Travel

How To Staycation Like The Royal Family

No one loves a UK holiday like The Queen and co.

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This year, it's all about the staycation. In theory, we're now allowed to board a plane and visit a select number of 'safe' destinations, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but do we really want to? I know that, personally, I'll be staying put until 2021 just to be safe. But that doesn't mean a holiday is out of the question. Operation staycation is go, and there are plenty of destinations to get excited about. In fact, the Royal Family themselves love a staycay, and have a select number of places they tend to visit during the summer months. Here are five spots the royals have gone for staycations in the UK if you're looking for a bit of regal inspo.

While many of us will still be dreaming of a beach vacay at some sun-drenched, far-flung, destination, the UK actually has lots to offer in terms of great getaways at fairly affordable prices. Whether it’s in Scotland, Wales, at the coast or surprisingly close to a big city, there are myriad choices for a weekend or week-long break.

The royal family have visited the best the UK has to offer, with the five of their favourites listed below. If it’s good enough for The Queen.

1

The Scottish Highlands

Scottish HighlandsPete Rowbottom/Moment/Getty Images

Perhaps the best known staycation haunt of The Queen and Prince Philip is Balmoral Castle, which sits in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The Queen is known to spend her summers here, and often invites the whole family up. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Charles and Camilla have all been for stays at Balmoral.

It's unsurprising that the Scottish Highlands is the top pick for The Queen and her family. The stunning region is known for its natural beauty and spectacular hiking trails. Visitors can see the ruins of medieval Urquhart Castle, search for the monster in Loch Ness, and even visit Balmoral Castle until August (the Queen lives in nearby Craigowan Lodge until this time).

2

Norfolk

Norfolk is a favourite local getaway for Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children. The couple own Anmer Hall, which is their residence in the country for when things at Kensington Palace (their primary address) get a bit hectic. The Georgian home was gifted to Kate and William as a belated wedding gift, and they make great use of it, even choosing to self-isolate there during the coronavirus pandemic.

Also down the road is Sandringham House, another of The Queen's rural estates that plays host to a number of the family during Christmas and other holidays, including The Queen herself, and Mike and Zara Tindall.

And while us average Joes won't be staying in a property anywhere near as grand as the royals, we can still visit the surrounding area for a lovely staycation. The local village of Anmer is tiny, and has an alluring charm for out-of-towners. You can also visit the nearby market town of King’s Lynn, which is worth getting down to for the day.

3

Llandovery, Wales

Prince Charles and Camilla at their Wales homeChris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images

Prince Charles and Camilla take an annual trip to their Welsh home: Llwynywermod near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, which is on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.Their property boasts 192 acres of countryside, so there's plenty of room to stretch their legs.

Now, it may set you back rather a lot, but there are actually two barn conversions available to rent on the property when the couple are not using them. If you're not too fussed about getting the 'real' royal experience/simply can't afford that (I hear you), there's plenty of other places to stay in the area, and lots to see. Stay in a cute cottage, go on a hike, and visit Llandovery Castle and Cwm Rhaeadr Forest during your days there.

4

The Cotswolds

Great Tew, Cotswoldsstevebphotography/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

Meghan Markle is a big fan of The Cotswolds, and most notably the uber-chic Soho Farmhouse, which is part of the Soho House family. Prior to her marriage with Prince Harry, Markle had been spotted at the retreat with friends including Made In Chelsea's Millie Mackintosh, and she is even said to have celebrated her hen do here. There have been recent (unconfirmed) reports that Prince Harry and Markle are looking to build a property on the site or very close by, for when they want to escape to the UK countryside.

While it was for a time available to stay at for non-members, Soho Farmhouse appears to be members-only at present for stays. However, you don't have to stay here to get the full Cotswolds experience; check out nearby Cotswolds villages of Chipping Norton and Great Tew, where you can stay, go on beautiful countryside walks, and browse around the super cute buildings and pubs.

5

St Mawes, Cornwall

The seafront at St Mawes Cornwall England UK Europe Shutterstock

The little village of St Mawes in Cornwall has been host to many of the Royals over the years, including The Queen herself, Princess Margaret, and The Queen Mother. Whenever they visit, the Royals have stayed at Penolva, a waterfront property that was actually built by a friend of The Queen Mother's. It is even rumoured that Princess Diana stayed here following her public separation from Prince Charles.

You can actually rent out this exact property if you fancy the real royal experience; but it'll likely cost you. The private place has 180 degree sea views, and sleeps eight guests. You have to ring up to get a quote.

But fear not if you're on a more realistic budget — there are plenty of other cute places to stay, and lots to do in St Mawes, from visiting St Mawes Castle, to browsing around the art galleries, shops, and cafes that line the streets.

6
Isles of Scilly
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Looking for a nearby destination to stop by with kids or as a family? Why not nip down to Tresco, on the Isles of Scilly near Cornwall? It's good enough for the Cambridges, who have reportedly visited recently to enjoy the weather fully prior to George and Charlotte's return to school in September. This is a known spot for Prince William, who went on a holiday there in 1989 with parents Charles and Diana, and brother Harry.

Not heard of the area before? The archipelago sits 28 miles south west of the Cornish peninsula, and is home to some stunning beaches, and plenty of tourist attractions. Tresco, the inhabited island the Royals have chosen to visit, is brimming with things to do.

Options include the Tresco Abbey Garden, where you can see a range of subtropical plants, and the Valhalla Museum, which is home to a number of shipwrecked figureheads. North of Tresco, you can also see the tower of 17th-century Cromwell's Castle. And as mentioned, there is hot weather and beaches aplenty on offer here, which is a pull in itself.