Stargazing, painting and cycling – staycations to embrace lockdown hobbies

Lockdown provided many hours to perfect pastimes many of us hadn't previously had time for amid the juggling of hectic social schedules.

Baking, for example, was already on the surge due to TV shows but not since wartime had shoppers rushed to buy flour in the droves.

But after months largely inside our own homes, a much-needed staycation is in order and the tourist industry is keen to embrace the newfound resurgence in hobbies that lockdown has created.

Online booking platform, eviivo, has compiled a list of 10 independent accommodation properties in the UK providing opportunities to indulge in your favourite pastimes, reports 2Chill.

Whether pampering a new pup in Devon, satisfying sourdough ‘kneads’ in East Yorkshire or stargazing in Scotland, there are a wide variety of experiences to accommodate holidaymakers’ new-found interests.

1. Dog-owning: Bulleigh Barton Manor

Awarded ‘Dog-friendly business of the year’ in the 2018 VisitEngland Awards, this South Devon property welcomes dogs and their owners for a relaxing staycation in a country style B&B.

Dogs are treated to the ultimate ‘a la bark breakfast’ in the morning, and there are four acres of grounds for furry friends to ‘ex-paw’.

2. Cycling: York Holiday & Cycle Stop

These high-quality glamping pods near York offer great cycle-friendly facilities for pedal people who have enjoyed life on two wheels during lockdown.

Only 1.5 miles from the Way of the Roses cycle route, guests can enjoy a great night’s sleep in the landscaped grounds, and take advantage of secure cycle storage and a bike wash area.

3. Bread making: Highfield Farm

For those bitten by the bread-making bug over the past year, Highfield Farm is a great choice, where guests can ‘prove’ their skills at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School.

Situated in the charming market town of Driffield in East Yorkshire, this B&B offers a peaceful stay in a luxury property as well as sourdough and cookery courses for all tastes.

4. Birdwatching: Trustans Barn

Situated just five miles from the RSPB’s Minsmere and Dingle Marshes coastal nature reserves, this superb barn conversion in Darsham, Suffolk is surrounded by meadows and is a treat for wildlife watchers and birders. Nature lovers won’t want to let the opportunity to stay in The Swallow or The Nest rooms fly by!

5. Learning an instrument: Teach an Cheoil

Called The Music House in English, those that enjoy the art of music will like the sound of this holiday experience. Guests can enjoy music courses playing traditional Irish music with the banjo, mandolin, flute, whistle and accordion at this bilingual B&B set in the scenic Glens of Antrim, close to Ballycastle, Northern Ireland.

6. Quilting: The Old Bakery

Located in the heart of North Norfolk countryside, embroidery enthusiasts will be impressed by the Old Bakery B&B. This property boasts a quilt studio where visitors can sew to their heart’s content. Winners of eviivo’s ‘Bed, Breakfast and Beyond’ award in 2019, the property also offers a self-catering holiday cottage.

7. Painting: Westcroft Guest House

In a quiet corner of Cornwall, this boutique B&B in Kingsand offers guests the perfect escape and is just 20m from the scenic beach. It boasts its own private art gallery where guests are given exclusive access and are encouraged to choose their favourite Cornish artwork to hang in their room and inspire their own seascape masterpiece during their stay.

8. Stargazing: Black Burn Lodge

Located in the Scottish Borders on the edge of an International Dark Sky Park, this modern design boutique B&B offers guests use of their very own 200mm telescope. Night owls can feast their eyes on up to 2,000 stars at a time and look up at the Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy, meteor showers and Saturn’s rings.

9. Supporting the community: The Pheasant

Run by the local community, this restored pub, reopened after nine years closed, extends a warm welcome to staycationers exploring Shropshire’s glorious countryside. A community hub where both locals and visitors meet to socialise, The Pheasant is a thriving classic country inn offering three stylish and comfortable rooms.

10 Sustainable living: Monkton Wyld Court

A large country house in an idyllic Dorset location, Monkton Wyld Court is an educational charity offering courses to promote sustainable living, from herbal medicine and yoga to hedge laying and scything. The property offers rooms and vegetarian meals and lets guests swap their carbon footprint for a muddy one.

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