UK holidaymakers opt for staycations and pub visits this summer

With costs rising on foreign holidays and high temperatures this summer, Brits are looking to holiday closer to home and enjoy the Great British Pub as part of their staycation this summer.

As almost 50% of international tourists choose to visit a pub on their trips to the UK, pubs are showcasing their international draw to UK holidaymakers with diverse food menus, newly renovated accommodation and great British hospitality. The call from pubs comes as data shows that the average cost of a family holiday abroad has rocketed over the past few months, with everything from car hire to accommodation rising in price.

Even before the pandemic struck, pubs across the UK were a hugely popular destination of choice for UK holiday makers. In 2019 Brits took 1.7bn day visits, 50 million of which were to a pub, generating £2billion for the economy each year.

Kevin Georgel, Chief Executive of St Austell Brewery, which owns over 170 pubs across the Westcountry, said: ‘People can see the pub as a place for a pint and nothing else, but that couldn’t be further from reality. We’re really proud to serve our beers in our pubs, but we’re also proud to offer menus teeming with locally sourced ingredients and classic Westcountry fare, in stunning locations that need to be seen to be believed.

‘Over the past two years, we’ve really invested in our accommodation for overnight guests too. If people are travelling a few hours, by car or train, we want to make it easy and enjoyable for them to make the most of their staycation and give them a memorable experience. There are so many elements which make Great British Pubs the perfect boltholes for relaxing and exploring new areas across the UK.’

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: ‘We’re all feeling the pinch at the moment with rising costs all around us, but us Brits don’t need to spend money on travelling far, because we are lucky to have a world-renowned cultural institution on our doorstep.

‘We’re encouraging people to get out and explore the UK, and head for pubs not only for a pint but to eat and stay as well. And if you need some inspiration on where to go stayinapub.co.uk showcases pubs with accommodation in beauty spots across the country, from the highlands to the Cornish coast.’

Cardiff Airport announces UK’s first ever direct flights to Akureyri in North Iceland

Cardiff Airport has announced the launch of a new direct flight service to Akureyri in North Iceland, offering holidaymakers’ Arctic experiences for £699 per person.

Cardiff will be the first airport in the UK to fly passengers direct to Akureyri starting January 12, 2018, with packages available from Super Break. The new charter flights are part of a three-night short break package that is expected to be the one its most popular travel destinations, the Airport said.

All Super Break trips to Akureyri include a Lake Myvatn Adventure – Land of Fire and Ice Tour; the Goddafoss Waterfall, the boiling mud pools of Namafjall and a stop at Vogafjos working farm. There is also the opportunity to visit Myvatn Nature Baths – the ‘Blue Lagoon of the North’ or take part in a Snowmobiling experience, at extra charge.

In Akureyri, travellers can visit a volcano or go on a ‘lava walk’, or relax at a beer spa. In addition, holidaymakers can choose from a range of action-packed activities, including: whale watching at Eeyjafjorour offering a chance to see the resident humpback whales, harbour porpoises and dolphins; Icelandic horse riding across coasts and into the scenic mountains and Lofthellir Ice Cave Winter Challenge – a lava cave filled with ice formations, stalagmites and sculptures.

Deb Barber, Chief Executive of Cardiff Airport, said: ‘Cardiff Airport is thrilled to be connecting Wales with Akureryri and Northern Iceland for the very first time. This is exciting for passengers who want to get off the beaten track and experience a once in a lifetime adventure.’

Katherine Scott from Super Break said: ‘At Super Break we take pride in selecting the very best travel experiences for UK holidaymakers to enjoy during a short break. We’ve pulled out all the stops to deliver our customers with the first ever flights to Iceland’s Arctic North, chartering our first Super Break aircraft to provide bookers in Wales and the rest of the UK with direct access to this incredible destination. From lava walks to some of the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights, adventure really does await those heading to Akureyri.’

Price – £699 per person – is based on three nights’ accommodation at the three-star Hotel Nordurland by Kea Hotels including breakfast, Lake Myvatn ‘Land of Fire and Ice Tour’ and Search for the Northern Lights Tour, plus return flights from Cardiff Airport departing January 12, 2018.

Bon Beer Voyage for beer lovers

Bon Beer Voyage, a Boynton Beach, Florida-based company, has announced a plan to offer beer vacations for those who enjoy a glass of beer while holidaying.

Ruth Berman and Michael Arra, co-owners of Bon Beer Voyage, said that they are offering the tour programme to allow beer connoisseurs to visit sites in Europe and to have the chance to taste exquisite beers from these regions. The couple started their business in 2010 with an initial contract from British Airways.

Berman said, ‘Michael and I have always enjoyed craft beers. We were on a bike and barge tour in Europe, where we brought beer to share with others. I realized there were many wine tours of Europe, but no beer tours. We came back to Florida and I said, ‘the time has come. I want to plan the type of tour I would be interested in going on. I want everything to be perfect and ‘brew-nique.’

In September, Berman and Arra are planning to leave for St. Augustine for a Weekend Beer Safari. They say that they are also planning to combine good beer experiences with good and authentic food experiences from around the world. The couple added that the tours they are now offering are personalised and limited in number.

In October, the duo is planning a barge cruise and vacation to Belgium and France. In Belgium, the itinerary will cover legendary breweries including Chimay and the In de Vrede cafe at Westvleteren. Saint Bernardus, a brewery renowned for its abbey-style beers and a brewery Van Eecke, which has been brewing beers since 1600, will also be visited by the tour.

In France, the tour programme will cover Brasserie Thiriez, Brasserie St. Germain and Brasserie Bailleux.