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Is ‘summer of staycation’ a myth or a hit in north Norfolk?

PUBLISHED: 14:08 18 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 18 July 2020

The Proctor family from Newcastle were taking a staycation in north Norfolk. From left, Zac, Jennifer and Patricia Proctor. Picture: Stuart Anderson

The Proctor family from Newcastle were taking a staycation in north Norfolk. From left, Zac, Jennifer and Patricia Proctor. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Archant

North Norfolk is set for a busy ‘staycation summer’, if the picture this weekend is anything to go by.

Jamie Watson, owner of the Black Apollo Coffee House in Holt. Picture: Stuart AndersonJamie Watson, owner of the Black Apollo Coffee House in Holt. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Popular towns and villages along the coast have been bustling, with people forming queues outside shops and cafe windows and heading to the beach to enjoy the sun and surf.

Among those taking a domestic holiday were the Proctors from Newcastle. Different groups from the extended family rented cottages close to each other in Bodham, so they could explore nearby spots including Cley next the Sea together - while maintaining social distancing.

Jennifer Proctor said: “We’ve never been here before - we would usually go to Devon or Cornwall but thought we’d try somewhere new. We wanted to go somewhere where the beaches wouldn’t be too crowded.”

Her mother-in-law, Patricia, said: “We wouldn’t have thought about coming to this part of the world normally but this year we thought, why not?”

Jac Scott, who owns the Holt lighting and fine art shop Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery. Picture: Stuart AndersonJac Scott, who owns the Holt lighting and fine art shop Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Also in Cley were Neil and Paul Lawrence, who were visiting from North Walsham.

Mr Lawrence said they normally took ‘staycations’ in the UK anyway rather than going abroad, but they noticed it was definitely busier around north Norfolk since the lockdown easing than in ‘normal’ years.

He said: “We take a campervan and we go all over. Because of the situation this year it does seem like people aren’t going abroad.

“And why would you when you can come here?”

Holt's High Street has been busy with visitors from elsewhere in the UK as the lockdown eases and more people take 'staycations' rather than take holidays abroad. Picture: Stuart AndersonHolt's High Street has been busy with visitors from elsewhere in the UK as the lockdown eases and more people take 'staycations' rather than take holidays abroad. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Trade was brisk on Holt’s High Street, with business owners hopeful the staycation trend would help them make up for the income they had lost out on during the lockdown.

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Jamie Watson, who owns the Black Apollo Coffee House in High Street, said it had been so busy over the past few weeks it was “bonkers”.

Mr Watson said many visitors were from elsewhere in the country. He said: “There has been a lot of footfall - there are a lot of people walking around town who have come away. What happens in the rest of the year depends on Covid, but for now it has definitely picked up.”

Cley next the Sea, which has ben busy with people on domestic holidays, also known as staycations. Picture: Stuart AndersonCley next the Sea, which has ben busy with people on domestic holidays, also known as staycations. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Jac Scott owns the nearby lighting and fine art shop Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery.

She said the town’s social distancing guidelines made the town feel safe, and there did seem to be more visitors about taking staycations this year.

She said: “I think people enjoy coming to Holt because it’s a happy and safe place. I know for myself, I was going to book a break abroad, but I didn’t because I’m happy to stay here this year.

“A lot of people have been saying they’ve been visiting parts of the UK they didn’t know about before and finding some lovely places. We have so much to explore here.”


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