It's been a long time coming, but this year we've finally had a proper summer. Not since 2006 have we seen such prolonged periods of sunshine - which has compelled record numbers of holiday makers to flock to the coastline of Britain.
Looking at those packed beaches across the UK, it would seem that the staycation is here to stay. Indeed, many factors are keeping Brits from reaching for their passports: a weak pound, a flat-lining economy and stagnating wages.
And despite the inclement weather of recent summers, we have had one pleasant surprise at the tail-end of each summer - a balmy Indian summer each year. The seasons HAVE shifted slightly - cooler Aprils have been compensated by warmer Septembers. I'm sure this year will be no different. Finding Bargains in the UK
If you're looking for a bargain holiday in the UK, September's the best value month of the year to take a holiday - great weather, lower prices.
Want even more value? Consider a self-catering holiday. Holiday cottages provide cheaper accommodation than a hotel, with the convenience and informality of having your own space to relax too. I took a self-catering holiday in Northumberland in June, and had such a relaxing time, I've already booked another week for this coming September again. Self-catering is ideal for me as I'm not one to eat out in restaurants everyday while on holiday. I prefer an active holiday with lots of hill-walks and taking in the scenery, and then simply unwinding in the evenings, planning the next day's activities.
There are farm cottages all over the UK available to rent for a weekend or however long you want.Go Off the Beaten Path, Avoid the Crowds
It's great to see the Great British public holidaying more and more in their own country, but it does bring with it a nuisance: crowds. If every farm cottage you call is booked up, perhaps you're simply choosing the wrong time and place to take a break - consider a more out of season time, OR even a less popular location. Popularity isn't always a yardstick to gauge how much YOU will enjoy the location anyway. Go off the beaten path and don't be too brow-beaten by recommendations - it's easy to be swayed by popular opinion, but the best holidays are always the ones that have their own idiosyncrasies, pleasant surprises and discoveries. Last Minute Self-Catering Bargains Can Be Found
For something like a weekend break, last minute self-catering bargains are to be found online. Many cottage owners are happy to accommodate late bookings for low prices if the accommodation was going to go empty otherwise - so keep an eye out online. Most sites offer email alerts for such offers so you can be notified when such low offers become available. If you have the flexibility to take a last minute offer, you can save yourself considerable costs snapping up these bargains.