I’ve literally just got back from Camper Calling 2017 – a three night festival tucked away in Alcester, Warwickshire, across the grounds of Ragley Hall. I’ve never actually spent much time around this area of the UK, close to Stratford-upon-Avon and various other beauty spots of the Midlands. Birmingham is usually as far as I get, unless I go straight to the South, cutting out the middle ground.
The outdoor festival was a fantastic experience, with 3 days worth of live bands, activities, lakeside views, independent food and drink stalls, shops, a fun fair and various entertainment. We pitched up our tent in a camping area called Woodland Hill – a quiter location – and literally enjoyed the British sunshine from start to finish. We were so lucky with the weather, it was literally the most perfect conditions for camping you could wish for.
Upon my return from Camper Calling, I heard about SACO, The Serviced Apartment Company, who conducted some recent research uncovering that a countryside walk in the Lake District has been voted as Manchester’s ultimate “happy place”, when it comes to time spent away from the city. It made me think about my recent time away from the city and what an amazing time I had, and when I think about it, what is my favourite thing to do in the UK- and where?
Looking deeper into the results, the study by the serviced apartments in Manchester company looked into places in the UK which evoke special memories and ultimately make us “happy”. They found that Mancunians are a well-travelled bunch, with a pub lunch in the Cotswolds coming close second followed by ice cream on Brighton Pier. Also, enjoying fish and chips in Padstow Harbour and hiking in the Peak District completed the top five happy spots for people from Manchester.
Researchers from Saco polled UK holiday makers and revealed more than a third of Mancunians (35%) believe there is “no place like home” when it comes to holidays. More than 70% of adults in Manchester polled said some of their fondest memories of being a child were spent holidaying in Britain – and nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of those asked are now trying to replicate those memories for their own children.
For me, it’s quite close, but my top 3 favourite places are listed below:
1. Snowdonia, Wales
As a child, I never visited Wales, and its only been over the last two years that my boyfriend has been taking me to some of his favourite places in Wales, which have now become mine. I’ve climbed Mount Snowdon twice, and camped around the area at Capel Curig, and explored other close by areas such as Llangollen, Bets-y-coed and Llamberis. It’s like being somewhere secluded, somewhere remote and relaxing, somewhere to just be all outdoorsy and rock a waterproof coat and walking boots!
2. Windermere, Lake District
I’ve only visited Windermere around 3 times, but its right there at the top of my list for happiest places for me in Britain. I love how Winderemere has the tranquility of the lake and surrounding grounds, the cute-ness of a little village with locally ran shops and family ran businesses, yet there are classy bars and friendly pubs. In the Summer it’s bustling and feels like a real holiday destination, and in the Winter, its got that magical ‘wintery’ getaway feel with cosy cabins and hotels. I recommend this place to anyone as it suits so many interests and personalities.
3. My hometown, Manchester
Last but not least, I’m a born and bred Mancunian, and I have to say I always get that warm, happy, satisfied feeling when I arrive back in Manchester. Whether I’m spending an afternoon strolling the quirky, independent bars and shops of the Northern Quarter, exploring The Trafford Center or heading further out around the outskirts to get a glimpse of countryside, there is just something so friendly about the place. It’s non-pretencious and has a ‘something-for-everyone’ vibe. My best memories all stem from being at home in Manchester, and I’m a super proud Mancunian at heart!
The below infographic shares some of the findings discovered from the research, so I guess the next bit is to ask yourself the same questions I asked myself: Where in Britain are you happiest?