Staycations are all the rage. But for some Scots and Yorkshire vampires it's just the normal way to go on holiday – Susan Morrison

A staycation is marketed like it’s not a real holiday, more of a consolation prize, but not everyone craves sunlight, writes Susan Morrison
Sunburn can be a serious issue for vampires, particularly those from Yorkshire and Scotland (Picture: Stuart Cobley)Sunburn can be a serious issue for vampires, particularly those from Yorkshire and Scotland (Picture: Stuart Cobley)
Sunburn can be a serious issue for vampires, particularly those from Yorkshire and Scotland (Picture: Stuart Cobley)

As a family, we’ve never been ones for fly-away holiday destinations. I put this down to marrying a Yorkshireman. They don’t do well in the sun. Summer in Yorkshire is very similar to summer in Scotland, and both are similar to the Loch Ness Monster. People have heard of it, it’s been photographed, but no-one quite believes it exists.

Sunshine is not what Yorkshire people, or indeed Scottish people, expect whilst holidaying at home. Lest we forget, the County of the White Rose boasts a holiday resort called Scarborough, which used to advertise itself as ‘bracing’, not a word associated with the Playas de las Americas.

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Our children have a similar aversion to strong sunlight. Holidays in places like Spain were never a good idea. Basically, I have a family of Goths. I think it’s in the Yorkshire DNA. It’s almost vampire-like. Bear this in mind. Dracula started his UK reign of terror in Whitby, Yorkshire. A surprising number of Yorkshiremen are wary of sunlight and garlic. I rest my case.

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So, for years, we have turned our backs on airports and instead chosen to do something which is now so fashionable adverts are running on the telly. Holiday at home.

We’ve been doing this for years. We explored the Highlands and Islands a few years back and fell in love with CalMac ferries. Well, the family did. I’ve been a CalMac gal since I was a child growing up on the Clyde between Gourock and Dunoon.

Yon French bloke went on about memories being re-kindled by wee cakes dipped in tea. For me, it’s the whiff of diesel on a car deck. Takes me back to 1969, Morris Minors, plastic sandals and ice cream melting down to sticky fingers.

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Things have changed on the ferries. Back then, the coffee was put on to brew around about mid-April and they were still serving it in June. Now it’s all Americanos and skinny lattes. The scones used to down seagulls in mid-flight. Now it’s locally sourced cupcakes and feathery light Victoria sponges. The crew smiled and used terms like ‘customer satisfaction’.

One year we hired a boat and took on the Caledonian Canal. It was giggles and gas until we sailed onto Loch Ness and found ourselves in the middle of a minor storm. It wasn’t so much a holiday at that point, more a North Atlantic Convoy Re-enactment.

The marketing people call this Staycationing, like it’s not a real holiday, just a sort of consolation prize until the budget flights are back again and people are willing to be squeezed into a metal tube between a family of six feral children off their faces on Haribo and a stag party of 12 lads from Gilmerton sporting fake boobs who started drinking at Spoonies three days before the flight.

No, not for us. Everyone else might be getting enthused by the novelty of holidays at home, but we’ve been there, done that, and bought the rainproof poncho. Not for us the middle-class staycation. We’ve been holidaying in “Ham’ell Dae Me” for years. Let’s see the marketing bods translate that one.

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