and water, so I thought I’d make a list of the five things I want to get to this summer. They’re not all specific locations, more attraction types, and hopefully it’ll encourage me to get my arse in gear and start making plans.
If there’s one thing we do excellently here in Britain, it has to be the great country house or stately home. I’m not wildly bothered about going inside them, but I love to see them from the outside (and let’s face it, that’s where the money shot is). I fall into the trap every year of not planning enough and visiting only my closest National Trust property (Blickling Hall), so this year I want to choose somewhere further afield and make a point of setting aside a day to go there with a picnic and a camera. These were taken at Burghley House when I went with Amy on one of the May bank holidays, and it was beautiful. I got sunburnt then too, which is a terrible thing to make a habit of, so I’ll add spf to the list of things to take with me.
Last year, I went to Norfolk Lavender and I’ll tell you something; it might be the biggest let down you’ll ever come across. Still, I have found that just seeing large numbers of flowers growing brings me unbridled joy – I was in my element when we went to see the bluebells earlier in the year – and cliché as it seems to have become, that’s something I want to see this summer. Obviously, the tricky part here since it’s now July is figuring out when things are blooming and where on earth they are, so if anyone has any suggestions, hit me up. I’m certainly making a beeline for lavender again.
The great British seaside
When it’s hot enough to do proper beaching in the UK, our beaches can be nothing short of bloody lovely (and, without meaning to brag, we have some great ones in Norfolk). There was a point a few years ago where sometimes in the summer I would go to the beach after work, as my nearest ones are about 40 minutes away, and I’d love to make that an evening activity one day this year, but I’d also like a proper beach day if the weather is good to us. This weekend would have been perfect…
The Norfolk broads
I find something very calming about being near water, and we’re lucky in Norfolk to have the Broads, which (completely non-biased, of course) are lovely. They’re especially lovely in the summer when the sun makes everything look prettier, and you can hire a boat to explore them properly – which I haven’t done in YEARS and really want to. Now, I’m terrible at driving said boat, but I’ll just go with someone who isn’t terrible at it…
New towns and villages
Over the past few years I’ve somehow got stuck visiting the same few towns and villages when we want to go somewhere we can have lunch, wander around some shops and explore pretty lanes. There are lots of places to do that kind of thing within day trippable distance from me though, so I’m making a pact with myself to visit at least one new one this summer.
How will you be making the most of summer on home turf?
What I’m wearing
Dress – Primark | Sliders – Primark | Bag – Zara | Sunglasses – Primark | Necklace – H&M
Location: Burghley House