Lifestyle // UK Staycation Memories & WIN a Parkdean holiday

August 28, 2015

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I spent a magical weekend in York where he had his first ever afternoon tea experience (seriously, what has he been doing his whole life?!) Obviously he loved it, so it was very good timing when the lovely people at Parkdean got in touch asking one of the most important questions of our time: how do you prefer your scones – topped with cream or jam first?! We’ll surely there’s only one correct way….


Afternoon tea is quite the English tradition and 62% of British women surveyed by Parkdean said that an afternoon tea was a “must try” (and I have to say I certainly agree!). Though did you know that certain parts of the country have very different ideas about how you should go about eating your scones? In Cornwall they are all about adding jam first and then topping with cream, whilst a Devonshire cream tea involves covering the scone with cream and then dolloping jam on top. The same Parkdean survey revealed that more than double go for the Cornish route of jam first, cream second. I on the other hand am very firmly on Team Devonshire! prefer cream to jam and by adding the cream first means I get to have more of it than jam (#guzzleguts), and I also find the consistency of cream serves better to be spread on a warm soft scone than jam does, which can make it crumb and fall apart slightly. Yep, you can always rely on cake to bring out strong opinions in me!


I adore a UK Staycation and so far this year have had trips to Brighton, York, Cambridge, Oxford and of course (Costa del) Croydon 😛 I think we’re really lucky in the UK to have so many amazing places to go for holidays, all of which are relatively accessible, and the stunning Devon and Cornwall beaches come out on top of favourite UK holiday destinations. Some of my most memorable holidays have been in the UK and I thought I’d share some of them with you below:


♥ My boyfriend told me he’d always wanted to ride a horse so I surprised him with a trip to the New Forest for his birthday the first year we were together. We had a really lovely time and he loved the horse riding trek we went on.


♥ When I was 6 we went to stay on a farm in Yorkshire for a week. I adored getting to feed the baby goats each day but woke up one night to find that I’d rolled over in the night and got my head stuck in the rail of the bunk bed and literally could not get free! My dad had to try and prise the rails apart while my mum pushed my head back through! I’ve never lived it down.


♥ One year we were going to Birmingham and the surrounding area to visit Alton Towers, Cadburys World, The Iron Bridge Museum and spend some time on a country farm. My brother (aged about 14 at the time and an absolute terror) had somehow acquired a pair of proper metal handcuffs. He’d been torturing me with them for weeks (handcuffing me outside to a pipe at our friends house, handcuffing me with my arms wrapped around the tree in our garden – he’s obviously never heard of being nice to his little sister). My mum was finally able to confiscate the keys from him so he couldn’t torture me any more but he was constantly arguing to get them back.  His (not so bright) idea was to lock one side of the handcuffs to the car door and pretend he’d locked his other hand in the other side, thinking my mum would have to give up his key to let him out. Finally seeing my chance for revenge I pushed down on the open handcuff to lock his hand in place. Turns out my mum had left the key at home, and as we were now halfway up the M1 there was no way dad was turning back! Will had to nearly dislocate this thumb to get free and never locked me to anything ever again! Victory was mine!


♥ That same trip, one day we drove for over an hour to get to Cadbury World, only to find it was shut for the day. The gift shop was open however so although we didn’t  get to discover the magical mysteries of the chocolate factory we certainly had enough Chocolate Fingers to last through till Christmas! We weren’t complaining!


♥ In 2010 we rented 2 cottages for my family and my cousins family to spend Christmas together in the beautiful Kent countryside. The village called Lyminge (which after quite a few Christmas sherries was very funny!) We had a really great Christmas celebrating with our family, though the neighbours thought we were a bit odd when we ended up having to move the kitchen table from one cottage into the other so we could all eat dinner together and the only way to get it out of one and into the other was through the large front windows! 


♥ My girlfriends and I do a cottage holiday every year and last year had a great time visiting Rye in East Sussex. One day we went to Dungeness which is famous for having music videos recorded there and it was so fun “shooting” our own album covers! #SoCool


♥ When I was 15 I spent a lovely week in Cornwall taking my Grandad to visit the Eden Project which was amazing and filled my Jurassic Park obsessed heart with joy! All those jungle ferns!!!! The Cornwall countryside was so beautiful and I loved the sense of adventure in the air being surrounded by so many open spaces and the sea. I’ve always been a huge fan of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five books, many of which are set in Devon and Cornwall, so I was over the moon (and constantly on the lookout for smugglers! Didn’t see any though….!) Whilst I haven’t been down to that part of the country for some years, my girlfriends and I are hoping to visit next year to celebrate our birthdays.


Parkdean have holiday parks all over the UK, helping families create their own amazing holiday memories. You can win a Parkdean holiday for you and your family by taking their Devon vs Cornwall quiz. Good luck! 

I’d love to hear some of your UK staycation stories in the comments below!

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*This post is in collaboration with Parkdean

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I’m Emma – or Emsypickle!


I live in Brixton in London. I eat out far too much, am always planning my next trip and have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter.

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