Comment: holidays home or away?

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It may be making a virtue of necessity, it may be that simply all one’s holiday needs are met within these shores, but the staycation is here to . . . well, stay.

Despite the dreadful portmanteau word (coined, I supect, by marketeers) the staycation has been the holiday option for an increasing number of Britons recently.

From Cornwall to Northumbria, the Hebrides to Lothian, the market for domestic holidays has never been brighter since the great post-war heyday of holiday camps.

If I’m honest, I was pretty much in the former camp — making a virtue out of necessity — but there is a good deal going on if you want to find it.

Like many others, a variety of factors conspired to make our choice of a family holiday the Highland and Hebrides rather than the Med or Florida.

And while I can genuiely say we had a wonderful time, it wasn’t without complaint — and from debate in the office, let’s say the staycation has meant different things to different people.

Apart from transient atttractions such as the Games, outdoor pursuits obviously are a big sell in Scotland — not just traditional outlets such as sailing, fly-fishing or mountaneering, now white-water rafting and hang gliding are likely destinations for those travelling up the A82 (not that I would necessarily sign up for something that energetic — but they are there for those so inclined.)

And the attractions for a family are just as varied: an ice-cream on a hot day, kites on the beach , especially if there are sand dunes — and, believe it or not, the beaches of Scotland (especially the Hebrides) are among the finest in Europe.

No one holidays in Britain for the weather — if it’s pleasant that’s a bonus — it’s the heritage, scenery and attractions that make it worthwhile.

One thing I do object to though is the price paid for food: routinely expensive for something frozen that has been stuck in a microwave or deep fried. I empathise with mainland Europeans who are surprised (startled even) by the prices and the low quality.

I may just have been unlucky, but unless you’re paying high-end prices or going completely self-catering, the options are limited.

Too many outlets rely on the attractions — natural or man-made — of an area, rather than concentrating on good products and service.

Anyway, that gripe aside, we want to know about your experience of staycation: was it sublime or left something to be desired? A week of damp misery or something which will become a treasured memory?

And is holidaying in Britain simply good value for money?

Or, to put it another way, would you go back?