Erin Green, author of New Beginnings at Rose Cottage, writes about the beauty of going on holiday in the UK.
The raindrops are pounding my window pane as I type so, at this precise moment, it seems incredibly difficult to justify a staycation within the UK. Today, we have rain which sounds beautiful but, when you’ve counted down the days on the calendar to your annual leave, is not ideal for your holiday weather. The weather is frequently stated as the reason why people don’t holiday in the UK. But – and here’s my theory on life – if you have the right clothing the weather doesn’t truly matter. The weather is only ever a pain when you’re incorrectly dressed so, given that October’s arrived, my suggestion would be woolly jumpers, sturdy boots and a big brolly.
Last summer, I was invited on a UK staycation to Brixham, Devon – not a place I’d visited before or even paid much attention to. I’d heard friends comment on how beautiful the scenery was, the geographical delights of the area but nothing had really piqued my interest.
The invite was to stay in a rented holiday cottage and chill out – that was the recipe for the week. So we packed the car to the hilt, trundled along numerous motorways and ate at pit-stops along the way. It felt like the British summer holidays of my childhood when I’d visited other coastal locations.
Although Brixham was different.
On arrival, our car weaved through narrow streets lined with pastel-painted cottages, climbing high within the horseshoe landscape surrounding the picturesque harbour and I fell in love! Brixham really is the picture-perfect postcard location – I can’t imagine an amateur photographer being unable to capture the money shot for a travel guide.
Our little group happily participated in the traditional activities of a British staycation: we ate fish ’n’ chips on the harbour wall, consumed ice cream at every opportunity, annoyed the seagulls diving bombing our walks and indulged in cream teas.
I was supposed to be chilling out, supposed to be relaxing and indulging myself with down time but, within four days of my arrival, my muse had absorbed enough details and began weaving a storyline.
What if three women, unable to take staycations with their family and friends, arrived in Brixham to share a holiday cottage? What if their ages and interests were entirely different? What if their life experiences were questioned and acknowledged within this near-perfect setting of Brixham – where the sun shines daily, the sights are to die for and daily life revolves around enjoying one’s self? Is it ever too late for a new beginning in life?
A book was born amidst the nostalgic sights, sounds and smells of a truly British holiday, which had been long forgotten by me. New Beginnings at Rose Cottage answers those questions posed on day four of my staycation.
I wanted to explore how a near-perfect location can enable a woman to question the life she is leading. I wanted to show her the true beauty which is hidden in the unlikeliest surroundings which colours our lives and makes them joyous. Brixham is renowned for its steep hilly streets but the views from the top of each road are breathtaking and worthy of every bit of energy spent in hiking. Life’s like that in many respects – we each choose where to plough our time and energy and we hope that the end result is breathtaking and worthy of our dedicated efforts.
My staycation to Brixham was so successful that this year, when the same invite arrived for a week’s holiday in St Ives, Cornwall, I didn’t hesitate to accept. St Ives, somewhere I had never visited before, worked its magic too and on day four a new idea was born. As an author, I can honestly say staycations work for me and my muse – and long may that continue to be a new tradition in my life.