Travel in style: your UK holiday kit list
Live your best staycation life. We round up the essential ingredients for a fuss-free, fabulous UK holiday – with lots of options from cool local businesses.
Ditch the tiddly sun umbrella and live your chicest beach life. I never knew I needed a beach tent until now – shade for all the family, privacy from half of the UK population on one beach and your territory clearly marked out. Love love love.
Cute cover up
Wrestling in and out of your cozzie without flashing your white bits requires the agility of a contortionist. Bridie & Bert is a Berkshire business producing super-soft towelling tops and tunics for babies, kids, teens and adults. They the kids toasty after a dip, and are stylish enough to whip over your swimsuits for lunch at the beach café.
Kids £34.95; Adults from £49.95
Get carried away
The time has come to ditch that crumpled IKEA bag you’ve been using (just me?) and feast your eyes on these personalised Family Beach Bag from Devon’s Sails & Canvas. They’re made from upcycled sailcloth, meaning they’re durable, quick-drying and easy to wipe down when the kids drop a half eaten ice-lolly in it.
King of the sandcastles
How many bucket and spade sets have you bought? Up level the cheap plastic for a Scandi design made from super tough BPA free Tritan. Strong and stylish, it'll survive even the most enthusiastic sand builders. Available in three colours from Little Labels in Pangbourne.
Forget cheap plastic bodyboards which break after two waves and clog up landfill. Get the real Cornish wooden deal – a Dick Peace bellyboard, handcrafted from sustainable materials in Newquay using traditional methods and finished in pretty much any colour you can think of.
LIFE'S A GIANT BEACH TOWEL
A towel so big the whole family can sit on it without bickering (although, don't hold me to that). This Bridie & Bert number is double sized, double sided and super soft – perfect for British beach days. It also comes in a standard size.
Keep your cool
Are you even on a staycation if you don’t have a cool box? This self-inflating cooler is lightweight, keeps food and drinks cool for 15 hours and has a handy band inside to keep your bottles of rosé steady (phew). Once it’s empty, the wholE thing folds down from 43cm high to 13cm.
Mean business on the beach. When it’s time to get competitive, whip out these bad boys from The Beach Bat Company. These are quality bats designed and handmade in the UK from local wood and are made to be cherished and enjoyed for a lifetime. You can even personalise your set to intimidate your opposition – and for one sold the guys at The Beach Bat Company will plant a tree in the UK.
Nautical but nice
Waft about in the ocean safely knowing you're doing your bit for the planet. Paper London is one of the hottest sustainable swimwear brands, using recycled fishing nets and production waste that's found floating in our oceans. It's bikinis and one pieces are an investment, but the classic, super-flattering styles will last for years. We're obsessed with the Maldives high-waister bikini with wide strap balcony bra top in Shipshape.
Top £100, Bottoms £95
Eek out every drop of sunshine and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at your chosen beauty spot. Heston Blumenthal's portable CUBE charcoal BBQ, is a brilliant bit of kit. With an integrated food-grade storage tray, preparation board and porcelain enamel firebox, it's easy to store, set up, cook and clean.
DON'T FORGET SPF
This Oxfordshire-based luxury skincare brand is beloved by the beauty eds at Red, Harpers Bazaar and of course Muddy. The Daily Protection Formula is Factor 50 sits beautifully on the skin and is more like a primer than a sun lotion. The formula is vegan, cruelty & paraben free, sustainably sourced and comes in beautiful packaging too.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
For the 70s child, summer holidays didn't mean the joy of CentreParcs or the sophistication of a Tuscan villa. They meant being crammed into a car with Grandma and heading to the coast. With just a tent for a home and a bucket for the necessities – for author Emma Kennedy and her mum and dad, disaster always came along for the ride no matter where they went. The Tent The Bucket & Me is an oldie but it’s funniest staycation read ever.