We all day dream about travelling, whether close to home or to a far-flung destination. If there is a moment when we need a dose of travel escapism more than ever before, this is it. In an unprecedented time, we hope that the stringent measures now being taken across the world will help to ensure we are able to resume our ‘normal’ lives in the near future.
Travel was one of the first things to halt, however we are behind the movement to encourage travellers to postpone rather than cancel. We will come out the other side with a desire –even a need- for a well-deserved break. In fact, inspiration for travel in brighter days to come will help sustain us in the coming weeks.
When that day comes, it is predicted the first ‘bounce-back’ destinations will be those easily reached by car or train. Perhaps this will be a trip to re-charge the mind, body and soul in the remote beauty of the Scottish Highlands, with wild swimming and mountain treks, or loch-side hotels with far-reaching views across serene waters. Luxury Scotland with its collection of 29 of the finest properties across the country is a fantastic source of inspiration for planning an epic Scottish road trip. www.luxuryscotland.co.uk
On the way back from Scotland, why stop off at Grantley Hall in North Yorkshire for a true foodie experience – much desired after many store-cupboard meals. Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall is an elegant choice, serving indulgent nine and 12 course tasting meals. A strong focus is on produce grown in the hotel’s own kitchen garden, foraged by the brigade or otherwise sourced from within a strict 30km radius. Imaginative takes on nostalgic dishes from eponymous chef Shaun Rankin’s childhood will make diners smile. www.grantleyhall.co.uk
Heading further south, a ferry-ride from mainland UK takes travellers to the Channel Island of Jersey. Just nine miles by five miles, this tiny island packs a punch. Taking in the great outdoors is easy with wide stretches of beach and secret coves,and inland, 49 miles of green lanes where pedestrians have priority over vehicles. Staying at family-owned The Atlantic Hotel overlooking St Ouen’s Bay means guests can be on the beach within minutes for surfing or sandcastles,before returning to enjoy the island’s bounty of fresh produce at Ocean Restaurant. www.theatlantichotel.com
If Europe is on the agenda, then a visit to Switzerland and the restorative Alpine air is also possible via train. Known for its glistening lakes and soaring mountains, head to three different destinations to discover the best of what the country has to offer. Start in Lausanne, home to the Olympics and a new art and culture hub with the recent opening of Plateforme 10’s collection of museums and galleries. It’s also one of the best places to discover the lesser-known Swiss wines in the Lavaux vineyards which border Lake Geneva. Enjoy a glass during a stay at the RoyalSavoy Hotel & Spa and enjoy the lake views. www.royalsavoy.ch/en
Next up is Bern, the capital city of Switzerland which boats a beautiful UNESCO-listed city centre,brimming with medieval buildings and hundreds of fountains. It’s the home of Swiss chocolate for a well-deserved treat, or the more active may try their hand at river swimming around the city. The Schweizerhof Hotel & Spain Bern offers a roof-top terrace for views across to the Alpine valleys beyond, or head downstairs to Jack’s Brasserie for the city’s leading schnitzel. www.schweizerhof-bern.ch/en
Restorative travel with a focus on wellbeing for the mind and body is likely to be high on the agenda for many. Lucerne in central Switzerland has rapidly established itself as a mecca for this with the launch of Bürgenstock Resort. Set high above Lake Lucerne, it has built upon the age old-premise of convalescing in the mountain air and brought it into the 21st century at the Waldhotel, one of the world’s leading healthy wellbeing hotels. With an expert team of doctors and medical experts, check-in for a health MOT and a personalised programme which delivers proven results. www.buergenstock.ch/en
The mountains of central Europe are also home to incredible golf courses on which to relax and unwind. From Villars Golf Club with its sweeping views across to Mont Blanc, to Golf Club Crans-Sur-Sierre, host of the annual Omega European Masters, each offers a different technical challenge to tease the mind and perfect a swing. Award-winning Alpine travel specialist Leo Trippi has created a new sporting experience: the ultimate 10-day golf itinerary in the Alps to enjoy with friends this autumn, combined with fine wine and wellness. www.leotrippi.com
Finally, for a perennial favourite, don’t forget Ibiza. The White Isle’s azure waters, tiny villages,fresh seafood and captivating sunsets draw travellers back time and time again.Those seeking to reunite with family and friends will have a trip to remember forever with the help of the experts at Boo Ibiza. Hide away at a 400-year-old finca or relax at the pool of a sleek villa, while nothing is too much trouble:personal chefs, yacht charter or retreats are all easily arranged to meet every need www.booibiza.com
While dreaming of heading to the great outdoors, relaxing with loved ones, or sharing the finest of cuisine, we take comfort in knowing these experiences and more are ready waiting. In a future blog, we will share inspiration for long-haul adventures to be enjoyed in the months ahead. In the meantime, stay safe and well.