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Holiday At Home - It's Kids’ Play


It is a truism that many Brits are far-travelled, yet hardly know their own backyard.

Children now have an expectation of going abroad every year.  My own pose questions "are we going to Spain AGAIN , Mummy? Beckie from my class is going to Barbados!".

It used to be washing lines that were the battle ground for "keeping up with the Joneses".  Now it is the stamps in your passport that define your street cred - and you don't get any stamps for European destinations.

We are truly victims of a go further every year craze.  It doesn't matter that when one arrives in some far-flung part of our planet, the accommodation is often an almost hermetically-sealed fully-inclusive club.  The point is that you have clocked the miles and collected the passport stamp.  In other words, you have arrived in more sense than one.

Whilst all this carbon-generating globe-trotting is going on, many parts of the UK have fewer tourists today than ever before.  The "Rooms Available" signs are going up all around our homeland and they look set to be a permanent feature of the accommodation landscape.

For once, we really can't blame the media for this "foreign frenzy".  There are many programmes on TV proclaiming the wonder of our incredible country.  The best is probably the BBC's Countryfile, whose intrepid reporters visit every corner of the UK, revealing beautiful scenery that sadly caresses very few optic nerves. So I have decided to do my bit this year.  I am joining the stay-at-home brigade, in a big way.

My partner, three children and myself are off to a remote Scottish village called Kinlochbervie.  It is only a few miles South of the most Northerly point on the West Coast of Scotland.

In this lovely place, we have a gite - SORRY, too far travelled again - a CROFT booked.  There is a big open fire and ample supplies of driftwood to power it up.  In one direction, a couple of miles away, there is a local hostelry; the opposite point of the compass takes you to Pollen Beach, with easily the whitest sand you will see anywhere in the World.
At this time of the year, there is no corner of a foreign beach that could rival home-spun Pollen.  The sun is often baking hot but the cooling waters of the Atlantic are constantly available to restore body temperatures to normal.

The crowds? A rush at Pollen will see a couple of dozen people struggling to detect each other amongst the huge expanse of sand.  On a quiet day, agoraphobia is your only concern.

My family and other animals ( our two dogs) will spend time in between Pollen basking sessions - not to be sneezed at, by the way - walking to the local loch to taste the freshest water found anywhere, or , if the stronger stuff is required, we will stroll to the village hostelry to sample some "water of life" in its natural habitat.

In the evenings, we will crowd around the table playing Monopoly for the first time in years.  Or gather by the fireside, using the warmth of the burning logs to vanquish the shivers caused by the ghost stories we avidly swap.

Kinlochbervie is a one hour flight to Glasgow (plus one hour’s security over-kill), followed by a 6 hour drive past Loch Lomond and through breath-taking countryside.  Put another way, 8 short hours takes you back 80 years , to a time when life was simpler than it is today - and most people didn't even possess a passport, let alone a desire to have it stamped.

By the way, the kids will love it!


Thursday, 16th August 2012

Tags:   Kinlochbervie  /  holiday
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