Ibiza or the Norfolk Broads? The argument over holidays

Cromer or a Costa? The choice between playing it safe and staying in Norfolk or booking to fly abroad

Cromer or a Costa? The choice between playing it safe and staying in Norfolk or booking to fly abroad - Credit: Archant / PA

David Powles and Richard Porritt argue for and against the question keeping so many people up at night: 'Is it worth risking a trip to the Med?'

Choose Norfolk - David Powles

I've been trying to work something out over the last few days.

Are we Brits completely obsessed by going abroad for our holidays – or is it just that the national media thinks we are?

TV bulletins, websites and newspapers have been full of stories speculating over whether so-called sun seekers will be able to jet off for a week of sun, sand and sangria this year.

And I just don’t get it.

Hunstanton Beach Huts increase in sales since lock down lifted Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Hunstanton - surely a better bet than the Med this year? Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not adverse to heading abroad for a week in the sun.

As long as I’ve got some factor 50 for the baldy head, a pool to keep the kids entertained and somewhere to run when I need
to escape for a bit, I’m a happy man.

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But equally, if I have to miss a year or two for whatever reason, it’s no big deal as there are plenty of fantastic places to go in this county, neighbouring Suffolk and beyond

Yet, judging by the level of interest in which countries will or won’t make the “amber” list, to many people it seems the prospect of missing out on the annual sunshine pilgrimage is one they dare not consider

Of course I understand that, after the last year or so of Covid, there will be millions of people looking for a change
of scenery and wanting a holiday abroad to have something to look forward to

But again, while I know the hot weather cannot be guaranteed, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of places in this country that still offer just that.

Last summer my family and I decided to stay local for our week away. In fact, when we arrived at our holiday home near Beccles, we realised we were actually still in the same district council area as the one we lived in.

And even though the weather was pretty changeable, we had the most fantastic week visiting Pleasurewood Hills, Beccles Lido, Dunwich and kayaking along the River Waveney.

The kids loved it and we made memories that will last a lifetime.

My challenge, therefore, to all those currently obsessing over whether that foreign trip can take place in 2021, is to take some time to see what might be on offer closer to home.

You never know, you might actually like it.

And then, in 2022, you can safely  head abroad to drink warm beer, eat daily fry ups and be surrounded by fellow Brits getting burnt in the sun.

Seek some sun - Richard Porritt

Sun. Sea. Sangria.

What is not to love about the beloved jaunt abroad?

In normal times millions of Brits save their hard-earned cash week after gruelling week with 14 days each summer in the sun the reward for their graft.

Since the 1970s – when air travel finally became cheap enough to enable foreign leisure trips – hordes have descended on Spain, Greece and Portugal for a break from the daily grind.

A reveller enjoys the sunset at Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza, during the inaugural Ibiza Film Festival.

Dreaming of the sun? A reveller enjoys the sunset at Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza - Credit: PA

And good for them.

By and large we all know what to expect: days spent soaking up the sun on the beach or by the pool and nights singing along to a Robbie Williams tribute act. Bobby Williams perhaps.

Laughs, loungers and lager.

For many, including myself, it is also a right of passage – that first lads’ or girls’ holiday away from the prying eyes of concerned parents.

And, of course, what goes on in Ibiza stays in Ibiza.

I for one cannot wait to jump on a plane and jet off.

And best of luck to all those who have booked perhaps more in hope than certainty.

After what we have all endured this year everyone deserves some time away to recharge and let our hair down.

That is not, of course, to put East Anglia down. This is the most beautiful part of the world I have ever visited. And I am proud to call it home.

I would not dream of living anywhere else.

And I have happily holidayed at home in the past.

But the Med has something we cannot, very sadly, compete with: the weather.

Booking your main holiday here in the East – even if it is the drier side of Britain – means an anxious few weeks beforehand checking the long-term weather forecast.

I’ve been on plenty of wash-out breaks – the initial horror is usually followed by acceptance and in the end fun.

But soaring off in a southerly direction takes all that off the table.

Of course these are not normal times.

And I am certainly not qualified to advise on whether to take a punt and book an overseas trip or not.

But I completely understand why so many of us are obsessed with the government advice and whether Spain and Italy are set to join South Georgia on the green list.

Whatever happens, I hope we all have the chance to get to a beach and enjoy some sun this year – be it Cromer or a Costa.